Archive for September, 2007

10 Day Countdown!

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

We’ve got just 10 days until our scheduled departure date of Tuesday, October 9! We fluctuate between being excited, anxious, stressed-out, and just feeling like it is time to finally get out there!

Todd decided to get the refrigeration fixed, which means we’ll use more power, so he also ordered two new solar panels. The fridge is running great and yesterday we dropped off the panels at Metal Magic in Alameda, to get the mounting brackets set up.

When Todd doesn't finish his work, he gets a time out

Today, I’m going to park myself in a cafe to get some work done, while Todd and his sailing buddy Rick take the boat out and try to get the Cape Horn wind vane working. (The Cape Horn will steer the boat based on the direction of the wind.) Todd and I tried it a couple weeks ago and it worked okay to windward, but completely failed downwind. Rick has sailed thousands of miles with his Cape Horn, so we’re hopeful he can assess our problem and find a solution!

So our ten day to-do list looks something like this: Fix wind vane, install solar panels, figure out health insurance, do a big shop at Trader Joe’s (already shopped Rainbow twice!), figure out how to carry the dinghy and outboard, fix the shower faucet, finish stocking the medical kit and abandon ship bag, get typhoid vaccine, take the car to mom’s and change the oil… you get the idea!

Cool Non-Sailing Things About Sailing

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

The other day, Todd made a comment that I’m “not much of a day sailor”, which is true! It got me thinking about what it is about sailing that each of us enjoys. Turns out a lot of it doesn’t necessarily have to do with sailing.

In addition to the adventure, I love the idea of using the wind to go places. Just like eating vegetables grown in your own garden, there is something very satisfying about any small tidbit of self-sufficiency. One of the things I’m excited about doing on our trip is cooking in our new solar cooker. My mom is my solar cooking hero; she has been harnessing the Sacramento sun for years. So far, I’ve cooked potatoes, rice, and chili. I look forward to cooking in Mexico without using propane or heating up the cabin.

Todd loves being out on the water, especially on a warm day with a few friends (of the human and 12 oz imported variety). But he also enjoys the challenge of maintaining a boat, and learning new skills. He’s gotten really good at engine maintenance and fixing leaks.

I’m enjoying learning more about the boat and its systems. This past weekend Todd taught me how to change the oil and transmission fluid. We also installed a new bilge pump, which needed a 15amp fuse. Todd said it would be a good learning experience for me to buy and install the new fuse. I’m not sure what I learned by schlepping over to Home Depot and wandering the aisles for twenty minutes until I was able to find someone who could direct me to the fuses… maybe the Captain is trying to impart some Zen wisdom that I have yet to grasp.