Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Art of Knowing Nothing

As departure approaches we have many interested parties asking questions about our impending adventure. As much as I love that so many people are interested in our story I'm starting to feel like I'm failing some sort of test.

When will you be leaving? "Well, I don't know. Sometime in October. Maybe the first week? I guess, when we have the last few things done?"

How much does it cost to cruise? "Well, I don't know. I guess it depends on how many luxuries you're interested in."

What do your parents think? Are you scared? How many days will it take to reach San Diego? Are you ready to go thru customs? "Seriously, I don't know."

It's a funny thing about getting ready to take a course in life that many people think about, but few actually do. There is a natural curiosity and I can appreciate the questions, but it has made me think, "What you are you doing, you crazy girl? Do you know NOTHING about what you're about to do?!?"

Well, as a matter of fact....  I know what the entirety of my standing rigging looks like and I can tell you what is located at the very top of my mast. I know how to re-plumb my head, re-wire my lights and re-pack my stuffing box. I can tell you exactly how my bimini and sail cover are constructed, how all of my emergency equipment works and how to live without refrigeration.

I know exactly what it's like to feel the bubbling excitement of all the unknowns that lay before us and overwhelming anxiety of all the unknowns that lay before us. My heart is heavy with good-byes and light with the anticipation of completing a goal we committed ourselves to just one year ago.

Right now, each day is a struggle to keep all of the things I know, all of the positives, in the forefront of my mind and be okay with the fact that there are so many things that we'll just have to wait and see.

We have come to the edge. The good byes, the provisioning and the casting off. When will we see these shores again? I don't know.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Countdown and Last Minute Projects

Thirteen days till departure! The crew (and family of the crew) of s/v Malabar have been working hard over the last few weeks to wrap up all of the loose ends before departure! My parents, Jeff and Carol, have been here all week lending their expertise.

Keegan finished the installation of the SSB radio last week! Woo hoo! Jeff converted the Compressed Natural Gas stove over to a Propane system this week and Carol and I have been sewing and sewing and sewing to create a new sail cover and a rain catch system.

We have finally finished the installation of the Monitor windvane and are going to take her out for a test drive this weekend.

I am happy to report that we have been running entirely off of our solar panels for almost two weeks now. It feels pretty awesome to no longer be plugged into the shore.

I can't believe we are down to the final days of preparation! One more week of work for me, a bon voyage part on the 28th, then we are off! It seems impossible that Malabar has only been part of our life for one year. It has been one amazing year! Can hardly wait to see where we go next.

Keegan adds final blocks to the windvane

Antenne running up backstay for the SSB radio

Unplugged! We are solar!

Keegan breaking in the new outboard engine

Our new power regulator

SSB and a messy desk

The family takes time out for breakfast

Beautiful trip to Tomales Bay

The Family enjoying oysters

New propane tube ready for the stove/oven

Our converted stove goes back in

Evening entertainment in the cockpit

Dad and Keegan checking out some systems

Inspecting the water tanks

New sail cover! Go me!

Mom, sewing up the rain catchers.

Friday, September 6, 2013

As Departure Nears....An Invitation Arrives

With 24 days to departure life at the s/v Malabar is, well, hectic. Keegan and I have been working away and I'll get a post up soon about the last minute upgrades that have been happening over the last two weeks. But first, an invitation!

On September 28th we will be having an open house (boat) at 5pm followed by a Bon Voyage party at 6pm. The party will be a Tradewinds Sailing School next to the marina (Marina Bay in Richmond). If you'd like to stop by and see what a sailing vessel about to head out on a voyage looks like, or to share a pint with us, please consider yourselves invited! All are welcomed! If you'd like to stay and share a meal, please bring along something to share!

-Amanda + Keegan