This morning at Walmart I bought a box of 10 two gallon freezer bags and a box of 25 quart-size bags, my first purchase for this year's cruising. I glanced at boxes of breakfast bars and fruit cups, those will wait a while. The two gallon bags are perfect for clothes, charts and trash storage. The quart size bags hold food, electronics and just about anything else I want to tuck away under the thwarts. The photograph above is a close-up of the quart bags. Or maybe it is the light at the end of the tunnel.
I do plan on ordering freeze dried meals from Campmor this weekend, possibly enough for both the spring and fall sails. And I need to pick up another canister of the Jet Boil fuel, which is sometimes hard to find in my area.
I do need to get another long-billed cap like the one above, which blew off my head into Turnagain Bay on a very windy day. That hat was from Billy's, the grocery store on Harkers Island. Snagged it for eight bucks and miss it to this day. And my foul weather jacket, which is probably four years old now, is showing signs of delaminating. I might pick up a new one, maybe a better quality one, this spring.
With cameras we are set. I'm very happy with my Fuji X-20 digital rangefinder. Is it the perfect camera? No. But it works fine for me in most situations. I do wish it held shadow detail a little better. I'm told I can improve that by adjusting the HDR setting in the menu, but I have not the time to experiment with that. Just about all the photographs in the log from the Inner Banks 425 were shot with the Fuji, save for a few on rough or rainy days where I used the Pentax Optio 90W.
For the waterproof camera I briefly looked at the new waterproof Nikon 1 A1 camera and decided it was both too large and two expensive for my purposes. And even if I wanted the camera I would wait for a generation or two, preferring to let somebody else road test the camera for me. My current Pentax Optio 90W works for me. If I had to replace it I would do so with the newer version of the same camera, the Pentax Optio WG-3.
Why I took a photograph of myself in the bathrooms on the Beaufort waterfront I don't know. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I'm very happy with my GoalZero Nomad 13 solar charger and Sherpa 50 battery pack. I used the solar panel both while anchored and also while sailing on calm, sunny days, charging the Sherpa 50 while charging camera batteries at the same time. I kept all my camera batteries fully charged, Sherpa 50 never dropping below 80% capacity. There is a newer battery pack available, the Sherpa 100, but this seems to have sufficient power for my needs.
The SPOT tracking device, above, left, has worked very well for me. I know that other people have had issues with them and admit that they are not intuitive to use, but my SPOT has always worked. Mine is the original model, and before every cruise I need to relearn which buttons to push, push a second time, or hold down for five seconds to switch between "ok" messages and tracking mode. I have considered looking at the newer models, but see no reason to switch.
Spartina is in great shape with a nice new coat of paint. Still waiting on the leaf springs for the trailer, hoping they will show up this week.
I suppose I am getting ahead of myself with all the thinking about cruising and gear. The thought of a nice day sail is enough to make me smile.