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Date: 17 Apr 2012 17:39:04
Title: We're off! 9000 miles to go...

It's been a very busy week here in Panama city. Dad was put straight to work on installing the solar panels with Archie, which are now pumping out huge amounts of power so that we don't need to use the engine to charge the batteries. It's really great. If you forget the hefty price tag it cost to purchase them, it's completely free energy! Just as long as the sun shines of course! We've also been in and out of the city a lot, getting the final list of jobs done, or trying to. Our bloody sat phone won't make calls so we have had to purchase another one, only to also have problems connecting to the internet because we have the wrong cable. The Iridium guy in Panama has had his poor assistant running all over town to try and get it to work for us, so hopefully later today it will be working. We want the sat phone for the weather forecast, the blog and emergency calls so it will be a bit of a blow if we can't get it to work.

Over the weekend we had a couple of days away from the city at a nearby island called Isla Taboga. We arrived on Friday afternoon to a beautiful sedate little island village, which turned out to be party central on weekends. By lunchtime on Saturday the place was packed full of motor boats full of "boys on tour with token hot girls and jetski's". Archie managed to get a kitesurf in and also caught his first fish! He has bought a spear gun and managed to poke it through the gills of some kind of silver fish which tasted pretty good for lunch washed down with a Balboa beer. Despite his best attempts I have placed a strict embargo on killing the pretty fish on the reef. Only the boring silver fish are allowed to end up on at the end of the spear gun!

Jamie arrived on Sunday night so we are now 4 and all present and correct! We did a final shop yesterday for all the fresh food for the trip to the Galapagos. Apart from Dad mistaking Plantain for some kind of giant banana we are all stocked up and the netting in the galley is bulging with fruit and veg. We will learn to love Plantain I'm sure! We are leaving this afternoon and expect it to take 8-9 days. There is currently bugger all wind until Friday, so there will be a little motoring and a lot of floating around in the doldrums for much of the journey we think. That was kind of expected though and we don't want to wait here any longer for wind that may or may not arrive so we are off on our floatathon to Galapagos.

Hopefully the sat phone internet connection will work and we will be able to blog on the way, but please don't worry about us if you don't hear from us for the next 10 days.

Very excited to be leaving land behind us....9000 miles to ocean to go until we reach the next continent.....eeeek!

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