LINTON ISLAND PANAMA – JUNE 2015

I am trying to do a blog post on Linton Island where we have been for the past 5 weeks as we do work and maintainence on Maraki. Linton island is about 20 miles east of the entrance to the Panama Canal zone on the Costa Arriba, a rural jungled coast not very frequented by tourists.  There is a marina being built here, for the past several years but it is finally nearing completion at least it has docks. 





There are no services yet like electricity or water but it will be a great place maybe even later this year. The marina will have a haulout facility with large travel lift, we think maybe 175 ton lift. We have been at anchor off the marina and have enjoyed clean water, mostly fresh breezes and friendly people. The view out the “back and front door” are wonderful





The noises from land are also special. The howler monkeys and birds replace the rooster who is usually the predominant noise maker. 





These are not all howler monkey pictures as there are many other kinds we have seen. here, the white shouldered capuchin is pictured here too. 

We also have seen lots of birds, parrots, macaws toucans. The sloth pictured here was found hanging from a pilling near the marina yesterday. He hung there for several hours and moved ever so slowly to look at us when we came right up to the piling with the dinghy. He opened his eyes wide , slowly and then closed them slowly and ignored us again. 







There has been sightings of a boa constrictor too but we have not yet seen it. It  had slithered onto to the deck of our friends catamarran and when they tried to get it off, it swam around the side and came up the side of the hull to an open port hole. luckily they slammed it shut before it could get in. We hope to avoid that excitement. 

We have spent the time here building a new bimini shade cover that has incorporated 2 large solar panels that we bought in the Free Zone here in Colon. John did the fabrication and a German/Panama named Guido did the welding. We are very happy with it.



There is another marina nearby here called Panamarina which has no docks or services but line boats up along a buoy system and is used mostly by those who leave their boats and go away for the rainy season. They watch over the boats. It can be reached by dinghy from our anchorage by going through the Tunnel of Love, a mangrove lined shallow waterway. it is quite a cool dinghy ride. 







The one drawback is that Puerto Lindo is a tiny town with almost nothing to buy in food stuffs. There is a vegetable truck that comes around 2-3 times a week to sell wonderful fresh, never refrigerated fruits and veg. Pineapples sell for $1, 8 oranges for $1, avocados, cabbage, carrots, mango, everything you could want. We tried some new produce as well. 

 These are the “”fruits” from the palm tree which when boiled like potato serve as a starch. 

So to get into a biggergrocery store we need to ride a bus, an old american school bus, fioor 2 hours one way. They are usually full as they serve as transport for the school kids as well. They are painted and decorated according to the likes of the driver/owner.





The horse and farmer head down the same roadways as does every other kind of conveyance. Accidents are not uncommon. We have met people who have experienced this first hand. 

Diesel can be hauled from Colon area too but we used a driver and his truck to haul the 120 gallons we needed to refill Maraki. First fill since Trinidad!



We have been involved in 2 medical situations. One resulted in a baby boy being born and the other in a death. The baby was on a neighbor boat but we managed to get them ashore in time for the baby to be born. I was prepared and releatively comfortable with the idea of assisting her but it was a first baby so we had time. 

The second situation involved a 37 year old Italian man who had been a crew on a charter cat. There is a large Italian community here as it seems that there is an old aggrement between Panama and Italy allowing  Italians to have privileges like citizenship. Anyway a VHF radio call went out requesting medical assistance and I responded. John and I dashed by dinghy to the marina where we found this young man collapsed on the deck. The language barrier existed between all of us. He and his mate spoke only Italian, some spoke Spanish only, French and me with English. I immediately determined there was no pulse and began CPR and hoped for help. I was the only medically trained person but another women, Stephanie from France had taken a 2 day Emergency course. To make this long story short, we ended up doing CPR for 2 hours!! while we waited for an ambulance or someone who could help. A local dive shop arrived with oxygen and defib machine about 45 minutes to one hours into CPR. They kept saying the ambulance would arrived in 20 minutes. We never had any response or return of pulse. Finally the ambulance arrived, declared him dead and then it was another 2 hours before the police . This served as a reminder of how isolated we are and that help is not easily available. A few days later I met the parents and friends of the gentleman who died and they were very gracious and thankful for all we did. It just was not fast enough or with the right equipment. I guess I needed to have my cardiologist friend with us. A positive note was that John as well as several other lay person were able to experience this event and have first hand experience with CPR and resue breathing. It was a learning but traumatic experience. 

Soon we will need to get moving on to Bocas del toro near the Costa Rica border. MARAKI will stay there in a marina while we head to USA to see friends and family. So till next time, love to all of you. Hope to see you in person soon. 

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