We are striving to be ready for departure by the end of next week. We are in the final stages of clearing out of our house, and the boat is 99% ready. However, there are still a good number of items left on the checklist, and we have a lot of testing to do with a new computer network on the boat, our SSB radio data communications, and some safety practice drills to run before we will declare Tahina ready to leave. We are also waiting on some items which might not arrive by the end of the week. Once everything else is ready – we have to wait for the proper weather window for our first passage to Bermuda. It’s a 3.5 to 4 day passage, and so you want to time the passage for both good winds and to avoid foul weather if possible.
This week I went to the DMV to have my driver’s license renewed. The normal process in North Carolina has been for years that you fill out a form, pay some money, and sit down to have your photo taken. Then a few minutes later they hand you a new card printed on a special machine. Everything was going fine for my renewal until just after the picture (no, I didn’t break the camera!). Instead of handing me a new card, they handed me a “temporary ID good for 20 days” with instructions that said they would be mailing the new one in 5-10 days. Apparently they just instituted this change a month ago. Great. If it doesn’t show up before we leave, we’ll just have someone mail it out to us at one of our further destinations. We rarely drive when we go to other countries anyway.
For those of you hearing about the british couple who apparently were indeed recently captured by pirates. We have been watching the news closely. Piracy is obviously still a very real threat – even in the 21st century. Our primary strategy, as with many sailors, will be to avoid areas with reported piracy, or even burglary, as much as possible. With regards to Somalia – it will be three years before we enter those waters – hopefully measures can be taken by governments and the military to drastically reduce piracy in the area by the time we reach that part of the world.