They say that the hardest part of leaving the dock is leaving the dock. During our preparations to leave - and the hustled chaos that came with that - we accomplished more in 5 days than we've probably ever accomplished!
- Drive Sheena's car to her family's in Richmond for safe keeping. (As a joke, they put it on Craig's List for $20k).
- Clean out Sheena's car and decide what we're keeping and what we're getting rid of.
- Remove license plates from all vehicles.
- Change car insurance from full coverage to storage.
- Return license plates to DMV or deactivate them.
- Clean out Ryan's Land Rover.
- Sell Land Rover.
- Hand over all keys to family members who are keeping our beloved cars safe.
Comfort Family, Friends & Say Our "See You Laters":
This one was the hardest. They love us! So they naturally worry for our safety. We found ourselves explaining not only our intended trip (Charleston, SC -> Florida -> Bahamas -> Central America) but also the sailing lifestyle in general. We explained about our MapShare and how they could follow us every minute (since that is literally the interval of time GPS points are dropped from our Garmin InReach) and they started to feel a little better. We celebrated my 32nd birthday, even though it's not until December 18, but we had a delicious meal and family time felt good. I left my mom with a book that is incredibly inspiring!
We also had meals with our friends - lunches, coffees, quick catch ups before we headed out. These were nuggets of time, but very special to us.
Provisioning is the process of securing all food you may need for your passage. We stocked up at Sam's Club and left with a $450+ grocery bill! But we are now adequately stocked with cereals, rice, pastas, granola bars, and other easily-storable dry foods. The other foods (meats, vegetables) we will scoop up from markets as we make stops.
Our dear friend came by to help us go through all of the groceries, properly store them, and secure them down for sailing.
We left pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes for our mail to be forwarded to our family representatives, who will then open our mail, digitize it by taking a scanned image of it, and forward it to us! We also officially and temporarily forwarded all mail through the USPS.
We had 4 very-long lists going at all times: 1) Boat repairs 2) To-do list 3) To-buy list 4) To follow-up with list. These lists were extensive; sometimes, multiple bullet points would be under one heading! It felt overwhelming most days and we saw the repercussions of that manifest in our sleep.
But the lists were checked off! The families were hugged! The mail was forwarded! The supplies were purchased, put away and secured! And then... it was time to leave the dock!