If I had one goal for this trip on Fiona, it was to bring less stuff. Last time, we had absolutely no idea what we were in for, so we brought everything we could think of: clothes for heat, clothes for cold, clothes to protect against sun, safety equipment, all sorts of electronics, piles of books, foul weather gear, including two sets of sea boots, not to mention insanely bulky stuff like pillows and sleeping bags... Eric must have been astounded when he saw the size of our enormous duffle bags. Lucky for us, he still practices admirable British restraint.
No, this time, I was determined to cut packing to the bone. I still needed to bring a laptop, to care for my customers in case of emergency, but no sleeping bags (too hot for them in the Caribbean), no pillows (Eric had plenty), no foul weather gear (I hesitated about this, but figured a bit of warm rain wouldn't kill us), and the minimum of clothes.
Last time, I had taken onboard Eric's system for managing clothing. In a nutshell, you choose a pair of shorts and shirt and wear them day after day until they are so dirty that they are ready to be thrown overboard. On Fiona, that is about 3 days, depending on how much motor oil is involved in the day's chores.
Unfortunately, Helena seems to have other ideas. I've no doubt she will see sense in the end, but at the moment, she's being a tad difficult about squeezing her mountain of stuff into a small bag. We'll discuss it later. I have to get back to banging my head against a computer. Still have lots of prep work to do...
If you have tips or thoughts about packing for a small boat voyage, please share them below in the comments section.
We leave tomorrow.
At precisely 3:30 am, the alarm went off. John and I jumped out of bed and the frantic 45 minutes before our departure for the airport started.
I ran to the kitchen and started the coffee. Garbage out, travel clothes on, suitcases zipped up, tooth brushes stored, sink cleaned and a final prayer for travel blessing sent us on our way to the airport. That was easy.
Yesterday, on the other hand, was super busy: final goodbyes to the kids, parents, students. And about 10,000 chores: buying cat food, cleaning refrigerator, watering plants, etc., etc.… John had the most difficult chore: making sure our website customers don’t have any problems while we’re away: backing things up, checking servers for something or other, syncing the phones and laptop… oh, the cussing that went on in John’s office! In the mean time, I devoted myself to setting up cat care, finishing laundry, last minute piano lessons… Easy peasy.
And then there was the packing…
John, already upset by computer hassles, was not happy and a bit frustrated when we couldn’t fit all our necessities into a duffle bag and small carry-on suitcase. For some reason, he is determined to bring about half the stuff we brought last time (really?). I was trying hard not to shake my head and roll my eyes, although I think I did, slightly. We ended up leaving the room and going back separately to our designated chores with a sigh.
Later we tried again, and decided that the pillows and sleeping bags will have to be left behind. I guess that was a compromise. We will see if that works.
For a last minute drama, the motion sickness medication we brought for emergencies last time — Bonine — was not available anywhere. We checked CSV, Rite Aid, supermarkets. Nothing. I panicked and bought a homeopathic remedy and Dramamine, which has the same active ingredient as the wonderful Bonine. It will have to do.
In the end, we arrived at the airport waaaaay to early. After waiting for an hour in an empty waiting room, the other passengers with extra hours of sleep have started to arrive.
We are almost in Saint Martin. Can’t wait.
Next Episode: Aboard Fiona in St. Martin