In 2009 I retired and moved to the small town of Boquerón in Chiriqui Province in the western part of the  Republic of Panama not too far from the Costa Rican Border. I lived there for almost 8 years. But the worsening of my COPD (nearly 60 years of smoking all kinds of licit and illicit dried plant leaves was NOT a good idea) I had to repatriate to the states. It’s not that health care in Panama isn’t good. I thought it was excellent BUT if something serious happened I’d have had to put up a wad of cash up front to be admitted to either of the two private hospitals in the area. Though I can’t vouch for this from personal experience, but I heard that sometimes people at the government-supported regional hospital had to supply their own sheets and pillow cases.

Since I rely entirely on Social Security the ONLY way I am able to live in the states was to build a small sailboat on the “One easy payment plan.” and live, rent-free at anchor. I did that off of Anna Maria Island, FL, a bit south of Tampa Bay. After riding out Tropical Storm Eta at anchor, and with my COPD becoming worse over time, I have moved into a canal off the Saint Johns River in DeBary, central Florida.

Initially I bought the boat, a Venture 22, in Fort Lauderdale and then went on a cruise for several months before settling in around the Bradenton Beach area. I went up the Intracoastal Waterway on the east coast of Florida, crossed the state on the Okeechobee Waterway and wended my way up to the eastern panhandle before succumbing to total renal shut down caused by severe dehydration. I even had to be taken off of my boat 18 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico by a U.S. Coast Guard-dispatched rescue craft.

Along the way I found many great “gunkholes” and this blog is my attempt to document them.

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