Nice, Neat and Rarin' to Go

Nine of Cups and crew have endured quite a busy, chaotic few weeks. Now that the chainplates are done, the new rigging is nearly installed and the furler is good to go, Nine of Cups is pretty much back to normal … nice, neat and rarin' to go. There are a few more details to take care of here. The varnishing and other projects will have to wait till we get to another port. It's time to move on. new chainplates

We've been working on last minute preparations ... getting ourselves into the right mindset. We hired a car for a couple of days to top up the propane tanks, do a few errands, pick up a some supplies and re-provision once again since we ate most of our provisions from last time around. Fresh vegs and fruits are always the last items aboard.

While David has begun making his systems' checks, I've been prepping down below. Beyond buying and stowing provisions, I've been busy getting things ready for life at sea. I've made up extra granola and stored it away. Big batches of brownie mix and pancake/coffee cake mix and muffin mixes are prepared in big ziploc bags … ready to scoop out a few cups, add  the liquid ingredients and bake. Easy … peasy. The hammocks and hanging baskets are full of long life veggies and night watch snacks are easy to access. I've filled up empty canisters and gotten rid of any extra overwraps, especially anything plastic, to minimize trash en route.

hanging basket

I've washed floors and beaten rugs. I've dusted and cleaned out lockers once again … everything was filthy after the chainplate project. I've scrubbed the sinks and the sink strainers and the head. They get so yucky on passages, so I like them pristine before we leave. It's easier to do when I have plenty of fresh water and power, more difficult when water and power are at a premium and the boat is bouncing around. The sheets have been changed and a final, several-load laundry run has been completed. I never know when I'll have washer/dryer access again, so everything from jeans and towels to potholders and blankets have been washed. Things are neat and tidy and stowed conveniently … at least for a few days

I've inspected the ditch bag and found that our flares are outdated and need replacing. All fire extinguishers are in good order.

ditch bag

We're still not sure of our ultimate destination this season. Isn't that so like us? Namibia is the plan for the short term. It's the country just north of South Africa if your African geography is a little rusty (or non-existent). We'll see how we like it there for a few weeks. Further north in Africa does not seem particularly appealing. I've done all sorts of research on probable destinations on the other side of the pond. The Caribbean seems a bit too mundane, but it's an option.We recently got our 10-year yellow fever booster shots, just in case we end up somewhere in Africa or South America that requires it.

southern africa

So we're just about ready. We'll check out with Customs, Immigration and Port Authority in the next few days in anticipation of a reasonable weather window for departure.