Canal Preparations Under Way
23 May 2008 | Panama City
Amy/ overcast, breezy, Cool- 82d.
We have the admeasurer coming this morning to measure Sunshine. Pete, our canal agent, said after that it should be only 2-4 days until we transit through. Jim has been busy doing last minute improvements on the boat. We need to have certain size cleats for the lines for going through the canal, and he got started changing them, but on a 35 year old wooden boat, that includes replacing some of the wood on the deck where the cleats need to go. He finished installing them this a.m. A week ago he assisted another boat through the canal as a line handler to get the experience of going through before we make our own transit. He came back feeling more confident and of course with a better understanding of how it all will go.
The kids and I are keeping busy doing school in the mornings and getting the boat picked up in the afternoons and ready to have 5 extra people on it during the day of transit- 4 line handlers plus the canal advisor, who is different than our agent. Pete sets things up and takes care of all paperwork, the advisor is a Panama Canal Authority that gives the Captain, Jim, instructions on what to do. Of course when it's an all day affair, that also includes feeding them and "fluffing the advisors pillow" if you will. So I have plans for all 3 meals, plus snacks, drinks, etc. Plus a couple extra meals for the next day in case we need to do it over 2 days instead of one. Bridget is already prepared that her and I will be the "hostesses with the mostesses" that day! Micah is the most excited of all us to go through the canal- Jim and I just want to get it over with!
The kids are doing great with school, Bridget seems to really enjoy learning, we brought some special history books specifically on Central America and Christopher Columbus and others who had an impact on this area and she seems to really get into reading those. Her struggle is math, she lags behind and then has to get caught up, which she realizes isn't any better than keeping up with it to begin with. Micah has advanced to 2nd grade English books, and has been doing 2nd grade math all year. And Jenaya being not quite 4 ½ gets school fit in whenever Bridget or I have some time to guide her. But I think she'll be fine- when my Dad left to go back to Michigan, the kids all drew "Oma" pictures for Opa to take back to her. And Jenaya wrote, "I (heart) Oma", all by herself, with no help. The first things she wrote without help!
Oh, also, Micah has lost his first tooth! This happened way back in Gulf of Fonseca, and his second tooth is really loose.
So all in all, things are progressing, we are all getting a bit anxious to get back home to see everyone. The kids and I will be flying home shortly after the canal, Jim is really hoping to find 2 crew to help him get Sunshine home still, right after the canal and hi tailing it North to Isla Providencia, around the N. of Cuba and to the FL.Keys., weather permitting. If not, we'll store it at a marina on the other side of the canal and all fly home together. So stay tuned, but we all will be back around the beginning of June.