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February 1, 2001 ~ February 15, 2001

CHECK THE PANAMA CANAL WEBSITE AT www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html on SATURDAY AFTERNOON FEBRUARY 17. There is a camera and you can see and take a picture of us transitting the MiraFlores Locks.

February 15, 2001

Eric and I will probably go to the Internet Place to send this website update to Julie and Chris today, while David and Jason spend time making the boat ready by cleaning off the bottom (so that we will go faster and we can make our transit in one day!) and the propeller! It is really yucky!! We will have to haul up the anchor before the pilot gets here and really clean it off!

We still have to figure out our line handlers, finish provisioning (we have to feed all our crew plus the advisor - 8-9 people for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a two day transit, plus snacks and drinks!!! Plus cookies and pop for the tug drivers if we are rafted to a tug!), check out, shop for fresh produce, stow the rest of the items that we have purchased, and have everything ship shape!!! We heard today that we are going nested with *Zephyrus* and another boat, *Faladol* which we do not know (we are hoping that they speak English!). We are hoping to get everyone together on Friday afternoon to meet. We also have to meet our Motta delivery at noon today.

We are hoping that Julie and Chris will update this website ASAP. We are very confused as to when it was last updated. They are VERY busy with their school work, jobs, taking care of Nalu, Sammie and Manu, plus keeping house with cooking, cleaning and washing....so our website update is very LOW on their list to do!!! We are still looking for another method....

Many of you have asked for a new itinerary....we will be heading to Ecuador soon, to Galapagos (can stay for only 3 weeks), then the 20-30 day passage to the Marquesas about the beginning of April, then to the Tuamotus, and to Tahiti (arriving about the middle of June), on to Tonga, and finally to New Zealand (we NEED to be there by October 31). If anyone is interested in visiting PLEASE email us directly to the boat KH7JL@winlink.org. (Remember NO pictures, NO attachments, NO forwards and please not repeat my letter back to me....please!) We do NOT have any access to the Maui Net email address!!! Also, remember, everything is set in jello out here!

Please do keep in touch, we love to hear from you! Please be patient...we will respond! We are not out here relaxing in our hammocks and drinking mai tais!!! We send our love and aloha to all! We are VERY excited about being back in the Pacific and closer to home!!!

February 14, 2001

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! We love you all and miss you lots! We are hoping that many of you will come to visit us in Tahiti, Tonga or New Zealand!

We organized another trip to Motta this morning to pick up another pair of sunglasses (Eric's broke the day after we went there the first time!) and a shelf stereo system for Jason. We were all very disappointed to find out that they did not have one for him in stock! We had lunch at McDonalds, went shopping at Reyes (bought David some flowers and chocolates!!!), bought some more seaweed at the Oriental Store (lots of exotic items there and I wish I knew more about Chinese medicines!!!), and I have been busy working on this update all afternoon, since we need to take it to the internet place tomorrow! David, Eric and Jason worked all afternoon installing all the tires and fenders on the boat. We desparately need to clean off the top of the boat, so hopefully, we will have some rain (at night!) otherwise, we will have to clean it with buckets of handcarried water and a sponge!

February 13, 2001

We are coming down to the wire, as usual. We got everything on the boat that we could wash (but forgot the towels which we use to collect water...might do those tomorrow) the boys stayed at the club and did that, while David and I went to Super 99 for more provisions! I spent the afternoon working on updating this website, making up all the beds, and putting all the covers on the seats, but then we had to go into the Yacht Club to make some phone calls (more about Mega Depot!!!), but with no results, just takes my time and money on calls...it is 30 cents/minute to call Panama City! Of course, we continue to haul water every time we go ashore.

We were approached by a local who had a cardboard box with 3 baby Yellowheaded Amazons and he wanted $50 each for them!!! They didn't even have all their feathers. I imagine that he had pulled them out of a nest in the jungle and they will die unless someone knows how to hand feed them. I was just sick and woke up during the night thinking about them. It is so hard to let them go, but I can't take them aboard. I have no cages, no food, etc., and I could be in BIG trouble with them aboard in Galapagos, etc. It is just heart wrenching to see this! What people do to birds and all God's creatures!

