Saturday afternoon/evening we rejoin El Galeon for another summer touring ports in the US and Canada. Having done this last year should have made it easier to pack this year. Knowing what to expect in some ways made it easier (don't forget a EU-US adapter to charge the phone! and a water bottle you can wear on your belt because you're going to be talking to visitors all day long! and even though it is sticky hot in Florida, remember you are going north so bring a hat and scarf for those cold night watches in the North Atlantic!) But it also made it more challenging, as we thought of small things to make our lives aboard easier. A fold-up organizer for a car trunk will help tame the chaos of the big undivided locker we have for personal possessions. A stash of high-protein energy bars will supplement the breakfast that is sometimes skimpy by American standards.
Dan convinced us that wheeled luggage would be helpful since his shoulder is still injured making lifting heavy objects inadvisable. It of course had to be collapsible because there's no where to store hard-sided bulky suitcases. We ended up with the two dark gray duffels in the photo, directly below our gray backpacks. They are advertised to hold 3-5 days of packing each. Um, huh??? We need to fit 3 months of clothing in each of these, for both warm and cold weather! All those lessons in simplifying that living on a small sailboat paid off, because everything fit. But any wonder the US is considered a consumer culture? 3-5 days? The bright yellow duffle and green Army duffel hold a full set of foul-weather gear for each of us, plus pillow, sleeping bag, and sheet.
Some hilarity and creative stowage ensued when we had to pick up a large teak grating custom made for the ship -- it only fit in the largest rental we could get from Enterprise by setting it on an angle and tying it in with ropes. Testament to the rough seas the Galeon experienced on a previous voyage -- a big wave came up under the cutwater deck and knocked the previous grating up and out, to be claimed by the sea.
Every single scrap of food, personal care items from the bathroom, liquids that can't stand excessive heat, and valuables are off our boat, either given away or placed in storage; the fridge is turned off; and an assembly of friends and neighbors and marina staff are keeping an eye on Cinderella for us. Two-day road trip to North Carolina, then, let the adventure begin!
I've tried to put links to follow the ship, and see the summer schedule, in the box on the upper left corner of the blog. Having some trouble with this link and this one for you to follow the ship. If neither one works for you, go to the marine traffic website and type "El Galeon Andalucia" in the search box in the upper right. I'll blog when I can, where I can, but please be patient, especially with my sluggishness answering comments.
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If you're really curious, here's what I packed:
You need to understand the context; this list is for a 4-month tour of duty, traveling from Maryland (hot and humid) to Nova Scotia (chilly); working as a tour guide when in port and sailing every week to a new location. The big thing we haven't mentioned is storage. Alongside your bunk is your locker. It is basically a big open hole as long as your bed and about 18" to 24" wide. No dividers or organizers, which can make your life awkward. I brought a collapsible car trunk organizer to help contain the mess. Also a mini tote for what might be "nightstand" gear -- wallet, glasses, cellphone, etc. The bathroom is upstairs from the dorm so I also brought a small kit for your grooming supplies (there is a toothbrush rack next to the sink, but things like your razor, hairbrush, etc will live in your locker and you just bring them up to use them.) Also you'll want a towel for showering, big enough for whatever level of modesty you prefer. The actual list follows:
Jacket (mid-weight, wind resistant)
gray wool sweater
fleece long underwear
4 El Galeon uniform t-shirts
2 El Galeon uniform polo shirts
4 shorts (ended up only wearing 2)
2 khaki stretch jeans
2 lightweight khaki pants
3 off-duty t-shirts
orange Hawaiian shirt (for BBQ parties)
fancy shirt and pants for going out
long-sleeve sunblock shirt
yellow foulie rain jacket and navy foulie pants
red nylon shirt and black water shorts (for sleepwear)
hat, gloves, scarf
warm turtleneck shirt
Tilley sun hat
El Galeon ball cap
socks & underwear (one week's worth; hand wash underwear in the sink)
meds & vitamins
bathroom kit (toothbrush, deodorant, hand lotion, ship provides shampoo and body wash and toothpaste)
crew name tag and id
leatherman knife and rigging knife
phone & universal charger to go from European 220V to US 110
notebook and blank paper
small camera and charger
towel & pillowcase (the ship will give you sheets, pillowcase, and sleeping bag but I like my silky pillowcase)
decaf tea & energy bars
chapstick (for some reason they don't provide any, though they do provide sunscreen)
bedside organizer tote (about 6" x 6" x 9" with lots of pockets)
laptop & charger