My youngest daughter had not even left the house to return to college when I started carrying all the gear from Spartina up to her room. She is gone now, on her way back to Richmond, and her room has become the storage area for all the "stuff" that normally resides inside the boat. Having the boat cleaned out will make it much simpler to do the touch up patching, sanding and painting that is needed in the cockpit.
I am always surprised by the amount of gear that accumulates in a boat. I try be selective about what goes into the boat, taking along only what is really necessary. But somehow the odd item always finds a home.
When I repack the boat I will sort through the items, leaving behind a few things I don't really need.
Looking at the calendar. I would like to have Spartina finished and repacked in six weeks, ready to sail as soon as we get a warm spell in March. I should have about eight weeks of day sailing before the Spring walkabout on Tangier Sound. I ought to go buy the paint and varnish soon so that I will be ready for the days when it is warm enough to paint.
I did get my new Uniden Atlantis 250 handheld vhf radio out of the box. I put batteries in it to make sure it worked, then took the batteries and tucked them in a bag with the radio. There are several things I like about the new vhf. It feels solid, uses "aa" batteries (the same as most of the other gear on the boat), has a bright, easily read screen and - when set at top volume - is surprisingly loud. Being loud is a good thing when it is windy out on the water, when the sails are flapping or when the outboard is running. It is so loud it reminded me of the amplifier that goes to "11" in the mockumentary Spinal Tap. I mean it really is one louder than ten.