Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Leaving TOMORROW! What to Pack?

S/V Carpe Diem, Hunter Passage 420

I’m leaving TOMORROW! In less than twenty-four hours I'll be winging my way to the Caribbean to meet up with George Hamilton on S/V Carpe Diem, a Hunter Passage 420, docked at the island of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands! Good lord do I have butterflies in my stomach. If I call my jitters nervousness, the label puts a pessimistic tinge on my mood, but naming the bubbly feeling excitement paints a rosy outlook on what's ahead. So excitement butterflies it is! Here’s to the wild ride.

On my last day I’m getting down to the nitty gritty last minute todos and packing is at the tip top of my list. These are the essentials and the not so essentials (gotta make room for a lil’ comfort ;) I’m taking with me:

2 Bathing Suits
You see where my priorities are ;) But seriously, when its hot, I live in my bathing suit. The bikini tops double as my bras.
2 Tank Tops
2 T-Shirts
2 Warm Long Sleeve Shirts
1 Pair of Jeans
1 Pair of Pants that Zip Off as Shorts
2 Pair of Shorts
I like roomie cotton shorts because they are breathable and cool in the hot, humid weather of the tropics. I wear them to sleep in and just around town.
1 Pair of Fleece Pants
I wear these on cold, wet night watches. Even in the tropics it can be cold in the middle of a squall, especially when you have to be out in the weather for hours.
1 Pair of Non-Marking, Hiking Sandals
1 Pair of Non-Marking Shoes
1 Sun Dress
In the heat, there is nothing so comfortable as a dress; sometimes its great to be a woman.
1 Wrinkle-Free Black Dress
This is my go-to fancy outfit if I need to dress up.
1 Colorful Shawl
For warmth and if I need to cover my shoulders in a place that requires modesty.
1 Week’s Worth of Underwear
Sun Hat
Baseball Cap
Warm Hat

Sailing Gloves (or biking gloves)
Rigging Knife
Foul Weather Gear
Light Rain Jacket
Wet Suit (3 mm shortie)

Tether (the kind with 2 clips so you can move around the boat and always be attached)
PFD (hydrostatic auto-inflating)
This kind of PFD is more expensive, but it will inflate with the pressure of the water if you are  
knocked unconscious.
Mask and Snorkel

*Sometimes I travel will ALL this gear and it is really cumbersome! This time S/V Carpe Diem has extra gear that I can use which means I can travel lighter.

Essential equipment for staying in touch.
A super light and simple camera that is incredibly durable. Mine has ventured into the Sahara  
desert and crossed oceans. The downside is that film is expensive to buy and develop and 
the cool, old-timey look of the pics can now easily be replicated with instagram.
Digital Camera
I traveled for a year with only my holga and people I met could not belive that I was only 
traveling with a film camera! In Australia I broke down on bought a cannon... which has been 
a lot of fun.
The best thing for voracious readers while traveling, that is, unless you have an ipad...
Listening to music and audiobooks helps me stay awake for hours in the middle of the night 
on long night watches.

Sun Screen
Dramamine and Ginger
If you have an iron stomach, more power to you. For us mere mortals susceptible to  
seasickness, candied ginger is great to settle mild bouts of nausea and Dramamine is my go 
to when the seas kick up.
15 Clothespins
These are great for hanging hand washed clothes to dry. Not a necessity, but no boat ever 
seems to have enough.
Ear Plugs
Sleep Mask
Sun Glasses
Polarized sunglasses allow you to see into the water and watch for reefs, etc.
Extra Pair of Prescription Glasses

Mini Bug Spray
Mini Aloe Vera

Wet Wipes
Freshwater is a limited resource on a boat which can make getting clean low on the  priority 
list. Wet wipes allow you to give yourself a quick sponge bath without using the ship’s 
stores. Friend’s of mine have also recommended a wet, soapy washcloth.
Inflatable Neck Pillow
Totally not a necessity, but this will come in handy during my 16 hours of travel time I have 
tomorrow flying from San Francisco to St Thomas via New York and San Juan.

Regular strength for my period cramps and some extra strength in case an old back injury 
flares up.

I didn’t worry about shaving in the remote islands of the South Pacific, but I expect the 
Caribbean islands will be firmly seated in civilization rather than floating outside it.

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