...and the other day we were trying to figure out how much time we have over the next year to take her out to put to test much of what we need... testing out our new anchor and snubbing system... practising heaving-to... testing out our para-anchor...not to mention just a few times when we just want to sail into Desolation Sound to enjoy ourselves!! Not a lot of time since we will be in Calgary for much of that time so that we can both work and save up our pennies for our 6 month hiatus! Arrrghhh...how can we do it all??!!
Oh well... we are nothing if not busy in our preparations, I must say! Co-Cap'n Bill is now busily studying anything and everything about weather.
We have now have Airmail and applied for and received our callsign for Sailmail... have everything loaded on our super duper laptop now installed in the nav station (Bill, my sweet ludite, keeps saying he can't believe he bought yet another computer!) and now need to learn how to use it all so that we can receive Grib Files showing weather patterns when we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and not having CBC weather reports to listen to.
Since you may not know what Grib files are (I sure didn't until launching on this little project I can tell you!) here is a litte explanation from one of our weather gurus, Frank from Frank Singleton's Weather and Sailing Pages, ( http://weather.mailasail.com/Franks-Weather/Home ):
GRidded Information in Binary (GRIB) files are output direct from Numerical Weather Prediction programs and provide an extremely useful and cost effective tool.
GRIB forecasts are particularly useful for planning purposes for the next few days ahead. There are finer scale, meso-scale, forecasts that can add value in the form of more localised detail but, again, these should be used with care and in the light of hard won experience.
Okay now won't I look smart when at my next hoity-toity cocktail party (yeah right!) I can drop a few witty tid-bits about Gridded Information in Binary (or GRIB) files. Of course we now need to study what all of those lines and arrows and numbers mean so that we will be able to decide to skidaddle away from any potential nasty weather patterns coming our way. That means getting more books to add to the piles of tomes lying around
we already have in both our teeny-weeny 100 year old (read No Storage) house in Calgary and our little cottage on Quadra Island (that is slowly filling up with sailing parafernalia - the guest suite is now known as the Sail Locker!!)...
Bill has discovered David Burch's Modern Marine Weather with the accompanying workbook... you guessed it... Modern Marine Weather Workbook! Required reading for those of us heading over the horizon.
Meanwhile I am still slogging through my celestial navigation course assisted by my wonderful Mary Blewitt book Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen that I talked about in Posting #1. I find that I need to study little bits, test myself then read back over it again, make notes, highlight the notes and re-read it all again. I blame my almost 60 year old brain for the snail like pace of learning this stuff! (Not to mention my total resistance to understanding anything resembling trigonometry). I must say though when I leave it for a couple of days and then go back over what I had "learned" earlier I feel a few struggling synapses weakly flashing and it does begin to look familiar :-)
YAY! Now for those of you worried that we will be trying to find our way based solely on my brilliant navigating skills not to worry! We do have GPS loaded with all of the electronic charts plus all the paper charts we need (although we are looking for some more up to date ones of Marquesas and French Polynesia)... besides which Bill already knows the ins and outs of taking sights with a sextant and actually getting an accurate fix on our position! We also have some great books (surprise, surprise) about anchorages in places along the way. Boy, if that doesn't get you excited about this trip nothing will!
Two great books that we found are Exploring the Marquesas Islands by Joe Russell and
South Pacific Anchorages by Warwick Clay which for the last few evenings we have been reading about and salivating over ...
Hey! We are getting really close to our big de-naming re-naming ceremony once Lively Lady is back in the water. Next posting I'll tell you all about it as this stuff is really serious and the gods of the seas (Neptune and Posieden) require considerable attention to these kinds of actions!
...sooooo, as my sister Carole likes to say,...
Talk to you when I talk to you :-)