Getting Ready

Getting ready! Lu’s new passport arrived. Our US ESTA visas have been approved. Dive gear bought. PADI Dive courses paid for. Dive insurance sorted. Jack’s teaching status renewed. Printer cartridges ordered. School stuff getting there – awaiting information on books. Bought Kindles (on sale -yay!) as well as a new rugged camera which hopefully won’t condensate like the others did in tropical conditions.

What else? For Questie, we’ve secured a boat inverter, water filter cartridges, cupboard latches and LED lights. New plotter ordered in Trinidad and autopilot electronics awaiting fitting. Gel coat repaired in the cockpit and new satellite WIFI system being considered. Old system put on eBay – already sold.

I’ve planned the packing. Clothes have been purchased, sun cream arrived (we are joining the SPF+100 club), luggage secured. Bought a larger carry-on bag this weekend at the outlet mall. As well as Caribbean trainers for Delph. Ready to pack a separate bag for the Atlantic crossing – salopettes, thick sailing boots and warm weather clothing which we brought home two years ago. They need to go back onto Quest again. If we are finally leaving the Caribbean, it’s time to put on layers.

I asked my mum if she could bring this bag when she flies over to visit us in the autumn. Her British Airways concessions gives her extra weight allowance. We already bought an extra bag for our flight. Is 5 x 20kg not enough for us? Not sure, but I’ll pack the bag up and keep it at my mum’s house as a stand-by. My mum’s shrugged a yes, but it’s a confounded one.

‘How much luggage do you need? And what happens if I can’t come?’

Ignore both questions. Of course you’ll come.

What next? Sort out electronics. Back everything up. Soon it will be time to pack the house. Do it properly, to avoid the time warp return of 2017. I looked into the kitchen cupboards then like I was my own ghost. Why had I left a half-opened pack of couscous in the cupboard? Was I really expecting to eat it?

There were shoes in the porch – definitely our shoes. I’d just completely forgotten we owned them. We were different, pre-sailing people before we left. After we came back, I overhauled the house and got rid of many, many bags of stuff. On the top of those bags was that opened couscous. There were very little things we actually needed. 

I’m re-filling the sailing suitcases now. I’m making mental notes of iPhone cases, science kits, waterproof bags. Counting bikinis and rashies and wondering if we need another set of sea swimming goggles. Boat pegs and the spare saucepan handle and, ‘Don’t worry, we can get an umbrella in Trinidad.’ It is definitely going to be raining in September. 

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