Sunday, 12 March 2017

Countdown to Cruising 2017 Begins

With only 6 weeks to go before we head off for 6 months, we’ve been keeping very busy with cruise preparations.  What, you ask, is there to do when your boat is far away in Gibraltar?  Here’s a sampling of what off-season sailors do:

(…and the photo theme, in keeping with the “what off-season sailors do” theme is A Day at the Beach in the Breton Winter.  Click on photos for larger versions).

Battle with phone company won by Patrick; 55 Euros per month for telephone service and 30-GB internet that can be used in the 6 months on the boat outside of France.  No more lost days running around to Portuguese/Spanish/Italian phone operators trying to understand how their pre-paid cards work.

2nd credit card ordered for our main bank account.  If we lose one or it is stolen, we just cancel that one and continue with the 2nd one … no waiting around for a new card to be mailed.

Small repairs on Mareda approved by Jeanneau guarantee and appointments made with shipyards in Spain to do the work.

House-sitting arranged.  We’ll have friends and family staying in our house this year, and have made a “how to” document to describe how to turn on / off the water and electricity.

Patrick and friend cart sailing, Presqu'il de Quiberon

Nav planning progressing.  General strategy set, every cala and port in the Balearics and northern Sardinia investigated, dozens of emails sent to marinas for availability and price quotes for wintering options.

Tourism planning begun.  Yes, yes, tourism.  It’s not all about the boat.  Very excited about Sardinia!

Transportation logistics finalized for the trip down.  Plane tickets bought, hotels reserved, bus schedules studied.

Haul-out, hull wash, and relaunch scheduled in La Linea.  We’ll have 3.5 days to scrape and repaint the hull, change the sail-drive oil, and replace the zincs while the boat is out of the water.

Patrick zips along while I try photographic panning for the first time.

Anti-fouling paint ordered
and sent to Accastillage Diffusion in La Linea.

Search for paper charts initiated.  Yes local sailing friends, I’ll be calling YOU to see if you can loan me your paper charts!  I know I don’t really need them with 3 independent systems of electronic charts (MaxSea, OpenCPN, Navionics), but I like having at least a large-scale route map with me.

Computer preparation underway.  Update computers with latest versions of grib viewer; update OpenCPN with Pierre’s brilliant Google Earthand Navionics maps embedded; backups-a-go-go; bought new battery for Sony Vaio. 

Spare solar panel charge regulator bought.  We had one of these go bad before.  It’s easy to fix but would be long and costly to have delivered to the islands.

Planning for friends and family to join us underway.  Juggling schedules and potential port stops is always a challenge.

To do list / To buy list in progress.  Items include a Parahoule System, new Breton and Spanish flags, Italian flag, 2 additional 10-liter jerrycans for fresh water, trip line for the anchor, no-suds salt-water bath gel and shampoo, and maybe an additional mosquito net.

Entertainment Gathering.  E-books, movies, and music being researched and loaded.

The clock is ticking !!

The day after Storm Zeus on the Wild Coast, Quiberon.

Sea foam piled up like snow and flying through the air.

Foam beach.


Astrolabe Sailing said...

Exciting! So much to do and research! I can't wait for you to get back on the water again. The leaves are turning on this side of the world, so autumn is well on the way.

Enjoy :)

Sailing Mareda said...

Thanks Astrolabe ! Exciting and a wee bit stressful at this point !