Although we’re not ready to start tomorrow, we are doing better than some of the other entrants. Originally Jimmy Cornell was concerned that we might have too many boats to be manageable for going to small islands. Of that initial burst of interest, only about 15 boats actually registered for the rally. Seven planned to start from Key West (3 more from Martinique, plus 2 others starting in the Pacific, plus Jimmy’s boat). But one dropped out a week ago due to health problems. Another is unable to start due to lack of funds. They hope to start in March and catch the fleet in Tahiti, but that is very uncertain. Tonight we hear that there is some uncertainty about yet another boat. In the end we will be one of only four or five BPO boats to start here, plus there is one Pacific Odyssey boat (sailing only as far as the Marquesas) also joining the start. The fact that we will be several days late in departing seems like a minor point in this context.
Today has been a blur. We got our repaired saildrives back in place. Our rebuilt port engine got tested in the shop, was working in record time, and got put into the boat. Both engines need to be wired in to the electrical controls again, so we can’t use them yet. Nevertheless, we went back into the water…
…and got a tow from the boatyard to the marina where the other BPO participants are docked. The mechanic says he is coming tomorrow (Saturday) to work on the boat. The hope is that we will be able to use both motors by Monday, so we can test them and leave maybe mid-week.
We also had our safety inspection with Jimmy. He summarized his review with, “It’s better than I expected.” We balked at that “compliment,” but he explained that given the problems we have had, he didn’t expect us to be ready with all our safety gear, and so it was indeed a compliment that we are ready. He had one suggestion for an improvement, which is a good suggestion and should not be difficult to do. Photo below shows Jimmy and his daughter Doina standing by our boat, unfortunately somewhat hidden in the shadows.
This evening we had the “captain’s briefing” before the BPO start tomorrow at noon. Suddenly it is getting very “real” that we are about to head off around the world, despite our delay. Routes and winds and currents and forecasts and starting time and daily radio check-in procedures and satellite tracking devices and information about arriving in Jamaica and in the San Blas islands off of Panama. Exciting! Is it safe to start dreaming about tropical islands again…? We need to start thinking about food shopping!!