Archive for January, 2012


. I will never miss suburban sunsets .

I honestly do not know why I have been having so much trouble keeping up with my blog. Maybe its working split shifts (early+late hours), maybe it is the awareness of time spent on the computer, but either way I am surprised I’m having trouble remembering what I use to write about here.  Maybe I will work on being better at keeping up with it since I won 2 internet cards (400minutes) this week. One for having the cleanest room, and one for winning our crew game of ultimate assassin (everyone draws a name and has to ‘kill’ that person, once that person is dead you are in charge of assassinating whomever they had, and so on, last one standing wins).

visiting dolphin

Things have been going well. As promised, I haven’t been feeling better each individual day, but I have been feeling improvement overall. I am happy to be working as early riser this week, meaning I get up an hour before the other stewards to set up breakfast, but it also means it is more of a possibility to get a break and off the boat between breakfast and lunch, which is not possible with most of the duty rotations.

This was a pretty good week, as we were anchored a few days ago I was pleased to have a pair of dolphins play with our boat of a few hours. I was unpleased that during my 30 minute break when I was in my room a whale shark decided to come play with the boat… well just upset I didn’t get to see it, but I must come to terms that I can’t see everything every time… for reasons unknown to me, but I am working on it.

Got off the boat today at Manuel Antonio National Park. Walked most of the path by myself since I just had a zodiac drive me over after I was finished cleaning my rooms. It was refreshing to walk the trail by myself, although the trail was still flooded with people since it was another hot gorgeous Sunday and a lot of locals were headed to the beach, but just walking alone, and not part of a group felt good. My first few times there I went with the naturalist to ensure maximum wildlife sightings, but today serenity was worth more to me than sloths. Of course, Manuel Antonio is still a wonderful spot to see sloths and I did spot a few, as well as the crab(chip)eating raccoons and a troop of white faced monkeys.Image

Life on the boat has been going well. Switched from the port side to the starboard side of the foc’sle yesterday, I like my old room better, but I think the new living situation will be better. You would not be able to believe how little my bed was/is (I still have the same bed, just on the other side now), and with my current pain being strongest in the morning, unless it wakes me up before hand, getting out of bed has been quite the issue. Maybe I will upload a picture of my little top bunk sometime. Other than the issue of my broken body, I love my little bed, my job, and my co-workers. There had been discussion of going home, and I just couldn’t picture being anywhere but here. I am loving life, swimming in the Pacific Ocean without a wet suit in the dead of winter. It was a105 degrees on the lido a few days ago, I have a tan line for the first time in what seems like years, and I can’t remember the last time I have cried because I was sad.

My day off this week is in Coiba, the most desired day off. I will finally get the chance to go SCUBA diving with my friend Christian, and it is going to be amazing.


Barro Colorado

Had a day off today and was able to get off the boat at the Smithsonian Research Center on Barro Colorado for the first time. We went a little later in the day than we typically do due to a late canal transit. Our pilot time through the canal is completely dependent on the Panama Canal Transit and does not always go as planned.

Barro Colorado was slightly less exciting than I was thinking it was going to be, but the naturalist said that it was due to going in the heat of the day. Either way, it was exciting to finally get off the ship and to be able to hike. Hiking opportunities have been very limited. As always, any time I get off the boat I see something I never would have seen otherwise and that excites me.

Although there was not a complete abundance of wildlife to be viewed today, it was good good to be in the low lighting of the forest and able to practice taking pictures in the understory. My camera and I are slowly becomming better friends.Image

<above; baby howler monkey confidentally taking a break from holding onto its mum>

Howler monkeys are the most common monkey to be seen but until today I have been ‘lucky’ seeing mainly only the more rare monkeys, so of course it was super to finally see them. They have the most amazing sound as if there is a yeti in the forest. Although I have heard them many times, today was my first time seeing them. We also saw a white faced monkey, my first time only spotting one by itself and apparently it was a great sighting for the island since the population has dropped 75% over the last year due to extremes in weather. A four-striped whiptail (type of lizard), agouti, a great tinamou (a sort of forest chicken), a flock of crested guan, and a bunch of cute little bats were a few of the other sightings of the day.

Other than that it was a pretty uneventful day. I am back on full duty and not feeling much better, but on the other hand, not feeling much worse.

Currently sitting in the Mira Flores lock of the canal waiting to go under the Bridge of the Americas so that I can renew my wish.


nothing new

not much new to report here. Still on light duty, extremely light duty, and boat arrest as well. Feeling better some, and things will certainly change on Saturday since it is turn day. My fill in will be leaving, and things will be changing around her regarding which duites I will need to resume.

