Preparing to leave – October 2012

For whatever reason, I am not as committed to blogging as I was during our first voyage from Hong Kong to Maine in 1997-2001 (see link)…. back then, “blog” was not even a word…. but we did it anyway detailing every preparation and aspect of the voyage. But we will write what we write and see how it goes!

Looking back on some of those entries, the dynamics of preparing to leave on a long cruise have not changed much: everything takes longer than one expects, nothing is easy, and everything is massively over budget….

I had initially hoped to be underway by now for North Carolina or Virginia. In fact, my initial departure date was October 5th! But the boat is not even in the water and here it is October 18th! Cruising and preparations are a process and this is what we have done already:

Moved out of our house in July after massive downsizing in June
Rented out house for a year and moved in with my mom until we leave
Chartered out boat hard all summer (69 days) to generate $ for cruising
And finally hauled out for “a week or two” in late September to do the following:

Install new autopilot
Pull and rebuild transmission
Install new feathering prop
Install rebuilt watermaker
Install new davits for new (used) Walker Bay sailing dingy
Do loads of other jobs that “should be done” too numerous to recount (clean and paint bilges, new gas safety system, new liferaft and release, new staysail winches, clean fuel tanks and polish fuel, re-bond all through hulls, re-install wind generator…. etc. etc.)

Five weeks later and we are still “on the hard” as they say…. A huge factor was the feathering prop that I “had” to have….. Been wanting one for a long time. After the great charter season, I figured I’d buy one whether Colleen supported the idea or not! Finally we won’t have to listen to the prop turning when sailing and will also see improved performance and speed. But even lots of careful measuring did not save me and when it arrived, the prop did not fit in the aperture so I had to “overnight express” a different and more expensive model and then commit to cutting away part of the rudder…

Well I’m out of steam to write more at this point and really this was more of a “test blog” than anything… but let’s see if I can attach a few pics of our preparations and post this thing!