We have a few days left until we leave Canada to return to our boat. Eben was there last month but it’s pretty crazy to realize that the girls and I have been away from our floating home for five months now. That was an unexpected turn of events! But now, as the end of the Canadian adventure draws near, it’s time to switch gears and pack our SailorBags full of all the things that we will be needing on our boat for our upcoming season of sailing.
We have been at this boating thing for six years now, so it’s not like we are provisioning and loading the boat for the first time…we have the engel freezer, the Trojans, the VHF, we have the magma nesting pots, we have the many, many turkish towels (Dogas, hammamas, lulujos, etc, I’m slightly obsessed and Eben has told me I have to stop getting them!), we have all the kitchen things that one could need on a boat (minus our Vitamix, which sadly, will wait for us on our land), we have the best of the bedroom essentials, we have the kids toys, we even have the Christmas decorations…so what is it that you bring back when you are already a well-established boat? Don’t worry there are still many things that will fill our bags to the 50lbs max!
Number one, it’s time to switch from our Dickies (which we have been EXTREMELY grateful to have while working/clearing/trudging in the mud of this cold and dreary Canadian “Fall”, (Remind me again why we are moving to the cold!?) it’s time to switch to flip flops and bathing suits. Flip flops, I have been asked what I wear, I go for the cheapest of the cheap, $2 on sale Old Navy flip flops. That way I don’t care if they break or get lost or stolen. I head to the boat with a few pairs in hand and am good to go for a season or two. The kids and Eben are uber fashionable and sport crocs throughout the boating season. I hate to admit it but they are practical for kids since the sand easily slips out all those holes, but there is no justification for Eben!
Bathing suits, no matter how well we take care of them, we spend A LOT of time in the sun, salt, and sunscreen environment, one season and our swimwear toast. The elastics are shot, they are faded, and they are definitely no longer SPF50 after all that. So we re-stock, new Sunuva and Snapper Rock for the girls, new Sunset Inc bikinis for me, and Eben, he gets whatever is on sale at Kmart (he shops that way by choice). We stand by our swimwear and rash guards because we spend a lot of time in the sun and have tried several different brands, these are the ones we found work the best for us.
Usually, we would restock our boat clothes, but since we have been in colder Canada, wrapped up in our warmer clothes (Fig and jeans), all of our “summery” clothes are still in good condition…and the girls have not had any recent growth spurts, so they should still all fit. Our boat closets are full of dresses, shorts, and Pitusas, waiting to be worn, meaning we can save some money by not restocking those this trip.
When back in Canada we often end up splurging and getting a few new (up to date) toys for ourselves. This trip we got an iPad mini for Arias (to help with her homeschooling apps), and iPhone6s+ for me (to add to our photography gear). To make sure these last as long as possible we got a LifeProof case for my phone (although I don’t think I will ever get up the nerve to dunk it in the ocean and take underwater pics with it) and a kid-proof case for the iPad. We also got two new camera bags, one from Lowepro and one from Lo and Sons (the camera bag that doubles as a purse) because our camera comes everywhere with me. And a new GorillaPod tripod (since we lost our last one to “the drink”/ie ocean, thanks mjsailing! hahaha) and a mini tripod for my iPhone, oh yes I did!
Books. Although I would love to say that I read, I get maybe one book in on the kindle every year (thank you for giving me that Amanda). When I refer to books I mean more for the kids. We have an amazing library on St. Thomas, but Arias has become a reading machine so I went to the thrift store and stocked up on chapter books for her to gobble up. And for Ellia we are still working through her Reading Eggs books, which we will bring aboard to compliment her Bob books.
We try and pick up those little things that we can’t easily find on the island, the creature comforts that we sometimes crave, like rice wraps and poutine gravy. Or my skin products, OZ Naturals, that I can’t just pick up at the local pharmacy. I usually get more of our sunscreens, but if my memory serves me right we still have a good amount on the boat at the moment. Fingers crossed.
Since Eben was at the boat last month all of our systems are in good working order (we recently revamped our battery bank, that hurt the bank account) and the boat is well maintained, meaning for the first time ever, we aren’t going back with a ton of tools and boat parts shoved in our bags. It’s a bit of a shocker because usually EVERY trip we have many boat pieces making the trip with us, those are the joys of living on a “workaboard” boat! The only new upgrade that we are bringing back to the boat this trip is our new Viqua UV water filter. It’s a bonus for us, knowing that our drinking water on the boat will now be purified and clean, helping us avoid any possible island-water bugs.
This is the first time we have had so little to take back with us, which is mostly due to the fact that Eben had made the trip back there a month ago, and because I am not too stressed about it since St Thomas (considered the “city” island of the US Virgins) has many “American” stores and they have a decent mailing system that I can get almost everything that we forget to bring shipped into us.
We leave our property on Monday. We will have all of our Canadian things packed away in our travel trailer, shed, and shipping container for the winter. We will hopefully be on our boat by Tuesday night, and by the end of that week, we should be nicely re-settled on our boat and back into the full-swing of our ocean life.