It’s been a busy, crazy and hectic two weeks here in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia preparing for the upcoming trip. Before we can go off and disappear into the wild there are A LOT of preparations to be made.
Firstly, maintenance of Skimpy. Boats need regular work to keep them running smoothly, the salty ocean is brilliant and eating away at things, and to save money I do all the maintenance myself. This has the added bonus of knowing how to fix something if it breaks in the middle of nowhere! Before I bought Skimpy I had no knowledge of things like engines or electrics or fiberglass, it has all been self taught from reading books, speaking to other sailors and Youtube. While it’s been a frustrating journey to knowledge I’ve really enjoyed it, there’s something very satisfying about troubleshooting a problem and learning a new skill in the process. I also like working with my hands and theres something comforting about taking something apart and understanding it, very different from fixing computer problems!
Whilst in the states last week for Burning Man I took the opportunity to buy loads of boating equiptment and spare parts, things are so much cheaper there! I then had the mission of getting 40kg of equipment (I don’t travel with many clothes) back to Indonesia without being mugged by airlines baggage limits or hungry customs officials. It was a genuine pain but I managed to get it all through and now it was just a matter of installing it all.
So in the last two weeks the list of tasks has been – replace the wallpaper of a cabin, service both engines, install a new alternator, replace wind generator blades, patch the dinghy, service the dinghy outboard, have mosquito nets made, replace glass in the fridge, install the new sunshade, replace ropes, service the dive compressor, patch the standup paddleboard, install a new compass, service all the toilets (yay), varnish the woodwork, remove barnacles off the bottom, replace the propeller nut and bearing … that’s about what I can remember just now, I’m sure there was a lot more! It has been a lot of work but it needs to be done so everything will work properly when we need it (I hope).
The second thing that needed to be done was buying supplies. There will be no supermarkets in the places we are going so we need to a lot of food with us. The rough plan is to buy enough longlasting food (pasta, rice, sauces, beer) to last six weeks and then stop at villages to buy fresh fruit and vegetables every four of five days. This has resulted in a couple of giant shopping trips and now every corner of Skimpy has been packed with tins, packets and cans. I just hope we can find it when we need it.
And now we are full of supplies and everything is working properly. We have everything we need to be fully self-sufficient for 2 weeks, longer if we rationed carefully. This is an incredible feeling of freedom! We could head off in any direction in the world right now. We have enough to supplies to make it to Africa if we wanted!
I strongly doubt we will chose to do that. But just to know that you can is a beautiful thing…