February 12, 2001

We walked to Citibank (where there are armed guards, just like the gas stations and the super markets. There is a picture of a gun with a red circle around it and a slash acrossed it on the door of McDonalds! WOW!!!) with Harold and Diana on *Zephyrus* where we paid our fee for transiting the canal. It is NOT cheap anymore! We are over 50 feet in lenght so we have to pay $750 plus a damage deposit of $650 (like WE are really going to damage the locks! No, it is so they can fine you if you cancel or slow down the traffic in the lock or have to be towed by a tug at $1000/tow!) for a total of $1400!!! We sure hope that Bush gets the canal back....Jimmy Carter was crazy!!! We realized at that point that there was a problem with my card, so we spent hours on the phone trying to resolve that. All of it is in dispute, so hopefully, the bank will work it out. I am sending copies of everything! We called the Canal and scheduled our transit on Saturday with *Zephyrus*.

Monday was rather a stressful day with the Mega Depot, Mail Forwarder, and because of these high winds that we have been experiencing, our line handlers (*Soggy,* *Home,* and *Camryka*) are NOT going to make it here in time for our transit on Saturday. It would be nice to solve just one problem! We also received notification from our broker in Ft. Lauderdale that we should watch out for a virus "Anna Kronkraian ?sp" and there it was from Florida Rigging!!! That is the FIRST one that we have ever received. We did NOT open it, Thank Heavens! because of the warning from Martin! Thanks, Martin.

February 11, 2001

We were up early to prepare to be measured for our transit. We had our lines (we rented them from Victor for $60 - $15 each) which are 125 feet long with no splices and we have 14 tires plus 8 fenders to protect all the sides of our boat. The admeasurer was brought to our boat by a pilot and she jumped aboard with the help of Eric and David. We were having 30+ knot winds so it was VERY rolly in the anchorage, so she measured our boat and then asked that we meet her at the Yacht Club at 10:30am to fill out all the papers. So we went in at that time and completed all the forms.

David and I continued to work on administrative items, like taxes etc. We have to cover everything from now until we reach Tahiti in June. It is very difficult to oversee all our finances from out here! We do appreciate all the help that we receive from Rod and Julie and others on land in the United States! After we have experienced Colon, which is definitely the roughest place we have ever been!

February 10, 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTHANNE!!! Hope you have a happy day!

We received our mail delivery and were absolutely shocked with our bill for $335!!! We have been doing some checking and consequently, we might be having to change mail forwarders....Wonderful!!! Anybody want the job!!! We received many Christmas cards, but have NOT had a chance to open and enjoy them! We will do that in the Pacific. We also received quite a few returns from non-forwardable mail...we will send you two next year or we will send you one on the email! We are sorry!

We watched "I am not Rapaport" with Walter Matthau which is also a different movie, but quite entertaining and definitely worth watching.

February 8-9, 2001

We went shopping (yes, again...) at Reyes and continued to stow and inventory all items. We have also been microwaving all the rice, flour, pasta, in hopes of avoiding an infestation of weevils and other crawling black things! Eric and David have been busy copying electronic and paper charts for various places. We have also continued to carrying water and diesel daily, since we need to leave here with full tanks.

We are deeply saddened to relay the news that Pat Hill passed on today (February 9) with her family and friends in her new home in Oregon. Pat and her husband, Mike, had been taking care of our two African Greys, Sammie and Manu, while we are traveling, plus all of their parrots and dogs. We arranged to have the birds shipped to our daughter, Julie, in Boulder while we in Florida on November 30, before they moved to Oregon on December 17. We send all our prayers and love to Mike and their family! We will miss her wonderful spirit and loving laugh and smile! She was a wonderful person and we are very thankful to have had the priviledge of knowing her! Aloha, Pat!

