July 1

This morning we changed the engine oil and filter. Wasn't so bad - the oil change pump worked well and a new oil and new filter are now in place. Its one of those jobs you just don't want to do but you know you have to. Its messy. We invariably get a quart of oil in the engine pan which I have to mop up with bilge pads and paper towels.

Jonah had his new bud Harry over for an hour or so of play time. Harry is off the S/V Silent Sound from Vancouver, BC (Canada eh). They play well together and we barely noticed they were in the saloon while Kate helped me with the oil change. "Silent Sound' is moored two boats down from us and we are sure to see more of them and his parents.

We went to shore at about 11am and walked over to the Internet café we visited yesterday to finish our Internet business. We have not checked our bigel.net email in 2 months and there was quite a pile of it.

Which reminds me - I have been getting some junk (spam) mail at the bigel.net email address (See Contact page for more info) for the last year ever since I bought some sailing gear from a web site called "PYacht.com" - they had a decent selection and prices, but ever since then I have been getting about 2 marketing emails a month with HUGE photo images embedded! Since I am not paying for Internet access by the hour, and sometimes have to suffer through a third world connection speed, this bothers me a great deal. You may wonder why it bothers me so much since all of you I am sure have either occasionally or frequently had your Inbox polluted with direct email and marketing schemes (the worst are when you get one from someone you know who foolishly sends it to you thinking you might be interested) and you know it is common.

But in this case I had been in email contact with PYacht since at least February of 2001 and perhaps as early as October or December of 200 requesting (nicely) that they not send me such mail. Now this is not an email chain letter or cold marketing thing, they KNOW I am a customer (or was). I spent a few grand on deck hardware there as a matter of fact and I am now wishing I had not. Here's the rub - on 3 separate occasions I have had emails from the President of PYacht.com apologizing and swearing I would be removed from their lists and would get no more sales or marketing emails. But I still got 2 every month! In one email he claimed some technical difficulties with the list management software are apologized that they had STILL not removed my name.

Now I have no naiveté about the Internet and I get other annoying marketing emails (Boat/US is a big offender as well, but I never asked them to stop and they never said they would) and solicitations but I'm not up here railing against them. I don't bother trying to get these junk/spam emails stopped because its not worth the bother. But this one is different because they "looked me right in the eye" proverbially and said they would stop. Three times! After the second time they swore I was off their list and then again I got their salesmail/spammail again I pointed out what a valuable client I was having spent several grand there and intimated I would no longer shop there (which I had already decided not to do) and he again promised to make sure I would not get sales emails again. So, bottom line, this guy is a bozo. If he can't manage his mailing list he is a buffoon. If he lies to your fact he's an ahole. Either way, there are other places to buy boat hardware. End of tirade.

So where was I? The internet café and bigel.com email. We publish our email address on the Contact page of this web site, but we have a private Ham Radio email address which is only known to Family (and certain close friends). We also access email via Marine SSB Radio (which is like Ham but is only for boats and is more restricted) for email of a commercial nature since communications via Ham radio cannot contain matters which might benefit one of the party's financially. That email address is also not published. Both types of radio email have severe limits on speed and accessibility, but when conditions are right, email can be sent and received from the middle of the ocean or right here in Papeete.

Anyway, all the hoi poloi send us email to the public address at bigel.net listed on the Contact page and today there was a ton! Several from people we did not know who said they have been following the web site. Some are friends on friends or former coworkers, others are people whom we do not know who somehow stumbled onto our web site and have now made it a part of their lives. I know how that is - especially if you are one of our "readers" who are a wannabe cruiser (no offense intended, I was a wannabe once) culling the Internet for useful information, as I did. One web site which was extremely valuable to me during the "wannabe" phase was called www.at-sea.com and was the daily log of the S/V New World with Lee and Mindy from Texas. I read it constantly. Some weeks I would read it daily when they were on passage and other times I would check it out monthly and read a whole month of ship's logs at once.

I imagine there are those of you out there doing the same thing with our web site and it makes me glad to know it. Especially to those of you who are wannabes who will actually make the leap (though you may think you know who you are, you can't KNOW FOR SURE) and take off for real (and not just to Mexico for the season and back). To the rest of you wannabes, and you DO NOT KNOW who you are, sorry, but thanks for playing anyway ;).

Several of the emails came from close friends or family who I know had the Ham email address at one time so I want to apologize to you (en masse) for not responding sooner, but you should have kept the Ham email address that I gave you (we check our ham email almost daily and usually have one or two emails from family).

Some of you are close friends who do not have the Ham email address but who I want to be in more timely contact with, and I will send you a reply with the Ham address. Please use it! We love getting email from family and friends!

One woman asked pointedly, and seriously, when the logs from 1800 (and up I presume) would be made available. We want you all to know we are working hard to get this material ready for web publication!