Posted by: yachtcrewsing | December 10, 2011

Leaving Newport

We are finally, after 5 and a half months in Rhode Island and Long Island, leaving the U.S. for a more tropical climate!

A surprising amount needs to be done in preparation for leaving for the winter season. Firstly, Antigua (and the Caribbean in general) is expensive and significantly more difficult to obtain such things as exotic cooking products and spare engine parts. Thus, before we leave the U.S., we are required to preemptively purchase stocks to last every department thought the winter. This is especially important for our chef, who has spent the past two weeks traveling to Boston and area for everything from specific spices to serving dishes.

We, the stewardess department, have not been far behind. For the past few days we have been completely filling our entire GMC SUV with everything from a six-month supply of crew toiletries and medical supplies to cigars for our guest cabin humidor to unwanted items from the boat for donation to Christmas decorations to snacks and drinks for a small army. Needless to say, the forward bilge storage area for all of the dry and canned food is full to the brim.

The engineers have also been highly preoccupied in the days prior to our departure, working until one in the morning in order to have the yacht ready in time. All of our fire suppression systems needed to be checked and changed (a factor in our delayed departure due to one custom-made tank needing replacing), the seal on the aft hull door needed fixing and the auto pilot steering was malfunctioning, along with numerous other things.

But finally, after we had stowed and lashed down everything on the boat, noon today found our entire crew on the aft deck, freezing, running through an extensive repertoire of fire, abandon ship and safety drills. That being done, we donned our extreme foul weather gear, hats and gloves and threw off the dock lines. Tooting the ships horn, we waved our goodbyes to Newport and set our sights ahead on the vast ocean.

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