Thursday, December 05, 2013

Packing Up and Shipping Out

Should packing up be this much fun?
It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff you can accumulate on a boat.  It's insane, actually.  Live-aboard cruising boats are like the Mary Poppin's carpet bag on steroids.  We learned this lesson the first time we packed up our boat, and I am learning it again this time around.  Where the heck did all these clothes come from?  How many towels, sheet sets and blankets can one boat have?  And exactly how many was I planning to feed with all these canned goods?  Thankfully, my amazing mother flew down the other day to help me out.  Packing up all your worldly belongings and then traveling with them through three airports over the course of a day is a lot to handle alone, never mind twenty-six weeks pregnant while accompanied by a very active toddler.  So, being the awesome mother she is (and, okay, her grandmotherly adoration was definitely a motivator as well) she flew down to help me pack up and ship out, as it were.

While we are not taking everything off the boat (like spares, charts, galley gear, books and any thing strictly 'boat' related) like we did when we moved off of our first boat, Rasmus, I am prepping this boat to be left for over a year.  We want to come back to no surprises which further means I have had my work cut out for me.  An unused boat on the hard can harbor a litany of unpleasant surprises if you don't pay careful attention to how you put it away (mold and bugs come to mind).  All the food has come off, yes, even the non-perishables.  Every last can, morsel and spice must go bye-bye (our friends have been happy recipients of the bounty).  I have put every single one of our paper books into a large water-tight bin so that - should a leak occur (best to assume the worst-case scenario imo) - we do not return to ruined, moldy pages.  All our towels, throw rugs, and linens have been washed and stowed in airtight bags, again to prevent them from getting wet and moldy.  I have de-cluttered and cleaned out all our hanging lockers and cupboards.  I have packed up pretty much all of our clothes and the ones I have left are, again, sealed in bags.  Isla's beloved toys have been put in a box to ship home.  The fridge has been emptied and cleaned.  Toiletries have been removed, medicine boxes have been cleaned out, old sunscreen has been tossed, trinkets stowed away and anything we haven't used in the last year has either been donated or trashed.  Today the interior of the boat is getting a through cleaning.  It's been a busy and slightly hectic couple of days and, for an organization junkie like myself, it feels pretty good to be on the finishing end of it.  I'm the kind of person who, before a vacation, would clean her entire apartment (laundry and all) just to ensure I came back to a nice, welcoming place where I could kick back my feet.  Same goes for the boat (though you will never return to a decommissioned boat and kick up your feet!).

Of course there is a lot of other stuff to do.  Boaty-type stuff like remove sails, halyards, solar panels...etc.  Luckily, Scott is returning to the boat in four weeks after this last work rotation at which point he will sail her to the British Virgin Islands where Asante will be hauled out and put on the hard to await our return as a crew of five (!?).  He will be able to finish where I left off so the urgency is not 100% on me at the moment, though I do want to make his job as easy for him as possible.  The goal in all this, of course, is to come back to the same pristine boat that I am sitting on right now (though we do plan on having some modifications made to make the boat more family-of-five friendly).

So that is where I am at right now.  We fly out tomorrow morning, bright and early.  Luckily, the busyness of it all and the distractions (and help!) of our amazing friends have forced me to focus on the now and not dwell on the fact that this is my last full day on our boat for a very long time.  If idle hands are the devil's playground, an idle mind is his nice and cozy living room where he plots his games so keeping busy has helped me from getting too nostalgic and emotional about it all (read: sobbing like a baby).

Also - I need to thank you guys for the incredible outpouring of support, love and awesomeness I have received (and continue to receive) since my last post.  Man, I love you folks.  For real.  Looks like a lot of you could care less if we are actually cruising or sailing and are happy to jump ship and follow us wherever we go - so thank you for that, this makes me happy.  Your kind words and support brought me to tears of joy and while I do not have the time to get back to each and every one of you at the moment, I do feel compelled to say THANK YOU collectively.  I really, really appreciate all the love.

The next post you read from me will be from a northern latitude.  Wish me warmness from the inside out 'cause the cold will be quite a shock to this system!


Annabel VIta said...

That is a totally stunning picture of Isla and your mom. I just love the way they are looking at each other.

Best of luck with everything!

Tamara said...

I hope you have a safe trip home, can't wait to hear from you again!

Unknown said...

I love your blog! Please never stop writing! I know it's hard to move on to the next chapter of your life! :)

Matt said...

Going to miss the reporting from the tropics... and do you know what the temps will be in Chicago through next week? :-0

Anonymous said...

We want to hear about life on the hard too!! Don't be a stranger. On another note, brace yourself for the cold. We are in Minnesota, so not all that far from Chicago area and it is verrrry collllddd here. Can you hear my teeth chattering?

Rosemary & Mark

Anonymous said...

I came to Windtraveler through cruising but stayed for the warm heart of Asante and her crew. If the crew is taking a sabbatical the heart will follow and so will I. "See" you in the Windy City.


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