Countdown to Launch

July 9, 2018

John was living on the boat almost immediately after Outlandish was in her slip at Harbour West Marina. It was Monday, and we had booked the slip for a week with the hope of finally beginning our long awaited journey. The solar panels needed to be hooked up, the propane stove and autopilot needed to be installed. There were still a myriad of things to do to make the boat conveniently livable, and since the living space on the boat is quite small (three hundred-ish square feet, including all cabinetry, sleeping quarters, and engine), it was best for me to hold off moving onboard until John had the major projects out of the way.

By Thursday, I had received a call… things were not going quite as smoothly as planned. John’s voice was stressed. I knew we didn’t want to start out the trip this way so I bought us an extra week at Harbour West marina. Our first couple months were undoubtedly going to be way over budget anyway, so we were best to start our trip feeling remotely ready instead of trying to figure out why the solar panels were claiming it was nighttime at mid day while underway.  We would have enough to wrap our heads around.

That one additional week sped by quickly.  I started making trips to bring our belongings down to the boat the following Tuesday. On Wednesday, the solar panels were fully operational and we met up with John’s dad and Patricia for dinner at the dock.

On Thursday, John worked in the underbelly of the boat installing the autopilot and the very lovely Caryn was kind enough to drive me to Hamilton from mom’s with a trunk full of belongings.

On Friday, John and I got up early, drove back to Kitchener to clean out mom’s garage and grab the last of the bags. It was a highly emotional day for me.  I had officially moved on board and needed to work on the mountainous task of organizing not only all of our stuff but also my mind.  I’m not sure which task felt more chaotic. John successfully connected the propane to the stove and continued to work on the autopilot in a spot that was so tight I’m surprised he could breathe let alone move.

Saturday was spent in the pursuit of more unpacking and organizing. Solar panels – check. Stove – check. Autopilot – check. However Murphy’s law dictates that it can’t always go well; John’s laptop decided to take a quick plunge into the only bucket on board… that of course contained two inches of water in it.  Ziplock bags and dessicant packs were employed in the rescue and fingers were crossed though we didn’t hold out much hope.

Sunday was the day of goodbyes and overwhelmed tears (me obviously, not John).  My wonderful family and godparents made a special trip out for a farewell brunch, and friends started dropping by once the rain let up to toast our departure. We organized the last of the provisions, drank the champagne, and turned in for an early night. We were as ready as we could be, or at least as we would be to begin an entirely new life in the morning.


1 Comment
  1. Reply

    Shane Wilkinson

    July 10, 2018

    Holy cow that is a tight spot to work, John! Describing it in words doesn’t do it justice, but I felt uncomfortable looking at the photo!

    Did you ever do a lot of cleanup before I came to visit. Have you found a place for everything yet?

    Thanks for the post. Love king forward to more vicarious living through you!


Michelle Kauntz
Wild Blue Yonder

Seems you've found us. I'm one half of the charming and somewhat frustrating duo that is John & Michelle. (I'm Michelle) We once had this one-day idea that we wanted to sail around the world. We made a five year plan. After ten years of talking and two years of prepping and postponing, we are finally underway. Feel free to follow us and live vicariously though our pratfalls and adventures as we take our almost-as-old-as-John Bayfield 40 Cutter Ketch out of the safety of Lake Ontario and out into the world. On a shoestring budget. With two fiercely independent people. In basically 300-ish square feet of living space and with not a heck of a lot of sailing experience (yet) ...This is going to be fun...

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