Friday, January 04, 2013

Cruising and the Art of List Making

Isla is blissfully unaware of all the work that needs to be done.
"We'd better start prioritizing what we need to do before we leave" Scott said during our Skype session yesterday, "our departure is going to come really fast and we have a lot to do".  His tone hinted at a warning, a gentle reminder that things were going to get really crazy, really quick when he returns in a week.  Our plan is to shove off before February 1st and it's a date that I know all too well will be here lickedy split.

I blinked, smiled, and changed the subject: "Hey, look! Something shiny!"

Let it be known that I am a master procrastinator.  In college, I once read eighteen chapters of history the night before a midterm (got a respectable B) and another time cranked out a twenty page paper a mere twelve hours before it was due (got an A).  My ability to come through at the very last second is a skill that bewildered and pee'd off more than a few friends who's own procrastination did not pay off quite as well.

So yeah.  When talk turns to "getting down to the wire" I kind of freeze up and stick my head in the sand for a little while.  But that's not going to work this time.  Prepping to cruise with a baby and cranking out a college term paper are two very different beasts.  A couple of "no doze" chased down with a bottomless cup of extra strong coffee won't help me now.  I need to get to work, prioritize, divide and conquer.  Hence Scott's little cyber-nudge. 

You know what this means, right?  More lists.  Lots and lots more lists.  If you learn nothing else while you prepare yourself and your boat to cruise full time, you will definitely learn the art of list making.  I can't say for sure because we haven't kept track - but we've probably made upwards of two hundred lists since we began in 2009 and I can guarantee we have at least six lists of varying lengths on our boat at this very moment.  

Off the top of my head, here's a list of things we'd like to finish up before we leave:
  • Download new music for our ridiculously overplayed and out of date iPods (we can't rely on Pandora where we're going *sad face*) Note: this is a HIGH PRIORITY ITEM
  • Download more movies to update our waning and admittedly pathetic collection
  • Start looking for a weather window to cross the gulf stream to the Bahamas
  • Finish up boat projects Note:  this is a much longer, much more detailed sub-list
  • Figure out way to secure Isla's car seat in both the cockpit and down below for rough weather and/or when we need "all hands on deck".
  • Create a new provisioning list (this creates more anxiety in me than you can imagine.  I despise provisioning almost as much as I despise cockroaches.  Almost.  In fact, I strongly dislike - in this order - 1) cockroaches 2) provisioning 3) cooking) Note: I will be turning to my new book The Boat Galley for help here.
  • Make lee cloths for bunks and figure out how to secure our very active and energetic baby in her bunk (this is a pretty big project that I am pretending is not a big project and will - no doubt - procrastinate)
  • Go for a couple of sails (preferably anchor out some place) and practice things like raising sails, anchoring and doing a general systems check in the new boat. Note: we have only sailed our new boat twice.  We have never run the generator, windlass, watermaker, autopilot...we also never tried reefing, lowering the centerboard and other important things like this
  • Make sure we have all the spares/backups/oils and lubes we need for engine/generator/boat systems Note: this is (yet again) another, much longer sub-list
  • Continue making lists so I feel productive.
I'm sure I'm missing things.  In fact I know I am.  But this is the gist of it.  It doesn't look like much, but rest assured - this will keep us pretty dang busy the next few weeks.  The good news is the simple fact that we are much more relaxed about it this time around... for heaven's sake, we're only going to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.  It's not like we're going to be too far from provisions or a yacht chandlery at any given time.  Last time we did this we prepped our boat and ourselves like we were sailing to the freaking moon.  Like, literally, the moon... we actually had a respectable arsenal of freeze-dried food on board just in case.  Totally unnecessary.

Even still, the compulsion to make lists and tick things off them will never cease as long as we live on a boat, so bring on the post-it notes and a pen!

8 comments:

Mike said...

Nice post, Brittany. Good luck with the lists and ticking the items off of them.

Mike
http://www.zerotocruising.com

Kelley - Sailing Chance said...

We have a goal to leave the Merritt Island area around Feb 1 as well heading to the Bahamas. I'm currently in the process of taking all our cds and putting them on an external hard drive. If we run into you at all we'll share a few albums!

Kelley
www.sailingchance.com

Nikki said...

Good luck with your list Brittany! Love reading about your progress and preparations.

Nikki
http://sailrite.wordpress.com

SV Prili said...

How do you watch DVD's on board? Do you have an external hardrive to store them and link your laptop/computer to your tv? I'm looking for a magical system for our boat. You will soon learn how much you can get done in a 30 minute cartoon :)

Chris H said...

Brittany,
You might want to check out Spotify. It is similar to Pandora but for $10 a month you can save your playlists and listen to them offline. It also has international support so when you get somewhere with internet you can update your music.

SailFarLiveFree said...

SV Prili - Try an iPod Classic. You'll get 160gb (~200 hours of movies) for $249 or less if you buy used. The screen is small (2.5") but the overall device is energy efficient and highly portable, which is perfect for cruising. The new models (Nano and 5g Touch) are nice too, but you give up a lot of storage so they aren't the best for a big movie library.

Tricia @geekyexplorers said...

As an RV traveler (and wanna be sailboat traveler in the future), we are a firm believer in lists to keep things straight, and of course making sure the ipod is fully synced! :) Just found your blog & look forward to your posts!

Jessica said...

Brittany,
I know exactly what you mean about music being a number one priority. Any time we're on the water we have our speakers blasting so we're trying to get as much music as possible downloaded while we still have wifi.

S/v Prili,
On our boat we have a 2 TB hard drive that hundreds of movies, tv series, ect and takes up minimal space. There's a few wires that plug into ac outlets and a few that plug into our tv. There's also a dvd player and about 500 dvds on board, but those don't get used as much.

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