Sailing 101: Leaving the Security of Home Behind

Fawkes loves the warmer temperatures we’ve finally achieved. Without working on it, I’ve started to tan. You’d think that’d be enough for this crew. Just being warm in the winter and cool in the summer was not what we had in mind.

When we bought this tough old boat, dreams of sailing around the world fed our passion. Since taking possession of Fawkes and her possession of us, we don’t know what the end has in store, but we know, staying state-side isn’t enough adventure.

Therefore, how do you prepare for leaving a country you understand for shores unknown? That’s the question. Then answer is, you won’t have everything you need and you’ll take things you should have left home.

How many have traveled to distant lands by plane with luggage you’ve never even unpacked until the return trip home?

It’s the same way on the boat. You know the countries you visit have sufficient stores for the people who live there. You know most travel plans take you to shores where people have plenty to eat. But you’ll be in unfamiliar territory and they might not have exactly what you want. The expense of what you want may be prohibitive on distant shores.

What do you do?

You shop! And you pack!

Let me take you on a photo montage of preparing Fawkes for the first leg of our journey. This is not for the faint of heart. It takes muscle and planning.

First you must have a list, the location to provision and the time. A lot of time. We took two days and four to five hours each day to accomplish just this adventure. Earlier we had ordered boat supplies online, found a mail package service and shipped everything ahead to our staging area. Five walking trips 2.5 miles one way later and we had all our packages aboard.

This is our first day haul from the grocery store.

Without a deer cart (yes, that's a hunting thing) this job would be really hard.

The first haul unloaded and yes, I carried those red bags.

Breaking down the deer cart.

So nice it folds flat for storage.

And, then we have to get it all back to the boat.

Then, you have to do something with everything when you get it back to the boat.

It creates quite the mess back in the salon.

Sorting it all is very important.

The first haul all laid out.

Finally, if you’re really lucky, there’s an organization to the whole ordeal. This pantry closet which you first saw in the tour of my galley , was a hanging locker with two broken air-conditioning/heating units before I got creative and tore them all out for a better way to stock my goods.

This is the top shelf.

Middle shelf. I have fiddles running across to keep all my baskets in place.

Bottom shelf with dry storage items. Keeps the bugs at bay.

Okay, so I'm not completely organized, but this is the floor.

So you thought cruising was all fun and sun. We don’t do this trip just when leaving the states. Nope, we do this in every port where provisions are available. The list of stores may change depending on the ports, but with this set of provisions we can go 4-6 weeks without a grocery store in site.

For those of you fussing over the holidays, think for a minute if you had to provision 30 days ago. How would you cope?

Smile, your life is different from mine and I enjoy every minute of the challenges at hand. This blog post is going up early as I’ll probably be out of range for internet as I celebrate the holidays on white sandy beaches while finding new friends.

Happy Holidays!

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About Nancy J Nicholson

Nancy J. Nicholson is a wife, mother, writer, and full-time sailor, writing of her adventures and creating contemporary mysteries along the shores of the eastern United States and Caribbean. She fills her time with new friends, exploration, food, knitting and reading.
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14 Responses to Sailing 101: Leaving the Security of Home Behind

  1. Carol Roe says:

    Not for the faint of heart! NO WAY could I manage this. I haven’t even flown out of the country, yet. Sounds like you could have a white (sand) Christmas. Whiles ours may still be green :) So … I will wish you smooth sailing, happy Holidasy and a safe and healthey 2012. Big Hugs to the Crew of Fawks.

  2. I agree with Carol, not for the faint of heart. Your organizational skills are at a master level and your cupboards are divine! Although space is limited, you make the most of it and you do your best. And then let the adventure take you away.
    I big you smooth sailing, clear skies, and lots of fun and adventure! Here’s to a wonderful holiday season and an outrageously amazing 2012! HUGS to y’all!

  3. Tameri says:

    Wow! That’s incredible what you have to do just to get groceries from the market. Looks like you’ve got it (mostly) totally organized, though.

    Safe sailing and have a super fantabulous time. Merry Christmas!

  4. Nope, I’m a definite non-organizer. If there isn’t a Wal Mart within 20 miles, I don’t know what I’d do with myself! =) Have a safe, suntanny and Merry Christmas Nancy and hubby!

  5. Marianne Plunkert says:

    I remember that deer cart well! We were thankful to be able to use it when we provisioned for our trip to the Bahamas.

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. Linda Shaw says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I enjoy reading about your adventures.

    Take care,

  7. Emma Burcart says:

    Wow, you are sure brave. I cannot imagine living on a boat. I took an 8 day trip to the Galapagos, and that was really more boat time than I could handle. You are definitley right about the moving to a new country thing. When I moved to Ecuador I heard that you couldn’t easily get American tampons, so I packed half a suitcase full of Tampax. Turns out, they are available in all stores. Oh, well, at least I didn’t have to buy any for the first year. Now that I am back in the states and feeling tired of my hometown, your adventure is very inspiring. Maybe it is time to make a move.

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