Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home, Sweet Boat, Home

We are back on Whatcha Gonna, after being away almost 2 weeks in California, and it really feels like home.  It was an incredibly hectic trip, with a bat and bar mitzvah on either end, and only 5 days in between to pick up everything we needed to get, eye doctor appointments, and visiting with friends.  So much was going on over those days that it's almost impossible to recap, but here are some photos from the bat and bar mitzvahs, certainly the highlights of the trip.

Lauren had a 'psychedelic 60's party
for her bat mitzvah
The WGD crew

Jacques' bar mitzvah was
on the beach in Santa Cruz

Some of the food we brought back

It's taken us several days to unpack, particularly since we made our return trip with 7 large duffel bags (and a multitude of carry-on bags) full of boat parts, food, clothes, guide books, fiction books, cruising guides and other necessaries for our adventures going forward.  We are closer to making a decision to go the South Pacific, but whereas I feel the decision has been made, Michael is not quite there yet.  If we do go, we'll be leaving in about 3 weeks' time.  This is a common phenomenon among cruisers:  Decisions of where and when you go is only final when you leave.  For me this is a bit disconcerting; if a decision is hanging for too long while I wait for someone else to come to terms with it, I lose interest.  Lots to look at there, I'm sure.

Either way, there is still much to do and we must get started if we are to make the most of our time:  

1. Review provisions which must last us until we make landfall in Australia in November.  It's not necessarily that we can't get particular items there, but it's also that grocery items are often several times more expensive.  Plus, we'll be in places where there are no grocery stores to be found.  I've started an excel spread sheet with amounts of each item (eg. 30 bottles of marinara sauce), and where on the boat it's kept.  That will make our Costco runs much more efficient, but putting all of it away is a week's work. No, we won't be able to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, but when we leave the dock, we'll have stocked up on at least enough to last us for a month's crossing.

2. Review Emergency Ditch Bag items.  We're pretty much up to date on these, but need to add things like copies of our passports, cash, and more meds.  We'll also need to review emergency procedures.

3. Review First Aid Kit.  Since we didn't use much of what was in there over the last year and a half, we're probably okay, other than some more band-aids.  I'll also need to figure out what antibiotics and pain meds we need to have other than the usual Zithromax, Cipro and Vicodin.   

4. Check rigging and other mechanical systems before the 3-4 week crossing of the Pacific.  Again, here, our boat is in pretty good shape.  We have a professional rigger coming to check things out, and we'll take the boat out sailing a couple of times before we leave.  (Aaaah, sailing...  We haven't done nearly enough of it in Mexico, but supposedly once you get a few hundred miles off the coast of Mexico, you haul up your sails, shut down your motor, and don't turn it on again for a very very very long time...).

5. Review of Spare Parts.  Michael has for the most part completed this task and we purchased much of what we need in the US.  Of course, the part that we'll ultimately need is the part that we won't have, but hopefully someone else will.

6. Chart out our general route.  We still have some paper charts that we need to get.  We have electronic charts on our computers, but one must never count on electronic charts alone, in case there is a malfunction or you lose your power. 

This is our initial of-the-top-of-my-head now-that-we've-just-gotten-back list.  I'm sure it will grow.


Marina Riviera Nayarit in Banderas Bay, near Puerto Vallarta
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico 


  1. Wow. Your adventures just go on and on and on! You still sound as excited as day one -- that is amazing. You all look great and looks like you had a fun visit in California. Love reading everything you post. Good luck and a safe trip -- Love Barbara

  2. Maybe today's news has made your decision for you?
    Your pics are great! That one of the four of you in costume is hilarious. I'm not sure who looks better...Michael or Barb!

  3. Sounds like you're doing just great - back to your old self at organizing.
    What an exciting adventure lies ahead! Allan is already looking into flights in the South Pacific...can you believe this?
    Love you all...