Sunday, August 12, 2012

Neither Here nor There

Preparing for an extended voyage such as our upcoming departure to the Bahama Islands takes one important ingredient; planning. The planning factor not only encompasses issues concerning sailing, packing and navigation, but also mundane matters such as scheduling next year's doctor and dentist appointments. Most of the preparations right now favor the mundane. Activities such as purchasing cruising guides for offshore inlets along the Atlantic seaboard and making sure that we have spare parts for working systems on board. Our daily routine consists of making checklists that somehow keep getting longer. It seems that we check off one task or item and add two more to the list. Although, I have to admit that the anticipation of and knowing that in a matter of days we will be leaving everything behind makes the effort especially exciting.
Joe and I made this voyage eight years ago when we were on sabbatical so we know what to expect concerning temperatures which can be chilly and nearly winter like while traveling south. A variety of different types of clothing have to be packed from shorts and t-shirts to woolen hats, jackets and gloves. Our journey will take several months. We plan to travel liesurely until November 1st when our boating insurance will clear us for the departure south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Several new systems such as refrigeration have been added to Simple Life. During our last trip we had no refrigeration and at times ice was nearly impossible to find.

Occasionally, laundromats weren't accessible. I purchased a hand cranked manual washer and found it to be quite useful. I learned to compromise. We relied heavily upon canned meats and Joe's "catch of the day." So this time even though we have several new improvements I still "plan for the winter like a squirrel." In March I bought a twenty one quart pressure canner.I have been canning meat, chicken as well as meatballs and sauce. Pressure canning is the only safe method for canning non acidic foods such as meat because temperatures in the canner when processing exceed 240 degrees. I'm very particular about what we eat, where the animals were raised, fed and processed. I usually buy meat at Whole Foods Markets because other than buying meat directly from a farm I do believe that it is the only way to insure buying the best product.
As of now I am anxiously anticipating our departure. I suppose that one can never feel truly prepared and if we hold off to wait for that point we may miss the opportunity.
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