5 months away? cruising the south west pacific.
it's sailing season 2023, let's go...
it's sailing season 2023, let's go...
What is the drawcard that inspires such a big challenge? It is not normal. Is it the challenge of the unknown? Is is it challenging yourself?
Whatever the reason, it took us a solid two years of gradual steps to be in this position.
Is the yacht up to it? We certainly have been some remote places for months on end, so the bugs were evident that got ironed out at each haul-out.
Somehow get to know each squeak and shudder. You get more confident in your planning.
You get the odd wake-call and close encounter of the terra-firma kind. It's to shallow, or there are huge rocks just centi-meters below the keel.
Until you motor your precious asset into these situations, it's hard to understand.
It wasn't until we had been offshore that we realised exactly what 2-metre and 3-metre swells were.
We soon realised too, how little we knew until we did our first rally. It was the cheats way of jumping the cruising queue, letting you understand the gravity and planning for this type of adventure, without the risk.
Morphine on a yacht? Everyone hates needles at the best of times. Why on earth have morphine? Freshwater tanks split into two with a valve... why?
A yellow flag? O.N. registration, Jacklines, joker valves, PLB's, and spares that would make a 'poor junk shop owner' wealthy. Police want EDN and IDN forms, electronics serial numbers. The list goes on...
If you are not instantly familiar with these questions or queries, (like us) you may want to take the cheats pathway to safe passage making.
'We have bought the dream boat. Needs a bit of TLC, then we can make those dreams come true.'
The fact is that offshore remote cruising requires total self sufficiency. We bought a vessel that had sailed extensively through the Pacific single-handed.
To find, the gas compliance was not actually compliant. Life Jackets were the older PFD type, totally not acceptable in todays world of best practice.
The first aid kit, it didn't meet any standard, yet alone for offshore.
One of our saildrives actually had metal pieces in the oil drain. This was after 'the salesman' provided evidence that it was a reconditioned saildrive, fitted only a few months previous in Fiji.
marine first aid
Staples are accepted in most countries, as long as they are commercially packaged and sealed. Trying to beat the system by twisting words will only bring you unstuck.
An interpretation on the day from a customs agent about their country's rules will do little to improve your day. It's best to not even go there and be proactive in planning.
Anything fresh is a no-go. Nearly all dairy and eggs (raw, dried or frozen) will be confiscated, no matter how well it's commercially packaged.
Nuts in any form will raise suspicion, and so will honey. So what can you take?
Following a few basic rules will lower stress levels and include:
1. Commercially packaged,
2. Commercially labelled, and
3. Commercially sealed dry goods.
Most pasta and flour (or bread mix - with no nuts or fruit pieces), usually are not a problem.
I was asked by my electrician 'why do you want a second autopilot installed?'
As a mainly solo sailor 50% of the time, its all about redundancy. I have seen lightning first hand, disable a yacht offshore.
In this electricians 40 years of marine experience, it was rare that electronic cables need to be replaced. Don't believe this, then take a look at Parley Revival's lightning strikes. Colin has had two. In both instances they only replaced units.
It is highly likely that two fully installed autopilot systems would both fry in a single lightning strike. We see strong merit in component replacement methodology, and it's cheaper too.
So we now carry the electronic units (such as the autopilot) separately in their own little faraday bags away from electrical cables.
The various units can be quickly interchanged, making fault-finding quick and simple. We also happen to carry two long cables, enough to rebuild a whole rudimentary autopilot system.