The Home Stretch

Christmas in August!

We’ve both worked our last day.  There are stacks of equipment sitting on the boat, GPS, radar, single sideband radio, tubes to make an arch, two much bigger in person than the measurements suggested solar panels, VHF radio, fans, and various pumps just to name a few.  The next 11 days (gulp, 11 days?) are going to be a race of installation.  The boat is a mess right now, although at least I can move it if I had to, for awhile there were no sails on the boat and the engine had a major component off of it that precluded it being started.  The sails are still off, the main at a sail maker to have battens added, and the jib is off in preparation for the rigging work.  The engine is back together and running, but still a few degrees hotter than I would like although I’ve made improvements.  I’m at the point of being a bit puzzled as to the problem but there are still some things to check on and try, but it isn’t overheating and seems to be running strong.

Even with all the purchases, there are still some things to buy, although I”m getting towards the end of the list of things we need and closing in on the list of things I want.  The refrigeration is on its way, much to Jenn’s delight.  Among the list of things I have to buy are anchor chain and a solar charge controller.  I also need to make a spares run, picking up various filters, belts, hoses, lines and such.  Will I make it?  No – but in reality, almost no one leaves the dock ready to go.  I spoke with someone as I was saying my goodbyes during my last day at work, and he said they left with boxes of stuff to install, some of which they never did.

We’ve also been cleaning out the boat, I made some very hard choices to get my stack of t-shirts down to a size that would fit on my shelf in the closet.  Someone is going to score at Value Village!  Although I suppose the emotional connection with the shirts won’t be the same for them, but I hope that my reluctant cast offs are appreciated by their new owners.  With that much difficulty paring down clothes, you can only imagine the pain I suffered going through boxes of keepsakes in the storage unit.  But even that is pretty much sorted into stacks of boxes organized by where they are going, now it is just a matter of getting them to the proper location.  The size of the stack for the boat is a bit scary, but once again items will be discarded at the dock if they have to be.  Other items have not been so difficult, as tasty as the meals Jenn prepared in the crock pot have been, it is not a good choice for a cruising boat and has found a new home.  Saying goodbye has been made easier by her discovery of pressure cooking which makes similar meals in far less time, and doesn’t use the most precious commodity of all on a boat, electricity.

So this is it, the home stretch of projects, shedding land based life, and goodbyes.  There have already been people I’ve said my goodbyes to because for one reason or another I will not see them again before we leave.  It is an odd feeling, but everyone is excited for us which mitigates some of the sadness.  As we say goodbye we also meet new people, a very kind cruising couple whose voyage on a Tartan 37 documented in a local magazine help influence my purchase of the same vessel hosted us for an evening on their boat.  It was a comfort to see a similarly equipped boat and know that it has made it to New Zealand and back.  Thanks to the Malones  for their generosity with their time and information, and hopefully we will cross paths again.

So off to work, and hopefully the next few posts will be filled with completed projects although if previous experience is the typical indicator that it often proves to be, there will be many “I’m 95% finished with this project, just a few things to wrap up and then it will be done, I swear” entries.

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