So, many of you landlubbers may be wondering, what do you guys do all day? Are you on a year-long vacation or what? Why aren’t you sailing the open seas yet? Let me tell you what a typical day for us looks like, while we are staying at the marina.
So, Richard is usually the first one up. He needs less sleep than I do so he is usually ready to start his day long before I am. Ethan is up next and he eats a bowl of cheerios while playing “quietly”. The big boys have sometime been sleeping in and Mommy is usually the last one up. We have breakfast as a family; I made “boatmeal” twice now and cereal with milk, french toast and pancakes. One morning we left early and had breakfast at McDonald’s just so we could use their high speed internet and post pictures and video clips on our blog. Another morning we woke up to a frozen fridge and a can of pop that had exploded inside. Another morning Ethan had dumped his entire bowl of cereal and Richard was pulling up floorboards and wiping up milk and soggy cheerios from the floor of the boat. Good times!
Then we do a tidy up, the big boys help with the breakfast dishes. We get ready for the day and then the boys play lego, often with a star wars theme. Yesterday, I attempted to fire up the oven and do some baking. I found a recipe in my Boat Galley cookbook, made some adaptations and then tried a batch. Cooking with a propane oven has it’s challenges. It is quite small so I have to use a small cookie sheet, getting accurate temperature is difficult, maintaining temp isn’t easy and my cookies didn’t really settle, they stayed as clumps, some were a little burnt and some were a little undercooked.
Sprinkled in that time was some lego hunting, some refereeing and a bathroom break with all the boys in tow, which means everyone puts on shoes and jackets and we walk from our slip, up to the marina where the toilets are. We were trying to use the facilities at the marina while we could before filling up our tanks. Needless to say, I only managed to mix up one batch, which was 11, very small cookie clusters, which took about an hour, before we packed up and left for some errands.
Richard meanwhile spent the morning hosing off the deck, filling up one of the water tanks that we had emptied, storing the old anchor chain that we had put in a big bucket and laying down our new anchor rode into the anchor locker.
So, after we had packed a bit of lunch for the boys, Richard dropped me off at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in St.Petersburg and I went shopping! I think I had around 25-30 items on my list, some organizing things like lingerie bags for the boy’s clothes, to oil funnels, to a plunger, to some clothing for Richard, some “fresh” groceries, canned meat and dry beans. I think I went up and down every aisle in that Wal-Mart and $300 later, I think we are done with Wal-Mart! While I was checking things off my shopping list, Richard and the boys tried to go and buy some stand up paddle boards, but that shop was closed, then they tried to go over a certain bridge to get to a Home Depot, but the bridge was closed due to construction so they had to turn around and come back the way they came. They met me to Wal-Mart again, we had some burgers and fries for lunch, then checked out. It was close to 1:30 by that point, but we still needed to go to a boat supply store and Home Depot, so across town we went.
A few supplies at West Marine and a water filtration system from Home Depot and then we were on our way home. We carried all of supplies back down to Viatori and then daisy chained everything down into the salon. I stood on the dock, James ferried it from the side of the boat to the companion way and then Matthew shuttled it into the salon. We emptied every bag and tucked everything away.
This means pulling up all the floor boards of the boat, getting rid of as much cardboard as possible (cardboard invites weevils and cockroaches), putting items in ziploc bags and finding a spot for everything. The boys could finally organize their closets by filling up lingerie bags with socks and underwear, swim stuff and shorts and t-shirts. 3M hooks are my new best friend and I have used them everywhere; on the backs of doors, in cupboards and on the walls. I just hope they hold up when we get further down south and experience some real heat and humidity. Everything needs to have a safe and secure home, because when the boat is heeled over (tipped to the side) when we are actually sailing, we don’t want things flying off shelves or sliding all over the place.
Richard started on our first pizza night and made a delicious pizza for supper. I finished with my cookie clusters finally and we watched a movie with the boys on the computer and ended a busy day with a quiet evening. Ethan put himself to bed again and didn’t even enjoy the pizza (he has been feeling a little under the weather) and James and Matthew were in bed around 8:30. A productive day, I would say.
We plan to set sail on Friday with a day trip to Egmont Key and a night at anchor in Manatee River and then on to Key West on Saturday. Of course our plans are subject to change because of weather and other conditions. Florida will be experiencing another cold front on Tuesday and we would like to avoid that at all costs. Key West seems to be immune to this weather so we are heading south!
I think we are close to being ready, if one is ever ready, for an adventure like this. The hardest part of leaving is untying the dock lines!