Every household has different ways of operating. And every“boat-hold” has different ways of operating. Some women arehandy with tools and engines. Some men love cooking. That,however, is not the case in either our house or boat-hold.Just as John doesn’t “do” provisioning and cooking, I don’t“do” engines. I offer no apologies for either of us. It’s just theway it is, and we’re both happy with that!
That said, organizing the boat for a 2 plus month excursioninvolving season changes and the potential for unexpectedguests, is a huge job. But after 10 years of doing it, I’velearned to be ready for any and every thing; and fortunatelyI’m pretty organized. (On the other hand, I could take lessonsfrom my daughter-in-law, Sara. She is a master at it!) Butbecause we take a different boat north each year, it’s almostlike starting over every time. My list consists of not onlyclothes and food, but hundreds of items for the galley, heads,staterooms, our portable office, personal items, books, andeverything else it takes to be self-sufficient and away fromhome for an extended period of time. And, because this isnot simply a pleasure trip, we also have to bring everything ittakes to run our business plus all our boat show supplies andequipment. Yikes.
For the sake of this blog, there are three things you shouldknow about me: 1) I am list maker, 2) I am a seeker of sales,and 3) I am not a “foodie” (My foodie friends actually feelsorry for me when I tell them I basically eat to survive.) Soabout two months prior to scheduled departure I take mylist, seek out items on sale, tick them off, one by one, makepiles and fill boxes. And I cook. I fill our freezer with chili,stew, pot-roast, meatloaf. That way I don’t have to rely onrestaurants being in the area where we stay for the night, nordo I have to do a lot of cooking on board. I can just defrost it! Many of our cruising friends set their itinerary based onwhat restaurant they want to visit next. We prefer to pick ourmarina or anchorage first, and then if there’s a restaurantnearby, fine. If not, I’m all set!
Bringing the right clothes presents a whole other set ofchallenges! When we start out, going through Florida and theCarolinas in mid-August, the temperatures are usually in the90s with high humidity levels, and oftentimes no breeze. T-shirts, shorts, flip flops are standard attire. When we get intoLong Island Sound two weeks later, the air is drying out andthe temperatures are dropping, sometimes requiring asweatshirt at night. By the time we get to Newport for thefirst show in mid-September, fall is in the air! Ahhhhh. Thenthings start to change. Time to bring out the pants, fleece,and socks (all kept in the huge storage cavity under themaster bed.) Sometimes there’s rain, and lots of it. We haverain jackets (lined and unlined), rain pants, and rain shoes.Two years ago at the Annapolis boat show (mid-October) itwas rainy, cold, and just plain “raw”. People were coming tothe show from surrounding states, telling us they drovethrough snow! I only had a light-weight quilted vest and anunlined rain jacket. I was freezing! Now I am always sure topack, not only fleece tops and vests, but my fleeced-linedrain jacket! (Talk about a challenge: packing for cold, rainyweather when it’s 90 degrees out! But all I need to do is thinkback to that 2010 weekend in Annapolis for my inspiration!)