The following pictures are some of my favorites from my last time off the boat. They are from Manuel Antonio National Park.


Souvenir shot of common potoo, very excited to see.

shoot. i was mainly getting on to add photos, but tonight doesnt seem like a good night for it.

white faced monkey expressing how i was feeling


crab eating raccoons at the beach, who were displaying more of chip eating raccoon habits


best friends



Turn day in Herradurra. There has been a severe lack of recovery on my behalf from my fall almost a week ago. Almost in tears again this morning it only seemed proper to be sent to the clinic. The pain was worse today than yesterday, and was worse yesterday than the day before, becoming worried that I would have a cracked rib, or worse, that I would be have to sent off the boat I was interested to hear what the doctor would say.

After poking around some she concluded that none of my ribs seem to be fractured, but that the pain that has been displaced from the trauma area is a result of my rib/ribs being stretched/removed from the cartilage that holds them to my spine.

So on doctor’s orders I am back on light duty (LD is my new nickname). I am not to be washing dishes, busing tables, vacuuming, working extended periods of time… she seemed very perturbed when she asked what other task I could be doing instead, if I could help out in the office or do paper work, and I just didn’t have much to come up with for task that don’t use my body for.

So… I got an anti inflammatory shot, some new pain killers and some other pills that are suppose to help with the inflammation and swelling round my ribby spiny area.

I was pretty nervous bringing my doctor’s note back to the boat. Not that my manager would not be accommodating, but that he would be accommodating and that I would feel super guilty being on light duty (for 5-7 days; estimated pain 30days, boat doctor estimate 6 weeks). Or that he would be super accommodating to my injury, and send me home. Thankfully I was able to conjure up a mixture of both, with light duty and an extra body aboard completing my task, so that technically everything I do is just extra.

One of my favorite stewards Laura ended her 6 month contract in Panama last turn day and got off the boat. Her plan was to travel across the country for a few days and meet us in Manuel Antonio yesterday and get back on the boat for an evening before heading home, the main reason for meeting back up with the boat being that she is dating the chief mate. Lucky for me she has agreed to stay on another week and do all my duties while I am on LD. So although after 6 months of being on the boat Laura was ready to get off, after her week long vacation, she and the chief mate do not seem too have any complaints about her putting in another week of work.


3 days ago I was early riser. Had to be at work at 5:15 and saw the best moon set of my life, closely followed by one of the best sunset rises. The rest of the morning went as scheduled until lunch service when, while grabbing extra cookies from the dry storage I slipped on some spilt juice. There was no regular fumbling of one foot and slipping of the other, or reaching out to catch myself, it was a full on comic strip slipping on the winter ice on the drive way, body landing before feet type of fall. With my one slick motion graceful fall, my first point of contact was my rib cage landing on the corner of a milk crate.


Since then I have been doped up on codeine and quite surprised with the amount of pain I have been able to cause myself. None of my ribs seem broken, and if they were, there isn’t much we would be able to do about it anyway. The pain has been migrating and changing daily. The doctor was checking on me right after I feel and asked where it hurt.  I pointed to the section of my back that was killing me assuming that was where I landed on the milk crate.

 After examining myself later it was obvious where on my ribs I had hit the milk crate, and it was not the section that hurt. Since then the pain has migrated little by little each day. My ribs hitting the milk crate under my right arm, the initial pain was located on the far right of my back, but not my side. The next morning the pain was slightly higher and more centered. Since then I have woken up barely being able to move my neck, and last night was the first night I have woken up in pain. Surprisingly finally coming from the actual spot that had made contact with the milk crate.

Fortunately, between feeling like I am broken I have been put on light duty at work. Today I actually went snorkeling for a little bit, saw a shark, two sea turtles, the largest trumpet fish I have ever seen, and all the regular cute beautiful things in the ocean here. The hydroids are still awful, but worth it. It’s still amazing to be able to go snorkeling during the middle of winter, see sea turtles, and not have goose bumps.

The current state of my pain gave me a minor break down during dinner service. I spent my 5 minute break crying on the fantail. The tears were forgotten soon after when Gus came through with a message of bow riding dolphins. Laying over the bow I was able to watch a pod of around 20 dolphins fishing and jumping off of our bow. They are usually pretty shy around these parts, so it was wonderful to see so many for so long. Usually they do not stay around long enough to share the experience with other people. So, it was awesome!