With Mike’s mom ailing back in the US we took Mermaid to Shelter Bay Marina in Colon so Mike could fly to Texas for a couple of weeks. While he was gone, Robin met a new good friend Donna Lange. Donna was in the middle of completing her second solo circumnavigation. She had planned to sail by the great capes but when issues with the boat developed crossing the Pacific she headed for the Panama Canal. Robin wasn’t just making new friends, Bob and Sherry of Nirvana, our friends from Southern California and Mexico, had arrived in Panama City on the Pacific side of the canal. Robin and Donna made the trip to Panama City and the two line-handled for Nirvana through the Canal to Shelter Bay. The transit went smoothly except that Robin got smashed in the face by a monkey fist thrown down to the boat as they entered the Gatun locks and ended up with a nasty black eye.
On Mike’s return, Robin had Mermaid provisioned and ready to return to San Blas. Mermaid and Nirvana sailed to Linton, spent the night and sailed to San Blas early the next day. We dropped the hook first near the swimming pool in the Hollandes Cays and then in the western Coco Bandaras. It was great fun catching up with Nirvana, snorkeling, playing cards and dominoes and enjoying many meals in both cockpits.
This all ended way too soon when we got the call that we needed to return to Texas. Early the next morning we headed back to Shelter Bay where we got the news that Mike’s mom had passed away peacefully in her sleep. We buttoned up Mermaid and flew out.