Saturday, 7 May 2011

a to-do list with multiple personalities

The time that is between now and our departure date is shrinking. At a rapid pace. We find ourselves mentally splitting our Master To-Do List in two:

There is the Must-be-done-before-we-leave-so-that-we-can-make-it-to-our-destination-safely List and the Oh-well-we-can-take-care-of-that-in-San Francisco-San Diego-Ensenada? List

I know some of you out there know exactly what I mean.



Fresh coat of paint before
adding shelves, weird priority
but easier if done first.
As the soon-to-be offshore sailors that we are, we look at the mountain of work ahead and begin to sweat a little. I have found that it is important to not stick with the big picture all the time. That's when panic takes over. To avoid this, we focus on more manageable, small tasks in order to get that sense of accomplishment that is so necessary to actually get things done.

One task I have taken on is stowage. Stowage on  a Lapworth is... limited. Where do we put all the spare parts, the canned goods, the extra anchor, Rick's multitude of tools. It's like playing Tetris. 

I always sucked at Tetris. 

Luckily, I am getting help from other cruisers, on the internet and in reference books like The Voyager's Handbookthey are full of good  ideas. I enjoy the research part and am often amazed at other liveaboards' resourcefulness. We're becoming creative: Reinventing a hanging locker, finding hidden spots behind drawers, (against the hull), hanging storage hammocks, adding shelves, finding bins that fit in our flat bilge.You get the picture.

I keep reading books that encourage us to go small, go simple, go now. The wisdom of this approach is becoming very obvious. I had a good role model in my mother while growing up. She organized a family of six to immigrate to Canada by ship. (Imagine four children under five years old on a 10-day Atlantic crossing.) She and my father moved a family of seven, with two large dogs and a rabbit, across the country when I was twelve. Need I say more? The only difference is my lacking that organization "gene". Both my older sister and I pine for it. I'm hoping to surprise myself.

Climbing the mast.
Luckily, we still get out on the water regularly. We get off the dock as much as possible in spite of being trapped in town with land-based jobs. Straddling two worlds is wearing at times. We feel the stress of city life wash away as we head out of the Inner Harbour. Even if all we're planning is to find an anchorage for a weekend to tackle a long list of boat jobs. Staying at the dock, as I've mentioned earlier, can be very distracting. Off the dock, we putter at our own pace and get very focused on the tasks at hand. When the anchor light goes on, we sit down with a nice Phillips Beer to celebrate our accomplishments. (Or, we cry into our beer about the job that was supposed to last a half an hour, but took 4 hours). Yes, that is common. It's that  "can of worms" that wasn't anticipated factor. (Although I anticipate more often than not now. Especially if I hear swearing coming from wherever Rick is on the boat.)
Dousing the Gennaker (Proof that the sock was not 
cooperating: Add that to the list)
And then we have the rewards: Sailing to another anchorage and leaving the "working" anchorage behind, to meet up with friends. Life is indeed good.











Meeting up with B&B
for some rabble-rousing
And then it's back to work! The sun is shining and it's dinghy maintenance week! Cheers, Kyra and Rick

Freshened up teak sole in the Cockpit.
Oars needed some tlc

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