Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance*

It’s occurred to me over the past week as we are inundated with MORE bad news of a global pandemic, that there isn’t much we need to do. We are ready, my fellow sailors. We. Are. Ready.

Enjoying a beautiful virus-free day at sea

As fans of The Walking Dead, we have also joked for years that we are readying ourselves for the Zombie apocalypse. And we are….unless the zombies swim or float (which they don’t, in my expert opinion; you always have to fear the living, not the dead). We aren’t survivalists by any means, but good preparation for long passages has a similar look and feel as compared to what the CDC or WHO has currently advised.

Kirby in La Cruz, contemplating a few maintenance repairs and the sunset

Our “home” floats and travels – using wind and solar to get us just about anywhere, and within less than 20 minutes (5 in a real emergency) we can be off and away from land. It’s completely self-contained if need be. We have a water maker on board that makes 30 gallons/hour from seawater, and my general paranoia for running out of food means that we always over-provision (how long should I keep those bags of dried nuts before I acquiesce to their actual expiration date?!). Just last month, I inventoried and restocked our medicine cabinet with just about everything you can think of that you may need if you’re stuck in the middle of an ocean (or escaping a global pandemic). 

Pantry 1 of 8 on the boat

Cleaning out and inventorying some of our lesser used cabinets the other day revealed a literal treasure trove of virus-useful equipment: e.g. seeds for fresh sprouts, 4 full boxes of anti-bacterial wipes, and face masks. And, of course, this excludes our Ditch Bag supplies, which are supposed to keep us alive for several days in the event the Zombies do take over the boat.

Contents of our Ditch Bag emergency kit

But, this is no laughing matter, and experts say it’s about to get a whole lot worse. We have been traveling via plane a lot lately and visiting a few big cities, going about our lives but with a heightened sense of our space around us. We also recognize that we healthy adults have a community responsibility by not being innocent carriers to others whose immune systems may be weakened or otherwise compromised. As a reminder, these rules of safety should be our norm, not our new exception, but it deserves repeating:

  1. Wash your hands – and your phone – frequently
  2. Wipe down the areas around you on planes, at home, and on your boat with anti-bacterial wipes, a soapy bleach solution or alcohol of at least 70%
  3. Refrain from shaking hands and avoid touching your faces
  4. Keep 3-6 feet from people in groups/crowds if possible
  5. Listening for coughing or sneezing nearby from which we can inconspicuously and quickly move away
  6. Share your anti-bacterial wipes with your neighbors and strangers in close quarters
Treasures of the Bilge….

Stay safe out there, friends.



When I was the cook aboard the Sea Shepherd, I learned a lot of things very quickly:

Photo Credit: Sam Rose Phillips
  • A satiated crew is a happy crew
  • A well stocked pantry delivers infinite possibilities
  • Knowing everyone’s favorite treats can turn around a bad attitude
  • Always cut up the fruit if you want anyone to eat it
  • Rotate your leftovers by incorporating them into a new dish
  • Popcorn is a universal treat
  • Cookies are magical
Lodos’ galley with our fabulous new Dometic fridge

What I have learned so far on our boat, is what I heard repeatedly from others who cruise, but I did not heed their warning;

Do not over-provision!

The Hallway Pantry: one of many places we store (cram actually) our foodstuffs

Remembering that wherever there are people, there will be food. It may not be your brand or type of food, but it will be there nonetheless.

We decided that on our boat, we would mostly be plant-based (vegan). We don’t feel deprived and we never really miss anything (eggs may be the exception, and then we buy local). If we have an intense craving for anything, we eat it when we’re off the boat. Simple. Easy. Low Impact.

PRO TIP: When storing foods while the boat isn’t being used – assuming you have secured your boat from outside intruders (including blocking thru hulls with water permeable materials that keep bugs from entering), we get rid of anything canned that has high acid, tomato sauces, and flours that may hatch bugs. We also ensure everything is in vacuum bags or containers with lids, just in case we do have bugs hatching – it will help contain them. Separately, we layer bay leaves and fabric softener sheets (not in the food, obviously) throughout the boat and in all drawers and cabinets. We also use small cockroach hotels (just in case) on the floors, in cabinets and drawers. Knock wood, we’ve never had bugs.

The reason to eat mainly vegan aboard was multi-dimensional:

And finally, here’s the list!

50 (or more) Must Haves for the Pantry

Back in the Sea of Cortez – during hurricane season…

I love the familiarity with the sea, the anchorages, the wildlife and impending challenges we will no doubt encounter while sailing. The big difference for this 2 weeks, is that we don’t have internet, and I feel that I need it for work, which has created a new set of problems or anxiety – needing to be in a specific place for a phone call or meeting isn’t exactly the safest way to sail/travel, as it forces you to make potentially compromised decisions on weather that you might not have otherwise.

