Day 301, Year 1: The Wonders of Modern Technology
Date: Monday, August 14, 2006
Weather: Sunny, Hazy, and Windy
Location: Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila Island, American Samoa

This has been another lazy day aboard Windbird. I might get used to this! Late yesterday, Mark contracted some sort of gastrointestinal bug, but he seems to be recovering quickly. That slowed him down a bit this morning, but by early afternoon he was off to town to see if we could get connected to a wireless internet service. We had been told my another boat last night that it would not be possible, but when Mark arrived at Samoa Telecom with computer in hand, they told him it was possible but that they had not done this before without a telephone line connection for billing. One person was very reluctant, but someone there said that the “bosses” had told them to give this a try. So we are serving as guinea pigs and are on wireless here in the cockpit. It is by far the best connection we have had since leaving the US of A. It is great. Our first download was our land-based e-mail and there we received a “picture” of our grandchild in utero. Heather reported, “The heart rate is strong at a healthy 150/min. At first glance, the skull, spine, ribs, arms, legs, hands, and feet all appear to be fine.” I can already tell that this is going to be a beautiful baby. And I find it almost unbelievable that I am sitting here in an anchorage in the South Pacific looking at a scanned picture of grandchild-to-be from an ultrasound on wireless internet. And Mark just saw that Justin was online (even though it is 12:30 AM in Ashfield, Massachusetts) and called him via Skype on the computer and had a great connection. What would Captain Cook think of this?!!

Tomorrow we plan on heading to town and riding the one of the aiga (ah-ing-ah) busses out to Leone. This is where Mark lived when he was here in the late 1960’s. After exploring out there, we will then come back to the Yacht Club and meet with a woman who lives here that Mark has been in contact with via the Coconut Telegraph. This is an e-mail exchange of those from the US that have lived and worked here over the years, as well as the children of those folks who worked here. Evelyn, the woman we will be meeting with tomorrow, is a school principal and she told Mark on the phone that school started here today. Being a teacher, I have started school almost every year of my life (46 out of the 59 years). Hearing that school started today pulled just a little at my “school” heartstrings. Maybe I’ll have to go visit the schools here and at least act like I’m starting a new school year.

That’s it for today. We did get a request through a comment on the website to have a special folder for the Captain’s Ramblings. We will talk to our son Justin to get this set up. Great idea. I’m glad that Mark’s ramblings, infrequent as they are, are valuable to some out there. Maybe this will give him the incentive to write more often. The more captains I meet, the more I realize just how knowledgeable Mark is about so many different systems on this boat. I’m sure glad he is my captain.