Live Your Dream. Sail around the world.

Our Plan South

Back in October, during a cold snap, we we bought an $18 space heater at Walmart. It got used a fair amount during that cold snap but then things warmed up again. Shorts weather. The perfect kind of working weather. Not too hot, not too cold. We’ve now slipped into November. Middle of November. That heater runs full time. It’s churning out heat from the time we get up till we go to bed. Last week I had to replace the end of the plug. It had melted from too much load. We are now afraid to leave it running while we sleep but those are some of the best $18 I have ever spent in my life.

Wow, did I mention it’s November? Our timeline has slipped and slipped. When we splash this boat, next week, we will officially have doubled the amount of time we thought we’d spend in this boat yard. It’s been an epic couple of months. So what’s our plan to get south?

There are two ways to get to the Caribbean by sailboat. Offshore passage or pick our way down the US coast, thru the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican and finally Spanish and British Virgin Islands. That latter way, picking our way the islands, is called the Thorny Path South. Why? Because we will be sailing head on into the trade winds that predominately blow from the Southeast. The offshore passage route is a 10-15 day jaunt where you try to get as far east into the Atlantic as possible before turning south. By sailing as far east first, you are able to avoid sailing head on into the south east trades.

We contemplated both for a long time. At one point we had decided to do the Thorny path. That is, until we researched more. We found out it involves waiting for many weather windows. It involves tacking into the wind which a catamaran does not do well. And worst of all, it involves doing stuff like short tacking the Dominican Republic coast at night. It just all sounded like a drawn out painful way to get south. Long story short, we’re heading out to sea. We’re going offshore as it is safer and faster. There’s already a massive exodus of boats heading offshore. We’ll be at the tail end of that exodus. The plan is to splash next week and then wait for a weather window to transit the Gulf Stream. Cannot wait.

 

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4 Comments

Doug Robbie
November 15, 2015

As far as the heater, get a light timer, one that has many push pins for on and off settings. Use it to turn the heater on and off during the night, just 15 mins off out of an hour or 2 will allow the cord to cool down. Timer’s capacity is usually 1300-1500 watts.
Hopea new shot at a hardtop works out. I’m following Mike Boyd in his effort to build one.

Reply


    Ben
    November 16, 2015

    Thanks for the pro tip. We’ve probably really just gotten a little wussy with the cold. Our minds are in the tropics. Our bodies not.

    I’m following Mike Boyd as well. It looks like ALOT of work. Our new top is going on end of this week. I’ll update as soon as it’s on. Going to look awesome – Slick bottom top with LEDs 🙂

    Reply


sheilagh
November 14, 2015

So excited for you!! Sail safely and enjoy the dream.

Reply


    Ben
    November 14, 2015

    Hi Sheilagh! Of course we’ll be safe. Always are 😉 Hope all is well at the farm.

    Reply


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