I need more views like this.
Now that the Write-a-thon is finished, I can turn my head back to my two great loves—White Raven and my novels. I work better under pressure and on a schedule, so I set a tentative date to leave Seattle and start cruising—December, 2014. That’s subject to change, of course. I worked up a budget that pays for the refits and sets some money aside to boot. If I can make my goals ahead of time, I get to leave sooner.
I don’t mind the idea of leaving in the winter. True, the weather in the Northwest will be gloomtastic, but I’ll head south almost immediately and be in Californian waters in less than ten days, and in Mexico in under twenty. I want to give myself plenty of time to transit the Panama Canal, sail up through the Caribbean, and make the Atlantic crossing.
I’m reading True Spirit at the moment, Jessica Watson’s book. I followed her circumnavigation closely. It’s scary to identify so much with her feelings as she prepared for her voyage. Her motivations, her fears, her hopes—I keep nodding my head as I read it. Her boat, Ella’s Pink Lady, is an S&S 34, a gorgeous, capable vessel. White Raven’s only a foot longer, but I’m hoping some of the lessons she learned will apply to my boat. If you haven’t read it, I think it’s well worth the time.
Back to the budget. At the end of two and half years, I should have saved $66,000, although that figure looks cooler than it is. That’s the working budget. I need to subtract all of the repairs and equipment from that pool of money. This gave me an excuse to pore over the West Marine catalog and start making a note of things I want/need. I realize things can often be purchased elsewhere at reduced cost, but this gives me a solid baseline to work with. Plus, if I can’t find better deals, the worst case scenario still falls within my plan.
Even so, it’s remarkable how fast $100 here, $200 there adds up.
My plan remains to go simple. I’ll have minimal electronics. Aside from the radio, speakers for the iPod, the various lights, and GPS I expect I’ll only use laptops and tablets. I need to work up an operating budget for electricity and build out the house bank of batteries and recharging mechanism based on that. No matter what, I expect to spend $40,000 or so on refits. That includes painting, haulouts, new sails, rigging, a windvane of some sort, emergency equipment, foul weather gear, and a Captain Ron DVD.
You know—the basics.