Leaving the Keys

14 Apr

As we prepare today for an overnight sail of roughly 100 miles back up to Miami, I thought I’d share my leaving list. Any time we plan on anything more that a day sail, we try to knock out as many of these items as possible. I know, it really is probably overkill for an overnighter, but I would much rather be over prepared for the unexpected than under prepared and wishing we had done xyz (as we run out of cooking fuel, drinking water, have nowhere to pee, and all shrivel up and die).


  • Fill up water tanks (girl chore)
  • Top off cooking propane…if a service like that exists near us
  • Pump out holding tank (not to gross you all out, but this isn’t a part of our Bahamas checklist as that service doesn’t exist except at Atlantis Marina)
  • Wash shore dirt off boat deck (girl chore)…depending on availability of fresh water
  • Clean galley area and stow all the nick-knacks that collect inside while we aren’t moving
  • Clean cockpit and stow all swimming gear and sun shades (girl chore)
  • Remove all drying laundry on lifelines (girl chore)…hate to see the jib sheet snag a favorite beach towel and donate it to Neptune
  • Run a few loads of laundry so crew have clean undies again…if we are fortunate to be near a laundry machine
  • Clean up anchor locker (where lines, hoses, fenders, bikes, inflatable kayaks, etc. all get stowed…we hate needing a boat hook or extra line and having to dig around to find it in a crunch…or having something snaked around the anchor rode while we are trying to run it out and set it)
  • Make a grocery run so we have fresh produce, sailing snacks, and things like eggs, butter, and milk
  • Charge up the spotlight (especially important when stuck in lobster trap land after dark)
  • Charge up the Spot check, so family can find us
  • Stow the rigid kayak on the davits
  • Make sure dinghy is hoisted and secure on davits, and won’t swing around too much. Those little repetitive bangy, squeaky noises make me want to poke my ears out after a few hours.
  • Make sure girls clean their rooms so their tiny things and glass bits don’t go flying
  • Hide the candy bowl in the microwave…nothing like stepping on chocolate or caramels when coming in from outside
  • Bungee the microwave, tea pot, cutting board, and swing arm TV
  • Wash and stow all dishes (I like to start with a clean galley when we leave dock)
  • Turn Steve on (our autopilot is still acting up and needs a few hours to warm up before the fluxgate compass settles out and cooperates)

I think that’s it…


My bungee system...seems to work well even in 30 knot winds and 8 foot seas

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