We’re planning our first major trip right now.
I’m a world traveler, and always have had to do trip planning, logistics, coordination with others, set up hotels, rental cars, quantities of equipment and many other things for entire teams of personnel traveling to other cities, states and countries.
Somehow it seems that the devil is in the details though when it comes to boats.
Safety is the very first, most important, and critical priority so most things have to be considered there first. But there are so many other things to take into account for a trip involving multiple days at sea – something we’ve not yet done – that I’m getting lost in the planning. (Not really, but it is certainly different when you’re doing all the planning and a lot of the physical labor involved too.)
We are still working on the interior of the boat, to include removing all the extraneous things we THOUGHT we needed, but haven’t used in a year (or two, in some cases). I never wanted to have to be able to store anything in a storage locker and yet, we rented one for a full year a few days ago.
I’m starting to move things over to it (a car load of larger items that have absolutely no use on the boat under way were moved yesterday). Today, I’ll be removing everything from the V-berth and beginning a paint job inside. I want to clean and paint the forward cabin for visitors who may come to stay with us along the trip in the Bahamas. It will also afford me the opportunity to put my hands on each and every item in the forward cabin and call out “Yep, nope, throw it out”. lol – to myself anyway.
I do need to go through the through-hulls again, look each one over, and ensure they are good to go, no danger of anything breaking, sticking or being no use when you need it most. I’ll start in the front. The paint is to make things “cleaner” and easy to wipe down inside. Some areas have never had a coat of paint, and some have only a simple primer coat. Some have nothing (down inside the bow for instance). Not sure how well I can paint in there, but we shall see.
I have one more fan to install in the forward cabin if I can. It only takes a few moments, but, it’s a pain with all the stuff in there right now, so it’s not been done.
Once the area is painted and dried, I can move the cushions back, and we can store a few things in there like our extra beer and soda we’re going to provision, paper products (paper towels, toilet paper) and a few small items (a tool bag).
JoAnne hopes to pare down our clothing to necessities and a few nice things, a couple of items for cold weather (*we hope to be leaving before it gets horribly cold in January!) and she’s going to be collecting and going through our clothing, removing unserviceable items and we’re replace as required. There are two lockers in the middle cabin that bug me. I have some electronic parts in them which I probably don’t need on the boat for the trip but do not wish to throw out or give away. I’ll be collecting things together and storing them ashore. That SHOULD give me a couple of places to store more food for this trip. (Canned food for veggies and things that spoil easily).
I have already looked at our trip and planned a course or two for Abacos. We have a couple of contingency plans, so that if something goes wrong, we can turn and head back to the States and get into a bay someplace to do repairs or whatever. But, basically, this should be a pretty straight shot right to the Bahamas from Cape Fear. About 415 nm from here, straight line distance of course, without tacking much. If the weather window is right, we ought to be on a pretty good tack anyway all the way down. I’m still trying to work out the weather patterns for October though.
We are starting to make sure all our required paperwork is in order, I have to renew my insurance about October time frame, I need to make sure we have no outstanding bills, our slip is taken care of for us, and our car is ok to be left alone for a few months.
This is, if all works out, a six month trip to the Bahamas and perhaps the Florida Keys and then back here. This will be our first major multiday trip. Neither of us have done it before, but we think we’re mostly ready. Time will tell.