The few who may have visited this blog have noticed the paucity of entries. Considering I have been 'retired' since mid-August 2007, some might be surprised. However, it seems the last minute rush to get the boat, our house and business in order started well before our entry into the Baja-ha-ha XV cruisers rally in June of 2008, and has been building to a crecendo of activity as the October 27th, 2008 departure date draws near. So much to do and so little time remaining to get it all accomplished!
The good news is the ever changing 'To-do' list is finally beginning to shrink faster than it is expanding. The house has been leased out for the year and the even better news is, it's been leased furnished! A fellow by the name of Ted Greenberg and his enormously social canine side-kick, Tanner, have agreed to take care of our home for the year. It's a toss-up who's more enthusiastic about the house, Ted or Tanner!
We still have a great deal of personal items to pack up and store and have the garage to clean and empty, but we're energized knowing that the house will be enjoyed in our absence. Ted has also graciously agreed to allow the Land Rover to be stored next to the garage during our trip. This helps reduce the pressure of another pre-trip project of getting the Rover smogged and sold prior to departure. It will also provide a spot to store some of the miscellaneous tools that we will not be taking on the boat.
We secured a post-office box in Ocean Beach and we're making progress changing our mailing address with our service and financial contacts. Kahtie has been busy contacting the myriad of catalog merchants to cease and desist wasting natural resources and overflowing our mail box with their deluge of catalogs. Where feasible, we've converted to digital notifications, communications and payments. Nicole will be left with the ability to take care of any unforeseen bills that may be sent which have been overlooked in our conversion to e-commerce.
We've secured the required Mexican liability insurance for our trip and got our Mexican fishing licenses, too. Since Boats US only provides hull insurance riders that extend no further south than Puerto Vallarta, Mexico we've applied to another insurance company that offers world wide coverage and will accommodate our plans of sailing as far south as Acapulco (a bit more than 400nm south of Puerto Vallarta). We're waiting to hear what the premium will be for the year, should they accept our application.
The decision that is weighing most on us is what to do with our socially challenged feline, Toby. He's a cat who is very sensitive to people. While he has a firm attachment to Kathie (e.g., he tolerates her most of the time), he has no interest in developing a hint of a relationship with any other living being. The only exception is when we lie down to go to sleep; then he's in cat heaven allowing us to pet and scratch him, while he purrs. Chantal has offered to take Toby in, but her job with the Orange County Register is in flux and she may move to the Bay Area to pursue other options and be closer to her squeeze, Sean.
The boat continues to be a money magnet. I'm losing all control when it comes to getting the never ending list of wouldn't-it-be-nice-to-have items. I've succumbed to buying a single-side-ban receiver partnered with a weather fax software program for the laptop. We're also taking a SPOT (satellite personal tracker) GPS transmitter that will allow designated people to receive real time updates on their Google maps, indicating our position on the globe at the time of transmission. I'm sorely tempted to get what is needed to fly our spinnaker.
I have replaced all the AC and DC breakers on the boat and replaced some of the interior cabin lights (the red night lights) with LED bulbs to help conserve on our power consumption. Four circulation fans have been installed; two in the main salon and one each in the forward and aft cabins. The 5/8" six-plaited anchor line remains to be put in place on the primary anchor and marked in 20-foot increments. Finally, we have to unpack and completely repack the boat, both to sort out what will not be taken, as well as to catalog the location of all the items that will remain. More than six weeks left until departure...plenty of time!