Do You Know What We Did Last Summer?
We have spent the summer getting to know Gypsy Days extremely well. When we first bought her on the hard, we had vague notions about what to look for in a boat, what a boat would require in order to go cruising, and what projects we would need to do to make her ready for such a trip.
We had no clue.
Looking back on our old to-do lists, we had separated them into three categories: things we needed to do before splashing the boat, things we were going to take care of over the winter, and things that would be awesome in the future but may or may not happen.
We now look at some of the stuff on the latter list and laugh but it shows how inexperienced we were just a few short months ago. Once we made the plan to leave (in May of this year) it was time to get our butts in to gear.
We stalked someone at the marina who we had heard helped people learn how to sail and convinced him to at least look at our boat to judge her capabilities (remember, at this point we had lived aboard for 6 months but had only been out with her once, when the captain brought her from where we splashed her across to Charlestown). He instantly said we would have to sort out the steering pedestal and the traveler and then he would feel that the boat was safe enough for him to help us. Once those projects were out of the way, it was time to start sailing and upgrading some of our systems.
From mid-June to the end of August, we completed the following projects (some with the help of knowledgeable friends):
Removed old steering pedestal and installed new (used) pedestal
Fixed leak in the water tank
Fabricated and installed a new traveler
Installed a new (used) stereo
Had our sails repaired
Improved our interior organization and storage
Replaced some of the hoses in our plumbing system
Fabricated racks to mount our solar panel, surfboard, and various items on the bow
Mounted solar panel to rack on a fold-out system
Went up the mast to check and change lights
Installed solar panels and solar controller
Installed a new house battery and ran other two batteries in parallel to be our starting battery
Cleaned the hull
Changed all our fluids and filters
Installed a new VHF with GPS and antenna
Installed a 12V outlet in the V-berth
Purged any items we wouldn't need for cruising
It was hectic and we often felt we were in way over our heads, but we stuck to it, asked for help when we needed it, and taught ourselves the rest. Amidst all these projects, we also tried to take Gypsy Days out as often as possible so we could become comfortable handling her, sailing her, and docking her. Add in having to still work full-time, train jiu jitsu, and say goodbyes, let's just say it was a crazy summer!
But we are here. We are ready. Or at least, as ready as possible. We still have a long ways to go in learning, in distance, and in confidence, but it will all come. I have faith in us and we have already come so far. Let's do this!