Friday, 17 February 2012

I must say we are lucky we have the van. We have been receiving a lot of last minute information, and items have been springing up on the boat that require us to drive. If anyone out there wants to move a bunch of stuff across the country, move into a new boat, and drive around doing their errands, I woul highly recommend buying a cheap older van to do so. We have saved a lot of money, we just had to risk taking an old van on a 3500 mile drive.  If you do the math, $500 for the van, $100 in insurance, and gas money is a lot cheaper than any alternative. Plus we get to bring a lot of stuff with us that cuts down on provisioning and equipping the boat. I read other blogs where people flew and rented cars, or rented uhauls. It's doesn't even compare. Plus we get money back when we sell the van. This idea was inspired by the many "Top Gear UK" episodes where they have to do similar road trips on budget vehicles. Cars are amazing things.

Lately we have been working fiendishly to get outside things done before the rain came in. All we have left on the hull is to paint on Cypraea's new home port, and wax the top side, and a little more sealing. Not too much. The rain did finally get here, and the fog. I took out the radar to test it, and she works well. Another item checked off the list.

Yesterday we found out that we need a cruising permit, so after calling about 5 different people we got in touch with a wonderfully helpful woman at the Port of Jacksonville. We drove up and got our documents, and found out that we need to call in every time we enter a new CBP (customs border patrol) jurisdiction. The red tape and bureaucracy wasn't something we expected in the US, but it's here and it's everywhere. Definitely it is a serious deterrent to cruising US waters. I get the cruising permit, but the phone calls every other day as we sail down the ICW, maybe a little overkill. Luckily we just want to get to the Bahamas, so we won't have too much to deal with.

Our EPIRB has been ordered and we were lucky to get the Miami boat show price, even though we're in Jacksonville. So everyone can rest assured that if the boat goes down the authorities will know. Whether they do anything about it is an entirely different story.

We installed the computer, and hopefully will get the van cleared out today. I plan on getting some of the engine maintenance done soon, and get everything packed away. All going to plan the boat will be in the water next week, and as long as all systems are a go, we'll be off soon after.

As a side note, I met a nice guy today who just put his boat in the water. They're from Seattle, and are selling their boat here to buy another one in the PNW. It's a westerly 36 and it looks to be in very good shape. He seems pretty motivated to sell it, so if anyone is looking let me know.

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