We hope everyone had a wonderful turkey day with family and friends. We got to speak to ours via phone which was nice and did indeed enjoy the fellowship of boaters, backpackers and local Panamanians at Captain Jack's Canopy Bar. It was a really magnificent and eclectic feast enjoyed by folks of all nationalities. Michael had a young Belgium backpacker asking him for relationship advice, we enjoyed the company of some Brits that now call this area home with dirt dwellings, and of course, the many boaters we've met along the way. It was a great afternoon with live music from the Amigos of Brazil as well as Capt. Jack and others taking up instruments or singing.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's back to boat projects. Michael completed two major sewing projects – covering the new water jugs and the "lifesling." The "Lifesling" holder had just about disintegrated so he built a new cover to add a few more years of life to it. That way it doesn't have to be added to the "dear Santa" list.
Our list for Santa is unfortunately growing. We now may also need a new outboard. Michael got Yoshi started again (another unanticipated boat project that took all day) but we think there is still a serious problem with a main bearing. It is probably not worth the cost of a major repair – so we will price outboards while in Panama City. Ouch.
So far our Dear Santa letter reads something like this:
Hope all is well with you in the North Pole and that you and the elves are taking a little siesta every afternoon. We know how busy you are at this time of year. We hate to burden you with our wish list – but what the heck, 'tis the season and we've been a good boy and girl.
Top of the list is a new Yamaha 8 hp, 2-stroke outboard. We'd like this particular model because we already have one and can strip it for spare parts and we have some spares already stocked away.
Next are some new water pumps – it seems the water department aboard Astarte has gone on strike and things are breaking down. We need a new foot pump for the galley as well as a new pressure water pump for the system. Oh and while we're on water – there are issues with the hot water heater that hopefully we can repair, but if you have a spare in your bag, we'd just as willingly replace it as repair it!
The aft toilet is pretty old (original with the '87 boat) and though Michael replaced another o-ring this morning, the pump casing is cracked – and let's face it – we use this piece of equipment a lot.
Some new foam for the outdoor cushions would sure make our bottoms feel better for the big Pacific Ocean crossing. You should know about long trips though you seem to manage thousands and thousands of miles in one day. Our passage from Galapagos to Marquesas will take probably a month – that's a lot of sitting time on watches.
Fishing gear is always welcome because it seems we feed it to the fish instead of getting the fish to feed us. Plus, we hear its good trading or gift stock in the Pacific Islands (and we want to be nice to the islanders.)
Any food goodies will be gratefully accepted. Though can you make sure they are tinned? Otherwise they probably won't last. Canned meat other than chicken would be a treat as its a little hard to find and a bit pricey. We do have to provision for quite a long time. Though people eat everywhere, there are some items that are very expensive in the Pacific or difficult to find.
And finally, can you deliver a delayed gift? Steady wind and relatively calm seas for the long passages would be most welcome.
We know we've asked for a lot – but we would be most grateful if you could help with any of it. We've tried hard to be good to each other all year and help others whenever possible. Thanks in advance and if you can't get our way – we'll understand – but please be kind to those that really need some kindness this year.
Michael and Barbara and the good ship "S/V Astarte"
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