So it’s Saturday morning and I find myself surrounded by the remnants of a three bedroomed flat distilled into a 40 ft yacht.
The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur. It’s been packing cases, bin bags full of the possessions that didn’t quite make the cut, and trips to the tip and charity shops.
Our flat has been let, we have a storage unit and a van hired. Hopefully by Tuesday this part will all be complete. All our furniture stacked and locked away, and us left surrounded by cardboard boxes adorned with hastily scribbled labels.
As for the boat, well we have run around getting last minute bits sorted out and ordered.
The SSB ( long range high frequency radio) has finally been installed. A hugely expensive piece of kit that transports you back to the heady days of early 1990’s internet. It does however enable you to send e mail and receive weather reports from the middle of nowhere, albeit at outrageously slow speeds. The first message I sent last night was akin to Alexander Graham Bells first. It also took as long. The one line message took 5 minutes to send.
The geek in me does however love the complicated nature of the entire process.
What else? well we upgraded our emergency communications by installing an emergency positioning beacon (EPIRB). This is hopefully a huge investment that I will never use. It does however allow emergency services to locate us ( or our lifeless bodies) if we manage to knacker the boat .
Add this to the satellite phone we have , AIS transponder and the other radios, and we should be visible and reachable all over the globe.
The rest of our last minute preparations are to try and make sure that we don’t sacrifice too many of the home comforts while we are away. I understand fully that sailing purists will scoff at this premise. I also think that we would cope happily without most of our frivolities, however I don’t want to just ” cope”. I like ice cubes in drinks, clean clothes, hot water and the ability to watch a good movie if the weather is bad.
So, we installed a decent stereo. I don’t like the word ” sound system” as it intimates that we will be blaring out all sorts of tunes ay high volumes and annoying the hell of out of anyone within 5 miles of our position. This is just a good, high quality, low power ,marine amplifier and the best marine speakers we could get. Its not the same as my beloved Arcam Hi-Fi that is now in my parents loft space. However its’s not bad for Purcell or Pearl Jam ( and I have tried both) .
We have also acquired a set of resistance bands to hopefully keep up with our fitness. They cost the same as a months gym membership, and as we both enjoy excercising will hopefully get some use. They seem to work well, although they look like a London Tube map on acid.
I guess that’s it. We set sail for France in a month for a two month shakedown cruise. The rest will start next spring. Fingers crossed!