I am very eager to move onto the boat. We hope to be living aboard by the end of the first week in October. There is still much to do. I am currently making packing lists for the boat. Trying to determine what we absolutely cannot live without is not too hard to do but determining what we can live without is proving to be difficult!
I have discovered we have a trillion, kazillion, bazillion toys. I have
opted to take mostly those toys on the boat that will spark imaginative play
- since storage space is a factor and we cannot bring them all. I have Legos,
Matchbox Cars, Barbie dolls, My Little Ponies and that sort of thing in
mind. It is going to be very tough on the kids when they realize they cannot
bring them all and I am dreading that day.
I am forever trying to convince Abi that she
doesn't need a pet right now. She is desperate for a cat but of course that
would not work on the boat! It seems so unfair to her that her friends have
pets and she doesn't. She's 3!. Justin has promised her a fish tank on the
boat - her response, "But Daddy, I can't cuddle with a fish!" Can't win
Justin is working very hard closing the business in GA and securing the boat for hurricanes in FL. He is gone a lot but at least the end is in sight and we will all be together again soon.
October has arrived and is almost over and we are still land bound with only a month to go to departure day. Justin is working on the boat most of the time now with only a couple more trips to Georgia still to be done for final completion of the business. I have managed to get a baby sitter and will be able to help him some this week. Hopefully I'll be able to help next week too. Up until now most of the work has been heavy labor and not conducive to having the children aboard. We hope to be aboard in a couple of weeks. Just have to wire the generator, rig the water maker, install 2 air con units and duct them, put carpet down, varnish the inside, paint the deck, replace door latches and we'll be good to go! (I think there are probably more things that I have forgotten as well!)
Still not living aboard yet. Justin tells me by the end of this week we will be. I thought I would write a bit about what our plans are once we leave. Our first stop will be Key West. We will then move onto the Bahamas and next the Caribbean. That's the general plan and we are keeping it simple without to much detailed planning as the best laid plans blah blah blah.
November 9, 2004
I have made the provisions list for 6 months as I don't think we could stock much more than that - it's scary how much food one family consumes in 6 months. 50 lbs hamburger meat, 50 lbs chicken, 24 boxes Mac and Cheese, 20 boxes cereal and the list goes on! Since there will be times when we are unable to get fresh fruits and vegetables, I am having to come to terms with canned foods. I have read that if the contents looks like the picture on the label it's a pretty good bet. Things like corn, tomatoes and peas are okay as a rule but never green beans or carrots! We will get eggs & milk at local supermarkets otherwise, for milk we will use Parmalat (long life) milk or a powdered milk that is mixed with water. We have sampled some powdered milks and not liked them but apparently the powdered milk in the Caribbean is much nicer. We hope to purchase canned butter in the Caribbean. I plan to stock the freezer almost completely with meats for dinners and sandwiches. Bearing in mind we have 1 freezer, a small refrigerator and a cooler box - packing the boat is nothing short of an art form. We have the vacuum packer charged and ready!
I worked out that we need 1,128 diapers for 6 months! Justin says we need another boat just to pull diapers! So it turns out that we will just have to buy diapers along the way and keep some cloth diapers on board for emergencies. Yes, I know that cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly and a lot of cruisers use them but cloth diapers are really disgusting. I tried it with Abigail and in a word, YUK! Justin outright refuses to change a cloth diaper so we are going with the disposables.
I suddenly realized this week that Justin will be traveling on his South African passport, me on my British passport, toting our 2 little sailors on American passports. Huh?? Say what? Customs will have a field day with us so I am desperately trying to get the kids' British passport applications submitted before we go. We probably will not receive them until after we have sailed but I plan to get my Dad to post them on to us wherever we are. Probably should have taken care of this sooner! Oops!
November 22, 2004
Hoorah! We are living on the boat! It has only been a week and we are still back and forth from the house with belongings but still we feel elated to have made the move! The varnishing to be done seems never ending and just as I think to myself, "That looks good" Justin comes along and says, "Needs 2 more coats, at least". The children are loving the boat and Abigail pretends we are on rough seas headed for Canada. She reckons it will take us only 5 days to go there. We are squeezing in a couple of lessons with Capt Pete before we go. We are closing on our house this week and I have been busy canceling utilities at both houses and when asked "Where shall we send your final bill?" I am tempted to reply, "Put it in a bottle, take it to the ocean, give it a push and think Caribbean thoughts" but I just give them my Dad's address. We are officially cut off from the World Wide Web on Wednesday so after that I will do my best to keep the site updated regularly but be patient with me please and keep emailing me!:)
December 18th, 2004 by Catherine
Ahoy from grand old Panama City! Yes, Panama City, Florida not Panama City, Panama. Here we sit making all the preparations for departure. There are lots of jobs to be done Ė some have to be done before we leave some donít. The winds are on our side however and are waiting for us to be finished it would seem. Hopefully weíll be off with the next northerly blow. Have stocked food and we have enough for 2 months +. If we chuck out some gear we could stow more food but we like our gear so maybe next stock up weíll have a rethink. We had in mind to stock up 6 months but we are running out of space. 2 months will do and that doesnít count all the fish, lobster, prawns etc we will be dining on!
The kids are great and full of nonsense. We donít feel any more cooped up on the boat than we would have in the house. This is a very good thing since they are rarely allowed up top. They donít seem to mind and it sure is a relief to me. We have been looking at Christmas lights around town most nights and they really love the ones on the boats at St Andrews Marina. So, now we have another job to do Ė yea right! I bought some lights but with 7 days to Christmas I doubt they are going up. Justin deems mounting the outboard motor for the dingy and replacing the radar cable more important. Bah humbug and Arrgghh!
December 27th, 2004 by Catherine
Hello and Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Our first Christmas on the boat was very nice. Lewis surprised us with a live tree 2 days before Christmas. It is such a perfect fit in the main cabin. It is nearly 6 ft tall! We have sacrificed two sitting places at the table but it is worth it. The children had fun decorating and put on the ornaments we painted.
They were both thoroughly spoiled by Santa. Abigail has been in dress up clothing for two days, complete with tiara and high heels, and Aaron has not put down his plastic horses from the Dollar Store that are so very dear to him.
I am off to the laundry mat today Ė a really fun chore with a 3 yr old and 1 yr old in tow. We are trying a different one this time since the lady that works at the one we have been to only 2 times already groaned when she saw us coming the second time. She isnít fond of kids and expects them to sit still for 3 hours while I launder. Yea right! The laundry baskets on wheels are too much of a temptation for my toddlers and we fight the whole time. They love to play hide and seek under the folding tables and pushing buttons on the soda and snack machines. Really, they arenít hurting anything (if I can keep them from those baskets) and they are very good for entertaining themselves I think. Iíve decided laundry mat employees are a lot like librarians. A bit of a power issue. Maybe Iím just too lax in parenting but Iím pretty sure my mother let me put coins in the slots for the washing machine at the laundry mat when I was a kid and no major disaster or law suit incurred.
The reason this is my job today is because as of Tuesday we are carless (read careless also Ėha ha). No longer land lubbers, Wednesday or thereabouts, we will set off for St Andrews Bay to await a nice weather window to sail down to Key West. This will also be an opportunity to try out our watermaker and properly align the new compass. So until next time, have a Happy New Year!