UA-31290512-1

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bye-Buy USA! Cruising South Pacific We'll...

pearson 365 sailboat boat maintenance and repair
Wayne's that little speck between the break
on the red canvas bimini and dodger.
Galley Wench took this photo while playing
"mast monkey" from the mizzen mast.
Unplug?!?  We're almost ready to "unplug" -- sort of -- on our South Pacific sail for the next two years.

Okay, Wayne is more than ready to unplug.  Then, well, there's me.  It might surprise you, transitions don't come easy for me, even when they're almost unbelievably exciting ones, like cruising the South Pacific.

Wayne's been busy doing boat maintenance ... 

cruising destinations florida keys
"Land" is one step off the boat.
That's gonna change!
cruising life
Bye-bye deliciously,
irresponsibly long showers.
  • De-squeaking the autopilot
  • Testing and servicing the batteries
  • Programming in our MMSI number (the unique identifier for our boat and radio, in case of emergency)
  • Filling our propane tanks and purchasing small canisters for our new gas BBQ
  • Changing the oil
  • Flailing around in our deep lazarettes to unearth our SCUBA tanks and get them filled
  • Determining what was needed to repair our SCUBA BCD (buoyancy compensator device)
  • Fixing a water leak
  • Picking up more "just n case" spare parts from the Key West, West Marine
  • Scotch Guarding our new settee cushions
  • Swabbing the decks

boca chica marina florida keys
We gleefully put our portable heater
out for grabs at Boca Chica Marina.
Won't need it where we're going - yippee!
"The 'fun to suck ratio is wayyyy off'" Wayne complains, justifiably.  

Then again, it's hard to complain with December temps in the mid 70s, lush mangroves, manatees tooling languidly by, and incredibly friendly fellow marina locals, cruisers and live-aboards....

My primary job's to finalize our provisioning until our arrival in Panama and all the other foodstuffs we believe will be unavailable or overly expensive between now.  In some cases, for the next two years.  More on that in another blog post, soon.


cruising life
Bye-bye one flush, 2 ply.  Sigh.
Then there's that bit about "unplugging."  I don't like to -- especially not for a whole month, spread across over 3,000 nautical miles of open ocean.  At this point we're doing precisely what we'd hoped to avoid.... Waiting for a FedEx package to arrive before we go.  In this case, it's for a satellite hotspot, an expense Wayne would be happy to forgo.  The package was due after much ado at noon today.  At 6 pm, all we still know is that it left Tennesee at 7:30 am this morning supposedly headed to the Key West airpot FedEx office.  
boca chica marina key west florida
Bye-bye US phone calls.  Bye-bye
(sometimes) fast internet access.

"Not today;" they informed me matter-of-factly when I showed up at the FedEx office, inquiring, hopefully.  "Tomorrow, late morning.  Probably," they added.  I hate it when Wayne's right about that kind of stuff!

Meanwhile, we've enjoyed the laundry facilities, the showers, the luxury of flushing once and wiping with two-ply, accessing land in a single step off our boat, an abundance of dock carts, mobile and internet access (sometimes) for problem solving and the opportunity to divest of some good stuff that's not useful to us for the next two years.

Readers -- is there interest in a future blog post on our "to go" checklist, particularly the financial to-dos?  At this stage, I'll hold off on that in this post.

However, this snippet of conversation from one might amuse you...

cruising preparation scuba gear divers direct
Diver's Direct Key West weather report.
That doesn't suck!

"What are you doing to celebrate the holidays?" the rep asked, trying to make polite conversation while filling some wait time.  "All done with your holiday shopping?  Plans with friends and family?"

"Nope," I replied.  "Everything is all about getting ready to leave the country for two years.  No time with friends or family.  No holiday shopping [arggg the "boat bucks" of late are staggering].  Our present to ourselves is to spend the next two years sailing the South Pacific."  We still have no idea where we'll be spending Christmas.  Sailing to the Dry Tortugas, most likely.
dock carts near key west florida
Lotsa dock carts!  We made good use
of them with our cruising prep
at Boca Chica Marina.

"You have an unusual way to spend the holidays," she countered.

Agreed.  And I wouldn't change a thing that would hamper our adventure ahead.

Regardless, wishing you and yours a very happy holiday, filled with love and joy, wherever you are and however you spend it!


boca chica marina cruising preparation
Journey, our Pearson 365 sailboat,
docked at Boca Chica Naval Marina,
just outside Key West, Florida.
Location Location
23 December 2014, Boca Chica Naval Marina just outside Key West, Florida (N24.34.626 W81.42.519); arrived December 20, 2014.  We spent two days sailing here from Stuart (aka St Lucie Inlet aka Port Salerno aka Manatee Pocket) Florida.  It took us two days straight (48 hours) of 24/7 continuous sailing (and, alas, much too much "motoring," too).  That includes the two hours we had to spend two hours killing time outside the area, as we arrived at around 4 am and chose to delay navigating crab pot strewn, shallow waters in the dark.  Way too many prep issues and both computer and internet access issues delayed interim posting.  

Next?  Anchoring just outside the heart of Key West for a little R&R.  Tomorrow, we believe, though we thought that two days ago, too.  

After that?  The Dry Tortugas National Park.  While still technically part of Florida, it's well outside phone and WiFi range.  So, unless I sneak in a post before we take off from Key West, I will be going dark for a bit, perhaps until we arrive in Panama.