You'd be amazed at how much preparation goes into a trip like this.
We don't plan to leave until everything on Meridian is in good working order. But keep in mind this is a 25 year old boat that hasn't seen extensive retrofitting over the years. We've been maintaining her pretty well (we thought), but we wouldn't say there have been a lot of upgrades.
So we've been spending a lot of time lately on the "project list". Funny thing about that list though - no matter how much we accomplish, it just keeps getting longer. There's an old saying that boat projects are like rabbits . . . start with a list of ten, complete one, look at the list again, and there are twelve projects on it. That is oh so true.
How does it happen? Well, here's an example. Phil thought it would be a good idea to have some spare bulbs for our ancient navigation lights. In looking up the bulb numbers, he discovered that the one-mile bow lights aren't compliant for a boat this size. They need to be two mile lights. Ok, so he replaced the lights. Not a major project, and it felt good to accomplish something. But the matter of non-compliance reminded him that our combination anchor/masthead light was only wired as an anchor light. It hadn't mattered in the past because we hadn't used the boat past sunset. Now it would matter very much - so he rewired the light, which involved cutting a hole in the main salon headliner to access the wiring (and praying that the necessary masthead light wire really was there), then making a plywood hatch (with teak veneer and teak trim and five coats of varnish so it wouldn't look tacky) to access the wiring. Luckily, because of prior projects, all the supplies were available on the boat. Oh, but while we're dealing with nav lights, we remembered - the new dinghy, which is now mounted on weaver davits on the swim platform, hides the stern light. We need to move it - might use a pole, or make something from teak that will blend in with the toe rail on which it's currently sitting, or maybe move it to the back of the bridge. That one's still on the project list. Oh, and now that we think about it, the dinghy is also covering up the boat name on the transom. Since we're Coast Guard documented, that name must be visible - so we'll need to put it on the dinghy bottom or somewhere else. Oh, and our dinghy registration hasn't arrived yet, but once it does, we'll need to put the numbers on the side. Oh, and . . .
Well, I guess you get the picture. And remember, all this came from the "buy spare light bulbs" task - something not even complicated enough to call a "project".
Um, we better quit writing . . . we have work to do!!!