After a lazy January I have to switch to super-high speed if I want to finish even the most important things on my list. Yes – I have a list… it is more like a book by now.. and the top important item on it is to actually review all the other items and tick off anything already done or less important or the ones which can be done later 🙂 This is a real balancing act, you can imagine… I am not aiming for the perfect conditions.. I think if you do that you will never ever drop the lines and leave the pontoon.
I focus on 3 different topic: generic travel things, boating stuff and the land travel items. With this blogpost I just would like to give you a quick peek of things will keep me busy in the next 6 or so month.
The generic travel things: First of all, I have to heal my knee 🙂 I managed to twist it 6 times in the last 3 month, by now my ligaments are so loose that balancing on a boat is a real problem. This was quite obvious after the NewYears holiday sailing session when I was not able to stand, steer, or do anything at all even in moderate sea conditions. This has to change! With a broken and loose knee I can not start. By now we know that I have nice ACL and MCL tears combined with a shattered meniscus. I go to physiotherapy, do bike and walk as much as I can, I even train my knee during work hours while I am sitting at my desk or when I walk or wait for someone. I have to improve my balance! Other important item is to sort out the medication needs. This includes the ones I will carry with me and also the preventative shots I have to take before departure. Last time thanks to my lovely mom I was travelling with the absolute best medical kit you can imagine. It was more thought about than the professional ones you can buy. We learned quite a lot from the last travel, so at this time I expect to take less but even more focused medicines and emergency kits. (my all time favourite is the travel dental emergency kit… 🙂 ) From the preventative ones I am quite well covered but a few of them have to be refreshed and there is a few additional on the list as well like the yellow fever or the japanese-B encephalitis shots. Other hot topic is the case of the visas. Last time I spent 6-7 month arranging different papers, invites, fake-tickets to the central-asia region. That was madness… But now, I expect the visa situation to be better for my next travel.. you still have to check all the countries you plan to travel as sometimes it is not clear what is needed or there is only a few embassies around where you can arrange the type of visa you are looking for, etc…. Also I have to replace a few bits in my travel bag as well: trousers, t-shirts, I need a rainproof light jacket and I need a new hiking shoe too… last time I was more than happy with my Teva Riva so if it is still available I will, for sure, go for it again. I’m a real shoe killer, but even after 2 years and about 8.000 km it was still in one piece!!! The last generic travel todo thing to mention is the issue of the bank-cards. One who is a long time traveller have to have at least 3 different bank-account preferably in different countries as well. Long story short: I had quite a few problems with cards not working, blocked or ignored. Usually my experience with big chains like hsbc or citi is really bad. You can not really use their cards as it get blocked very easily and they do not care if you are desperate to have your card working to reach your money… your money. The worst example is citi, where the online account is connected to your card, so if your card is blocked, you can not even transfer the money to your other account. Unbelievable…. 😦 My strategy will be 1 here in the uk, at a smaller chain, and 1 at home.. most probably at mkb or otp as that 2 was working in under any circumstances, everywhere!
The boating ones: The longest part of my list. 🙂 Just to mention the important ones… I need a new halyard installed for my drifter sail. I would like to have the jib, the pole and the drifter up in the same time for some downwind legs but at the moment I only have 2 halyard going forward so I need an additional one. Depending on the offer and my budget I maybe even go for a removable solent-stay as well… well… will see. I also have to buy a whisker-pole… and it is not just buying one but have to find a place for it too. My problem is that the mast is in the cockpit, which means that the distance between the forestay and the mast is greater compared to a normal boat. So the pole which will work with my giant genoa will be more or less longer than the whole boat itself. 🙂 Bigger also means more expensive obviously. Next: I have to lift the boat out to check if everything is allright underneath… have to remove the old paint and coat it back with new antifouling… at the same time I would love to change the propshaft gland and hose as well which is quite tricky to repair on the way and already seems a bit rusted. Important item on the list is the engine service. My plan is to be there and learn, also to combine it with the rya diesel engine course and certificate. I can tell you it is not easy to organise all this to happen on time in budget as desired. 🙂 I have to still wire up the autopilot with the gps. I already tested this, so will work, but it has to be done properly, which means a lot of work. Also finally I decided that I will change all the bilge-pumps to a really high quality ones which will actually suck all the water out of the boat and preferably will do it quickly. By the end of the day it can save you valuable time if you are sinking… I also have to finish the water-tank refurbishment project I already started a few weeks ago. All actually I have to do is to wire it back again, which sounds easy, but everything is more difficult on a boat. I have to change the tap which is a massive task, last time I changed one was actually a 1 day job. You have to force your body into the storage locker underneath the kitchen and drill the old-rusted bits out exactly above your head while you try to hold the only light-source in your mouth…. for a whole day… well you actually really have to be committed if you want to sail the world. Everyone thinks that being in a storm is the hardest thing can happen with you on a boat….. well… they should try to refurbish a smaller boat too. 😉 Also next to the water-tank I also have 10 peace of the 25liter jerrycans for which I still have to find a place to fix them so they are not flying around in a nice swell. Fixing things on a boat is a big project. Also worth to mention the dilemma of the new sails. They cost a lot. I mean a LOT. But my mainsail is quite old… so it would be nice to change it. But if you buy booth the genoa and the main together they cost visibly less. So what to do? Buy only the main, and leave the jib as it is, or buy booth, but that is a price of a small car but it is still way cheaper than ordering the main now and realising the need for a new genoa in 3 month time… I can not decide this one… but sooner or later I sort of have to, if I want to get them by the time I leave. Also I need at least 1 new anchor and I have to re-consider some part of the anchoring setup too. I do not have a windlass so it is a balancing game… having a massive hook is good for safety but I also have to be able to lift it in rolling seas too. There are other easier things to do as well like collecting and preparing the grab-bag in case of emergency also I will need a few more paper-chart as well and a small 12-220 inverter, ….. and the list goes on for pages..
The land travel bits: I will have to buy a set of front panniers with a rack for my bike also some spare materials, like tires, chains, lights, small bits… something to cover my stuff in the rain, … few years ago I was thinking that travelling with a bike is actually too technical, too much to go wrong and too many parts to maintain… well… next to a boat… it is nothing, easy.. A bit off-topic but I really need a nice video camera too. Preferably a waterproof one. To be fair I am not a great fun of the gopro and friends group. I mean if you have money it is very good, but I would like to have something which has a wide and tele lens too in one camera, a bit more flexibility… I like the picture my xpro1 does, but for that I will need a wide lens… also it is not really waterproof at all. Ah.. it is a really hard decision as I do not want to spend a dime on it but I still want to do some nice videos. 🙂 Same considerations goes to a voice recorder. I will need to record the weather-fax transmissions in the middle of the ocean but also I will need to record some live songs from a streetband or the noises of the jungle as well… I do not really want to buy 2 things for the same purpose. But having a universal solution is good enough?
This is it for now.. obviously this is just a quick selection from my insanely long list…. next time I promise we will have a more interesting topic and more pictures as well.