Normally at this time of the year we would be almost done checking off lists of things we need to do before we leave for the Bahamas in November. The boat repairs would be almost done and we would be provisioned for six months. However this year due to waiting for Sailor to turn 6 months old in December we have an extra six weeks to get ready.
Mark is in full repair/install mode and he is definitely making lists and checking them off. He has finished the washdown pump installation, which seemed to take longer than anything he has done on the boat, including installing the AIS, the watermaker, the Satellite TV dome, the washer/dryer, the solar panels, batteries, the wind generator, LED lights, and numerous other complicated projects. Why? Well, this installation involved running wire and hoses from one end of the boat to the other, side to side and front to back though walls not intended to have things running through them. All this so we can wash off the deck when we are not at a dock where we can connect our hoses to shore water. The hose is near the anchor, where we can use salt or fresh water to wash off the mud that always comes up with the anchor. In addition, we can connect a regular 50+ ft hose to it to wash the entire boat. In the picture below Mark is down in a locker making a hole to bring the hose out to the deck. Notice he is not smiling.
Here’s the rest of his current list: build a drop leaf cockpit table (which he has just started), put a hinged seat on the salon bench so we can get into the storage under it easier, remove the glass from three corroded bathroom mirrors (each has three sections) and get new glass, install a solar hot water heater, fix the freezer, fix a leak in one water tank, install (many) new 12V outlets, install LED lights in the cockpit, install LED lights in three cabins above beds, install another (6th) battery, and install an SSB antenna. In addition we have to get the mast and sails put back on (called “stepping the mast”) and get cloth sleeves made for the foam cockpit lifeline covers. I suspect more will be added to this “fix” list in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I need to start thinking about provisioning and making those lists. We will wait to do the actual shopping in early December. Once we start buying six months worth of food, paper products, personal items, etc. it fills a whole cabin and every storage area including the freezer and two refrigerators. We are actually still using supplies we bought a year ago….obviously we overbought. Sadly, I must have been in a hurry last year, or maybe just lazy, but I didn’t keep an itemized data base of what we bought before we left, what we bought in the Bahamas, and what we had left at the end of the trip.
We have to provision for Sailor too. I’m waiting to purchase his lifejacket until just before we leave since he is growing so fast. He is getting the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket. We got a nifty gate that swings open both ways to put in the doorway leading to the cockpit. It’s called the Richell One-Touch Adjustable Pet Gate and is much nicer than baby gates that you have to step over. In the last few days, we have trusted Sailor on the deck without his leash when we are with him. The gate must be kept shut if we can’t keep an eye on him because he isn’t ready to be out there alone and won’t be for awhile. Thank goodness it is finally cool enough to turn off the air conditioning and open the door and windows/hatches. Incidentally, the brown rug by the gate is advertised to “soak up to 7X its weight in water and mud” and dry 5X faster than ordinary door mats. We’ll see how that works with a wet dog coming back from sandy beaches. It’s called a Dog Gone Smart Dirty Dog Doormat. Of course, it is vital to bring six months of dog food with us. We have been using Life’s Abundance Dog Food which we order online. They have a formula for number of cups per day for age/weight and how many cups are in each size bag, so hopefully we’ll figure out the correct number of bags to buy. We’ll also bring any medicine we think he might need. Since he will continue to grow for the second six months of his life, we have to bring larger collars and harnesses which he can grow into. We give him NuVet Plus Vitamins and of course he’ll need six months of heartworm and flea and tick medicine. Last, but probably not least, Sailor has an appointment to be neutered before we go.