This morning Melissa bid good bye to all the monkeys. Amazingly even the famous Party Monkey has survived this entire adventure - never once needing more air.
Meanwhile, Dave finished phase 1 of the Saltydog navigation system installation. Step 1 yesterday was to tear out the existing sytem till it was down to bare wires.
Then today Dave had to cut the new NavPod (the white container all the gear will be mounted in) for the pieces of the old equipment that will be kept, plus the new chart plotter GPS system.
Then he installed the new NavPod and wired it up.
All total this first phase of the project only took about 4.5 hours. Well, that plus countless hours of Dave just thinking about it. Planning, the secret is all in the thought process!
If you look carefully in the picture below, you will spot Apsaras' new addition. We are happy to have him aboard as they eat lots of bugs!
Melissa made it back to Seattle in one piece, albiet not till after midnight. Luis the taxi driver picked her up at the marina, and after hugs all around, she was off. Travel is such a pain. The first annoyance was when American Airlines charged her $160 for her third bag of luggage. First two were free, but they nail you on the third one on international flights. She had packed a ton of warm clothes - no longer needed on the boat in Panama but going to be super useful once she reaches Seattle- in a giant box. So the clothes were worth more than $160, but still... After an uneventful flight to Miami, Melissa passed through immigration with no problems, but got pulled aside for secondary search at customs. Apparently her anwer to "what's in the big box" of "warm clothes", and then "why warm clothes?", "becuase I don't need warm clothes in Panama." needed a bit more context. Without knowing we were traveling home from the boat, these answers while truthful were a bit odd. They put her in the "search everything by hand" line. Ug. The line was going nowhere and after 20 minutes of just standing there without the line moving at all, another customs officer comes up and asks Melissa if she is traveling alone and why. So she explains about the boat and that she is headed home. And the guy says, "hey - I remember you! You and your husband came through here a while back, didn't you?" Ok, so what are the odds of that? Melissa says that yes, she and Dave passed through Miami some months back. He then pulls her out of the hand search line, and sends her directly to the X-Ray everything and then jet line. This is a good thing becuase Melissa really didn't want to explain all the perscription medications she bought cheap in Panama. All quite legal, but she could see herself having to pull out the perscription paperwork and go through everything in agonizing detail in the hand search line.
While waiting for the flight to Seattle, they annouce it is overbooked. Strange as Melissa booked these tickets on miles only a few days ago. She remembers thinking that it was weird that the seat selection screen only had two free seats and normally they won't let you book on miles on super full flights. None the less they are offering $500 in flight vouchers + hotel if you are ok with a flight tomorrow. Since she's got nowhere to be, and her Mom now lives in Florida... she volunteers to take a bump. Alas by then they had all the volunteers they needed. The flight home was a bit strange as there was a guy in the row behind her who had some mental issues. In a booming loud voice he annouced every 2 minutes that this was his first flight ever, and kept asking everyone around him if he was going to be ok. All the passengers in the rows around him alternated between shying away from him as he was a giant guy who had a few screws not quite right, and staring at him as he would boom constant running repetative commentary.