[Kyle] At last the time has come for us to leave the U.S and head offshore to the tropics. A very nice man (Steve) from Customs and Border Patrol came by on his day off and cleared us out of the U.S. There aren't any more little or medium trips to do before heading off. All we have to do is head around the corner, pass under the US 70 bridge and a mile and a half later, we'll be at sea.
Over the last day or so it has been hard not to feel the immediacy of our departure. During the wind and rain of last night's storm it was difficult not to notice that the Atlantic was right there and feel that the conditions were way too sloppy and dreary to want to head into while knowing that the next thing of any consequence that we have to do with our lives is to go right into it. It's exciting and scary at the same time. I'm looking forward to warm trade winds, night watches in shorts and t-shirts, the routine of watches and the lovely solitude of being miles from anywhere, master of our little world. Of course, I can also drive myself crazy worrying about all of the things I didn't do and all of the things I haven't even thought of.
Overall, I feel pretty well prepared. Maryanne and I have done a lot of sailing, especially this year. We have even spent some time having our asses handed to us well offshore and for the most part, it's been no big deal. Things break and we fix them. The weather changes and we adapt. Our little boat has held up well and we've spent enough time fixing, maintaining and sailing her that we are comfortable with her. We can find our way around her inside and out in the dark, even when we're getting thrown around. We are comfortable with our procedures and our routines and I feel pretty good about all of our contingency planning. There's only one way to find out for sure, though. We've got to go.
Soo... There won't be much in the way of updates for a while. It's much too expensive to post updates with our Iridium satellite phone. We will update our position once a day with yotreps along with the brief postcard of how we're doing. I'll keep writing and upload it all shortly after we arrive. Keep in mind that if we don't post an update, it is far more likely that we are having technical problems with the electrical system/charging/computer/satellite phone/internet/website system than we have come to any grief so don't worry. If something happens to us, we have much more sophisticated ways of sounding a distress call than forgetting to upload a position.
Our passage should take about 15-20 days, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. Look for real posting to begin again near the end of November.