Sunset in Caleta Partida

We started this trip with a few days in Caleta Partida – an anchorage that divides two islands, and which has a narrow channel that we can take our dinghy through to get from one side of the island to the other. It’s one of our favorite places because it’s sheltered and protected but also because it’s the home to dozens of turtles.

Kirby cleaning the hull
Jodi snorkeling with sea lions

On our way to our next anchorage at San Francisco Island, we made a quick stop at a couple small islands that are home to hundreds of sea lions. The pup season ends in July. Kirby anchored the boat in a deep rocky islet while I jumped off and swam with them. They warned me to not get too close by barking at me – they were adorable and fun to see up close, and of course swimming with sea lions is pretty special.

Heading north to Isla San Francisco, we happened upon a group of 5-7 giant manta rays feeding at the surface. We stopped the boat to watch them eat, and then saw them soar under the boat with wingspans of more than 10 feet, mouths open, breathtaking….

After arriving in Isla SF, we stayed at two separate anchorages – we found some fantastic dive/snorkeling sites and appreciated the rich variety and diversity of the fish – so many we’d never seen before and that are indigenous to the Sea: Golden phase puffer fish, Cortez round ray, Cortez angel fish, and dozens of others – including 4 types of parrot fish.

Bahia Agua Verde

Our next stop was one of our favorites – at Bahia Agua Verde – but we had to scoot up to Puerto Escondido (where we are now on a mooring ball) as our refrigeration is on the fritz, we need to do laundry and dump our trash 🙂 We’ll be here for a bit while we catch up on work and projects, and I plan for my next trip to the USA for work.

And, it’s hot. So hot. ~100 degrees and nearly the same in humidity. We are having trouble keeping the fridge and freezer working properly it’s so hot….but, we are swimming and relaxing and doing our best to breath our way through it as the benefits outweigh the annoyances.

Hurricane Prep: Sea of Cortez

It’s hard to believe we knew virtually nothing about this just a few months ago, and now I feel like we’ve sucked up every bit of knowledge from so many sources. There are a lot of resources out there, and a wide swath of passionate opinions that can make your head spin. Everyone has their own “must do’s”, and there is a wide range of prep taking place in the marina here in San Carlos.

Susan & Dennis Ross at Marina Palmira in La Paz

First, thanks for Susan & Dennis Ross aboard s/v Two Can Play – they really made our brains swirl with information (and some panic) when they generously offered their time to teach a seminar in La Paz about Hurricane Planning back in April. One guy in their class said, “heck, I’m so freaked out, I think I’ll just go back to San Diego now!” <hahaha>

All joking aside, this is serious business. I’m sure we won’t do everything right, and in the event of a really bad storm, it might not even matter, but we’ll leave Lodos knowing we did all we could to ensure she is safe and secure.


We talked to dozens of people, read dozens of blog posts, looked at how people were prepping their boats around us, and have made multiple revisions to our list of “to do’s” before we head out in less than two weeks. We started a running list of everything we had to do to get the boat ready to haul out of the water next week, we got a storage unit for the season from the great team at Bahia Storage (Thanks again to Miguel for the truck and extra set of hands!), and we bought an inordinate amount of aluminum foil and car windshield reflective shields to cover the windows and portholes. The inside temp of the boat can easily be over 150 degrees here in summer! I use this digital laser thermometer to measure temps inside the boat – it’s a super cool and useful tool!

I even asked my mom what they do to prep their RV/mobile home prior to leaving the hot summers of Arizona, all of which is now incorporated into our list below.

The first hurricane of the season (ALETTA) has gone out to die in the Pacific, and it looks like there is one right behind it, which will be called BUD. It’s not likely to reach us here, but it may make landfall in Cabo San Lucas. We’ve been obsessively watching the weather and learned some new geeky weather jargon such as: “this system is now an invest 92E which has turned into a td3e”.  I’ve upped my weather game substantially and added the following sites to my obsession: two_pac_0d0






Passage Weather

Tropical Tidbits

National Hurricane Center (NOAA)

