Experienced cruisers will tell you that the hardest part of beginning a sailing cruise is to untie the dock lines. My cruising mentor and friend, Adair, says the second hardest part is clothes packing and I concur! I have been mentally packing since January but started in earnest last week. Laying out shorts and tank tops truly conflicts with snow flurries outside my window. I know from experience on the water and from Adair’s advice that we will need all types of clothing. It will definitely be chilly when we leave Charleston but as we head south, we hope to peel the layers.
Besides the clothing issue, I have decided just being away from your home for an extended period time takes a tremendous amount of foresight. Just a sampling of what we’ve done in the last few weeks includes: renewing car tag early as it will expire while we are gone, arranging for Tyrus to go to kennel along with a vet visit to check him out, stopping the newspaper, instructing Jacob on taking care of our mail and the house, getting 2 month supply of prescriptions from the pharmacy, digitalizing my recipes, last minute appointments (hair, dentist, doctor, etc.), ordering a dinghy, setting up hotspots on our cell phones, etc.
At this time we are less than two weeks away from leaving Kingsport to drive to Charleston, SC where Ragtime sits at the dock awaiting our arrival. We are hoping to be on the water heading south by the third week of March. As I write this it is snowing so Florida is looking really good! Our plan, and if you know anything about sailing it is only a plan and not written in stone, is to sail all the way to Key West and maybe even the Dry Tortugas and back to Charleston by the beginning of June. We are packing out passports “just in case” we decide to cross the Gulf Stream and go to the Bahamas, but ultimately our goal is to just sail south and enjoy the scenery, weather, and water.