Saturday, December 29, 2012

Taking care of business

One thing we've learned with international travel is that there are lots of little details to take care of before you leave.

We've got house sitters and back up house sitters lined up.  We need to do things like cancel the milk delivery and tell our neighbors our exact departure and arrival dates.

You would know to get your passports, or to check and make sure your passport is up to date, but what about your credit card?  I just checked and one of my credit cards is due to expire while we're away.  Good to know that now instead of when we go to use it! 

Speaking of credit cards, I've learned the hard way to call my credit card company before we leave to let them know our itinerary.  When I haven't they've denied my charges as "suspicious". 

It's also time to call the cell phone service provider and activate our international roving.  Those are some  expensive minutes, so we won't be calling just to shoot the breeze, but it'll be nice to know we could use our cells when we have reception.

I'm quite certain I'm forgetting something.  Luckily, in this connected day and age, it's not likely to be anything to hard to fix from a distance.  At least, not too hard if we're near shore and a either a cell tower or an internet cafe.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Christmas is over.  New years is less than a week away.  We leave in less than a month. I need some lists!

I'm a list person.  Or rather, if I want to be anything like productive, I need a list.  I'm not really a naturally organized person, but I can fake it pretty good sometimes.

Here's a list of the lists I  need:

Clothing list for each person

toiletry and medication list for each person

Personal equipment lists

boat equipment list

distractions list (will probably need to be pared down, but I have to start somewhere)

List of stuff I need to do before we leave:

make reservations for Puerto Rico

order seeds/seedlings/trees ect. for next planting season  (little happy dance - I love seed catalogs in January!)

Clean!  Especially the bedrooms.

Stock animal feed and litter

make lists for house sitter

shop - boys need snorkel equipment

check adult snorkel gear for wear

get all prescriptions, vitamin, and OTC meds for trip


I need to remember that so long as we have our passports, a credit card and the prescription meds, everything else can be improvised.

 Ah... that's better.  O.K.

So, would it be helpful to anyone if I post my lists here?  I know that I have benefited from books and blogs of other sailing families.  What would be helpful?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sail Away

Geall - the lug rigged East Port Pram Firelord built in our basement
 Firelord and I have been sailing together since the year we were married.  It started out with a date on which he said something along the lines of "Sometimes I think I'd like to sell it all and just sail away."  To which I responded, "Do you know how to sail?"  Since his answer was "No" we had some work to do.

Soon after this conversation we went to the Denver Boat Show where we met Jim Cook of Victoria Sailing School.  We took Coastal Navigation that winter, followed by a Basic Sailing class.  Unfortunately the charter companies we contacted didn't believe that one could really learn to sail in dry Colorado.  Even though we were ASA certified,  we couldn't find anyone to charter to us.  Luckily Jim had the excellent idea of taking a live aboard Bareboat Cruise class in British Columbia with Sea Horse Sailing (owned by a friend of his).  That got us the cruise we wanted, the documented experience we needed, and so much more than we expected.

A lot of things happened on that trip.  We got engaged.  We met our good friend and mentor Pirate Captain Billy, whose influence is with us today.  We started working on our 10 year plan, to save our money, have our children, then sell it all (well, not the children, we'd keep them) and sail away.   We were going to live aboard, and raise our children as we explored the world on our sail boat.  That was more than 17 years ago, and so much has happened and changed since then.

Somethings haven't changed.  We still love to travel and sail and - here goes - we're taking the kids away from home for 7 weeks.  We'll fly in to Puerto Rico for a couple of days, then head to Tortola to pick up our boat.  We'll be on a 39' keel boat for 6 weeks in the Virgin Islands.  wow.  WOW!

How did that happen?  Did we have to sell anything to do this?  Nope. Not even one of the kids.

Firelord gets a sabbatical once every 7 years he works for his employer.  We've known for the last 8 years that this was coming.  We've been saving for it since then, and have had this specific plan for the last 2 years.  Now we're less than 6 weeks from leaving!  Woot!  Woot!  Woot!
It's not the "sell it all and sail away" plan we had back in the early years of our marriage.  Family obligations and a couple of recessions put a dent in those plans years ago.  But it's something.  After the hellacious year we've been through, this trip will be all the  more welcome.

This blog will be my attempt to share our experiences with you.  I don't know how often we'll be able to access the internet while we're away.  I don't know how much I'll feel like writing.  I don't know if I'll bring my computer.  If I bring it, I don't know how it'll stand up to the elements.  But I'll post when I can, and maybe I'll share some other stories too.  I'd love to tell you about Capt. Bill.  I'd love to show you pictures of some of the beauty we've seen.  And, if I'm really lucky (and get out the whips), maybe I can get the kids and Firelord to post now and then too.  :-)

Oh no.  Now I've got to plan and pack.  Agh!!!   ;-)