When We Are Not Sailing

The pattern we've been following along the coast is often to sail hard for a few days, then rest for a few. Folks tend to think of travel as vacation and assume that we are sight-seeing when we pause. We look forward to that time, but right now, we are working our way along the coast to get to San Diego for the Haha, and from there to Mexico. Our time in port, therefore, focuses on continued preparation for our departure from the U.S., as parts are much harder to come by in Mexico and shipping is expensive and less reliable. In Santa Barbara, for instance, James climbed the mast to replace the transducer for our wind instrument.

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That was the longest hour we've spent in quite some time! He used the ATN Mast Climber, with an additional halyard attached to his chest harness for extra backup; I stood at the bottom of the mast tailing the winch, meaning I cranked a handle on the winch that the line attached to James was wrapped around in order to keep the line taut as a safety.

Our wind instrument had died before we left the San Francisco Bay in a gust in the Slot, where wind runs under the Golden Gate bridge, quicking like the water does in the narrow gate, then speeds between Angel and Treasure Islands; at 35.6 knots (almost 41 mph) the needle spun around several times and then the display died. We carried on without a wind instrument from then to Santa Barbara, which was fine, since we learned without one, but it's a treat to have it back. The wind instrument measures the strength and direction of the wind. It's useful as a sanity check on your perception of the wind direction (in light winds, it can be a little tricky to feel the wind direction) and the chartplotter can do all sorts of amazing calculations with it to suggest effective routes. Thank you, thank you again to all who chipped in on the Bon Voyage fund Jenifer organized; we chose to use it for this chartplotter and we adore it.

So, at dock we do a ton of repairs, maintenance, and upgrades. We also provision! We eat mostly fresh food cooked from scratch, focusing on meat, legumes, vegetables and fruit, nuts, and eggs. In Santa Barbara, James and I biked to the wonderful farmer's market with Sarah. We collected an amazing bounty!

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We have folding bicycles onboard, and we carry our provisions on their racks and on our backs. Great love to ILE who had a store around the corner from us in the year we spent in Berkeley; this bag lets me carry SO MUCH FOOD safely.

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Then all the food gets processed! In Santa Barbara I made basil pesto, kale pesto, and kale-potato soup. I juiced a watermelon and some lime, mixed a little agave, and we had juice to drink and to freeze for popsicles.

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And we do laundry. Simple domestic tasks are much more time-consuming and labor intensive in a tiny home; also, more rewarding.

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I'm still doing lots of sewing. In Santa Barbara I whipped up a little cushion for the lip of the engine room to protect James' knees while he works; of course we have kneepads, but this is even better. I have his permission to tell you that whimpered and squealed when I showed him this gift.

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I also took the mesh bags that our deck vests (life jackets) came in, removed the branding, sewed a little color-coding on each, and hung them in the Salty Closet so we each have an easy-grab bag for odd bits of deck gear, like gloves, kneepads, eyeglass and hat leashes.

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James has been working on our systems documentation, with the fact that our friend Gabe will be joining us to crew for the Haha as inspiration. My baby loves his labelmaker.

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So yeah, port right now consists of domestic upkeep, boatwork, navigation study and preparation for the next jump, watching the weather, SHOWERING, and going for a run while we have land to run on. It's a simple life, and we are very, very happy in it.