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counting down

Update - August 11

Minnie antenna ball from Mike atop Baraka's mast

CAST OFF is now slated for Monday, August 14. The thumb doctor took Dave's stitches out and said the thumb is healing fine. We finished the liferaft installation, the Monitor windvane, the Walder boom brake, and reran a fairlead to fix a problem with the staysail furling. That's the last of the pre-cast off boat projects. The rest can wait for California. Most of the stowing is done. We are saying last goodbyes to many special friends.

After 2 weeks aboard, even with the boat in chaos, we are growing more comfortable daily.

Update - August 4

Spaulding, sibling to Tom Hank's Wilson

Both of us have now stopped "working" (i.e. commuting to jobs where we get paid actual money), and now spend 18 hour days, seven days a week in preparations. We used to have weekends off! Dave tells me as soon as we go to sea we can get some rest.

Our respective co-workers gave us a great send off, with gifts of books, a coconut bra, toys and Spaulding to keep us company if shipwrecked.

We moved aboard July 26, a significant step. This boat has 99 lockers, so we have had to create an inventory or we'll never find where things have been stowed. Tools and spares are getting prime space that will be dedicated later on to food stores. This is a reflection of the number of boat projects still to be done. We completed the haulout, bottom paint and insurance survey.

Baraka in the sling

Behind settee shelving

We installed the Monitor windvane, converted the staysail to a furling sail, installed the new Lofrans anchor windlass and new 75 pound CQR anchor. Next project is liferaft installation. The spinnaker is ready at Port Townsend Sails. Rigging work left to do include setup of the spinnaker pole and the Walder boom brake.

Jan's Dad built shelving in two hanging lockers, and behind the settee seatbacks, dramatically improving accessible storage. The behind-settee shelving is cunningly designed to fit tightly without screws and be removeable as needed for wiring projects.

He also designed a solution to create a midships sea berth from a table and two seats, by building interlocking supports to raise the seats to the height of the table.

We never would have gotten to these projects in time to move aboard, and never would have come up with such artful and useful designs. We are both extremely grateful for all that he did.

Our second great benefactor is Jan's brother, Rolfe, who spent literally weeks establishing our onboard internet connection using a high-gain antenna and active cabling to connect to the local marina service. This should have been straightforward, but he ended up troubleshooting the marina network to get us set up online. Rolfe has also spent many hours configuring the computer system for redundancy and recovery, setup the ham/ssb radio in his house to figure out Sailmail, weatherfax, and Yotreps. Our ability to stay connected to family and friends is due to Rolfe's generous (and way smart) help.

Settee seats and table converted to seaberth

Preparations - June 24

We have a 10 page to-do list, but are beginning to make significant progress. Tasks are prioritized (do before we move aboard, do before we leave Seattle, do before we leave the states, and do someday), and assigned (Dave or Jan). The big categories are health (shots and vaccinations, building the offshore medical kit, final checkups), house projects in preparation for rental, financial arrangements (insurance, account access, wills), communications (radio licenses, email), and the big one, boat projects.

Dave's last day of work before sabattical is June 30. They he will tackle the big boat projects, installing batteries, inverter, watermaker, holding tank, windlass, and windvane. Haulout, bottom paint, and the required out-of-water survey for offshore insurance is slated for July 17, after Jan finishes work.

Most of the money hemorrhage is over. Equipment is purchased and waiting for installation.

The calendar is full. Somehow it will all come together, but it is daunting. We are very fortunate to have the help of our families.

One day in early August we will decide we are not ready, but ready enough, and cast off.

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