I began this blog two years ago to record and journal about our cruising adventure on our Morgan 43 sailboat during the winter of 2013-2014. And here we are again, ready to repeat the adventure. I should feel experienced since this is our second time, but I don’t. With a different boat, much of the preparing part feels new, or almost new.
New boat = new card. We had to order new boat cards, again. I surely hope that this set of boat cards outlives the first two sets. Each of the previous boat cards became out-dated because something changed and we needed new ones. What can one do with leftover outdated boat cards?? Not enough for wallpaper, if I even wanted wall paper!
Same boat, different cards: On the left is a pile of our original boat cards. When we moved and changed email addresses, etc. we needed a new card.
On the right is a pile of the 2013 boat cards for our first cruising adventure.
Al’s daughter is very patient. 🙂 As our in-house (or would that be “in-family” graphic artist) we send her the photos and the information and she designs and prints the card. Below is the new card’s front and back. Technology has changed so many things, but business cards and “boat cards” still seem to play a role. We enjoy trading them with other boaters as we travel.
Technology Update For the last trip I described the technology we would be using while we cruised – Tech Talk 1 & Tech Talk 2. We are still using many of the same websites for advice, weather, and other boating/cruising info and tips. I still have an iPhone (a 6 has replaced my old 4s) and Al still has a flip phone ( a new one, but still an old “flip.” What can I say? He had a chance to join the rest of us and chose not to do that yet.) However, he does have a “new” refurbished Nano for his music because his ancient one disappeared. I still have a Nook for my reading, although it is a newer model thanks to a Christmas gift. I have it LOADED with a variety of novels to read over the next 8 months. Yeah!! I have the same camera, but not the same camera, and that’s a long story. The first died twice on that trip, but it was replaced and continues to work …… for now. I still don’t really trust it, but if it ain’t broke, it ain’t getting replaced.
Last time we used a MiFi device and got our data package through Millenicom.com for internet access. This time we plan to use my iphone as a hot spot and increase our data plan with Verizon. Hopefully, this will work, because how many of us can live without our internet these days??
In my first “transformation” blog post I wrote about the systems and described our IslandTime wifi connection device, called the Ubiquit Bullet, a booster, coupled to a marine antenna and a Netgear router. This helps us pick up wifi signals that would not ordinarily reach us on the boat. We need it out on the mooring to get a stronger signal from our yacht club, and it was really helpful Hope Town to catch those OII wifi signals. BUT……. it stopped working. Al tried a new router and spend countless (literally countless) hours over a week’s time, emailing back and forth with the IslandTime guy to figure out the problem. Nothing worked. Eventually, we simply ran out of time. Al decided to try a new system called The WIRIE, a plug and play, totally waterproof marine system. It arrived the day before we planned to move onboard the boat. Talk about down to the WIRE…..
The WIRIE is mounted up on the flybridge (the little blue box with the antennae sticking up). It has been tested and it works!!! Yeah!!! We can connect.
We have the same GPS chart plotter, Garmin 5212, but will also use Al’s iPad more as another navigating tool. We have our AIS and hope that our current position will load onto the blog’s page titled “Where is Kindred Spirit?”
Coffee I’ve made another major change for this trip. After much consideration, I have ditched the Chemex coffee pot (please refer to my detailed blog post on the last adventure about coffee making on a boat -Coffee Onboard Your Boat). The reason? I got tired of waiting for the water to boil and for it to drip though the grounds and filter. It took so long that the coffee cooled, in spite of the cute little quilted jacket I made for the glass pot. I discussed my concerns with the Captain, and he assured me that a small electric drip pot was totally do-able. 🙂
Here is my cute little 4-5 cup Mr. Coffee. Quick and hot. I use either thermal mugs if we have a traveling day ahead of us, or a small thermos to hold the coffee when we use our china mugs. The entire coffee making “system” fits along side of the chart table, aka, dish holder.
A necessary task that Al really delayed for too long. Who can blame him? It’s not as though he wasn’t busy with other boat projects, right?
Our dinghy is finally legal with new Connecticut numbers. It only took Al one year to get TO the DMV followed by a 6 hour wait in line once he was there. And that was after the they shut down to upgrade their computer system. HaHa.
One evening this week, I found him painting in our living room. Yes, the living room.
What a nice “reserved” mooring buoy we will have.
Provisioning I have come to the conclusion that we do not cruise simply and we do not cruise lightly. We brought car load after car load froth house to the boat – so much stuff! The “stuff”, such as clothing, toiletries, medical supplies,safety supplies, personal things and entertainment, boat equipment are just one aspect of the preparations; but the provisions, oh my the provisions! Provisioning takes time, thought, planning, and space. I become OCD about what we will, or might, need. I re-read my 2013 blog about the provisioning — “Organizing, moving, and stowing supplies and provisions aboard has been quite an experience. Where will it all go? Will it all fit? And do we really need it all?? Al reminded 3 times each day that there are grocery stores up and down the east coast.” Ditto for 2015.
Car load #217 (or so it seemed.)
This was the first load of provisions, spread out in the salon. Aye Yai Yai!!
The size of the freezer was a concern to me – less than the Morgan’s custom freezer and refrigerator. I knew I would overbuy, especially if there was a sale, only to discover that it won’t all fit into my little freezer. I asked Al to make me a cardboard box the exact dimensions of the Engel freezer so that I could buy and package meals over a few days and know that they will fit.
My “cardboard” freezer box inside of my home chest freezer and the real thing on the boat. It all fit, just barely.
Not only do you have to eat, but you do drink as well. We drink a lot of water so Al added the water filter at the galley sink for drinking water. We stowed 2-3 cases of beer in the lower depths of the boat. And bought boxed wine which then became “bag wine” after we removed the boxes. We also indulged ourselves with a Soda Stream. Al likes a gin and tonic and I enjoy seltzer. This way we won’t have to carry and stow the bottles and cans and there won’t be piles of empties to discard.
Our bags of wine are stowed in a plastic bin and stored under a bunk. The soda stream neatly fit in the cabinet on the bottom shelf. It’s a little crowded at the moment because we haven’t really figured out the organization in there yet. More on that in a future blog.
We are bringing our bikes so that we can travel a little farther on land.
The bikes fit very well up on the flybridge, near the kayaks. As I said – we are not traveling simply or lightly. And I am not apologizing for that!
Al was so proud of how neatly he packed his shirts in the drawer that I thought it deserved a mention in the blog. Shall I take another photo in a couple of weeks??
I searched for photo frames that would fit on the boat so that we could have our family with us.
This window in the salon is behind the ladder to the flybridge so I thought it might function well as a place to hang the photos of all of our children and grandchildren. I can see them every day.
We also added a new photo – MJ and Dean have taken those wonderful photos at the top of our blog. The Morgan 43 passing Ledge Light in 2013 as we headed south and this Mariner when we brought her home in 2014. They are side by side.
There was a nice little space on each side of our cabin for more photos. One side is grandchildren and our parents, plus my sister and sister-in-law. The other side holds a photo of each of our children’s wedding days. They were beautiful and loving days when we were all together.
We said good-bye to Adam and Steph. Thanks for the ride to the yacht club.
In 2013, we left on my birthday, September 12th. It would have been an interesting coincidence to leave on the same date, but we just weren’t quite ready.
Dean and Mary Jo brought a chocolate cake, ice cream, and Prosecco to celebrate my birthday and wish us bon voyage. Thank you!
I think we are ready now. We will leave early tomorrow morning on our new adventure. I plan to continue the blog and will try to look for new things along the way to share and to remember.