John at bankThe countdown begins as we step up preparations.  We must be out of our apartment and living on Dolce Vento full time before mid-night on August 31st (“D” day).  Yesterday, on June 1 ( D – 92), we took the two block walk to our local bank to accomplish an old fashioned task — to rent a safety deposit box, a place to stow  those few items that, in our considered opinion, should be protected and, if needed but not expected, available to our estate executors if we disappear while on the water.

We waited patiently while Kevin and Christian, a customer service rep and the assistant manager, scrambled.  They sorted through a pile of keys and walls of boxes in the vault to find a match because, we were told, the former branch manager had limited organization and house keeping skills. We also learned that safety deposit boxes are disappearing artifacts.  Many bank branches no longer have a vault in which to locate them and those that do have multi-year waiting lists.  We lucked out.  Our bank branch has that old fashioned vault and box availability.  The future of money and documents is here — it’s digital and virtual, not physical and paper.  Start planning now for storing all your gold bars someplace other than in the back of your clothes closet.

This afternoon (D – 91), the first of two moving and storage companies visit to prepare estimates for the move and long term storage of our worldly belongings that won’t be moved onto our future floating home.  As we will pack most of it ourselves, I’m starting to obsess about a digital photo inventory of it all, boxes, wrapping, labeling and other necessary  organizing techniques.  We have one whole closet devoted to ‘boat stuff’ that will be moved onto Dolce Vento as soon as she’s off the hard and floating in her slip.

Repairs on Dolce Vento show visible progress…finally.  Tomorrow (D – 90), it will be possible to set a launch date in consultation with our contractor. Then I can schedule sails installation which must be done on the water because, as you should know by now, nothing is simple when it comes to sail boats.  The installer must climb the 60′ mast to guide the replacement of the mainsail halyard.  Additionally, we’re still frustrated with the Tartan folks who promised to make exhaust, GPS and autopilot repairs last October. Argh!

Once we have sails, the boat de-winterized, and the repairs polished off, we start sea trials on the Bay, to ensure all mechanical systems above and below deck operate as expected and that we, the captain and first mate, actually know how to use them with a sufficient level of confidence.