Getting Ready for Passage

South Padre Island, Texas

December 9, 2018

We are preparing for Passage.

We hope our weather window holds to allow us to head to Mexico at the end of the week. We are still experiencing the tail end of a norther today, expecting to warm up tomorrow.

Most of our preparation right now is provisioning, both food and the spare boat parts we didn't already have. We have another fuel pump and bilge pump on the way. We were pretty prepared when we got here, but just making the final purchases of things we may not be able to get easily or cheaply down there.

Currently the weather window looks great. I am using NOAA and Passage, as well as All three will need to show good conditions for 6 days, in order for us to jump out there.

We meant to be there for Thanksgiving. Now we hope to make Christmas. With hurricane season behind us, it's time to be real sailors. Our last week on the way here and the bad  experiences and encounters with the bottom of the poorly charted channels, have us longing for the Open Ocean.

Be kind to us, Mother Ocean.

The memories of the couple of days the Gulf thrashed us unmercifully this summer have faded.

I am reading maybe TOO much, Captain Robert calls it "Paralysis by Analysis".  For every 8 horror tales of Gulf of Mexico sailing there are 8 telling you the coastal route is an absolute no-go. I had, at one point, convinced myself that going to Mexico at all was a huge mistake, and lost all confidence that we could accomplish it. I watched Lin Pardey do a talk on conquering fears. I watched it multiple times....I went back to reading inspiring stories and adventures rather than gloom and doom on noonsite.

These are my people...Gary Jobson, Lin and Larry Pardey, Fatty Goodlander, Jim Trefethen, and many more. Real people out there DOING it, writing about it, and not afraid to tell the truth about this crazy sailing life. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes, you swear if you ever get back to shore you will never go out again....but sometimes  is unbelievable magic.

In a sailboat, the world, literally, is your oyster.

So we prepare to do our first real crossing. 

For me, it is mental preperation, as well as getting everything done to cross our first border. 

Here's the thing, much like having a baby, you are never really, ever, 100 percent ready. You have to do your best to prepare, and then, just make that leap. You feel afraid sometimes, especially that first time. Will you be a good parent.? Can you give that child everything it needs? Will you love it like you think you will? Will it love you?

But when you hold that baby, you just know. Their tiny hand wraps around your finger, you get that first, eye to eye contact, and they wrap themselves around your heart, forever.

Yes, you are still afraid. Well, you should be, it's a monumental responsibility. But you know, you will give it everything you have, the best you have, every day. And yes, you will fail sometimes. Sometimes it will not be a fairy tale, in the terrible twos and the even more difficult tumultuous teens...but you will be strong. Looking back someday, the joys will far outnumber the tears. You will never say, I wish I had waited until I was ready. It will always be perfectly imperfect.

So, ready or not,  the ocean calls.

Checking things off the list as we go, courtesy flags, check, spare parts, check, copies of documents, check,etc, etc, is part of being mentally ready. There will be a lot of unknowns out there, things that will challenge us mentally and physically. 

But I will know where the spare impeller is, and I will have enough food and water, and I will embrace whatever adventure comes ...

I think..

Honey, how much rum do we have?


"Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
You've seen it all, you've seen it all
Watched the men who rode you switch from sails to steam
And in your belly you hold the treasures few have ever seen
Most of them dream, most of them dream
Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late
I've done a bit of smuggling, I've run my share of grass
I made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast
Never meant to last, never meant to last"
Jimmy Buffett


S/V NeverLand