Monday, April 25, 2011

Departure Wednesday or Thursday Maybe?

Sigh... we were aiming for leaving Monday (our revised revised schedule), but Dave went up the mast yesterday to replace the last of the 30-year-old rigging toggles, and found that the last 4 are a different size than the rest. So the new toggles we have won't work. He's called the machinist who made the new ones, and asked him to rush fabrication and shipping of the right size to us on Monday. Realistically that pushes our departure schedule out to Wednesday or Thursday.

Meanwhile, we are still working off the rest of our list. Here are just some of the things we've been doing in the last week:

- Took the propane stove out on the dock over to replace the thermocouple in the broiler, and give the stove and the stove area a thorough cleaning.

- Major rework on the Exhaust Riser (a key part of the engine) to repair a leak and to engineer the new one to reduce the source of the leaks

- Checked the underwater surfaces. We didn't need to do any scrubbing--the new paint we put on in January looks great. We have just a little slime which rubs off easily. We'll let the water movement (assuming we get going soon!) take care of that. The prop has been 'bagged' and so has no growth on it.

- Repacked the V-berth, stowing the foredeck awning, the kayaks, and the folding bikes, as well as 4 Rubbermaid tubs of food, miscellaneous spares, and 'trade goods'.

- Completed a full rigging inspection, from the top of the mast to the bottom of the chainplates

- Renewed the spreader anti-chafe boots

- Added a new cleat in the cockpit to make it easier to handle 2 roller furlers at once.

- Finished and rigged up lifeline 'spray guards' to help keep the cockpit dry

- Paid a visit to the local life-raft repacker, who is making expired SOLAS flare available to cruisers for free (these normally cost $75-$100 EACH)

- Reviewed our 3 'Abandon Ship' bags, checking the GPS and VHF, updating the batteries and flares, and refreshing ourselves on what's in there (and what's not).

- Had 2 long Skype calls with a friend who just spent the winter diving in the Marshall Islands--taking notes for our future adventures

- Multiple trips to West Marine, POP Marine, City Mill, Home Depot, Walmart, Kmart, Costco and Grocery Stores for parts, supplies, food, etc

- Stowed all the stuff we bought and made enough notes on the computer so we have a chance of finding it again. I've opted NOT to make a detailed food stores list this time (too time-consuming to do accurately and too much effort to keep it accurate as we use up stuff). We do keep fairly accurate 'spares' lists, though, especially for the deep dark spaces that are hard to get to.

- Unloaded the last of the 'stuff' out of the car and stowed it onboard, so the car is ready to turn over to the new owner.

- Installed the new wind sensor on our weather station

- Tightened jib track bolts

- Picked up some spares at West Marine for friends already in French Polynesia

- De-installed and shipped our old AIS receiver to the new owner.

- Dave is still working with the guy we sold the old refer equipment to--advising him on installation issues

- Money management--getting bills prepaid, credit cards paid off, making sure there's enough in the bank account to cover expenses for up to 2 months of no-internet

- Ongoing management of real estate issues back in Florida

- Arranged an agent to facilitate our check-in in French Polynesia

- Ongoing gathering of weather and routing information, planning the trip, and navigation strategies. This leg will be 2,000 mostly hard on the wind (ie wet and bumpy for 2-3 weeks).

- Ongoing twice-daily radio contacts with our friends already at sea

Still to do by Weds:

- Installing the new Vesper Marine AIS we bought a month ago.
- Do backups on all the computers, and mail a backup drive back to Florida for safekeeping
- Full operational check of the primary nav computer, which has been stored for the last 6 months
- Download a Google Earth cache of the places we plan to stop between here and Tonga
- Receive and install the 4 final rigging toggles
- Check and re-seal minor leak-prone areas on the deck
- Order some stove parts for spares (ship to Florida in case we need them later)
- Rig up the Monitor wind vane
- Unbag the propeller
- Finalize and pay for our boat insurance for the year
- Turn the car over to the new owner and cancel the car insurance
- Final 'groceries' trip for fresh veggies, bread, milk, and eggs
- Final phone calls to family

Fortunately we did our re-fueling just as gas prices started to rise. Dave made 4 trips to the gas station for gas and diesel in jugs in March. (Diesel at the marina is now selling at $5.25/gallon!!) We are fully topped out.

We have been working 12 hour days and drop into bed exhausted every night.

I can't wait to get to sea!!

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