Things are moving along towards our departure in November for the Bahamas. Our list of things to be accomplished flexes from day to day, checking off some things but adding others that come to mind. Thanks to the hard work and forethought of Brilliant’s previous owners we get to work on the list of things we could only dream about on Firefly.
With all of the major systems needed for cruising and living off of the grid, we’re only adding some things that are of particular interest or tailored to our individual needs. We’re adding a portable freezer that works off of 12 volt power and draws minimal power, and will add a permanently mounted Wifi booster with a router for internet surfing.
Under the heading of “taking care of equipment that takes care of you”, I spent the day in the sun yesterday scrubbing the residue that has collected on the dinghy that has been hanging idly in the davits for several months. When living “on the hook” and away from a dock for 98% of the time (or more), the dinghy is something that you at least touch one or more times a day. We use it for everything from taking a walk to carrying groceries or supplies for the latest project.
After scrubbing it thoroughly and rinsing it several times, first with river water and then with fresh from the spigot (a luxury for cruisers), I applied two generous coats of waterproofing compound that will also provide UV protection against the sun’s rays. One of our future projects will be to fabricate “chaps” to completely cover and protect our investment.
Next on the list is to disassemble and clean out the carburetor. Gasoline that sits for too long gets gummy and doesn’t fire very well, and keeping the outboard in good working order is a full time job in itself.
We’re working through our medical and dental appointments to check the regular stuff off of the list, saving the medical budget for emergencies or unforeseen items after we leave.
What we’ve learned if we don’t set a firm date to leave the list will serve to keep us chained to the pier, so we’re leaving on or about the 1st of November. That will give us time to make our way out to the coast, do some sailing both inland and offshore to get used to Brilliant’s particular way of making way, and getting down the Florida coast to Melbourne, where the Seven Seas Cruising Association is holding one of its annual gatherings, called a Gam. A Gam is when the old sailing ships used to pass close by one another at sea to let the sailors shout greetings and trade stories with sailors on other vessels. It will let us dive back in to the wonderful environment with other cruisers and old friends, catching up and learning new things, the real reason we got back into Cruising.
We’ve enjoyed plenty of that already here at our temporary marina home. Right after I post this we’re going to a party sponsored by the marina to meet new friends and have some fun. Cheers!