To-Do or Not To-Do - Culebra, PR

I only put our location in the title to differentiate it from what seems like hundreds of other anchorage paradises that have to-do lists longer than the time we plan to spend in port and the fact that I probably grouse about this every time. As soon as everything was tidied up from the passage, we sat with our cuppas and our notebooks in the cockpit and figured out our current to-do list. We use our log sheets as the starting point and add to it as we notice or remember things that need doing. log sheets

It's amazing that after all the work we did in Trinidad, there should be anything to do here, but our initial list, garnered from the log sheets, provided us with 16 to-do items. Sixteen??? Really?? The next step, after lacing our cuppas with something stronger than caffeine, was determining what had to be done while we were anchored in Culebra and what could be delayed, if necessary. We assigned each item a 1, 2 or 3 in order of priority … a little change-up from our usual As, Bs and Cs. The 1s had to be done; 2s would be good to get done and 3s … well, 3s sometimes get done, sometimes not … but the thought is there.

Just before leaving Trini, we realized we had a leak in the dinghy, so that repair was a #1, as was the jib furler and tightening bolts on the staysail furler. We noticed while on a heel during the passage that sometimes the smell of diesel was strong and David found that the starboard fuel tank inspection hatch was leaking around the gasket … another #1. We also noted some vibration in the prop shaft as we rolled during the passage which seems to indicate that perhaps an engine mount inspection and alignment was probably in order. Yet another #1. He got to work on the dinghy repair post haste and while the hypalon adhesive was drying, he addressed the furler issues. The engine alignment and diesel tank leak are on the agenda for another day.

the list

The #2 list included about seven items once we went through the list again and moved a few #2s to #3s. They're minor, non-safety, non-mission-critical items like the oil pressure gauge isn't working and the prop brake doesn't always seem to stop the prop. There's troubleshooting involved and if parts are required, then both items will go on another list for attention when we can obtain the parts. David mentioned he'll have to find his blog on troubleshooting engine gauges to refresh his memory on the sleuthing process.

On my to-do list is the stainless which didn't get totally done in Trinidad and now needs doing all over again anyway and a deck check/tightening of all stanchion screws and bolts … long overdue. Daily cleaning, cooking and writing take up my time, along with hand laundry, mending and dozens of other little things that all told, seem to take up as much time as many of David's projects, but that don't show or get put down on paper. Then, of course, there's napping (always a #1 on my list).

All in all, though each port is certainly unique, life aboard really doesn't change much. There is always something to be done on a boat and addressing the issues as you find them is prudent, but not always convenient, nor fun, nor in the budget. So here in Culebra, we'll get the #1s addressed and perhaps a few more before heading on to San Juan … where we'll have the opportunity to start yet another to-do list.