Countdown to Cruising #3

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.” ~ Ralph Marston

14199498_10157353316760716_4496513518401139338_n    It has been a long time coming, that elusively low number 3. Only three months left until our proposed launch date and I would have to say that patience is my biggest battle at this point. Mentally, my ship has already sailed. Each time I go to visit our boat, it feels more and more like home and it is increasingly difficult to return to the stagnation of life on land. It weighs on me like a gigantic anchor, tying me to a life on land when all I really want is to begin our adventures at sea.

Our house has been on the market about a month now. We have had lots of interest and several people have come to take a look. It is hugely infuriating to have our timeline, fate and future guided by the success of selling our home. In retrospect, if I had the chance to do it over, I would sell the house, then start plans to circumnavigate. It is too difficult to walk this tightrope of uncertainty, our fate not in our own hands, but dangling like a hook in the water, waiting to catch a fish.

In the meantime, we have had a few opportunities to take our boat out and get a feel for her, determining what we like, what we need to13680958_10157210558225716_1783993884476141325_n change and just how the three of us get along. We have had some difficulty with our sail set up. Currently we have a roller furling main sail. Dan was not sure this was ideal and unfortunately, we have already had issues. The main sail rolls into the mast instead of raising and lowering. This system is convenient for many reasons. Instead of having to lower the main and cover it for protection from the elements, you simply roll it away and it stays safely tucked inside the mast. In addition, should the wind pick up and you need to “reef” or reduce the sail area, you simply roll the main partially into the mast and there is no need to go up on deck and manually lower and tie up the lower portion of the sail. Rolling it in from the safety of cockpit is preferred to walking on deck in big waves and bad weather. The downside is that with anything mechanical, there is a chance for things to go wrong.  Not much can go wrong with the simplicity of raising and lowering a sail from a halyard. Our sail, has given us problems going in and out of the mast as either the sail is catching or the mechanism inside the mast is not functioning properly. The previous owners left us a newer main sail which we used to replace the old one, and it still does not roll out easily. This leaves us with the dilemma of whether or not we want to buy a new sail altogether or replace the main roller furler with a tradition system.

With time decreasing and cold weather about to be a limiting factor in boat repair, we have to make a decision about our sail as well as other maintenance issues. We would love to repaint our entire hull. Currently, it is white and Dan would like to paint it match the teal trim of our sails and bimini cover. “Get a quote!” I told him enthusiastically. Nothing would be more exciting that painting the old girl and making her look shiny and new to start our voyage.  Little did either of know how expensive it is to sand down a boat and put on new paint, expensive to the tune of $300 a foot. $300 times 43 feet of waterline is $13,000.  Not quite in our current budget.

14045908_10157353306930716_8982858467845679079_n   Another item on our wish list is a whole new set of batteries.  Our current batteries seem to be fine but are older and we have accidentally depleted all their charge, twice. Not good. Our wind generator, solar panels and engine are sufficient to keep our batteries charged which runs our electronics, navigation systems and refrigerator. If they fail for some reason, we will have no power which eliminates using technical advantages like the depth finder, plot charter, and other important instruments that help us find our way safely. More importantly, the beer will get warm. Replacing all 8 marine batteries will cost thousands of dollars and while it is not a necessity, would bring peace of mind. Again, this is a choice we must weigh and measure against other maintenance issues.

 

14141494_10157353305985716_4158782843563347195_n Needless to say, there is a lot weighing on our mind regarding the state of our boat. Compounded with trying to sell our house and the stress of daily life, I find myself lacking in patience. Not to say there hasn’t been bright spots this past month.  I got to spend time with my daughter Katie who now resides in California.  She has come to visit twice in the last few months and Dan and I flew to see her in Cali for her birthday mid September. During one of her visits, our adopted daughter, Laura from England, came to visit and we took the girls on an overnight sailing trip to Baltimore. Laura lived with us for a summer as a working student for our farm and has since been adopted as part of the family. She and Katie were apparently separated at birth. It was magical sailing with the two girls and spending the night in the harbor of Baltimore. We were the only boat anchored in the harbor and had a front row view of the shimmering lights along the shoreline and the scenic buildings as they lit up the night sky. We are also busily planning for my son Derek’s wedding the first weekend in November. Having all our kids settled and happy was a prerequisite for leaving on this trip. We have also delighted in watching our grandbaby grow and making that magical transition from baby to toddler. These have been wonderful things that make the wait tolerable.
My mind is a jumble of emotions. Lists of things to do, anxiety over the sale of the house, hating that feeling of not being in control of our timeline, but there is always an undercurrent of exuberation. I’ve been told that many people who buy boats to go blue water cruising never actually make the trip. I can’t image doing that. Our compass direction and course has been set. While this process is the most difficult 14183850_10157353307410716_51508282981841905_nthing we have ever done in our lives, there has never been a question about leaving, just uncertainty about the date. As the time decreases to our desired launch date of December, there is lots to do still and growing impatience. All our obstacles have been overcome thus far and everything has worked out to perfection.  I will continue to have faith in us and the direction we have chosen and I give many thanks to family and friends who have encouraged and supported us. I hope to allow you to live vicariously during our adventures with stories and pictures, and better yet, I hope you all come and visit us somewhere along the way.

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