Getting Ready for a Real Shakedown

We’re sitting on the bow of the boat, in our Adirondack chairs, enjoying the sunset over San Pedro hill, thinking about the next steps. We closed the office, moved our stuff to storage in Arizona, and moved our office to our sailboat. And that’s just the beginning. We don’t get to be tired yet.

It’s a bit stressful trying to practice law in the galley when there are unpacked boxes sitting in various places, with nowhere to go. We have stuffed as much as we can in the Excursion. Additionally, we brought stuff from home that now takes room where it wasn’t needed before. We need additional storage added to the boat before we leave. We have gotten rid of as much as we can and need what is presently on the boat.

The plan to leave in roughly six months means doing a shakedown around Southern California to make sure that we have the stamina to live aboard with no attachment to land. We think it would be a good idea to leave the marina and bob around on the ocean for the next 6 months, traveling between Catalina, Dana Point, Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. There are lots of free anchorages where we can anchor for several nights at a time. And while a shakedown is important, I do still have cases pending in court that I need to finish, which also means I need to be local.

In order for the shakedown to happen, I need storage. I don’t like feeling disorganized. I have heard that sailing is hard enough that in the meantime, it’s important to have a sense of well-being. My sense of well-being means everything must be in its place; not sitting in boxes or hanging off shelves.

This boat is up to it. It’s a great boat. There is a lot of room for storage on a 1976 Morgan Out Island 41, and we are feeling very creative. We have already built a cabinet with two large drawers and two shelves to hold food storage, and we built a cabinet that holds four very large kitchen drawers to hold basic galley tools that I absolutely must have on the boat, but we need an additional cabinet to act as additional food storage.

I also need a small shelf to be built in the aft head. It’s a “wet” head, which means that when we take showers, everything gets wet. The sink is leaking a bit when the shower is turned on, and that means everything on the counter also gets wet. I want to build a shelf on which we can put the things we brought from home so that they’re not sitting in water on the counter. I also intend to hang a sort of curtain that prevents anything sitting on that shelf from getting wet.

We also need to build cabinets in the aft cabin for our clothes, which are presently sitting on a shelf that lines each side.

And, we developed several leaks in our inflatable skiff that caused it to lay like a dead duck, hanging from the arch that was built on the back of the boat. Embarrassing!

Pictures will be coming.

So, the plan is to leave the marina by July 31st. Between now and July 31st, for me to have that sense of well-being, I need a clothes cabinet, a kitchen cabinet, a shelf for the aft head, and the holes in the skiff to be fixed.

And at the end of the day, after the stress of pretending that the galley is a law office, I get to visit the locals on my kayak.

Sea Lion on a Buoy.

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