It may seem boring for us to spend the first three months of our journey in the Chesapeake bay, but there's a very important reason that we are doing so. We needed a dry run. It's helping us figure out the important things before we cross an ocean, so that we know that when we do set out, we are as prepared as we can possibly be. I have only gone on one sailing journey in which I actually helped sail and it was two years ago. It was extremely important for me to have this time in the Chesapeake to relearn all the skills that have been laying dormant for the past two years. I am also gaining practice with things that I didn't even learn the first time around such as attaching hank on sails and putting in a triple reef. As I do these things for the first time, I'm not only learning how to do them, but I'm also gaining a better idea of how the boat works as a whole. This knowledge then helps me control it more effectively when we are at sea.
Besides the technical knowledge, however, this trial run has also given us important practice with things like rowing to shore and provisioning. We have learned how much fruit we consume in a week versus how long it will remain edible and we have also learned that we suck at keeping our garden alive while detached from shore hoses. Along those lines, we have also gained an understanding of how much water we tend to use in a given week, allowing us to ration appropriately when showering and doing dishes.
That brings us to our rain water collected. We have had plenty of weather while away so far, which has shown us that we can collect more than 60 gallons of rain water in a single down poor. We learned the hard way that we can't sit on our flexible solar panels, but we were able to replace them with new ones within a couple of days since we were still in Easton, Maryland. It is far better that we figure these things out while still in familiar territory rather than discovering that something isn't working the way we had planned in the middle of our trek to Bermuda. Though it might not be as fun to follow along with or watch on YouTube, this trial run was completely necessary for us to prepare for the year of travel ahead.