Preparing to leave
October 28, 2018
The reality of weather is that while it may be predictable, it is not infallible. In fact, Mother Nature likes to mess with us quite a bit and toss crappy weather on the weekends, which means for us, there would be no more practice sails before we depart south. As a result, we prudently agreed to hire one crew for the sail out of the Bay and around Cape Hatteras.
Next step was getting her almost-never-ending-checklist completed. This included installing the new arch for the solar, setting up the wifi and cellular boosters, flushing coolants, topping off oil, buying all the fuel filters we can get our hands on, resealing the hatches, repairing the windlass rail, updating nav charts, bottom cleaning the hull, running new power to the master suite, well you get the picture. Of special note is that we were anchored in place because our watermaker parts shipped late and were not expected to arrive until Monday 10/29 – the same day we were needing to depart to take advantage of the right conditions to pass the shoals at Cape Hatteras safely. Oy.
That just left cleaning and organizing the boat, and provisioning. We decided to do our 6-month provisioning at Costco since we still had a car. Our primary concern was having access to proteins that are scarce or incredibly expensive – like beef, lamb, and pork. And the second priority was on having enough non-perishables to augment local fresh vegetables and fruits we’d buy and fish we’d catch ourselves. We both gave up packaged snack foods years ago, but as we walked down the biscuits and bars aisles, I found myself shoveling big boxes into our cart. Provisioning for a long trip is exhausting and exhilarating in equal measures (she says with mirth).
We needed three wagons to get all the food from the SUV to the boat. And I’d need the next three hours to remove everything from our food lockers so I could remove any cardboard and glue from everything, cluster it all together in categories that would make sense, and repack it all so we could find what we wanted later. Now, I’m not sure what your strategy is, but there were too many labels on cans and jars that I couldn’t easily remove, so I have my fingers crossed that taking a Handiwipe dipped in bleach and thoroughly cleaning the item would stave off the weevils and cockroaches.
For this coming trip, it’d be a 3-night hop to Charleston and I wanted to make sure we had enough fresh vegetables and fruits. And here’s what I learned: you don’t eat much in the first 24 hours. And you don’t have enough energy to bother making elaborate meals. I think this is why so many sailors pre-make their meals so they just need to heat and eat. Sigh. I drafted this blog almost a week after we left and I had a fridge full of cut up broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce that is starting to stink up the fridge. What a damn waste. I’d freeze these vegetables if there was room in my freezers.
Let me tell you about our freezer. It’s a front-loading 3-shelf deep system that holds a boat load of food. Pun intended. Erik portioned out all the meat into 2-person servings so that we don’t waste anything, and neatly stacked and organized each shelf. Top shelf is the white/pink meats. Middle shelf is the red meats and lamb. Bottom shelf is steaks, steaks, and more steaks. We even utilized both freezer shelves in our two refrigerators – which are also surprisingly large. Of course, I’ll end up forgetting we have food in there. But I won’t forget I have two bags of Oreo’s. But that’s just me.