Remove all sails (wash, dry, take down, fold)
store all running rigging
Use T-9 or Marlube on all tracks and roller furlers
secure mast boot from high winds
pull all halyards up into mast with leaders to base of mast
store excess halyards in bag at base of mast
center boom and lock down with line currently on stern ladder
cover furling and tracks w/ foil/towels
fold up/secure davits
Remove dodger and bimini canvas
drain water tanks and add a little bleach
remove and store bbq - take to storage
remove and store life ring
prep scuba equipment - take tanks to storage
deflate dink and store w/ lines in storage
remove outboard and store (change oil?)
close all thru hulls after hauling (except bilge)
wash bottom (no pressure washer) and inspect bottom, paint
plug all thru hulls with cbronze or vinyl wool to disuade bugs
fill diesel tanks and add biocide
extra lines on solar panels
cockpit cleared of everything
winch handles stored below
empty cockpit bags
cover instruments w/ blanket/tie down
remove wind generator blades
inspect hull, paint/repair as needed
Tighten/adjust bimini rails to readjust location
cover all tracks & pulleys and winches
move all sails, canvas, etc to offsite storage
wash boat/clean outside of boat
cover flat surfaces with sunbrella fabric, weight down with chain
Mark with grease pencil fiberglass spots
pack for Turkey, organize clothes we are taking off the boat
cover all windows and hatches with reflective material
roll up and store all carpets in sheets, storage
store all cushions in master cabin
deploy roach traps
remove all perishables/donate
remove med kit with any perishable items (incl contact lenses)
Organize and clean out food storage, cover bags, double bag/box foods, remove cardboard/paper
leave buckets of water for humidity
lubricate hatch gaskets with silicone grease or other rubber safe lube
remove batteries from all handhelds/clocks
put mineral oil in heads to lube gaskets
put dryer sheets in all cabinets/drawyers
put essential oil on sponges for freshness
store bedding/vacuum pack
close/block seat cushion holes
cover woodwork with relfective material
donate canned food, etc
remove/store electronics/computers
remove $$ & take copy of vital paperwork
final clean of boat and launder all sheets & clothes to be left on the boat
fold up bed/store
move clothes from closet, vacuum pack clothes as necessary
wrap companion way door in reflective material
final run to storage, drop off key
clean out fridge/freezer
prep air conditioner
pickle water maker
flush and fog outboard for storage
flush engine with fresh water and vinegar / check with yard on recco
disconnect propane/prep propane tanks
check propane tank guages
Unplug all network connections from devices on network
Remove power to devices
disconnect antenna leads
remove electronics where possible
ensure bilge pumps work with solar power
store electronics in oven?
put handhelds/smaller items into safe
give letter of approval for Alberto, Garth, Arturo to be on boat
develop quick checklist for Alberto to do weekly or monthly w/ pics
laminate note for back of boat of who to reach/how to reach
Change oil in all engines
clean boat
replace zincs
reconnect/refill propane
change oil in engine & outboard
change oil in genny
remove all impellers, place in zip lock with silicone coating
Replace gaskets in toilets
Adjust bimini rails
Replace propane gauges in aft locker

60 Days to launch…

We have decided to leave on February 14.  Assuming good weather:)

February 14 is the day Jodi and I officially started 27 years ago, so this date seems like a good one.

Here is the list of projects as of today.  Thanks to the crews at Pacific Offshore Rigging, Smart Marine Services and The Yacht Docktor for all your hard work.


Main rigging POR Dec Fritz coming this week
Main sail POR Jan End of December
New lines POR Jan End of December
Rig preventer POR Jan End of December
Review all deck hardware for rig POR/KW Jan Before all rigging is completed
Trial sail run POR Jan Go out with Fritz/team
New engine room lights NIC Nov Done?
Refrigeration & freezer seals in doors, gaskets, trim NIC Dec Week of 11/26
A/C install NIC Dec Week of 11/26
Install carbon filter to black water NIC Dec Week of 11/26
Ensure bilge pump float switches working properly NIC Dec Week of 12/6
Secure propane central panel in galley NIC Dec Week of 12/6
110 plug/switch for scuba compressor NIC Dec Week of 12/6
110 plug/switch for compressor in engine room NIC Dec Week of 12/6
Generator spares/service NIC Dec Week of 12/6
Install 110/USB plug  in cockpit NIC Dec Week of 12/6
Mount/install fuel polisher NIC Dec Week of 12/6
Test/polish fuel NIC Dec Week of 12/6
New deck/running/anchor lights NIC Dec Week of 12/6
Rework battery power selection switch – broken? NIC Dec Week of 12/17
Tank monitors calibration/connect NIC Dec Week of 12/17
Wind generator NIC Dec Week of 12/17
Install solar panel rack feet NIC Jan Week of 12/31
Install bimini struts for solar panels NIC Jan Week of 12/31
Refrigeration fix MOR Dec Doors must be complete to test

