After having had a week or so to mull over the trip, I’ve drawn the following conclusions:
- I need to get better at provisioning. Originally Emma and I were going to share the duty but after a short chat she ended up doing it all and forbidding me to touch anything in the galley (she did a great job and we ate amazingly well). Apparently the prospect of living off cheese sandwiches for several weeks didn’t appeal.
- I need to download/get probably 100 books, at least. I had 10 with me on the trip and I got through all of them – and that’s with Emma to talk to.
- 4 weeks is really too little time to go around the island. If we had double the time we could have spent a lot more time not moving, or even sailed a lot more. As it was, we were motoring a lot to catch tidal gates, currents etc.
- The 200 watts of deck mounted solar worked great, and if we were at anchorage easily kept up and charged our batteries. The problem came if we were sailing, as the chartplotter/radar/Autopilot used a lot of power and the panels were often shaded. I’m probably going to add another 200-300 watts on an arch off the back of the boat, increase the battery bank size to 400AH lithiums (from 240 lead acid) and finish the windvane I am building.
- Pulling up 60 foot of 5/16 G4 chain and the 45lb anchor by hand was manageable (and I actually got some arm muscle from doing that! Which I’ve already lost) but a rachet on the bow roller would be SO HANDY. No idea how to install that yet though.
- The internal shower is less important than I thought, we managed well taking dips and using the solar shower
- I need to wash dishes in salt water, most of our water use was dishwashing. A rain catcher would also be very handy.
- Hagfish are the goddamn worst, oh my god
- Plan ahead better for not having internet – this was fine as we got good at using the VHF forecast, but we had to forgo fishing in some areas due to not having the regs on hand.
- Double check you have spares for everything. My engine gets its engine oil changed once every 50 hours normally but I had to let it get to 160 hours as I didn’t have a replacement filter.
Also, I’m so done with working in an office. One year left.
The first voyage is always a learning experience. I bet you will have a different list as you finish future trips. glad you had a great time.
What percentage of time (or distance) would you say you sailed (vs motored)? I know it’s hard to track, but I’m always interested in better data on how much sailing is possible for different routes and different paces.
Totally understand the part about one month being too short – we did about the same distance, but in three months.
Congrats on a successful Van Isle circ!
Unfortunately I’d say it was around 90% motoring/motorsailing. On the east side the wind was dead on the nose and we were rushing to try to make current/tidal gates so motored, and on the west coast in the mornings we had no wind and thick fog. If we had more time we’d have sailed a TON more but we were really on a schedule 🙁