Who Likes Airports?

Nobody.  That’s the right answer.  If you like the airport, I hope it’s because of the fact you’re leaving one place and arriving in a better place.

If you like the TSA, baggage fees, lines, and expensive food and drinks, though, you should try airports.  Myself, I prefer my catamaran- where there aren’t lines of people waiting to do inane things, where I wake up in peace, and I have complete freedom to do as I chose.

Who Likes Airports?

So the airport was stupid. They insisted that I needed a return flight, despite showing them my boat paperwork and trying to explain that I’d be sailing out of Panama.  They couldn’t grasp the idea of leaving the country via sailboat.  So I bought a refundable flight home, to ease their conscience.  Naturally, I canceled the flight as soon as I landed in Panama – but at least the rule-makers were happy.

Honestly though, the worst part was fighting with the baggage.  I had a couple of fishing poles, and enough boat parts to outfit a small armada.  Here’s me trying to convince the agents at United that I had a sailing yacht in Panama that I was leaving Panama on/in.  I have all of my boat paperwork in Dropbox, on my iPad.  That makes it remarkably convenient, but the United Airline agents weren’t convinced. Silly folks.

But I made it.

When I got back into Panama I had trouble finding my bags. But I found them, and though they weren’t in one piece – the contents were all there, unharmed.

A quick shuttle ride to the hotel, a couple of Balboa’s at the hotel bar, and I was golden.  Without practice, my (already) broken Spanish was suffering – but I could order a beer, ask where the bathrooms were, and ask how much things cost.   That’s winning in Central/South America for this gringo.

The really great news was that my new buddy Alex (www.projectbluesphere.com) was picking me up in my POS SUV.  And he did so admirably.  After cramming my stuff in the SUV, we set off to find my first official crew member onboard S/V NOMAD:  Chelsea.

She’s an Aussie surfer, ex-marine mammal trainer (at Seaworld Austrailia), and yes – she’s seen Blackfish.

Anyways.  We packed her stuff in the SUV, made a couple of food/provisioning stops, and finally made it back to Puerto Lindo. I

It felt good.

The trip back to the States was great – but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that my life is with my boat.  It’s definitely a love affair, despite the seemingly uphill battle with learning and boat maintenance.  The truth is that almost everyday I wake up in paradise.  The spearfishing could be better, but there are certainly worse problems – like being stuck in a cubicle (or even a corner office).

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