That’s very much how I am these past days. I can feel that I’m starting to get into “preparation” mode. The task at hand is so enormous and diverse (including a job search) that I’m not yet able to focus my energy into specific accomplishments. Well, ok, that’s my usual self-deprecating me speaking there. There have been a few developments since my last post.
It had been 3.5 months since I last had gone out sailing. Every year, the SSS organizes a fantastic race in the San Francisco Bay: the Three Bridge Fiasco. This race usually attracts over 300 racers, strong tidal currents and light winds, and often ends up with a very large portion of the fleet retiring. I double handed on Frequent Flyer, a Farr 30. We did retire; still, it was fun being on the water again.
On the wait list
I’m in need of a berth for Changabang. The folks at Redwood Landing Marina are not accepting my application because the owner is a foreigner. I’ve applied for the wait list for Pillar Point Harbor. It’s unclear if I’ll have a slip by the time Changabang is up San Francisco.
Marking things off the shopping list
I’ve slowly started shopping for things and they’ve started arriving. I bought a sailing harness as I don’t think a life jacket is of much help when sailing solo offshore (in fact, I got two as the seller seems to have made a mistake). Some of the navigation lights need replacement bulbs so I bought 4 LED bulbs. I also bought 150 feet of 2″ Dacron repair tape; this is to wrap the fiberglass mainsail battens and associated spare (these shed micro shards of fiberglass everywhere; it’s also to prevent splinters should they break when in use). 50 ft of 1/8″ shock cord will be used to re-attach the mainsail. The battery on my portable VHF HX870 did not seem to hold the advertised 12 hours so I got a new one.
Ouch, that hurts!
And, ahem, I got to cough up the remaining invoice for the shipping of Changabang. There are still incidentals but, oh boy, my fingers were sure heavy when I setup the wire transfer online.
Wait, is that a sponsor?
I realized how much food I might need when I started counting the number of bags of freeze dried food I’d have to buy. Let’s say we’ll need 6 months to finish the course and that I eat 3 times a day. That’s 3 x 6 x 30 or 540 bags. Add 20% for safety and we’re talking about 650 bags. At about $8 each that’s $5,200! I started wondering if I should do my own freeze dried food! So I decided to reach out to the main players and ask for discounts or something. Most of them came back negative but Backpacker’s Pantry made me a solid proposal that will help me cut the cost in two. It’s not sponsorship but it’s a very nice gesture. I really enjoyed their Pad Thai on the way to Hawaii during the SHTP in 2018. Now, I do know that there are options to buy in bulk and compose your own meal. I’m just not sure that’s something I’d like to do while sailing.
Today I took out the small scale paper charts I had bought to start plotting my course (I mostly looked at the South Pacific). I had to reach out to Navionics to better understand my electronic charts options (what happens if my subscription runs out when I’m out there?). I’ve researched what I could find about Torres Strait.
Over the next 30 days I would like to finalize my navigation tools and charts. Although using SailGRib WR worked to sail to Hawaii, I think I need something a little more practical than a tiny phone screen for this circumnavigation: a larger tablet or a laptop (I got an old one with Adrena with Changabang)? Separately, I did get useful advice from Stan Honey, which I plan to research over the next few days. Everything starts adding up. Lately I have not been watching the wind forecasts daily as I used to; by this time I would be somewhere in the middle of the South Atlantic and, in fact, I should start watching for lows spinning off the East Cost of South America.
All the while Changabang continues her journey towards her new home. And I’m still trying to find a new job.
Did I say scatterbrained?