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.

Occasionally...exhaustion.

Occasionally…exhaustion.

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.

    Big Sable Point lighthouse. Only took about 30 photos of this.

    Big Sable Point Light. Only took about 30 photos of this.

  • 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…

    Michu, engine troll.

    Michu, engine troll.

  • 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.

    Also annoying: the covers on our buttons for the settee cushions keep popping off.

    Also annoying: the covers on our buttons for the settee cushions keep popping off.

  • 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.

    Mental health day. Check out the height on those slides!

    Mental health day. Check out the height on those slides!

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.

4 Comments on “Report Card: Two weeks out

  1. I think you deserve better than a C+ – look at all you’ve accomplished and you are DOING it!

    We feel you on engines – we got our starter rebuilt and so far so good, but we have a leaky injector to deal with and need to service the heat exchanger system though the temps have been good. Still, the 4-108 is getting the job done. Which is good, because wind has either been hard to find on the Chesapeake, or crazy strong lately!

    Next up – water pressure system issues (galley faucet leaks onto the counter, and using the head faucet causes the fresh water foot pump faucet to spray water into the galley sink!).

    Wishing you well!

    • Thanks, Lee. Feeling better after some time in the Manitous…..

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