April 21, 2004

We are in Quito, in first internet cafe since Panama, touring Otavalo, Cotocachi, and today the troops want to climb the highest mountain in South America, Cotopaxi. I don't think my boat shoes can negotiate the ice too well. We shall see. We leave next week for the Galapagos, after all business is finished here. At least the boat is in good hands at the Salinas Yacht club.

April 13, 2004 We arrived in Colon, Panama Friday scorching hot and windless. and were extremely fortunate to grab the last spot in the run down yacht club there. Then we were doubly fortunate to have a very good yacht agent.

Typically, one has to wait in that hellhole for a week to two weeks waiting for a spot inbetween the big boats. The big yachts slip right through. We stuck the bow sprit way out the bow, and the canal mesurement guy signed off on 66.17 feet for my boat, classifying me as a megayacht! We went through the next day, which was still one day too much in colon.

Being a overclass boat, we were provided with a professional pilot (not an "advisor"which is normal) and the agent engaged two professional line handlers, in additional to my friend Jimmy and my Uncle Don who flew in to help. It was a flawless transit, inspite of some challenges. We had to drag a small german boat through the locks, with our motors, our labor, and our lines! They never even said thanks! Germans! Later, my agent told me he had been particularly nervous about our trip due to the particular circumstances about our wide boat.

We dropped off Uncle Don on the way out in Balboa, and just put Jimmy and his girlfriend Joan in a taxi to the airport, and are finishing up here in Flamenco Marina in Panama City. We leave at noon for Salinas Equador to party with family for two days, then off to the Galapagos. Wish us luck as the wind is funny lately, and the waves out of the south. Hmm.

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