Well…I’m packed. Again. For the third time.
I fly out tomorrow morning for what will be roughly a two month trip. “How does one pack for a two month trip” you ask? The only answer I could come up with is “You don’t.” I basically packed everything I could, and am planning on buying the rest down island.
My packing ritual for this trip (and most others) is based on elimination. I line up everything I could want to take and put it all in a pile. This is normally a really BIG pile. Then I go through each item one by one, get my hands on it, and think of an actual situation where I will need it. If it doesn’t make the cut, it gets put aside. The next time I do this, I pick up each item and try to think of a situation where I couldn’t possibly live without the item. If it’s REALLY hard to come up with one, it’s tossed. I’m in D.C. now at my sister’s. I just broke everything down and went through it again.
Normally, this works outstandingly well and I have nothing more than exactly what I need. I once spent 5 days in D.C. living from backpack to washing machine. This time though, things didn’t work so well. I have no idea what will be available to me or where. I do not know if I will be able to get basic supplies, or if stuff will have to be brought in special. I’ve never been cruising before. It seems I’m skipping some steps.
Most of the sailing blogs I read have the same general flow of boy meets boat – boy falls in love with boat – boy sails boat locally – boy gets comfortable and goes cruising in the islands. Occasionally there is a good woman in there somewhere, as is the case with this wonderful blog. Sounds straightforward, right? Clearly not my style. I’m flying to the islands, to a boat that’s already cruising, and taking it back to the states via countries I’ve never been and waters I’ve never sailed. Did I mention that I didn’t really start sailing until May 2012? My first trip out of the Chesapeake Bay was in late November.
Anywho, not knowing what’s available has led me to over pack. I’ve got one full suitcase which, besides clothes, is carrying a long-range WiFi antenna, a mounted VHF radio, an MSR fuel bottle, secondary camp stove, festool power cable and about 20 pounds of chart books. My carry on (a small gym bag) has various medicines, my journal and the library of shit I have to read on the 5 hour plane flight, mostly about how to operate the various new electronic items in the other bags. To round out my personal luggage load, my pelican case is carrying my laptop, photo equipment, EPIRB and PLB. I’ve suckered my sister in to taking the handheld VHF and my shortwave receiver because Hey, she’s got two good arms! To round out the packing list, I’ve got two boxes being delivered via USPS (thanks to my wonderful girlfriend) that contain my complete navigation tool set, another 40 pounds of navigational books, three sleeping bags, an awning and a ton of medicine. I might have overdone it, but who knows what will happen and where I’ll be able to resupply? If I had the foresight, I would have sent more things down on Virginia, as I’m set to meet her in a few weeks to clean out Erik’s things for the sale back to the Chesapeake.
For now, I’ve got the next week to enjoy St. Thomas and the company of my grandparents. Although I’ve been to STX , I’ve never been to STT and I’m looking forward to seeing my grandfather in his element…he keeps showing up at various family functions with an uncharacteristic tan.
T-minus 8 hours until flight time, and here goes the adventure! Catch you guys on the flip.
s/v Nautilus, previously Opal