We Moved to the Boat!
After 3 weeks of preparations we were finally able to leave
the house and move to our yacht Empede, an Endurance 35 cutter rigged ketch. We
left work on 30th of June and planned to start the trip on 7/7/2007, but we were
not ready by then. I had a few boat-related sewing projects to finish: sail
covers, rope pockets, windlass cover, computer cover, sunshade, new bed linen,
including fitted bed sheets for each bunk mattress, and curtains with the help
of Gonzie’s mum. Provisioning and packing also took some time.
Gonzalo in meanwhile was busy with big projects: fitting the
wind generator and electric windlass (anchor winch) installation. There are a
few more things to do, but the boat is never “finished” anyway: we already spent
1.5 years preparing for the trip (the major works included changing the rigging
and fitting in a new diesel engine) and now we will just live with what we have.
We brought in 2 full car-loads of stuff and it looks like it
is not going to fit in the boat. What a mess! It feels like we moved houses.
Where on earth will we fit everything? We probably should have left half of the stuff
Gonzie’s parents took the car back and we spent some time
with friends. Plucky with Taylor, Pricilla, Brett and Simon came to see us off
and brought some take-away and wine.
The whole day was spent on cleaning up the mess and storing
things away. It’s raining anyway and it is better to start the trip if
everything is in order.
It is amazing how the boat has a lot of small lockers,
drawers and small storage spaces. You won’t be able to fit in big boxes and
suitcases, but things will fit in separately.
As we were going away for 6 months, we brought a lot of
clothes. In Sydney and Coastal NSW the wind is cold, especially at night. In the tropics is
hot and you need only light clothes. Gonzie’s parents, who had been cruising in
Caribbean, say you don’t need any clothes in tropics apart from swimmers and
We setup IKEA soft drawers in our bedroom, which, to my
surprise fit lot’s of clothes. I already realised that we brought way too much
and even started to pack the bag to send back home. Well, at least we don’t need
to spend money buying clothes.
I had a nightmare later that five guests came onboard with
big suitcases :).
Packing the food was the other issue. We wanted to pack as
much basic supplies as possible as we had a car here and wanted to avoid having
to carry food by hand in other places. Gonzie won the fight for the space under
the second couch cushion and put his tools there, so I had to find spaces
elsewhere, which meant storing away dry pasta and rice packages into the lockers
above the port bunks. Packing glass jars is a hassle as each had to be
individually bubble-wrapped and packed under the floorboards together with the
cans. The alcohol bottles are also bubble-wrapped and places in our “bar” behind
the seat cushion. Before the trip we bought a 50L Waeco portable fridge where we
will keep meat, cheese, butter, sour cream, some vegetables and cold drinks. The
fridge doesn’t fit much, which is a pity, as we are both used to eating fresh
food and will need to re-stock more often. It was rather hard to pick the right
canned food as at home I mostly shopped for food in fruit &vegetable markets
and butchers and even made my own pasta sauces. Pre-made food is also more expensive which
doesn’t do any good to our “cruising budget”. I hope we will be catching a lot
of fish along the way, but still need to provision well in case we won’t.