Were in the home stretch now, baby! Woo Hoo! And thank GOD, because our nerves are shot and our heads are about to explode thinking about all of the last minute stuff we need to do. Definitely not the state of mind we’d thought we’d be in the week before we left, but I suppose it’s par for the course. We’re about to embark on an epic adventure that we’ve been dreaming of for years and honestly, we’re having a hard time trying to wrap our heads around it all. Being big planners, we’re finding ourselves constantly bogged down in the minutia, and forgetting to look at the bigger picture of it all. We’re freakin’ about to embark on the journey of a lifetime! Our lives are going to be forever changed and we’re hoping to come back better people with a hell of a story to tell. We need to just get off the dock first!
Good thing is, that we’ve checked off nearly all of the items on our to-do list and then some!
Medical / Safety
schedule final doctor/dentist/eye exams while we still have health insurance
Complete our nautical medical kit
Complete our ditch bag
Still working on this. We bought a great dry bag at boat show this week and will put this together while underway.
Install a new auto pilot
Re-Install sails and adjust the new rigging
DONE! And they are P-I-M-P just like our sail guy said they’d be!
The guys at Quantum Sails, here in Annapolis, did such a great job, and really helped us out by accommodating our tight turnaround time. Plus, they were the coolest guys ever to work with, so there’s that too. I really can’t say enough about how awesome they were. Check ’em out if you need any sails or canvas work done!
Here’s a before and after of the boat. Looks about 15 years newer without all of that faded teal, no?
Make new cockpit cushions and reupholster the helm seat
Just got these in a few days ago and they seriously blow my mind! I really think this was the most dramatic before and after we’ve done to the boat thus far. I’m sure Matt would completely disagree.
Our friend Mischelle and I did a solid 75% of the work ourselves, patterning the new cushions, cutting the new foam, measuring and cutting the fabric… It was seriously a labor of love! We had set up shop in her huge basement and were working on these cushions little by little for weeks on end. When it came time to finally get to the sewing, tragedy struck when we realized that our little Singer model wasn’t tough enough to punch through the multiple layers of marine canvas. Whomp Whomp. What a let down! We were scrambling to find a heavy duty machine to complete the project when our friends at Quantum came thru for us again (these guys are like freakin’ knights in shining armor for us!) and hooked us up with a seamstress who could turn all three cushions, the helm seat and a table cover around in 2 days. Crisis averted. Sanity (slightly) saved.
Another before and after shot for y’all:
So glad we got this working again because we just got an ice maker as a gift form our friends Tim & Mischelle! Our little table top model can make up to 10lbs per hour! We’re going to be the coolest (pun intended) people in the Caribbean! Ha!
Make a spares list for all major systems
Engines are being serviced by Matt and our Australian friend, Aaron on Saturday!
Random Other Stuff
Install new stereo and re wire our cockpit speakers
Figure out how to get Internet aboard
We broke down and bought a satellite phone with a hotspot and wi-fi antenna booster at the boat show this weekend. It was a HUGE purchase that we mulled over for a few days, but one that we’re happy we made. We’ll have a working phone onboard, and have the ability to use the satellite signal to turn our boat into a mobile hotspot so we can talk, text, email, use our electronic charts and post (pictureless) blogs all while out in the middle of the ocean. All at the connection speed similar to 1997 AOL dial up. Total cost was about $2500, which includes the phone, hotspot, antenna and the yearly plan for the year which includes unlimited talk and data so we don’t have to worry about running over each month. We’ll get the $500 for the phone refunded via a mail in rebate (sometime in the next 16 weeks. Geeze. That’s about as fast as our Data connection). With the satellite phone, we’ll have the ability to stay in contact the entire time, which makes our family feel better and Matt & I feel safer. Definitely worth the splurge in our minds. We’ll keep our AT&T plan as we head down the East coast, then get two pre paid wireless phones before we leave to keep our regular phone numbers active for a year until we return. We won’t be using the prepaid phones during our trip (that’s what the satellite phone is for), but really didn’t want to loose the cell phone numbers we’ve had for the past 15 years just because we took a year sabbatical. It totally makes sense in our heads. I told you… Planners think of everything.
Organize. Organize. Organize
The boat is a hot mess right now and there’s no relief in sight for at least the next few days. We just did a large provisioning run at Sams Club, and as we were pulling into the marina parking lot, the skies open up and it began to POUR. So, there’s us running down the dock to our boat with two full carts loaded up with super sized versions of all of our favorite things, getting soaked.
When we got everything on board, we realized that our freezer had been turned off since Sunday and nearly everything was defrosted. Ugh. So, now Matt is working on the freezer and we have everything that’s supposed to be in the freezer in a cooler out in our cockpit, and everything that was in our cockpit in our cabin since it’s a monsoon outside.
Look how cool I am blogging behind my own little fort. You’d be shocked at the level of skill required to climb back to where I’m at. And yes, those are three huge boxes of acid reducer in the front of the picture…. we’ve been popping those like candy the past two weeks. Ah, life on a boat. Never a dull moment.
Price out insurance for the Caribbean
Sell our cars!
After a few failed attempts to sell our cars to friends and random people on Craigslist, we broke down and took them to Carmax to have them appraised. They both did pretty well, but we decided to try out a cash for cars place directly across the street called – and I’m not making this up – Cash Money Cars. Turns out they gave us a better offer than Carmax, so I guess we’ll be selling our cars there. We’ll take their Cash Money and they’ll take our Cars. Done.
We’re really trying to see the forest thru the trees here, and stay positive even though our minds are running at the speed of light. Soon enough we’ll be off the dock and under way, where we’re hoping the stress we’ve been feeling dissipates as quickly as the wind can take us.
Funny story. We stopped in for a final meal at our favorite Chinese place the other day. At the end of the meal we got our fortune cookies and I told Matt that I hoped to get a good fortune and not one of those random Chinese proverbs that always seem to make no sense at all. I got a random one, but Matt’s was good: