October 2, 2011, 9:49 am
Aside from sailing At Last almost every weekend since we purchased her, to prepare for our cruise the past 2-3 years, Janet and I have been attending many training courses and seminars. This is just a sampling of some of the training we have accomplished.
American Heart Assoc. First Aid and CPR Training Course
Life Raft Survival Equipment (LRSE) - Safety At Sea Course includes on-board firefighting, hands on flare deployment, in-water life raft exercises, in-water PFD and hypothermia exercises, emergency communications
World Cruising Club 2 day Ocean Sailing Seminar covering topics of safety, weather, energy, passage planning, navigation, etc.
Mack Boring diesel engine maintenance 3 day hands on course
Seven Seas University - attended webinars on navigation, safety, gulf stream crossing, communications, outfitting, provisioning, etc.
We have had to obtain a long-term supply of medications and a complete set of immunizations. Special thanks to Mary Jo Safford of Baystate Health Travel Medicine. She gives painless shots.
I have taken the primary responsibility for preparing At Last for the trip while Janet has focused on addressing the provisioning of At Last and completing the arrangements for the sale of our house and storage of our furniture.
In the past year (mostly in the past 2 months) we have completed the following preparations and outfitting of At Last with the competent support of many companies list below.
Stainless Steel Arch - Titone Custom Metal Works of Tiverton RI
2" reinforced tubing integrated into existing stern rail.
Integrated dinghy davits, flood light, stern light, sat phone antenna mount
Innovative and well-designed life raft mount
We have received numerous compliments on this arch. Nice job Brian Titone!
(see At Last Preparations photo gallery)
Energy Generation - Hamilton Ferris Power of Bourne MA
3 - 135w Kyocera solar panels with remote monitor
Air Breeze Wind generator with remote monitor
(see At Last Preparations photo gallery)
Energy Management - Dockside Electronics of Mystic CT
Magnum 2800w Inverter/Charger
Increased house batteries to 800ah
SSB Communications Enhancements - New England Marine Electronics of Norwalk CT
Copper counterpoise laid on hull to improve SSB communications
Sat Phone Communications - Cay Electronics
Iridium 9555 sat phone and antenna
Ocens email, weather, blog posting, via sat phone
Pactor II USB modem, Sailmail/airmail for email and weather report downloads for SSB
Sailblog site and Hover domain site registration, email and forwarding (special thanks to Paul Davis, internet security expert)
Safety Gear Enhancements - Life Raft & Survival Equipment of Tiverton RI
Viking 6 person life raft mounted on stern arch with quick release pin
EPRIB, PLB and PFDs, ditch bags, complete medical kit
Extensive safety equipment list and capabilities as required by World ARC
Canvas Awnings on fore and aft decks - OKTO Canvas of Bristol RI, Katie Healey canvas fabricator, rather artisan, and accomplished sailor. Katie has done high end canvas work for mega yachts and sail boats such as Puma! (see At Last Preparations photo gallery)
Spectra Catalina 300 Water Maker - Headsync LLC, Newport RI
Inspection and enhancements to standing and running rigging - Sound Rigging, Essex CT
Inspection and repairs to sails and provision of sail repair kit - Doyle Sails of East Greenwich RI
Recalibration of Ships Compass - Richardson Instruments Inc.
Acquire complete spare parts for engine, generator, electrical systems
Special thanks to Hellier Yacht Sales of New London CT for their valuable assistance with completing many other items not mentioned above.
And of course, a very big special thank you to Island Packet Yachts of Largo FL for building the best sail boat we could have ever imagined to fulfill this dream.
The entire list of "Things to Do" to prepare At Last for the trip is at least 150 tasks and we are still adding to the list even as we are trying to complete it before we leave. This does not include the work that Janet is doing to prepare the house and everything else in our personal lives. We have been quite busy.
We will not totally complete our preparations for the trip before we go because we would never leave if that were a prerequisite to starting the trip. You can never be totally prepared for such an adventure.