It is unbelievable how many decisions we need to make in our preparations! Miguel keeps on working through our to do list and when he is not busy fixing things, he is searching for material, solutions and the best deals online.
As said before, we can not leave at the moment due to Covid-19, but this does give us time to prepare more and finish things we were planning on finishing on the way.
Our Instagram gives a nice idea about what we are doing at the moment,  but it only shows a small part of the day and of the processes we are going through.
Here I would like to tell you a bit more about what we have decided and why.

Arch

First, our arch. I think we’ve been talking about getting an arch (or not) for more than a year. As you can see on Instagram, we finally have it! It is a great way to store our solar panels. Before we had the arch, the solar panels were attached to the side of the boat, which was slightly inconvenient whilst docking Saetta. Now they are out of the way and there will be more space to store items. Hurray! It took a bit of going back and forth with the welder and a creative way to figure out how high we wanted the arch to be, but we are very pleased with the results. A massive thanks to Cesar from Cesar Constructie for helping us out!

Provisioning

Provisioning.. This is still a work in progress. What will we eat, how much of it do we need? Where can we store it? Miguel made some storage space in the bilge, which we are filling up now. We are taking as much food as possible, since we want to find out how much we can store. What kind of snacks would we like? For longer passages we want our food to be convenient, easy to grab, but also are trying to get as less packaging and wrappings on board. We have bought lentils, beans, dried fruit, flour and nuts in bulk. We stocked up on cans with vegetables, for the times we don’t have the time to cook dried food. We bought lots of crackers, they are easy to grab. And wraps. It would be great to make our own, but at least at the beginning I don’t see that happening, but wraps are a great to fill up with all kinds of food.
There are many blogs and videos online about provisioning, but most of them say the same: this is how we do it, you really need to find your own way. Everyone has different wants and needs, every boat has different storage space and (in)conveniences. I guess the only way to find out how this will work out for us is to leave!

Dinghy

New dinghy: yay or ney? We have a great dingy: 3.2 meter, hard bottom, hypalon. It has some wear and tear, but we think (hope) it will last for another couple of years. Our problem is the size. We want to install a wind vane (another decision!), but we can not have the wind vane in use and our dinghy on the davits. Since we have a babystay, we always thought it was impossible to get our dinghy to the front of our boat. Which means no wind vane, or buying a smaller, fold able dinghy. But do we really want to get rid of our hypalon dinghy and exchange it for something less durable? We decided to try again to put the dinghy on the front deck. And surprisingly, this went much better and easier than expected. We will only keep it there on longer passages, so we do not have to get it in and out daily, so decision made: we are keeping our dinghy! Miguel made some dinghy stands to secure it a bit better and called the wind vane guy for a quotation!
And to freshen up our dinghy a bit, we bought some paint. Decision here was: which color? Grey, like it is at the moment? Blue, to fit the rest of Saetta? Or maybe a totally different color, just because we can? Keep an eye on our Instagram and you’ll find out soon what we chose!

Printer

Having a printer on board will be very handy, printing out checklists, logbooks, visa’s. And although it is more money spent and more storage filled, we decided to buy a small printer. Its first job: print an anchor template!

Anchor

More than once it has been pointed out to us that our anchor is too small for our boat. And although we haven’t had any problems so far and we do not want to spend more money, it did make us think. Safety first, I keep on saying. So now we are deciding which anchor we want: the Rocna 25 or 33. We weren’t sure if the 33 would fit, so having the template helped us to make this decision: we decided the 33 is best for us. And with the new anchor, we need to get more chain, so we’ll be adding that to our list as well.

Other decisions

Besides having to buy (or not to buy) a lot of things, there are also other things to consider: how can we reduce our water use? How can we reduce the amount of packaging coming aboard? What is the easiest (or laziest ;)) and least water consuming way to do laundry?
And then there are lots of smaller issues: which (biodegradable) toilet paper will we use? Which tools will we keep on Saetta, which ones are going into storage? How many boxes do we need to store our food? Which clothes will we take? Do we want a shower curtain?

We do not have the answer to all of those questions yet, but will keep on trying different things, learning on the job it is called!

As you can see, most of the items we decided to buy, only a few we decided we won’t (at the moment). We always want the best, newest, best looking equipment and fun items on board, but unfortunately, we don’t have unlimited financial resources and storage space. That’s why we do a lot of research, to find our best options. Since we haven’t done a trip like this before, only experience will tell us which is the best decision for us, and we will have to adjust our ideas on the way. If you have any more questions about why we do the things how we do them, or any tips, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us! And stay tuned for more decisions in part 2 of this blog!

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5 comments

    • SailingSaetta

      HAHA, there’s a thought! Might not be exactly what you had in mind 😉

  1. Chris Jeffries

    How far is this first epic voyage of yours going to be.

    • SailingSaetta

      Hi Chris. That’s a good question.. one to which we don’t really have an answer. We have some dreams, and ideas. But in the past these all went to crap for one reason or another. So this time we’re making smaller more achievable plans, and will take it a step at a time. The first leg would be to Scotland and then Portugal. However, with our late departure we’ll go straight to Portugal. That already includes crossing the English Channel and the Bay of Bisay, so excitement enough. There I’ll be able to hand around my family a bit, and we’ll be able to figure out if we like the lifestyle, if the boat is ready, if we still have enough money to continue, etc.. If so, we’ll continue south and west. If not…. i don’t know 🙂
      Do you have any advice or recommendation?

    • SailingSaetta

      As far as we can get! But a bit more specific: we first want to go to UK and Portugal, and later in the year cross to the Caribbean. After that, we will make new plans!

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