|My incentive to get to French Guiana|
We had expected to leave today, to start our trip across the Atlantic, but unfortunately the stars were not aligned for that. Yellow Fever immunization side effects are still taking their toll on Mike. Feverish and achy are not a good way to start a long passage! Hopefully he will be better tomorrow and we will be on our way.
While we are still in the marina we are completing all the normal checks.
- Fill up with water. We’ve decided to try to keep the tanks half full so we aren’t carrying an extra 700lbs of water around. We can always make water along the way, and if for some reason the water maker malfunctions we can survive on half a tank or 100 gallons of water.
- Fill up with fuel. We can carry enough fuel to motor about 6 days if need be. Preferably we won’t use much of it, but it’s peace of mind.
- Provision. Cape Verde is not the best place to provision, so we stocked up in the Canaries with non perishable items. For fresh produce we are going to have to get creative with bananas, plantains, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. A favorite pre-trip activity for the kids is to make treat bags for each person for each day. At noon each day, on a long passage, we get our treat bags and it marks the passing of another day.
- Stow, clean purge, laundry....fun, fun, fun.
- Download podcasts, music and rent a few new movies. I know, not really a priority, but super welcome about day 4. Zander loves tedtalks and Porter listens to old time story tellers and although, it technically is more screen time, they aren’t physically looking at the screen, so I feel better about it.
- Complete all our land lord responsibilities before we leave. Mike still has half a dozen properties he manages (as well as our home) and there are invariably details that we have to make sure are completed before we are out of touch for long periods of time. Fortunately they are all great tenants and that makes life easier.
- Boat prep. OK, this is Mike’s department and it probably deserves to be at the top of the list. Mike spent hours going through everything on the boat in Sanlucar and again in the Canaries; checking and tuning the rig, he changed the oil, as well as all the other fluids, in the engine and looked it over from top to bottom, he dove on the prop and made sure the zincs were still good and he checked out the bottom of the boat for growth. I’m not sure what bottom paint they put on in Mexico last year, but we’ve had very little growth on the bottom. I’m sure it was very toxic and I don’t even want to think about it.......ignorance is bliss! Yesterday, Zander jumped in the water and scrubbed the waterline so the bottom of the boat looks great. Every quarter of a knot extra in boat speed is helpful.
- Weather check. We checked several different weather services and it all looks promising for the first week or so of our passage. After that, we get what we get, but historically the trade winds are favorable and moderate at this time of year. We are able to get weather files with our SSB radio, in the form of GRIB files, so we aren’t blind out there. We are cautiously optimistic about this crossing.
Now it is just a waiting game. I can’t quite explain why the waiting is so hard once you are ready to go. There is a lovely beach in Mindelo, the marina is comfortable, the wind has finally died down and we are enjoying the company of several other boats that are also crossing the Atlantic. It is not a bad place to be. Yet, we feel trapped when our departure date gets postponed. Once you are mentally ready to go, it is just so hard to stay put. I think I only have a certain number of days of “readiness” before I chicken out and go back to looking at alternative exit strategies (5 hour flights to Boston sure are enticing at this point).
|14 days of goodie bags perfectly divided up and sorted, to the individual skittle. If it takes more than 14 days the crew may mutiny.|
|Back in the blue after 8 months|