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Owner: Harbors Unknown

BOAT LIFE CONFESSIONS: Finding Purpose in Sailing - Harbors Unknown | Ep. 72


Location: Panama
Latitude: 8.54000000
Longitude: -80.78000000
Published: 22 Jul 2022

BOAT LIFE CONFESSIONS: Finding Purpose in Sailing - Harbors Unknown | Ep. 72

Sailing is our means of transportation and the boat our platform from which to explore. We are now travelers, not tourists. Witnesses to different cultures, ways of living, eating, working and playing. Attempting to understand what makes the world tick and tock but also trying to gain a deeper comprehension of ourselves and identify what will satisfy that hunger for further exploration. Step by step gaining a sure footing, wandering a bit further afield. Trying to learn the rules of the road, meeting many closed doors, hoping eventually to push one open, to crack the code.

You’re an observer in these foreign places, of daily life, without the smoke and mirrors of a tourism board or travel guide. A patina of years of pollution and grime creates a mask over once grand colonial construction. Where chickens, roosters, pigs and stray dogs meander through underbrush searching for scraps. Monkeys gobble up the succulent mangoes before property owners can blink an eye. Vines of the wild jungle creeping across the road are kept at bay with machetes but the cacophony of ominous roars from the howler monkeys, sweet bird songs and buzzing of unknown insects pervades the air reminding us we are guests in this land. One day this is our reality and the next we’re in a modern city, countless amenities at our fingertips. Boat life is a world of extremes. One moment may be the most beautiful downwind sail, or snorkeling an amazing reef and the next may be a squall with thunder and lightning, 35 knot winds and 15 foot waves. During those uncomfortable times we ask ourselves why we’re doing this. The answer, is not so clear.

I want to be immersed in nature, marvel at the earth’s creations, the lush jungle and wild animals, dynamic coral reefs and fascinating sea life, and connect with different people to try and see the world through their eyes.

We’re finding that Panama is also a place of contrast. We’re staying in Linton Bay near the small town of Puerto Lindo. A remote area bordered by inaccessible jungle and the sea, where chickens crossing the street, goats and cows munching on grass are the norm. Panama City, 70 miles away is the complete opposite. A vibrant metropolis nestled in between the jungle and the ocean with modern architecture, a charming historical neighborhood, and the most incredible seafood market we’ve ever seen. There’s a stark contrast between this city and where we’ve been staying which makes its role as a bridge between North and South America even more evident.

At the marina, a walk down the dock brings us back to the bar with one brand of beer and simple food where mosquitoes and no-see-ums own your ankles. We sit at plastic tables next to cruisers who stopped here decades ago, romantically inspired, in a quest for freedom from the 9 to 5, now spending drowsy afternoons milling about the boat yard and having late night conversations fueled by the local stimulant leaf. The beer is cold, cheap and goes down unpretentiously; everything is spectacularly real and unfiltered.

Is this is what I was looking for? Some of it is. I love the feeling of being lost in a different world, reliving the emotions of the 18 year old version of myself hitchhiking through Europe. So different from what I have become in my life since the day I put down my guitar and chose medical school. And some of it is not.
I need purpose beyond these lazy afternoons, I need to discover what is next as I am looking straight into the eyes of an unpredictable and exciting future. A thought is gnawing at my stomach, does the world still need me? Am I contributing enough by sharing this journey? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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#sailingaroundtheworld #boatlife #livingonthesea #cruisingcouple

00:00-03:00 Boat Life is a World of Contrast
03:01-05:45 Panama City Mercados de Mariscos
05:46-07:10 Casco Viejo
07:11-11:14 Amador Causeway
11:15-13:30 Parque Metropolitano
13:31--15:21 Panamanian Jungle
15:22-16:55 Is this what we were looking for?