There is a lot to do in getting ourselves and Medina ready to go cruising. I have to admit I got overwhelmed by all the information out there and trying to work how it applies to our situation.
So, rather than focusing on the detail, I have tried to keep things high level, pop the detail as I work through each component then work out what is a priority or nice to have, taking into consideration time and financial constraints. I am sure that as I work through each of the dot points the To Do List will grow even more and will never be completed.
Our To Do List is split into three main areas – Medina, the Crew (the three of us for the majority of the time) and the individual journeys that we’ll undertake. Please note, this is a list I have developed for our particular situation and may not apply for other boats and/or crews.
- Understand her design and what this means for safety and performance
- Audit Medina against the YA Category 1 regulations
- Understanding her systems and develop redundancy plans, from the LPG system, the engine and the plumbing (yep the toilets (looking forward to that one!)
- Understanding our insurance policy
- Maintenance List (inc cleaning) – what we are going to regularly inspect and maintain when
- Pre-passage check list – what are we going to check before each passage
[Medina is already Australian Registered, with big thanks to the previous owners.]
- Our knowledge and experience (strengths and weaknesses)
- Individual responsibilities
- Our comfort (e.g. meals, appropriate clothing, sleeping, entertainment, washing, showers/baths etc)
- First aid
- Health and general wellbeing (private health insurance)
- Communication and delegation
- Where are we going
- How are we going to get there, and how long will it take i.e. navigation, having a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D (if required)
- Understanding the weather and our ‘weather window’
- Watch keeping and fatigue management
- Anchoring, marina or mooring options
- Provisioning and cooking
- Communications (e.g. HF, VHF, sat phone, internet, AM/FM radio and TV)
- What are we going to do when we get there
- Emergency Planning (including man over board drills)
- Keeping a log
So why should we do all this planning? Essentially, it’s to provide peace of mind when we are sailing. Particularly because for the majority of the time we are going to be sailing short handed, i.e. planning for one of us to be on watch at any one time. Following the advice from Jill Schinas
“Mummy and Daddy + Baby = Only Daddy or Mummy to sail the boat”.
We are hoping to have family and friends to share our adventures with us, but we can’t plan to have someone else on Medina all the time. Another piece of fantastic advice from Jill which has already come into play in our day sailing is
“The skipper of a yacht with a baby in the crew should regard any assistance as a bonus”.
It is going to be a balancing act of sailing the boat and looking after Orbit, the majority of the time we’ll be able to do both, some of the time it will be one or the other.
We are taking our planning very seriously, we have our most precious gift on board with us. Because of this we want to be in the position to make the best decisions when required. We don’t want to be worried about the rigging in a storm, wondering if the engine is going to cut out as we pass through a reef. We would rather keep the ‘things to worry about’ to a minimum, so we all can enjoy the sail and the destination when we arrive.