We’re waiting for better health (Devon is recovering from the flu; Anson and Kim are in the throes of a cold; Mark is the final hold out) and better weather before we toss the dock lines and start the cruise – first stops Catalina Island and then Ensenada, Mexico to check in.
If you’re wondering why it is taking so long for us to depart, think of us as a small municipality. We have to be as self-sufficient as possible, so we’ve been working to make sure all our “departments” are at full operating capacity:
fire department (installed automatic fire extinguishing system in engine compartment; refreshed all fire extinguishers, added fire and CO alarm)
emergency medical response (certified wilderness first responders, stocked the boat with a massive first aid kit and emergency meds)
search and rescue team (purchased fancy new devices which relay position of any crew who fall overboard directly to our navigation iPad; upgraded life vest equipment with the best tethers for staying connected to the boat and added knives and whistles)
weather data and prediction center (completed Marine weather course, downloaded summary weather information about the regions we’ll visit, compiled links to all weather sources on route, calibrated barometer)
electrical transmission station (brought our electrical supply up to code by grounding the housing for the inverter/charger; installed GFCI in galley; protected insulated wires against potentially devastating chafe, added 300 amp fuses to the starter motor)
communications unit (got the new computer communicating with the SSB radio and pactor modem so we can send blog posts like this one, and access weather info at sea)
food security (shopped for and stored on board enough food for a month or more)
public works department, division of spare parts (engine spares, electrical spares, spare anchors and line, and more; we’re practically a floating chandlery)
solar generation station (our svelte panels are pumping out the amps each day to keep up with the load so far; we hope we won’t be rationing amps when we hit hot weather)
desalination plant (water maker, aka desalinator, installed in May, may it continue to work!)
sewage system (fortunately the world’s most expensive marine toilet continues to work well; enzymes in the system keep us bioactive)
And then there’s the sailing related projects – take apart the steering gear, clean and lubricate so the helm works beautifully again; re-run the blocks and line for the wind pilot self-steering device, so we have an additional crew member willing and able to steer 24/7; find two old aluminum whisker poles, each missing parts, and combine them to make one working pole. Run a new jib halyard and troubleshoot the chafe issues.
You get the picture. The work has been endless, but the end is clearly in sight. As long as two adult crew are healthy, we’ll depart on Saturday for Catalina.