Only one more week before we pull the boat down our driveway and begin the road trip to our starting point on the Great Loop. We’re both becoming worn out by all the work which goes into getting ready for this major lifestyle change. We’re on our 4th detailed checklist, which focuses on house cleaning, yard work, and yes, actually loading gear into the truck and boat. There are many last minute items, such as buying groceries and doing one final load of laundry. At times the thought of our actually doing this trip, leaving our comfortable home for more than a year and living aboard our little 26 foot sailboat, has really seemed unreal. Lately, it has seemed like we were doomed to a perpetual state of preparation. Exchanging a land based existence for one on water is greatly appealing in the abstract, however, the reality will only reveal itself with actually doing it. The whole thing became a lot more real for me this afternoon when I bicycled down to the local post office and turned in my change of address notice, with all mail after August 15 to be forwarded to son Ken. The time for talking and preparing is nearly over, and soon it will be time for doing.
Things actually seem to be in pretty good shape for avoiding the usual last minute crush of things to do, and all the stress that goes with that. Perhaps because we’re going to be gone for so long, we’ve gotten a good jump on the big tasks, and we’re steadily whittling away at the little ones. Today we completed our final boat project, sewing up a new bug net for the companionway. This will be a really critical piece of gear, and it turned out very nice. It’s made of no-see-um net, with a perimeter of 1 inch nylon web tubing, into which we’ve stuffed bunches of oval lead slip sinkers. This weight helps hold the net into the sliding hatch track. Snaps and velcro at critical points help hold it in place.
We’ve received the last 2 items which were purchased on line. I got a waterproof case for the smart phone, and had to buy new oar locks, since I accidentally broke the plastic pin off one of my dinghy oar locks. The new ones have stainless steel pins, which should be stronger and work with less friction. Sandy and I have both agreed that we’ll start no more new projects. We will complete our major yard work and house cleaning by this weekend, and then have next week for stowing gear in the boat and packing the truck. I’ll make one more trip to Wenatchee to renew the license tabs for the truck and boat trailer (they let you do this up to 6 months early, which works well for us). We both have hair cutting appointments. The week will pass quickly, and somehow, completion of the very last item of preparation will magically coincide with the departure date which we set more than 6 months ago.