The countdown continues! Three weeks from today, we set sail for Mexico and – finally – to start living the dream.
The past few months have been jam-packed with boat jobs – lists and lists of boat jobs – so that once we take off, all we have to do is routine maintenance and ‘as needed’ jobs as things might break, need replacing or we figure out an idea of how to do it better.
Last Saturday the marina organized a marine swap meet – like a big yard sale for boaters and boating stuff– and we got rid of most of the rest of the things we won’t be taking. Just a couple more things to cram into Nakamal‘s belly!
Except that there are still packages coming as the captain stocks up on spare parts.
We were supposed to have a third person to crew with us, but due to a series of circumstances it will be just the two of us. Which turns out to be a good thing since we are filling up the extra bunk with boat gear! Nakamal must be sitting a few inches lower in the water these days with all the provisions and gear we’ve brought on board. It’s like we bottomed out on the downsizing and are working our way back up the ‘stuff scale’.
Provisioning (i.e. organizing the food) is my job, It’s even in the title I gave myself – First Mate, Chief Provisioning Officer and Galley Wench. And since John will be responsible for so many other things on the boat (like, all of it) I don’t want to saddle him with cooking responsibilities too. In my First Mate role, I’ll be standing half the watches which means that I have to work in sleep as well as cooking during the other half of the day. To ease the burden, I’ll be pre-prepping some make-aboard meals to have in the freezer.
I woke up one night and thought about what the worst case food scenario could be – and immediately started worrying that both the fridge and freezer will go on the blink at the same time. We now have a plastic bin of canned goods for backup which includes such delicacies as the ubiquitous Spam and freeze-dried carrots. Which begs the question:
What wine pairs with Spam?
Confession: I always go over-board when it comes to food prep. I fully expect we’ll get to the end of this two week trip with extra weight. It will be a challenge to keep that under control when combined with limited space to move around on a 38-foot boat. It’s a 12-day schedule with (I’m estimating) 8 days on board. The other days we will be anchored in bays with beach parties scheduled for the boaters, or access to a small town with potential for restaurants and someone else to do the cooking and washing up as well as walking and maybe even some swimming!
The day before we leave, there is a kick-off party at 11 am in a local marine-supply store parking lot. Because it’s close to Hallowe’en, costumes are encouraged. I don’t think they are required but just to be safe we have a design that is in line with the Mexico theme – so another boat job was crossed off the list last week. Wearing costumes on the boat for the start the next day is also encouraged, and we may have another chance to trot them out again on the first stop.
Here is a link to unedited news broadcast footage from last year’s start. Spoiler Alert: Unless you’re a sailor it’s kind of unexciting – the starting gun sounds at a little past the 2:05 mark – after about four or five attempts before the 2:00 mark. It looks like they had some special guests who all got to take a shot. Finally the boats start crossing the starting line. At about 2-3 miles per hour. You could walk faster than that. Not exactly NASCAR and edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff unless you were there, or are going to be there. Which we will be.
In just three weeks.