Preparation for our next cruising season

We have been home almost three months and I can’t believe how the time has flown… So heavily into preparation mode now.   Loads to do although it is a bit easier this year as finding insurers to meet our needs took me a lot of time last year – renewing policies is a much easier process…..  So insurances sorted for house, car, boat and ourselves….

Now just the rest of the administrative stuff to finish off like paying all the bills (groan…), working out what papers we need to take with us and remembering the stuff that caused us grief last year, like the paper versions of our driving licences.    Grenada – unlike all the other islands we travelled to – really did not like accepting our plastic driving licences to give us temporary driving permits….   Don’t fancy going through that at the police station again!   So check – they are ready to go….

Whilst I have been a lady that lunches and generally doing domestic goddess duties, Richard went back to work as he got an offer he couldn’t refuse.   He retired again last Friday so is now busy doing stuff that I couldn’t manage – like repairing the shed roof that decided to leak….    We’ve had a great time seeing loads of friends and family and the rest of the time we are in the UK is absolutely manic – with one very busy social week planned.   Those people we haven’t managed to catch up with – sorry – we’ll prioritise you for next year!

Although Richard has been working he has also been busy buying spare parts and tools for Morphie and I’ve been buying all the domestic stuff that we found we needed and couldn’t get on our travels – exciting stuff like plastic egg holders, a mosquito net, clothes pegs and a lovely new teapot!    There was some important stuff too like more paper charts, a Garmin chart plotter upgrade chip and prescription dive masks (for us both)…

This year we are travelling economy using our air miles so I can see us being laden with as much hand luggage as we can get away with to try and avoid the US $100 per checked bag excess luggage charge!  Not confident though as we’ve also been buying new clothes!   Oh well what will be will be….

The most exciting new item that will be coming with us is a brand new waterproof camera – something we have had our eye on for a while.  So imagine our surprise and absolute delight when we were given it as a gift!   Thank you so much Ron and Carolyn Smith – very very generous and greatly appreciated.   So watch out for all the more unusual photos we plan to take over the next nine months!

After a hectic social whirl we’ll be doing the final things like cleaning the house and winterising the car before we fly to Miami on Monday 25 November.   An overnight stop before we fly to Grenada on Tuesday afternoon means that Richard gets an opportunity to buy some more power tools that he needs and we can’t buy here either as we are looking for 110V stuff – the joys of owning an American-built boat!

So what do we have planned for next season?   Well the plan is pretty simple – run north back up the island chain, re-visiting favourites and ignoring those we are less keen on.   Catching up with some cruiser friends on the way and a reunion with Mum again planned for March in St Lucia.    So longer periods at sea probably with more overnights….   After running north – which will enable us to get a better sailing angle – we will be running south to the Dutch Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao which are off the coast of Venezuela.   Will be a four day 400 mile run probably…   Very excited by this!    Love exploring new places and Bonaire is a dive mecca…. so have great expectations.   When will be doing this?   Not sure – but probably in June as the hurricane season starts and the Dutch Antilles are below the hurricane belt…..   We may leave Morphie there but we are also considering Columbia as our final destination – and I’ve been learning Spanish while I’ve been home just in case!     So plans are fluid at this stage and all depends…..  We’ll let you know when we know!   The only thing that is certain is that we’ll be home again at the end of August 2014.

So welcome back – and bye for now.