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Irene Panke Hopkins is a freelance writer. She and her husband spent seven winters in Panama on a tiny island called Isla Taboga where this blog was born.

She recently won first place in Real Simple magazine’s essay contest for her piece titled, Home Waters describing the process of downsizing from a four bedroom home to a 42 foot sailboat.

She also writes for 48° North, a magazine by and for sailors in the Seattle area.

Her column, Musings from the Laundromat appears regularly in the Queen Anne/Magnolia News in Seattle.

Hopkins wrote and edited the University of Washington’s Spanish and Portuguese Studies quarterly newsletter for three years as well as a monthly newsletter for the University of Washington Medical Center’s Volunteer Department.

Among Hopkins’ book-writing credits is her essay, The Seven Circles of Hormone Hell, published in the 2005 Seal Press anthology, I Wanna Be Sedated, 30 Writers on Parenting Teens.

She also co-edited an e-book, My Ticket to Paradise, Expat Snapshots of Isla Taboga, Panama, published by Changemaker Community in Panama. Her chapter in that book is called: Welcome to Paradise; No Ticket Required. Sales of this ebook benefit the diabetics on Isla Taboga, providing them with essential glucose monitors and supplies to successfully manage their disease.

Other works have appeared in the Seattle Times, and various websites including

Blogs include this one, Panamama, Reflections of a Part Time Traveler and Daniel Dammit Hopkins which chronicles her husband’s near fatal accident in 2011.

Hopkins is currently working on a memoir. Isn’t everyone?!  

  1. Gede Prama permalink

    Dear friend, Thank you very much, I was really happy to have been following your blog. I’m still a lot to figure out, and here I can only say that you are an awesome blogger, full Inspiring and hope you can inspire more readers. Thanks and greetings compassion from Gede Prama 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your following my blog and I am following your beautiful blog as well. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Ian permalink

    What a cool blog!! As a frustrated sailor, I love hearing about your adventures cruising the NW as well as those hanging in Isle Taboga. I’ve been to Taboga two times now and looking forward to a 3rd later this month. Hopefully, I can do the hike up the hill. Saludos!

    • Hi Ian, Thanks for your comment. Maybe we will see you on Taboga sometime! Do you live in Panama? Also, please follow me! Would love to have you along for the ride.

      • Ian permalink

        Hi Irene. Perhaps some day I will live in Panama. My first visit there was a year ago when I attended an International Living conference to get the “big picture” of Panama to decide where I wanted to explore in detail. There were areas I knew about but really needed “boots on ground.” I’m currently living/working (?) in the San Francisco Bay area where I spend 6 months of the year (Mar-Oct) working Mark Set or managing regattas from remote control sail boats and Optis to the big rigs of the Rolex Big Boat Series. I do actually find some time to “cruise” my Ultimate 20 sport boat and work on the 1790s Brig Lady Washington. I will definitely follow you…and enjoy the ride.

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