Panama Gold... An Expedition

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Gold Diving: From Alaska to Panama

Something one learns quickly as an Alaskan surface gold dredge diver — especially before someone intelligent invented piping hot water into a diving suit, instead of trying to keep warm by peeing — was when ice became to thick to break through without a axe it was time to join Arctic Terns and Canadian Geese in flapping wings heading out and honking, “Cold; South.”

Panama GoldThis is why I was in the right frame of mind setting in a civilized Anchorage A-frame before a fireplace, with a hot buttered rum, after a long season when I replied to one of those civilized pink “while you were out” notes. I returned a call to the “financier” father of an American accountant still working for the Panama Canal who had a Panamanian citizen wife. Recently America’s had been turned over by the habitat for “Humanity” President, who had vetoed the “Big Stick” President and his “Big Ditch.”

What he suggested was an all expenses paid trip to tropical Panama. A wintertime vacation sounded just the place to thaw out from an Alaskan summer. It took a little while working out the details.

The pragmatic bean counters had somehow heard that I was a junkie for any adventure that sounded exciting.  And that all someone, especially better pilots than I who really couldn’t afford a Lake amphibian anyhow, had to whisper in my ear “come along, you.” Away I would go, climbing aboard outdated aircraft, to practice my unique skill of aerial dropping spike camp supplies or claim posts — even if it didn’t make financial sense.

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