Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 days and counting

As the days ‘til departure count down, we are staying busy. We had new inspiration from dock friends (thank you, Nancy and Art) who just returned from a quick summer sail to Hawaii and back! Moments after greeting them back to B-dock here at Elliott Bay Marina, we were grilling them with questions, plying them for philosophical wisdom, and hanging on every word as they described their passage. (roughly 23 days each way, with 10 days of R and R –that’s Repair and Recover-- in between). We have been looking over Solar Wind with attentive eyes and strengthening hardware and lashings should we encounter some of the big rolling seas that we expect on the way to San Francisco.

After hearing about the potential wear and tear on the gooseneck between the boom and the mast, we took a day to rebuild that connection with much beefier bolts – very glad not to be doing it while underway. But also, it was good to see that we had all the tools aboard to make repairs such as this possible – cutting bolts to size, tapping larger holes in metal. One of the things we have gotten used to is that to do even a little project, almost everything needs to be taken out of its tidy storage space. The tool you need or the box of bolts is invariably in the bottom of the bottom-most bilge. And… if you put things away as you go, you will need them again before you’re done. I tried to capture the humor of our interior cabin posing as a workshop in this picture.

Even with only 41’, one item that we both agree is valuable is our wet/dry vacuum – it’s a “Festool Mini” for all the tool nerds reading this. It has a prime spot below the quarter berth and a long hose that can reach from cockpit to bow – great for “cleaning house” or woodworking/metal/fiberglass cutting projects. We think we can power it off grid, though we know some habits will have to change when we unplug our umbilical cord to the marina power next week.

The dinghy is now off of the davits at the transom, deflated and lashed to the foredeck. The kayaks are folded and stored in the forepeak. All of the stanchions and lifelines are tightened and the folding bikes have found a spot riding high on the radar arch! Everything that can be tied down has been. One of our neighbors says we look like a government research vessel. We feel like the Clampetts! All of the crews’ safety equipment, PFD’s, with strobe lights, whistles, and harnesses are checked and reconditioned. And we are now getting close enough to our departure window that we can study the weather faxes that Lanham downloads each morning with a real sense of “what next week might bring.” We have had perfect winds and weather forecasts this week… hmm… could that be a cold front moving in next week?

Provisioning food and drink continues, and needs to get serious in the next couple days. We have a vacuum packer that we will take along, helping to keep things fresh longer. We are pre-freezing some meats and they will stay frozen several weeks as long as we pack them near the 6” by 10” freezer compartment in the fridge. We will have some pre-cooked dishes for the first few days, in case going below to spend time in the galley is not anyone’s idea of a good time. The most exciting report from our friends’ Hawaiian voyage was the abundance of fish that they caught – dragging a simple line behind the boat, they snagged tuna within 3 to 24 hours. They ate sashimi all the way! We are ready to throw out our line and Lanham has been watching u-tube videos on how to fillet! We won’t be stocking up on canned tuna from Costco.

Other well-spent time has been the regular paperwork of life and then some. We were able to take care of several things on our list from afar. We paid for and printed our mandatory Mexican liability insurance, which has nothing to do with the insurance that protects our boat or belongings, but everything to do with getting “off” if someone in Mexico claims that you harmed them or their property. We paid for and printed our Mexican fishing licenses (required for each person on the boat if there is but one fish hook on said boat). We have requested priority handling of our US Coast Guard documentation which we accidentally let expire in the change of address when we sold the house. We have just a few more loose ends to tie up with our condo, banking, and mail… oh my!

In the meantime, it’s beautiful here in Seattle and we are wishing Melinda’s mom and dad, 
Patti and Dan, a Happy 60th Anniversary!! Way to go, keep it up! We love you!

1 comment:

  1. And you're off! Way to go these last few days and a wonderful "open boat" party to boot! Here's to smooth sailing and loads of fun!! We miss you already but are also enjoying living vicariously. Fair winds...