1st February 2023
Big Bight, Bocas Del Toro, Panama – Dolphin Bay (North), Bocas Del Torro, Panama via Ground Creek & Saigon Bay, Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Saralane, Seraphina, Waimangu, Mad Fish, Persephone, Favorita, Annie, Quickstep two, Sauvage, Atea, Blue Mist, Pincoya *. This is an exclusive list and a list that we hate to see grow. The criteria to get on here are for us to sail in exotic places together, grow emotionally and intellectually and then, for our hearts to be broken when we part. This list was about to get longer with the full final and definate departure of Cerulean as they prepare to head into the Pacific and we ready ourselves for a passage north.
As we both had miles in front of us the unending task of maintenance continued. While Cerulean took an extreme approach that involved ordering spares from America, finding bearing presses in remote locations and conversations with watermaker experts in Trinidad, we took a much more low key, but significantly smellier tack.
Taking the toilet to bits Iain quickly succeeded in covering himself, everything he touched and everything in the vicinity of the toilet with the crusty slimy and long deposited contents of its pipes. If a part could be replaced then it was and everything that couldn’t be had its grime removed and retuned to a sparking state.
Upon reassembly Iain hoped the smells that have plagued his toilet time would be removed, but all he succeeded it doing was creating a leak that slowly filled Ruffian with toilet water. Time after time he remade the seals and finally the water was kept outside but the smells persisted. Could they have something to do with Iain and his deposits rather than the toilet itself?
At the end of a big day of chores it was time to give a big goodbye to Cerulean. If Ruffian had been in charge of organising events, we would have found ourselves in a local dive with beans and rice on the menu. Steve and Helen are of a totally different calibre and with Helen being a professional event organiser something special was happening.
Steve donned not only a collar, but long trousers and shoes to match, while Helen sported a posh frock complete with sequins and impractical tailoring. We felt compelled to follow suit ditching our greased stained work clothes and sun bleached rags for slightly less grease stained clothes with some not showing any signs of fading in the sun.
We knew things were special the moment we walked into an oasis of posh restaurant calmness. Drinks were served which were adorned with tropical fruits and garnishes that could have been a course by themselves and tasters arrived with bowls and spoons that looked like they’d been stolen from a dolls house they were so tiny and quaint. There would be no beans, rice and local grog here.
More and more delectable food arrived with flavours and combinations that were beyond anything our palettes had experienced and as the evening continued desert was going sum up the evening. In true Cerulean style instead of opting for the easy option they went for the extreme one that involved pokers, a simmering fire and dicing with danger.
Steve and Helen took quite different approaches to making their marshmallow sandwiches. Helen grew bored of the fire, set her sweetness alight and stuffed it between the biscuits, then devoured the concoction in seconds. Steve was much more measured, the marshmallow was gently roasted turning into a sloppy gooeyness and heated up to the same temperature as the sun, this was then ladled from the poker to a waiting biscuit, where most of it promptly escaped. The dessert optimised everything we love about Cerulean, so different, so entertaining and able to turn everything into an adventure. These guys will be sadly missed and have cemented their way onto our very special, very sad list.
* This list could be so much longer, but for the sake of brevity we have limited the list to just a few.
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