Departing for Our Last Bit of Gunkholing 11-13 March 2014
After the last of the visitors departed, it was time to get back to the boat. We have started thinking about what we need to do before we jump the puddle in April. Before our last bit of gunkholing around Mexico we felt we could cross a few items off our list.
Item 1: The Life Raft
A few guys in La Cruz will check out your life rafts and refill any of the pull release canisters if needed. Before our coastal cruise down here we bought an old soft pack life raft really intended for small aircraft. It fits perfectly under our companionway stairs. On the downside we figured out its circa 1950 with the canisters last filled in 1975. Hmmm...good thing we didn't need it. We decided to pull the release and see what happened...and it actually filled the raft. See we would have been fine.
However we are usure if this would hold up way out in the middle of the pacific. We were fortunate to find a cruiser looking to unload a 6 person ocean ready life raft with accessories (first aid kit, water, hand paddles, etc). The canister has just been refilled and its ready to go! It's quite a bit larger but we'll be able to strap it in front of our mast.
Item 2: Cockpit Cushions
Don't laugh! Comfort of the crew is important, especially on a four week crossing. We found a local business who does boat covers and commissioned them to make a long cushion for each side of the cockpit. We'll pick these up when we return to the marina around April 1.
Items 3 and 4: Communication Upgrades
These came with the friends and family visits from the states (ordered via Amazon). We have added a hand held VHF and a gadget called the Delorme inReach. The handheld was added for easier communication from the cockpit as well as the ability to take this in the life raft if something that drastic should occur. We added the inReach which connects via satellite and gives us the ability to share our location and communicate via short email and text messages to friends and family. We set up an account and plan to test this over the next month before we leave. This also has an SOS function and will back up our EPIRB.
With these off our list we provisioned for a few weeks and left the marina to do a bit more exploring before we jump the puddle. Destination Isla Isabela.