February 26, 2011 – Final stages of preparations

Provisioning is now complete, except for last minute shopping for perishables such as bread, fruit, salad fixings and meats. Sandy has completed organizing and packing the food tubs. 8 large tubs to be stowed in the king berth, and 3 smaller tubs (our “working tubs”) which go in the forward settee storage area. It’s pretty amazing that you can assemble provisions for 3 months in such a compact stack. In addition, food for the road trip and meals for the first 12 cruising days are in marine tote bags, so we shouldn’t have to dig into the large tubs until after we reach Chub Cay. I don’t plan on inflating the dinghy until then, and the dinghy is stowed in front of the stacks of large tubs. I want to avoid lugging it around the cabin if at all possible.

Packing the boat and truck is being seriously complicated by our weather. Following the snow of the last couple days, it’s turned unseasonably cold here, single digit cold. I’ve pulled the truck into the garage so I can thaw it out and pack in relative comfort. It’s a very tight fit. I want to have everything possible packed ahead of time. Strategizing how to pack, travel and camp in sub-freezing temperatures is proving to be a challenge. Some food items in the tubs might freeze, and if they do I’m unsure whether they will leak. Also, we’ve bought our pop, beer and wine. From unhappy experience I know that pop and beer cans rupture when frozen (I forgot to completely empty the pop rack in the bilge last fall), so I’ve packed the beverages in the truck cab. I’m hoping the truck will retain enough heat when parked overnight to avoid a hard freeze of drink cans. The first few days will be most critical, with night time lows forecast to be in the low twenties in most places where we’ll be staying.

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