“Feelings of doubt are signals that we are learning, growing, and stretching.”
- MJ Ryan Trusting Yourself
The 24 hours prior to departure and first 24 hours after are hectic, to say the least. The final vacuuming of the bilge, adding clean oil pads under the engines, the final once over with our mechanic … ad infinitum. UGH! Have I done enough? Is there something vital I missed? To hell with fear and doubt—we departed from St. Pete!
We have included some engine room tricks for you:
1. We installed a new oil change system whereby a simple turn of a valve allows us to change the oil in both engines and the generator with minimal hassle.
2. Simply adding an extra valve on your water hose allows you to quickly change the nozzle from wash-down to water tank filling.
3. For key engine room equipment, we added a charcoal water filter and UV Light IN FRONT of the water pump to purify all the water on the boat. That includes the shower and brushing your teeth.
Additionally, the picture below shows a drop light, blue auto plastic drop cloths, extra oil pads and a Shop-vac. Extra oil has been stored and all items are secured. As my father told me years ago while we cruised as a family, “Ongoing maintenance is radically simplified with proper preparation!”
With those items taken care of, we said good bye St. Petersburg. Since we take one to two weeks to arrive at our jumping off point, we prefer to cruise to the Bahamas with at least one more stop at a provisioning point. We will have two this trip, Marathon and Ft. Lauderdale. That helps lower the stress of “what did I forget?”
Once in Ft. Lauderdale, we wait for any wind that doesn’t have North in its direction and Bahamas here we come!!!!
If you would like to review our preparation guide, follow the links below and be sure to check back for more updates.