Back in October, during a cold snap, we we bought an $18 space heater at Walmart. It got used a fair amount during that cold snap but then things warmed up again. Shorts weather. The perfect kind of working weather. Not too hot, not too cold. We’ve now slipped into November. Middle of November. That heater runs full time. It’s churning out heat from the time we get up till we go to bed. Last week I had to replace the end of the plug. It had melted from too much load. We are now afraid to leave it running while we sleep but those are some of the best $18 I have ever spent in my life.
Wow, did I mention it’s November? Our timeline has slipped and slipped. When we splash this boat, next week, we will officially have doubled the amount of time we thought we’d spend in this boat yard. It’s been an epic couple of months. So what’s our plan to get south?
There are two ways to get to the Caribbean by sailboat. Offshore passage or pick our way down the US coast, thru the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican and finally Spanish and British Virgin Islands. That latter way, picking our way the islands, is called the Thorny Path South. Why? Because we will be sailing head on into the trade winds that predominately blow from the Southeast. The offshore passage route is a 10-15 day jaunt where you try to get as far east into the Atlantic as possible before turning south. By sailing as far east first, you are able to avoid sailing head on into the south east trades.
We contemplated both for a long time. At one point we had decided to do the Thorny path. That is, until we researched more. We found out it involves waiting for many weather windows. It involves tacking into the wind which a catamaran does not do well. And worst of all, it involves doing stuff like short tacking the Dominican Republic coast at night. It just all sounded like a drawn out painful way to get south. Long story short, we’re heading out to sea. We’re going offshore as it is safer and faster. There’s already a massive exodus of boats heading offshore. We’ll be at the tail end of that exodus. The plan is to splash next week and then wait for a weather window to transit the Gulf Stream. Cannot wait.