Cruising in Less than a Year

It finally happened! That little countdown timer to the right of this blog post has quietly and without fanfare plunged beneath the twelve month mark. Woohoo! Celebrations! Fireworks and Parties!

Actually, I celebrated this day by taking a day-long diesel engine class designed for boat owners. Maintaining and trouble-shooting diesel engines is another of those required skills for a person planning to take off around the world on a sailboat. We hear that it is difficult to contact a diesel mechanic when one is a thousand miles from anywhere with nothing but the wind, sky, and water surrounding.

I also celebrated – and this is more worthy of celebration – by picking up Cindy at the Tampa Airport and having dinner at Bahama Breeze with my lovely wife.. She has spent the past week and a half in the frigid surroundings of Northeast Ohio visiting family. I’m glad she’s back home.

Our plans to leave within a year are intact, thanks be to God, and on target despite recent setbacks, including an almost twenty percent decrease in pay over the last year. Flexibility is the key to success in this adventure and we are adjusting to these unexpected permutations as they come. We are grateful for God’s provision as we move forward. (God willing, We may even attempt to venture out from our home port a little sooner than the expiration of the countdown. We’ll see. It at least appears to be a possibility.)

Among the numerous repairs and upgrades to Beatitude that we hope to accomplish in the next several months, two or three have been checked off the list just this week. We have a new anchor, new anchor road, and have had our sails inspected and repaired.

Our boat came with a 55 pound Delta anchor which the previous owners used as their main anchor. While adequate for normal conditions in protected waters, I did not feel it was adequate for a couple planning on cruising all over the world and anchoring in all sorts of weather in all kinds of places. That being said, we recently bought an 85 pound beast of a Mantus anchor. I will sleep a lot more soundly at night with that planted firmly on the bottom.

Our old anchor on the bow roller

Our old anchor on the bow roller

The old anchor

The old anchor

The new anchor on the roller

The new anchor on the roller

The new 85 pound Mantus

The new 85 pound Mantus

When we bought Beatitude, we knew that the chain was in only fair condition and would need to be replaced within a year. So we’ve just replaced our 200′ of anchor rode (100′ chain and 100′ of rope) with a 300′ anchor rode. The new rode is 200′ of 3/8 high test chain with 100′ of rope. This, too, was accomplished with security in all sorts of conditions and depths in all sorts of places in mind. (Now, hopefully my windlass can pull in all the weight of that chain and anchor.)

Some of our old rusty chain and old anchor which we will now either sell or use as an extra

Some of our old rusty chain and old anchor which we will now either sell or use as an extra

200 feet of new chain in the floor of the dinghy ready to be fed through the windlass and into the chain locker

200 feet of new chain in the floor of the dinghy ready to be fed through the windlass and into the chain locker

While our Genoa is in excellent shape and in need of no repairs. Our mainsail needed a few small holes near the “tack” (the forward and lower corner of the sail) repaired. It also needed some repairs and reinforcement at the head of the sail and the leach strap. Our Gennaker had sustained an approximately 18″ rip on the day we took it out to learn to fly it (a pesky unnoticed wire projecting forward on the navigation lights snagged it). These were all repaired. We also had our sail pack repaired (a sail pack is a “bag” which sits on top of the boom which collects and covers the mainsail when not in use). Additionally, we had a the forward portions of our cockpit enclosure repaired, including replacing the nearly opaque plastic in these pieces. (They are not supposed to be opaque,but are designed to allow one to see through for navigations from the helmstation).

Our naked boom and mast, having been stripped of the mainsail and sail bag

Our naked boom and mast, having been stripped of the mainsail and sail bag

Our mainsail laying on the salon and bimini top waiting to be flaked

Our mainsail laying on the salon and bimini top waiting to be flaked

Our genoa lying on deck for inspection.  This needed no repairs.

Our genoa lying on deck for inspection. This needed no repairs.

Pictures of new canvas work to come.

We are looking foward to the arrival of two sets of guests next week. We’ll have a one day adventure with the first, followed by an 8-day adventure with the second. I can’t wait!

One thought on “Cruising in Less than a Year

  1. Well most of this kind of talk is way above my head but I have faith that everything has been handled and is up to par. My Husband was a private pilot and certain things HAD to be checked out before going on a trip. This kind of
    preparation is as important as the trip itself. My thoughts will be with you and I will look forward to the posts as you travel. God speed my friend.

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