All Systems Go – Or, So We Thought

sailing blog

Our preferred route

Well, we are kinda sorta ready to get going. We have enough food to feed an army. We have full tanks of fuel and water. We have our repairs done and most of our projects completed. We have good easterly winds that would make our trip down the west coast of Florida perfect. There is just one problem; we are both sick. Cindy had a flu bug that transformed into bronchitis. Being the wonderful sharing person she is, she thought I should have it too. Oh well, it’s not like we are in a hurry to get somewhere. We will sit tight for a few days, rest and get healthy.

Our last couple of weeks were spent provisioning. This is a big job. We have two freezers and a refrigerator all of which are full now. We have food stashed everywhere! Cindy keeps track of what we eat on an excel spreadsheet. She then puts together a shopping list based on how long we think we are going to be in the boondocks. Because some of the food is going to be frozen for a few months, she uses freezer bags to help preservation and to avoid getting frostbitten meat. Cindy did something very clever. When putting meat into freezer bags and vacuum sealing them, the juices from the meat tend to make the seal not last thus leading to frostbitten meat. Cindy found that by putting a strategically placed paper town in the vacuum seal bag, this will stop the juices from flowing into the seal area and she gets a perfect seal every time. As we eat our food, we mark it in a Mickey Mouse ledger and this way we know what we have left. When we get to our next place and a decent grocery store, we know exactly what to buy to replenish our supply.

We think we are headed for the British Virgin Islands next. But, we are not sure of the route we will take to get there. The BVIs are about 1300 miles away. This is about 9 or 10 days if we go in one shot. One option is to sail the coast of Cuba. This is the way we came to Tampa Bay. This route gets us to where we would like to be faster. The problem we face is this time of year the winds tend to blow from the east. This of course is the direction we want to go. Sailboats do not sail directly into the wind. Turn on the engine, you say? We can only go about 700 miles on a tank of diesel fuel. So at some point, we have to sail. Another option is to island hop down through the Bahamas, Turks and Puerto Rico. This route would take us longer but we could wait and hang at each island for favorable weather to get to the next island. We will have fuel stops and some food availability along the way. It will take us longer but the journey will be fun. We think we might island hop. But, we are watching the weather closely to see if we can knock off a big chuck of the miles in one go. Stay tuned…

Categories: Pre-sailing Preparation, USA

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