February 7, 2001

We were up at 3:00am and I took Eric and David, Harold from *Zephyrus* and Jim from *Windsong* over to *Cherokee* at 4am! I had quite a ride back alone in the dinghy...I had been practicing driving the dinghy but always had someone with me and I was not prepared for the 25 knot winds with the bow flipping up in the wind! I arrived back at *Peace and Aloha* and Jason waited at the stern with the lights on, but it took me three or four touch and goes (Disney should patent this ride! It was really fun riding around in circles in the wind and rain! It was a good thing nobody was awake to see me!) to connect! I spent all day playing catch up on my emails and was very surprised to have the guys call about 4:30 to say they were at the Yacht Club. They had made a record transit and arrived in Balboa about 2pm! I had been very worried about driving all the way over to the Yacht Club to pick them up after dark. Thank Heavens...I picked up Diana and we made it over there perfectly at about 4:45pm. All the guys were relieved that they didn't have to spend the night aboard...like camping out! Hopefully, our transit will be the SAME!

February 6, 2001

The continuation of the Mega Depot mistake! They would not credit my account manually, so Winston (the general manager, who speaks English) came to Colon and we all rode to Panama City on the Express Bus for $2 each and we got to see a movie ("The Andy Kaufman Story" and "Inferno" - both of questionable value!? which took 2 hours. They really messed up the credit process, but we thought that is had been fixed after arriving home almost at dark at 6pm. (More later!!!) We needed to be home early since Eric and David were line handling for *Cherokee* at 3:30am tomorrow!

February 5, 2001

David and Eric suceeded in having the part welded. Ron did an excellent job and the price was right!!! I continued to stow and stow and stow!!! We went into the Yacht Club to have our picture taken (maybe it is in here!) with the other boats who are transiting and heading to the South Pacific...We are 22 boats in all! We talked with Ellen and Jerry on *Grace* about their experiences in Ecuador, so we are thinking very seriously of going there on our way to the Galapagos. It will depend upon our winds when we are on the other side. (We are all commenting on how it seems that we are crossing over into another realm....when we refer to transiting and being in the Pacific! There is NO turning back then!!! We are committed to go all the way around!

February 4, 2001

We continued to stow all the purchased items (mainly 600 tuna cans, which are now acting as ballast under all the screwed down floor boards!) and add to my inventory. We went into the bar for Happy Hour ($3 per pitcher all day...Harvey, you should join us!) and had a meeting with all the new boats who had just recently arrived in the anchorage. We talked about services, provisioning, preparing for canal transit and the transit itself.

February 3, 2001

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SKIPPER!!! He is 6 years old today!

We went shopping to the Super 99 for more provisioning. Remember we are heading to the Galapagos and then to the Marquesas and Tahiti, so we are storing up for the next 9 months when we arrive in New Zealand at the end of October. We had also used up alot of our stores while we were in the San Blas.

February 2, 2001

We had quite a trip to Mega Depot in Panama City in an old school bus with no springs or shock absorbers for TWO hours each way!!! We won the award for buying the most....especially with 600 cans of tuna!!!! However, there was an overcharge for the bill on our credit card, which we are STILL dealing with! Eric and David walked over to Abernathy's to check out the boat store and they purchased a few items, but not what we had expected! Jason and I were left to box up all our items with the help of some boys who did NOT speak English and I do NOT speak Spanish. They wanted to put all 600 cans in one box!!!! I kept trying to explain that we had to be able to carry these boxes....We were hoping to be able to go to Costco but we were told that another cruiser tried to arrange a bus but Costco said that the problem was that we bought too much and that it was too much work to restock...so they didn't want to do it! Very logical according to Caribbean/Panamanian logic!!!!!:) We are hoping to be able to go to a Costco after we transit the canal. Mega Depot is just not the quality of Costco...

February 1, 2001

I worked on my provisioning/inventory/storelist in preparation for our big shopping trip to Mega Depot tomorrow! David and Eric worked on getting diesel and water (we are not making water here in the anchorage and cannot get into a slip at the Panama Yacht Club so we are jerry jugging both!). We witnessed a very frightening sight of a huge tanker catching the anchor rode of a yacht (which was incorrectly anchored outside the buoys!) and dragging it when the tug pilot lost control! There were other boats anchored outside also, but no one else sustained any damage except the first one. The yacht looked like a toy wooden boat beside the huge tanker. They were returning to our boat and witnessed the entire event! They had also purchased a new Suzuki outboard motor (another 8hp) as a back-up for our Nissan and they had to return for the delivery.