In 9 weeks, are we really at the Equator?


As I mentioned before, we are in the middle of Cousin-Palooza in the frozen Northeast of the US, but it is beginning to dawn on us that in nine short weeks we should be at or near the Equator. We’ve set a tentative departure date of March 3rd, which means in 7 short weeks WE ARE LEAVING.

Time is flying by.

Between now and then we plan to complete our Northeast tour with stops in Baltimore, NYC, New Haven, Kennet Square (Mushroom Capital of the World) and Washington DC. We then plan to drive across the country using a Southern route with potential tourist stops in New Orleans and the Grand Canyon before moving back onboard Sophie around the first of February.

In the meantime, I’ve started writing down a rough “to-do” list for February:


  • Buy Navionics chart chips for Pacific
  • Fix Raymarine alarm, network cable
  • Get SSB/Pactor modem/Sailmail working
  • Buy Satphone


  • Catalogue/buy remaining spare parts
  • Replace reef lines on main
  • Rig additional jacklines for the kids
  • Replace stainless steel set screws on mast
  • Conduct end-to-end rig/system inspection /bolt tightening (the Steve Dashew way)
  • Change oil in diesels/genset
  • Replace watermaker filters
  • Remove clothes and junk we really don’t need (It’s amazing how living aboard can motivate you to downsize)
  • Buy and mount the paddleboards Jenna and I are getting 🙂


  • Update our offshore first aid kit
  • Buy additional meds and narcotics
  • Take first aid/CPR classes (me and Jenna)


  • Organize and complete our ditch bag
  • Buy a handheld desalinator


  • Plan meals
  • Shop

Needless to say, we welcome additional suggestions. We had most major systems (diesels, watermaker, liferaft, electronics, rigging) serviced in Seattle, and we already have a decent amount of spares. The second largest West Marine in the world is a mile from where Sophie is docked.

Finally, we are discussing what type of watch system we want to use for the Marquesas run. With 4 adults on board, we are considering going with overlapping night shifts where 2 adults are awake at any given time. Thoughts?

4 thoughts on “In 9 weeks, are we really at the Equator?

  1. Jamie – when are you going, and how long will transit take (he asked hopefully)?

    When I crossed in ’98, we had 5 crew. When you went off watch, you woke up the next person then you became their standby/backup. You did things like make hot chocolate, check the charts, etc. but your real job was to keep the primary watchstander awake. This was just a formality in daylight hours when people are naturally more up, but was essential at night when people will naturally doze off.

    This works reasonably well with a 4-hour watch system, though we had some mix of four and 6 hour watches; I think it was 0000-0400; 0400-0800; 0800-1400; 1400-2000; 2000-0000

    Following seas,

  2. Hi Jenna, James, Leo, and Hazel.Thankyou for your very nice Christmas card. I love reading about all of your adventures. You really have covered a lot of country. What a wonderful thing for you and the kids. I hope everything continues to go well. We finally just have clouds after 12 days of fog. Happy New Year – I wish you the best.
    Betty Jackson

  3. Um, March 3 is now only 2.5 weeks away — what’s the happs? We miss you guys! Hope you are continuing to have a great time…KerryG

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