Since my last post , months and months ago, we have been trying to learn as much as possible. Most of this learnig took place in front of the tv, watching sailing videos on youtube. It's amazing what you can learn by watching others. We have fallen in and out of love with so many prospective yachts, I feel like my mind has boatbruizes all over.
Amongst the differences in opinion, what we do agree on is that our cruiser should be between 38 and 48 ft. Smaller than that and I might turn on my own, bigger than that and things gets expensive. My kids have been warned. When Mama's cabin door is closed, do not dare bug her. As I'm alone at home every morning while hubby is at work and kids are at school, I have become accustomed to the luxury of my own company. I do fear that I might get overwhelmed at times with the noise and bustle of my loved ones in my face 24/7. But I guess that's where nightwatches come in handy. Guess who will be volunteering for the 2-6 am slot?
Mike prefers a centre cockpit, which narrows things down too. We need three cabins, for privacy's sake. A fiberglass hull would be nice. I am partial to a wooden finish on deck, Mike likes the low maintenance of a molded deck. At present, I am inclined to feel that the right boat will come to us at the right time.
As for advice on the practicalities of cruising in foreign waters, I am grateful to have been accepted into a closed facebook group called Women Who Sail. I have already learnt so much from this awesome group of ladies and know that there will be plenty more good advice for us. Closer to home, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get some advice from the lovely Gerda from 4vdmerve.blogspot.com. She was a mom at the school that my kids attend before they set sail and I got to ask my questions when she flew in for a quick family visit. From Gerda, I learnt about which type of medical insurance works best, which veggies last long, (carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage) and which don't. (potatoes) Which snacks come in handy (biltong and nuts) and which head cleaner works well. (Colgate Apple shampoo!) I learnt that even if you use a straight flush head, in some parts you are not welcome if you don't have a blackwater tank. Right.
She advised on which shots to get before departing (yellow fever), which language to learn(French and Spanish) and which visa to apply for to visit the American Islands. Where to buy fuel, (not in the marinas) and that it is easier to do your laundry in a bucket than in the Sputnik I had my heart set on.
Meeting with Gerda has got me even more excited to get going, especially when she mentioned that coming back to SA for her visit confirmed to her that they had done the right thing. Because one does worry about taking your kids off into the unknown.