Preparations Intensify

The weeks are ticking by until we stop being just “liveaboards” and start our future as “cruisers.” The next few months will be busy getting everything ready to go. Several things were accomplished this past week.

Accomplishment #1: Setting up our mail service. One of the problems which face cruisers is how do we receive mail and how do we satisfy Uncle Sam’s requirement that we have an actual address which is our place of permanent residence. Fortunately, we are not the first cruisers on earth. There are a variety of options available, but we chose to go with St. Brendan’s Isle, a mail service right here in Florida. We are now official residents of Green Cove Springs, Florida. Gradually, we will transition all our mail to go there instead of here in Palmetto. As a Christian cruiser, it’s pretty cool to say you live on St. Brendan’s Isle! Onboard, we have an icon of St. Brendan “the Navigator,” a 6th century monk who is one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland.”

St. Brendan "The Navigator" aboard Beatitude

St. Brendan “The Navigator” aboard Beatitude

Accomplishment #2: Registering and Servicing our EPIRB. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency.It does this by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue co-ordination centre. It can be manually triggered or will trigger automatically when in water. This is perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment on board. To register our EPIRB, we first of all had to get it “unregistered” from the previous owner of Beatitude. The NOAA people were so helpful and courteous in accomplishing this task. Today, I officially registered the EPIRB with our name and the name of our vessel. I also dropped it off at a Satellite Phone Store in Sarasota which services these. The battery is good for five years, and ours had been expired for a couple of years. With some serious cruising coming up, it was time to get the battery replaced and the EPIRB in working conditions. It will be ready in about three days.

Our EPIRB

Our EPIRB

The EPIRB strapped in its usual location in the salon

The EPIRB strapped in its usual location in the salon

Accomplishment #3: Cleaning out and “de-mildewing” the forward port locker. I’ve had our storm anchor, a 45 lb. Brittany, and an extra anchor, a 55 lb. Delta in this locker. It also has contained some extra lines, our gennaker and my scuba equipment. For some reason, and unfortunately, this locker has been full of mold and mildew. Also unfortunately, everything in the locker stinks of fungal contamination! Today, I took everything out, scrubbed the inside of this 7 foot deep locker, cleaned as best I could the components stored in the locker, threw out the old wood shelves and replaced them with newly cut shelves, and am now airing everything out. Quite a chore, but was way overdue.

The contents of the locker  spread over the foredeck

The contents of the locker spread over the foredeck

A look down into the mildewed locker

A look down into the mildewed locker

Down in the locker cleaning with "MaryKate Mildew Stain Remover," highly recommended by Practical Sailor

Down in the locker cleaning with “MaryKate Mildew Stain Remover,” highly recommended by Practical Sailor

Cindy standing by to assist

Cindy standing by to assist

Cutting new shelves

Cutting new shelves

Ready to lower our storm anchor into the newly cleaned locker

Ready to lower our storm anchor into the newly cleaned locker

Cindy, lowering our 55 lb Delta  into the locker

Cindy, lowering our 55 lb Delta into the locker

Accomplishment #4: Weight loss. Not only have we been busy trying to get Beatitude ready to cruise, for the past 30 days we have been working on ourselves as well. Cindy and I have been on Juice Fast for the past 30 days and have each lost over 15 pounds. We have been pretty strict in our adherence to the fast, but we have allowed eating raw fruits and vegetables and some nuts. It’s now been a month since either of us has had anything cooked, any kind of meat or seafood, and any kind of bread or starch. It’s also been a month since I’ve had soda, and if you know me you know I love diet soda. We’re feeling fitter and in better shape. We’ll continue doing this for a while yet and hopefully control our portions in the future.

Cindy, cleaning up my sawdust  (Thank you!)

Cindy, cleaning up my sawdust (Thank you!)

Installing our new shelving

Installing our new shelving

Enough accomplishments for one post, but more to come!

2 thoughts on “Preparations Intensify

    • Our plans are to head south to the keys and make our way up the east coast of the U.S. toward Maine, with a potential excursion to the Bahamas on the way up.

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