Now I don't guarantee that I'm actually going to start doing daily posts, but I am going to give it a try. Not because I have anything to say but rather just to get in the habit because I'd like to post daily or at least near-daily once we get underway. I also like reading blogs that are updated at least every few days, so I'm guessing that maybe you do too. Well, all that and our friends Ron and Jane were just here and gave me a mild haranguing about never writing anything. So, if this gets terminally boring, I'll give you their e-mail address and you can blame them directly.
So, it's May 1st and our departure date is actually getting close enough to seem real. Yesterday I got a refund from the port for the 2 months that we had paid for but won't be here so our new "get the hell outa the marina or pay up, ya deadbeats" date is July 15th. Our current plan is to head upriver soon after the 1st of July to get the boat hauled so we can repaint the bottom and, in the process, raise the waterline. After we loaded ol' Siempre Sabado down with all of the things we need to live on a boat full-time she tends to float a wee bit lower than she was originally designed to. Consequently we've got stuff growing on the portion of the boat that doesn't have anti-fouling bottom paint on it. Gotta fix that.
We're planning to head upriver a few days before our haulout and just anchor in the river to get a wee taste of that. Then after the haulout, we may just continue to anchor out until we spot a prime weather window in which to make our escape. The first leg is planned as an overnight trip to Coos Bay. We had originally planned to make our first stop Winchester Bay. But it's far enough away that we would have to leave really early in the morning in order to get in before the late afternoon winds start ripping. So we figured that a mellow overnighter to Coos Bay would be a better way to ease in to the cruising life.
Today I went to Englund Marine and bought a bunch of stainless steel stuff. We now have our solar panels but I need to build something to attach them to, hence the need for some stainless steel stuff. Also, yesterday I attached the passageway doors that I built back at Christmas time. In order to make them more secure, more stainless steel stuff was needed. Need a place to secure the staysail furling line. Yep, more stainless steel stuff. And how about stowing the stern anchor? You guessed it, more stainless steel stuff.
I tell ya, if cruising was only about getting stuff, we'd be halfway around the world by now. Other recent acquisitions: a Rocna anchor (supposed to be the bee's knees when it comes to holding power), a pair of used West Marine binoculars with built-in compass (just the ticket when you're trying to figure out where you are and you can identify an object in real life that is also on your chart), a separate GPS receiver to feed info to the AIS on the VHF (remember the 'alphabet soup' entry?), 200' of 5/8" nylon line as a back-up to the 200' of 5/16" high test anchor chain to go with our new anchor, etc, etc, etc. Well, actually I haven't bought the chain yet and, if I'm going to make daily blog entries, I'd better be careful what I write since buying the chain may be the highlight of a future blog.
Over the last couple of weeks I got the ratlines on the port side varnished and mounted; designed, painted and installed a vertical divider in the anchor locker so that each of the two bow anchors has a separate home for its rode; folded up and stowed the PortaBote and installed what I hope will be a better SSB antenna. Oh yeah, I also got the computer-SSB-Pactor modem all connected and working together. So far I've been unsuccessful in actually making contact with any of the WinLink e-mail stations but the new antenna should (I hope) solve that problem.
OK, I've droned on enough for this entry. Have to save something for tomorrow. Oh and, by the way, I'm trying out a program called Blogo that should allow me to compose blog entries, complete with photos, off-line and then post them later. Hope it works. Right now I'm sitting at the nav station composing this. In a few minutes, I'll trek up to the laundry room and post it.
Well, hasta manana...
-Steve (& Lulu)