Fixed but waiting on doors to be fixed to test

SSB Radio SHA Dec Start install week of 15th.  KW to call Shae on the 13th
VHF Install SHA Dec Radio and remote installed.  Need to connect wire in master cabin closet.  Shae will do during ssb install.
New window install RAN Dec Randy to call KW when windows are ready.  After 12/15
New cockpit flooring RAN Jan Tbd – may hold until later…
Diesel service review & parts PAC Dec Finish service, incl spare parts

Final install and test on 12/19 & 12/20

Schedule meeting w/ Kris/Ayko JW Dec Potential for 12/5
Schedule/pay for captains license JW Dec Week of 11/26
Rent AirBNB JW Dec Move in 11/30-12/22
Scuba refits for Cayman Islands JW Dec Week of 11/26
Review shirt purchases JW/KW Dec
Continue consulting & board interviews JW Dec GLG, 3rd Bridge, etc.
Explore work/volunteer options JW/KW Dec Workaway, Research projects, Sea Shepherd, boat sitters, innkeepers, Tadzio
Consolidate storage units: eliminate Rocket ASAP, repack all JW/KW Dec Organize into: donate, sell, keep in storage, ship or move to boat
Move CBC storage stuff JW/KW Dec Inform CBC
Remove personal stuff from 7CB JW/KW Dec Organize remaining equipment
Triangulate readiness list JW/KW Dec Review against others lists
Clean out & organize stern lockers JW/KW Dec Prep, clean, organize
Scuba equipment review – boat JW/KW Dec Buy tanks, find storage, update computers, pair with BCs
Build hooks/labels for lockers KW Dec To hang lines, fenders, equip
Paint/seal anchor locker JW/KW Dec
Install Wirie Pro KW Dec
Create safe space for counter appliances/hold in place KW Dec Coffee maker, etc.
Find secure place for sewing mach KW Dec Nico room?
Reattach lim buss in cockpit KW Dec
Store drogue /review procedure JW/KW Dec After lockers are organized
Mount liferaft JW/KW Dec Or move onto boat off of dock
Quote for new flooring in cockpit KW Dec Schedule complete early Jan
Test all actisense engine monitoring options KW Dec
Connect AIS on vests to MFDs KW Dec Need to buy new MFDs
Document water making process JW Dec Type/laminate/post under sink
Build passage plan 2/18* JW/KW Dec Review & build passage plan
Determine if we want to have crew JW/KW Dec, SSCS
Rush renewal of JW passport JW Jan ASAP after scuba trip
Complete sale of 7 Coldbrew KW Jan 12/31/17 turnover
Sell stuff online JW/KW Jan Bikes, tools, scooter?
Ship art to family JW/KW Jan
Build log for captains license JW/KW Jan Week of 12/31
Prep/identify place for safekeeping JW/KW Jan Week of 12/31
Change dinghy passage storage KW Jan Determine best place to store
Change address (WA, FL, TX?) JW/KW Jan Determine place of residence
Change insurance KW Jan Review for hurricane req
Research reliable marinas for hurricane season KW Jan Review pulling boat out/storing during hurricane season
Label all switches, pipes, lines KW Jan Need label maker tape
Complete taxes JW/KW Jan
Test, fix all cabinet doors KW Jan
Fix cabinet under stove KW Jan
Build shelf system in settee lockers JW Jan
Make labels/id storage key JW Jan Type/laminate/post
Restore unneeded shoes/clothes JW Jan
Create 1st closet for outerwear JW Jan
Inventory outerwear needs JW/KW Jan Purchase foul weather gear
Last clean/organize/sweep of engine room and Nico room KW/NIC Jan Organize spare parts, put into crates, label, clean/mop
Build supply list to purchase JW/KW Jan Provisions, spare parts, materials, etc.
Build menu plan for passages JW Jan For overnight passages
Prep Jasper/health certificates JW Jan
Clean all floors/carpets JW Jan
Cancel services, memberships JW Jan SGYC, NYT, utilities, etc.
Create letter/blog to F&F JW Jan
Buy charts & navigation tools JW/KW Jan For Mexico–>Panama
Change SGYC membership KW Jan Change to out of country travel


Complete all classes JW/KW Jan Weather, radar, nav, captains
Get physicals, dentist, eye doctors JW/KW Jan Complete all appts, get scripts
Build out ditch kit JW/KW Dec
Cook food for freezer, passages JW/KW Feb
Final fill up diesel, pump out JW/KW Feb Organize black water cleanout
Apply for Turkish visas JW/KW Feb For July-September++