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.