Posted on June 25, 2016
Report Card: Two weeks out
It’a been a mixed bag over here at s/v Milou–some things have gone very well; some things, not so much.
In the “Awesomeness” column:
- Anchoring. We’re getting better, and our anchoring setup is pretty solid.
- Refrigeration. SOOOOO happy not to be buying ice at every stop, having it take up all the room in the icebox and get all the food wet. Michu’s new fridge works like a dream–quiet, low-energy, and the freezer actually works.
- Sailing. We’ve had great wind, and we love how our boat sails. Still not quite set up for the code zero, but the sailing we’ve done has been phenomenal.
- Entering new harbors. It’s a skill, coming into a new place and not being lost. We’re getting better at reading the charts, understanding what we’re seeing, and making a good plan on where to go. We’ve also started adding an hour and a half to our ETA, realizing that the distance between the harbor entrance and anchor down should be measured in a quantity of hours and not the vague, “really soon.”
- Energy use/battery systems. We have an excess of power, even with all of our devices. We just hooked up the solar on Thursday, and it keeps the batteries topped up even with clouds in the sky. So far, loving the battery system.
In the category of “Meh”:
- Organization. I mean, Oh My Lord. At least 75% of the challenges we’re having stem from trying to find a home for all the gear. No one even knows where to put anything away, which leads to an even bigger mess. I’m sure we’ll figure it out, but it’s been a long two weeks. And why did I buy so much castille soap?
- Projects. Slowly but surly is the theme, but I know Michu would like to be moving along faster in this category. Our priorities keep shifting; we realized in Pentwater that getting the inflatable dinghy operational needed to be higher on the priority list than the solar, or hanging curtains. So the sun is still getting in our eyes, and maybe the loud hailer can wait…
- Engines. The bane of every sailor, I think. The outboard on the dinghy is not running particularly well; we have a few theories, but little resource to address them. The cooling system on the Perkins took a dramatic turn to overheating on Monday–we actually reached a smoking point, as a solder joint on a coolant pipe failed. Michu managed to get it fixed in a lightning-fast four hours, but that day was shot. Oh, engines. So necessary, and so much do we want to sink you to the bottom of the lake.
- WiFi. We’ve been wildly disappointed with our Wave WiFi extender. My phone is easily able to pick up more WiFi hotspots than the fancy-looking Wave antenna. We’re not finding a lot of unlocked wireless in our chosen anchorages; blog posts and online transactions are happening in a flurry at coffee shops and libraries.
- Our general mental health. It’s been a tough couple of weeks–some great things, some real struggles, and we’re all a bit worn down. To boost the kids’ mental health, they took a day in town with their mom–beach, smoothies, library, and–I think–pizza for dinner. The parents hope to regain some equilibrium in Frankfort, hanging out with friends, along with the usual showers, laundry and uninterrupted WiFi.
We’ve been traveling through very touristed towns; it can be frustrating not to always be the family strolling down the street with ice cream cones. As a relaxing family vacation, I think we’d be pulling an “F”; as newbie cruisers, though, I’d give us about a C+.
Looking forward to improving.