As mentioned in Port Angeles, Part Two, stowing all our gear was the next daunting project before launching. It took some creativity to fit everything we need for ourselves and the boat. We stowed our many tools and our hardware store worth of fasteners, plumbing and electrical fittings, and paint and epoxy first since it was already on board. We had to be careful, though, to avoid the temptation to stow the first things in the most inaccessible places. However much we wished we were done with boat work at that point, the reality is that little things always come up and routine maintenance is important. So the tools got prime locations and we’ve been glad since then that they did!
Once Celeste was cleaned of her mess of project-related stuff, we could stow the more everyday gear like pots and pans, knives and forks, matches, spatulas, plates, mugs, napkins, pot holders, books, toiletries, blankets, down sleeping bags, sheets, towels, cameras, laptops, and clothes including lots of jackets, hats, mittens, and wool socks. A huge thank you to Seth’s mom who knitted us gorgeous fisherman’s sweaters over the winter—they’ve been in constant use already!
Celeste’s sailing and safety gear takes up quite a bit of room: sails, lines, sail repair kit, charts, prescription medical kit, suture kit, two big first aid kits, life raft, life jackets, survival suits, EPIRB, handheld GPS and VHF radios, flares, abandon ship bag (including our manual desalinator), a whole slew of spare Yanmar parts, about ten jerry jugs of diesel, almost as many of kerosene for our heater, and a couple for emergency water, and the “oh shit” box that includes items like wooden plugs for a seacock potentially failing. Then we have a load of long-shelf-life food. It’s a huge comfort to know we have over 50 AlpineAire meals for when it gets rough, and, unlike our previous rough weather food, they’re actually tasty and made without a million preservatives! We have a lot of cans and dry food like rice, pasta, and oats as well as a good supply of hot chocolate, tea, and coffee—it’s cold out there on the North Pacific! Last but definitely not least we have lots of mason jars full of delicious soups and chilis my dad had made for us and then pressure canned. A big thanks to him and to my mom for organizing the shipment of our dinghy, life raft, and other gear from Maine to Port Angeles this spring.
Somehow or other, all this junk (it’s not junk!) fit in the boat somewhere. (We’re not sure where now. . . .) With the green cushions on the settees, the bed made up with blankets in the aft cabin, the books on the shelf, and a few pictures on the bulkhead, the boat felt like home again. Of course not all of this happened before launching, and the trouble-shooting we had to do then delayed that homey feeling by quite a few days. . . .