It is just as well that I am the Queen of Lists!
We have lists for –
- Jobs Here
- Jobs There
- Things to Take
- Buy Here
- Buy There
- January Jobs
- House Jobs
- Health Appointments
- Bill Payments
We have New Lists, Old Lists and Revised Lists and if it wasn’t on the list, it’s added to the list, then crossed off the list! There is a great deal of satisfaction when you see a list with lots of items crossed off. I know, because, WE built our boat and WE had the biggest set of lists
And I haven’t even got to the provisioning list yet … maybe that’s already listed in the ‘Buy There’ list or is it the ‘Jobs There’ list??
So to give you an idea of what type of preparation (and dollars) are required for a trip like this, here’s a few things we’ve been organising from home over the last few months …
Bossa Nova had Victorian registration, but we need Australian Registration to sail overseas … argghhh … $1554 later! Along with some new signwriting, we are now called The Bossa Nova.
While we have adequate boat insurance here in Australia (proven when we collected a large tree trunk in Moreton Bay after the floods last year, two days in to our 2016 cruise), we now need overseas insurance. We got on to this one way back in January as we needed quotes in order to compare not only which company was going to give us the best cover but also be the most cost effective policy. It is more expensive to get overseas boat insurance, but after shopping around we found the Go East Rally’s recommendation to be the best, and half the price of our existing insurer. We also changed our policy to a ‘lay-up’ policy at the end of the 2016 season as our boat was out of the water so less risk. This change and the refund we will get on our existing policy will make the whole deal a little bit more palatable.
One of my ‘must haves’ on this trip was … more crew. We will be at sea for several days and nights, so sharing the night watches is difficult with two and so much more responsibility on me, more than what I am used to. A ‘no brainer’ on my part. Our two crew have experience off shore and have both sailed in the New Caledonia waters before, one from New Zealand to New Cal’, so we have two experienced guys on board.
Our Simrad chart-plotter is only 3 years old, as old as our boat and we already have A.I.S. so nothing to spend here! Not quite, we did have to upgrade our charts to include the South Pacific. They have been added to our tiny Simrad memory card and even though the seller did test them here in Melbourne, we as yet have not tested them in our chart-plotter (on the ‘Jobs There’ list).
We are big fans of the Automatic Identification System – AIS. AIS is a broadcasting system which enables AIS equipped vessels and shore based stations to send and receive information. Our chart-plotter gives us information about the AIS vessels around us – their position, the course they are taking, their speed and their ID. Just as importantly, land based stations and other vessels can see us too. It is a very comforting safety gadget. We can not only avoid collision, we can also track (or avoid) friends and when there’s two boats, there’s a race, so we can compare speeds and courses. It also means our family and friends can follow our travels from back home. We would not be without AIS.
Along with the chart plotter charts, we will have paper charts (I think there’s approx. 35 of these), Navionics (updated with the South Pacific maps) on our iPad and from all accounts we will have the best interactive digital cruising guides there are, for New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The Rocket Guides will be purchased and loaded on to our laptop when we get to Boatworks. I’ve also purchased a map of all the islands and an older South Pacific Anchorages book by Warwick Clay. I do like having an anchorage book on hand. Unfortunately, this book is quite dated but the Rocket guides will be very current.
We have just ordered our life raft. I am sure many of you may wonder why we haven’t already got one. We made the decision when we first cruised the East Coast that we were usually within sight of land, in the company of other boats and in radio contact with land-based stations, so our tender would suffice. But this trip involves 5-7 days of non stop cruising, so another ‘no brainer’. We have chosen a four-person Oceanmaster life raft. The Oceanmaster is an Australian built canopy life raft that inflates when it hits the water. It contains a provisioned pack for long distance cruising – including eg. drinking water, food, first aid kit and fishing kit. And it’s orange! My kind of color. Of course, the orange canopy will help with the electronic and visual detection of us out at sea (of course I do hope it’s not needed).
Today we also picked up a PLB – Personal Locator Beacon. This will be worn on overnight shifts. No point buying a PLB if you can’t be located so this PLB has personal AIS. The PLB is fitted to the life jacket and assists in survivor recovery. It enables those on board our vessel to locate the missing crew member on our chart plotter using the AIS signal.
We are leaving for The Bossa soon, so its all those little jobs that are now being ticked off. Along with sorting finances, direct debits and credit cards, passports and immunizations, collecting anti-inflams and sea sick tablets, visits to dentists and pysios, cleaning gutters and cleaning windows (we have our favorite house-sitter Judy looking after our home), we will still find some time to spend with family and and friends before we leave.
May 11th will come around quickly. After our run of brilliant weather here in Victoria over the last week, we know it’s time to go when the cold comes and that was today. With a top of 16 degrees today, along wind and rain, we are reminded why we head north each May.