Last night the four of us ate at La Mama Mia. Mike is pictured here with the owner Nuri. During the month of August Mike came and ate at this restaurant at least three to four times a week. He is so welcoming and so full of genuine hospitality that everyone who eats there wants to come back. He speaks French, Spanish, English, and who knows how many other languages. We are always grateful for the people we meet along our way.
Probably the most important part of preparing the boat for passage making is provisioning. We made two trips to the grocery store. One by foot to a local express grocery for as many little things as we could carry. Then with a rental car to a hyper-grocery (like a Super Walmart) Bought lots of the heavy things, cans, water, ice tea etc. Then came the serious challenge-where to put it all? After an hour or more, the provisions were finally stowed in their appropriate places. The big question will be will we remember where we put that last can of tuna three months from now?
Neverland is in the water again! She passed all her inspections. She has a new coat of bottom paint. All the new electronics are onboard and functioning. Now for the details to fine tune her for the voyage. Mike motored the thirty minutes from dry storage to the in-water berth. It's getting very exciting now. We'll keep you posted.
Perhaps the greatest honor to a dream is when someone offers to write about it. Carol Vaughn, a journalist for the DELMARVA area of the newspaper the Daily Times, asked If she could interview me for the newspaper. I agreed. We met and talked for an hour. She created an article that was incredible. Her words described our planned adventure better than we could ever articulate ourselves. That's why today I am grateful to reporters, to journalists who know how to craft information for the world. They are essential windows to our understanding the events, the issues, the politics, the world around us. So, today I hope we will all take a moment and thank the people who bring us the news and work hard everyday to inform us about all the things around us. Let's take a few moments and thank a journalist for all the hard work they do.
It was really fun to realize we made the front page!! How cool is that?!
We are now T-minus 4 weeks from departure.
The saying is true: a boat is a hole in the water that you put money in. In order to be up to standard for the ARC+ Rally we have had to install many new fangled gadget that are filled with modern safety safeguards. One is the new chart plotter with built in AIS and transponder. And we now have a VHF control in the cockpit. No more trying to see the old chart plotter with a towel over our heads because of the glare of the sun. And no more running back and forth to the cabin to hail ports on the radio while entering the harbor. It has been quite an adventure with the installations of steering backups. And also the surprises of once again needing new deep cycle house batteries! The one we replaced was only two years old. We've been sailing for the last five years with a busted outhaul on the boom which we are finally getting fixed. We thought the money spent last year on a new engine and other equipment would make this year easier on the wallet. But, little did we know, there is always more...
I must say though this is quite exciting to have all the new toys to shake down on our way to Gibraltar in September. There are a few more things to settle and we'll be ready to be on our way. I've been reading the Storm Tactics book by the Pardys and it is excellent. I must admit I've been reading it with Chapman Piloting and the Sailing Basics book at my side. After 30 years of sailing I still get confused with windward and leeward. There is a lot of planning to do that takes so much time I didn't realize. Actually getting the marinas in the different countries to answer their emails or phone calls is a paramount problem we've experienced the last eight years of sailing on the Med. I do know once we reach a person they have always been helpful, courteous, and accommodating.
We are now three months from our departure and have much left to do. We are so excited about this trip.
We are fortunate to live in an area that has the opportunity to meet with a travel nurse. We live in a rural setting that has a unique medical system. We are patients of the Eastern Shore Rural Health. As a patient we are able to consult with a registered nurse whose responsibility is compliance. We spent two hours with this wonderful RN (with lots of other initials following the RN. She listened to our travel plans and then she made many notes and said she would contact us to let us know what the recommendations for our health during our travel will be. We are so grateful that no matter where we go we have in our own backyard experts willing to help make our dreams come true. Who do you have in your corner?
Just a short note.
We've been setting a schedule now. It is five months minus 6 days before our departure from the US. This past week we set a schedule of things that must happen sooner than later. A visit to the travel health nurse, quotes for insurance for our vessel, a final decision on where we wish to dry storage the boat at the end of our travels in December. This in turns looks to flight availability to and from the final destination.
Other plans taking shape are our stay in Morocco. Thanks goodness we have help with these plans. There's a lot happening. Still preparing the seat cushions for new fabric. Still sorting out the provision schedule, lists, menus, and the medical kit must haves and just extras.
I must say, my best source for these pieces of information are the Lin and Larry Pardy books. They are the only ones down to earth enough to get real about what a cruising couple needs to make passages.
I cannot recommend them enough. If you're going to only make a crossing once that's one thing, but if your plans are to keep up this life style, then the extra attention to certain details they suggest are important.
We've been making short passages for the last eight years. Our longest passage so far will be the crossing with the ARC+ rally. We are confident it will be a fabulous cruise.
So, this weeks challenge is to get more reading done, begin measuring fabric to cut before sewing-measure 20 times-cut once. It's time to bite the bullet and order items needed for the galley and for safety.
Other things to do are to plans to use the new logo and to get the word out about this blog and this website. Thank you Tracey Arvidson and your professional work to create this beauty! Looking forward to seeing it on all our things for the voyage.
Our last blog post in the sailblogs site was 30 Aug 2018
Latitude: 38 17.64N
Longitude: 00 30.95W
Those are the coordinates close to where we are now. Mike has made one trip over there as a scouting expedition and discovered several items that need attention prior to our departure in the fall.
One thing we found out is that our insurance will no longer be effective for US flagged vessels. This is a real problem and I'm not sure of why this has happened. Perhaps it's a political reason or economic. Nonetheless, we are on the hunt for insurance for double handed cruisers who sail cheaply and simply like us. I've discovered there are just a few of us out there still doing it the Pardy way. We are in luck though, we've found an outfit that still thinks about the little guy-the ones who have boats cheaper than $100,000. lol
We attended an ocean sailing seminar which was stellar. We're gained a lot of confidence from that weekend and feel as though we can handle the next challenge ahead of us. We invite you to join us and send us your comments and thoughts as we go forward. We really appreciate hearing from you. It will be a grand time taking you with us via the virtual world.