Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Preparing

Today we will be having dinner with FOJ and his wife Carol to go over the last details of our trip. Agreeing a menu, clothing, tool requirements etc., etc., John and Carol are leaving the day after tomorrow, (Monday 24th. Oct.) on a trip out to Salt Lake City and will only be back a day before we travel to Oriental, NC so busy busy busy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nearing the Launch and making the final preparations.

The latest pictures arrived from Sailcraft on Monday this week and ‘Partners’ is starting to look seaworthy again. We had the hull pealed and some blisters repaired along with a complete new barrier coat applied. The coffee table is made and is ready for installation in the pilot house; this was an Admiral request, while on watch or first thing in the morning Lavinia must have her cup of Joe.
             I have plotted the course and have pawed over the charts many times in excited nervousness making sure that all is well – I am supposed to be the professional and I don’t want First Officer John (FOJ) to catch me out! The real ‘trick’ is the weather. I have consulted Omni Bob and will be engaging his services to give us the Go, No Go suggestions at the beginning of the trip. What we will be looking for is a four day window as this will be how long it will take us from leaving Beaufort, NC to transit the Atlantic Ocean leg and enter Hawks Channel, once there we will be continuing west to the Dry Tortugas where we will take a rest day. From there to Sarasota, FL we will be our own weather forecasters for that final 30 hour leg. All together, if the weather cooperates, the trip should take us eight days.  We hope to leave Oriental on the 13th November  and cross the 30.5° N line on the 15th so all being well we should be back in Sarasota by the 21st. We will be giving up our rental villa on the 2nd December so I will be able to have a few days on land to get organized before the move. Our new ‘digs’ at Longboat Key Moorings appear fabulous and we can’t wait to be aboard there.

As far as parting with all our worldly possessions: initially much trepidation prevailed and we both viewed the task as an awesome job neither one of us, especially Lavinia, thought it would be an easy thing to do physically or emotionally. Now that we are well into the process it transpires that most of the ‘stuff’ we had accumulated was not necessary to our happiness and an air of relief has taken over now we are becoming free of so many of the earthly obligations which go along with possessions. The hard copy photographs that took up so much space in both frames and albums are now digitized and are on a computer hard drive. We do plan to buy one of those electronic picture frames which will actually enable us to look at the pictures more often than in the past; both of us agreed that we couldn’t remember the last time we took out an album and looked at it! The treasured china sets (5) and the many different cutlery sets we possessed for every conceivable occasion would obviously not fit on Partners so they have gone, does the food taste any different, no…and so on with clothes, shoes, Tchotchkes, doodads and all the things we thought we would never be able to live without. As they say necessity is the mother of invention. Heading towards a simpler life free of the habitual encumbrances’ is now appealing to us both and we are reveling in the adventure. We, for the first time I can remember, are starting to appreciate and value life for what it is rather than for what we have. The future will be all about what we do with our time, what we see, explore and enjoy…smell the roses...