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2009
Keeping Costs in Control
Finding Your Boat in the Dark
Instrument Assisted Grounding
Limited Power of Attorney
Structural Adhesives for Boat Building
Lyle Hess Plans: Change of Address
Source for Bu-Ord parachutes for Para-anchor Usage
Writing and Cruising
Children and Cruising

2008
No Marina Shower
Pro-Active Insurance
Better Folding Water Jugs
Reinforced Tradewinds
Bilge Pump Outlet
Floating Plastic Waste
Mast Failure
Signing Off Before You Set Sail

2007
Ship's Library
Maintaining Varnished Surfaces
Have epoxy adhesives improved recently?
Series Drogues: Can They Work Like a Para-anchor?
Efficient Tool Drawers For Cruising Boats
Make Your Boat Unstoppable
Open Roadsteads
Storm Trysails
Lyle Hess Designs
What Does Cruising Cost?

2006
Navigation Warning
Quick Fix in Island Studded Waters
Things I've learned at sea
Winterizing Varnished Timber
Para-Anchor Source
Sea Boots
Preventing Rigging Failures at Sea
What about holding tanks?

2005
Ventilation Assisting
Companionway Board

I hate systems!
Seacocks & Through Hull Fittings
Galley Sink Cutting Board
Fail-proof Turnbuckle Lock

Special provisions
Email Contact-Beware
Folding Lifeboat Note

2004
Plated Plugs
When Radar Doesn't Work

Perfect Cruisers Cookware
Removing Stains From Wood

Ships Medical Library
WARNING:Spectra Lines

New To Oysters
More on Cookware

Storage tips
A Space Conscious Knife Rack

Double Duty Locker Door
Washing Line

2003
Life Rafts
Medical Insurance
Cash & Carry
Preserving Butter
Chilean Canals
Beeswax!
Powdered Eggs
Save Your Fingers

2002
Beware of White!
Ice Buckets

Leftover Fillet
Extra Veggie Storage
Protect Your Lines

Clink prevention
Easier Shopping

Assist Masthead Maintenance
Health Insurance
Electricians & Alloy
Affordable Security
Proper Sea-Cocks
Tips from Larry's Workshop
Travel Insurance
Variable Destination Navigation

2001
Anti-prop stop reminders
Sail Covers
Shake down sail
The Port Stick

Poor Mans A/C
Stern Anchor Stowage
Spinnaker pole storage

Water in your fuel
Egg Carriers
European Duties

2000
Natural Sandpaper
Deoderize kerosene
Waterproof adhesive
Ready Crisp Bacon

Visas
Boat Tie Shoes

Easier Screwing
Miracle Product

Swageless end fittings
Quick Hot Soup

1999
Night Vision Glasses
Marine Metal Detector
Kitchen Helpers
The "watch" watch


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December 2008

Signing off before you set sail

Larry and I had truly become involved in modern communications by the time we began preparations for our voyage from Ventura through the Pacific. For the previous four years we’d rarely been out of cell phone range as we explored the Pacific Northwest and coast of California. Our writing, seminars and website, plus the boatyard in New Zealand meant we’d become used to staying in touch with the outside world on an almost daily basis. Now it was time to escape. We knew we would be at sea for extended periods and visiting isolated places without access to internet (and it turned out with very difficult to find telephone access also.) And we choose to have no on board communications. (See the June 2008 newsletter for more on this).  This meant three months or more out of contact. I realized I had to “sign off” from my email account, my telephone message service and mail before we set sail.  I remembered how intense and condensed time gets during the last few days before departure.  So I decided to do something that really annoyed my family who knew I was still in town.  Five days before our intended departure I shut down our outside business life. I put a message on my cell phone that said we’d left to go to sea and would be out of touch for at least three months. I put a return message on my email account informing people we had set sail, and probably would not be accessing our email until late September (we left in June). I asked that they send a new email in September if they had not heard from me.  I asked our mail service to hold all mail.  Though friends and family who knew we had not yet departed still left phone messages, emails immediately slowed down, business calls stopped and I felt could concentrate on getting the boat fully prepared. I was able to clear my email inbox in minutes the day before we actually set sail. 

I am sure glad I did this as getting provisions on board, going over last minute check lists, having last minute lunches and dinners with my large and loving family and taking care of those business items that had to be closed out, filled every minute of those last few days. The decrease in phone calls was a welcome relief and I was able to enjoy calling to say farewell to several special friends and family members as we sailed gently south along the California coastline and I used up my last free minutes just before we sailed out of cell phone range. Interestingly, when I was able to access the internet three months later, I found we had not missed anything truly important and September brought a flood of contacts from folks congratulating us for getting away to sea again.


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