We’ve got plans. They have been gelling for quite awhile, starting out as ‘Oh wouldn’t it be nice’ and gradually progressing to ‘I think it’s going to happen’. We have decided to go cruising for a year; leaving June 2007.
After working through many different scenarios re work, home and play, we both decided that this is the year to do it as we are both still relatively healthy, the kids are relatively settled and the house is in relatively good repair. Most importantly we’re both committed wholeheartedly to this AT THE SAME TIME.
The tentative plan is to leave in early June and sail up the St Lawrence around the Gaspe to the Magdalene Islands. We’ll return to mainland Canada for July and August, to Maine in September and then head south to warmer climes. Once in Florida, we’ll make the decision whether to go straight south to Cuba or take a sharp left to the Bahamas.
We’ve started purchasing the ‘must haves’:
- Radar to help us navigate through the fog so common on the east coast (sitting in a corner of our basement now)
- Espar heater to keep us warm for the St Lawrence/Magdalene Islands part of the trip and in October and November before we get to Florida (ducting and vents placed strategically throughout Strathspey as we plot how to squeeze it all in behind cupboards and backboards).
- Electronic charts (this is a big expense so we are still searching for a good price on them)
- SSB to keep in contact with all our friends and family via email (we picked up the ICom M802 at the Annapolis boat show and Blair is within a hair of passing the exam with the minimum required 80% so we can actually talk on the radio rather than just using it to listen and send emails)
- AIS antenna and software to see all the big tankers out there that might not see us (software installed on our new boat computer, antenna tucked in our back berth)
All the other things that need to be done to the boat to make it ocean-ready and full-time liveable are scheduled for this winter – we’ve booked a spot in one of the sheds at Iroquois Marina so we can work on the boat, out of the elements.
Blair’s list of tasks is about the same length as mine but his require working in tight spaces in cold temperatures and are definitely all knuckle busters. Most of my jobs are more ‘civilized’. I have to see about boat and health insurance for us once out of Canada, ordering a new 100% sail (we’ve decided that we need something smaller than our 135% for high winds), and most importantly organizing the house to run efficiently while we are gone (this is the job that worries me the most).
We been trying to keep this under wraps as long as possible because we’re just scared that something will come up that will make us have to cancel. It’s not that it is a big secret but we just worry that the more people you tell, maybe it ups the ante on the jinx factor. Who knows.
I keep asking Blair if he thinks we can live together in 35 feet for a year. He just has this big grin on his face all the time.