May 30, 2007 Wednesday
Caught a “taxi” over to Hillsborough so we could max out both of our ATM cards again. Figure we will need EC cash to pay for the bimini modifications when they are finished. The ride over there and back was on a somewhat different route than we went the last time, so we saw a bit more of the island. Funny, one part pretty much looks just like any other part. Walked around a bit but Bill’s toe didn’t feel up to a long walk. Didn’t do much else today. Made more granola; I have modified granola recipes and have settled on one that Bill enjoys. Also have learned to make our own yogurt but I am not yet satisfied with it and need additional experimentation in yogurt production. First I need to find a sealable glass container because our plastic containers are truly not suitable for making yogurt.
May 31, 2007 Thursday
Another Make & Mend day: do the laundry and make some water; clean the boat. Routine weekly chores.
A few days ago we made a reservation for Shelter Bay Marina in
for December 10 through January 10. A
friend with a boat just like ours stayed there a few months ago and said it was
very nice and a secure place to leave your boat for a trip home. Then we bought airline tickets home to Houston from Panama. So we should be home for the holidays! We will arrive in Houston on the evening of December 19 and
depart the morning of January 9. Talk
about planning in advance! Now if Mother
Nature will only cooperate. This is all
totally dependent on the weather, a/k/a hurricane season. Bill said that guess this means we are really
going to Panama. I reminded him that anything that can be done
can also be undone. Nothing in our itinerary
or schedule is carved in stone.
This put me on a search of Continental airlines and its partners. Bill still has several hundred thousand OnePass miles with Continental. I found that we can fly home from
240,000 miles plus $200. Not sure we would want to leave our boat as
far north as Cairns,
Australia Cairns during the typhoon season;
but KLM is a partner with Continental, and KLM services Sydney.
We cannot get any information about the KLM flights using reward travel
miles; it would involve a telephone call and it is way too early to get into
that. But it is remotely possible that
we could again fly home for Christmas holidays 2009. That makes Bill feel a little better about
heading off to the South Pacific. He is
concerned about being so far away from family for such a long period. I think he had it in his mind that we would
not be able to go home again until we reach the Med.
has put us both in the mood to further research the passage to Cartagena and then the San Blas Islands. Then that got me to researching further into
the South Pacific. There is so much that
you have to plan in advance that it boggles our minds a bit. Visas for French Polynesia, requests to
Ecuador for permission to travel to the Galapagos Islands, more malaria prophylaxis, verify health cards are up-to-date, find and
reserve a place to do a quick last-minute haul-out to clean the bottom and prop
before heading out in Pacific, find and
buy foul-weather suits for colder climate, sea boots or waterproof shoes/boots
for cold weather, remember to pick-up some cold-weather clothes and shoes from
our stash in John’s attic when we visit Houston in December (REALLY hard to
think about that stuff in this heat!), find more courtesy flags for the various
countries we will visit in Pacific, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum. Not to mention the spare parts lists to
review and the provisioning lists.
We will do major provisioning in Isla Margarita in July. That will take us through the San Blas Islands; then we will do major provisioning again in
Panama City in February after we transit the
canal. That will require a lot of
thought and advance planning; but we have been warned how terribly expensive
everything is in the South Pacific, so you do need to stock as much as possible
while in Panama. But you don’t want too
much because New Zealand
is exceptionally restrictive about what they will allow you to bring into their
country. They come out to your boat and
take away all fresh or frozen meats and all cheese (even canned) and a whole
litany of other food items. They even
take your vacuum cleaner bags! And they
check your shoes for any dirt. They are
very serious about not letting destructive parasites into their country. So you need to stock your provisions in Panama to last until New
Zealand, and you want to arrive in New Zealand with your cupboards and
A single chicken in the South Pacific can cost $20 USD – YIKES!!! And a dozen eggs often costs $12-$15. Beer in
runs $10 per can. Prices like these give
you an example of why it is important to provision correctly in Panama City.
And this cruising thing is supposed to be care-free!
Of course, all this advance thinking and planning could be for nothing. Bill could change his mind again and we might end up somewhere else. My mind is already made up about going to the Pacific. I can’t believe we would have sold our house and everything to move aboard this boat and then just sit in the
Caribbean the entire time we live aboard. But we are in this together and if one of us
doesn’t want to do something then we won’t do it.
June 1, 2007 Friday
Weather forecast for Sunday is for sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts 35 knots and 10-foot seas. Yeehah!! What a ride down to
would be! Especially since the final 5
miles would be directly into the wind and waves. Thank goodness that Bill has been pressuring Petra to finish our
bimini shade panels as quickly as possible.