A glimmer of an idea
14 January 2014 | Leverstock Green
Well, we’ve had our first sail of the year. Clear blue skies and a good, steady breeze. Bracing without being scary. One of life’s little nuggets.
Nothing special: the standard ‘Medusa & back’. Just being out for the hell of it. Apart from entering and leaving the marina we sailed most of the way. Leaving the reef in the main was a good call. A steady WSW 20kts+.
Daya (our rescue Brittany Spaniel) is still getting her sea-legs. Steps has been sailing with us since she was a pup, but we still have to keep a close eye on Daya – at times she’s very much like ‘Bambi on Ice’.
A first: a while ago, I bought a tablet on eBay and now I’ve also downloaded some navigation charts. Works well enough – quite surprised actually. I’ve long resisted having plotters/radars/... by the helm as I’ve seen too many people become so engrossed by the shiny screens that they become oblivious to the world around them. But, grudgingly, I must admit that the little tablet can be quite useful, especially when I’m alone on deck.
I don’t want to become too dependent on it though, as there is no 12V charger on the market for this thing (Sony Tablet S).
There’s also the glimmer of an idea regarding our ‘summer’ cruise. Nothing’s definite yet, but this has got to be the year when Guapa goes off the beaten track. If only to find out how well the boat’s new gear stands up to offshore sailing.
At the moment I’m actively investigation destinations and how and when to go. We will need new charts. Early research indicates that up-to-date electronic charts for our not-so-state-of-the-art plotter are not all that easy to come by. And if they can be found, they’re not cheap.
As our plotter is also our radar, I’m not that keen to ditch it for a newer model. Again, a modern replacement would be ‘not cheap’.
My 6 year old everyday laptop is getting a bit long in the tooth, but it runs OpenCPN very well. It might be an idea to keep it on the boat permanently and buy a newer laptop for everyday use. This would be significantly cheaper than buying (lots of) charts for the plotter. And, if the worst comes to the worst: there’s always the tablet. And charts for the tablet are cheaper too. A chat with the electronics man at the chandlery in the morning would not be a bad idea.
Decisions, decisions...The struggle to live a rich man’s dream on a poor man’s salary continues.
Safety’s also a consideration. The life raft (which has be sitting in our garage for a couple of years) is in for a service, so are the lifejackets. And I’m also picking up an EPIRB tomorrow.
More food for thought: supplies (food& drink) for up to a week offshore and stowage.
Lots of stuff to sort between now and then – I’d better get on with it because this year I have a feeling we're going places.