October 12, 2022
Over the past five years I have spent a lot of time alone on Home Free and that gave me time to write blog posts. I did get through a lot of little projects aboard as well, but my to-do list was completely self generated. Oh how times change. The lists are a bit less under my control, but things are getting done faster. The blog is not the same distraction as it was. Jinhee is here for walks, card playing, a dining partner. It’s like she has more free time now.
With Jinhee aboard full time now I am pleased to say that I too have a lot more free time, that I am making no good use of that free time and the blog isn’t getting nearly enough attention. I do believe that will all change in the coming weeks.
We have been aboard for just five days, but things are getting done. We have been buying (and eating) food, cleaned a lot of stuff, put in some new bits, fixed some old bits, made some friends and generally focused on getting Home Free ready for a trip south.
We are well underway fixing things. Our kayak had a hole in the outer skin and the seams were starting to separate. We simply ordered a new outer skin for 25% of the cost of a new kayak. Hopefully we will be paddling around here by the end of next week. The dinghy had a few shortcomings that needed repair. Those items have been repaired as well. We also put a new Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) on the boat for use when we get to the Bahamas, or at least warm water. We are also going to get the bottom of the boat scraped before we leave here.
My version of cooking typically involves one pot, maybe a second from time to time and about five or six ingredients for any given week (and a lot of junk food). Jinhee aboard means that my diet will expand tremendously, but it also means that the galley is getting a makeover to suit a more refined cook.
We also have acquired a Starlink RV system to keep us connected to the internet when we are near shore. Wow, what a difference from the typical marina WiFi and the sporadic cellular connection we have been using. Over the past few years I was so very happy with my Peplink Router that kept us connected via Cellular. This is a lot more expensive but so, so, so much better so far. There is more work to do to make sure that everything is well installed, but for now the antenna is set down on the bow and the internet is fantastic.
On the island, we have a number of hammocks spread around the property for people to sit in and they are a big hit with nieces and nephews who come to visit. We had the bright idea to bring one of those hammocks with us and if you look at the picture above, you can see the hammock taking it’s place on the boat deck with the davit holding it up. This is now Jinhee’s new favourite place to sit. We are also replacing our deck chairs in the stern cockpit and cushions on the Todd Helm chairs in the flybridge. So many changes!!
Other little projects include replacing a broken chart plotter. The last post went through some of the thought process on replacing electronics, and the practical implementation (of fixing the old stuff) is underway. I found one used plotter in Kingston (they are hard to find, so that was a complete bonus finding) and installed it today. It seems to work well and we will test it over the next couple of weeks.
We also had an opportunity to get to know Greg and Perri on S/V Madawaska. I met them in the spring when I first arrived and we have kept in touch through the summer. They are also from Kingston so I am always interested in what other crazy people live near us. They are on their way to Antigua in the next week or so (Norfolk to Bermuda to Antigua is a well worn route for sailors).
As usual, we continue to pay attention to the business world, and my sporadic writing about the state of the financial world is available on a different blog, UnusualViews. The turmoil in markets is keeping me focused there as well. (Latest Post was Friday, October 14 – That Was Awesome!)
When we decided to head to the boat, devoid of a plan, I had a little mental bet. How long could Jinhee go without making a plan. Today was the day. We have a calendar with distinct items written on it; in essence a plan. I say that in jest because, despite not having to go into an office any more, Jinhee does have a lot of other responsibilities and so we will continue to arrange things around her (far more minimalist) schedule.
We have decided to head to Baltimore near the end of the month to accommodate some meetings in New York early in November. Assuming we can get a berth to put Home Free, it will make travel a lot easier and I have been wanting to visit Baltimore for a couple of years. It looks like this will be the year! The waterfront area appears to have a lot of interesting tourist attractions like museums and art galleries, as well as food.
After the NYC meetings we will begin our journey south, with a tentative plan to spend about half of the time in the ICW and half on the ‘outside’ (the ocean). There will be some effort to get south pretty quickly since it is already getting a bit chilly here in the southern parts of Virginia. Three weeks from now it is probably going to be really cold. South is the right direction and faster just seems like a better bet than slower.
We will try to bring you along on our journey as we go.