Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Prelude to the Sea

Our hiatus in New England has been charming and productive and is now running down.  We have set up our hurricane-season retreat, seen all our friends and family here, gone to all the down East sites like Gloucester, made applesauce and eaten our fill of $3.99/1b lobster, and we are getting antsy. It has dropped below 35oF twice in a week and the maples are clearly on the verge of changing.  It is time. To pack up and get to Cerca Trova.

This has been the longest we have been off the boat since we got her 2 years ago. We have had no adverse news from the skipper keeping an eye on her. And no hurricane scares. But still, what will we return to?  For one thing, a lot of work to get ready to cruise. We have been consuming all the wonderful published insights from friends on Take Two, Windtraveler, Irie, and all the other Manta owners too.  And we will be putting that to work as we dig into our 5 page To-Do list of preparations. Just today, I was making up a detailed list of items for our ditch bag.  And our Amazon wish-list has more than 100 entries of gear and supplies awaiting purchase (and we just spent the last year getting rid of all our Stuff!).  And that's only the purchasing.  The work tasks are immense as well.

One really valuable aspect of Manta catamarans is the vigorous and committed owners group that provides access to all the experience that exists with these boats, ie the current & past owners.  Sure, other production boats have owners groups.  Unlike Catalina, Hunter, etc. with thousands of boats, Manta only built 127 boats and yet the owners group is incredibly active and effective.  The most experienced gladly help the newbies with everthing from finding engine parts to sail trim.  And the newbies follow suit.  We get together in meet-ups, the next one is at Annapolis, and, thanks to Clark Haley, the tradition of Manta Migrations is up and running again.  Hope to join in this April in the Abacos.

But to do that, we have to get the boat ready, us ready, and GO!