Things aboard High Life are starting to come together quickly. The flurry of activity has been exciting, as this trip represents the culmination of so much obsession.
I needed to apply for a new passport since mine was issued in 2001. I decided I would get both a passport and passport card, as redundancy could only help. It would sure suck to have either lost/stolen/confiscated.
Since, I was on an “appropriate paperwork” kick I decided to inquire on insurance for High Life abroad. A cruisersforum discussion was very helpful in regard to what I should look out for. I requested information from IMIS and got a prompt response and excellent customer service. Unfortunately none of the options seemed right for a boat like High Life. I called BoatUS with whom I am currently insured and was surprised to find that covering my boat for the entire Bahamas (Progressive would only cover 125nm from the coast) would only increase my yearly payment by $200 and since my trip would be shorter than a year that price would come down even further! What a deal!
I had been going back and forth about how to manage my fresh water tankage, having considered Plastimo “Bag Style” tanks as well as rigid plastic tanks. I came to the simply and obvious conclusion that both these systems would require filling. This would mean (most times) that I would have to fill 5 gallon jugs and then pour them into the subsequent tank. After watching a youtube video about the folkboat Lorraine (they took down the link to the full video) I decided, why not just use the same jugs I’m going to have to carry around anyway as the tankage. When the water runs out, Ill just replace the tank with another. Check out the incomplete system so far:
The guy I got my dinghy from, emailed me the other day to let me know that he was going to sell his composting head and at less than half of the new cost. Check out the setup here. Hopefully I can have it in and functional sooner rather than later, for testing and acclimation purposes.
I replaced the bulky solar vent fan (that wasnt working) for a flush removable deck plate:
I had been planning on purchasing a compact 12v “Cooler Style” refrigerator/freezer but at about $500 it was looking like an excessive investment. When would I have the need for frozen food in such a fresh food paradise as the Bahamas? After all the only thing I was really looking forward to is cheap access to ice. So I figured, why not just get my own countertop ice-maker. I found one from walmart.com for $115 delivered. The plan is to test it out tonight. And we all know…
What good is an ice-maker if it kills the battery in the process? It was time for an electrical system upgrade since 15w was not going to cut it. I ordered a 100w solar panel from amazon delivered for $200. This prompted me to consider my house battery capacity, and of course more is always better. I decided the most economical way to significanly increase the capacity was to install 2 6v golf cart batteries wired in series. The local BatteriesPlus had them in stock for $125 a piece! A similar setup from West Marine would run $800.
What good would all this work be for if I didn’t actually know how to get where I was going? I needed charts and a cruising guide. I settled on Dozier’ s Waterway Guide to the “Atlantic ICW 2013 Norfolk to Jacksonville”. I’ve started reading through it and foresee it being an invaluable guide.
Now that I have a travel guide, it was time to avoid getting fined by “the man”. So I renewed my VA Boat Registration, realizing I was a few months late…. woops.
Last but not least, I sat down with my bosses at work and finalized when I would be gone. I have told them my last day at work would be … drumroll please…..
I am fortunate enough to work for an establishment that is allowing me to take off for an extended period of time, with the understanding that when I return, there is a VERY GOOD opportunity to get right back to work. Thanks Adams Ribs Eastport!