Hello, I'm Henry.  

Welcome aboard my blog's home. 

If you come along with me, you'll become acquainted with my motley mates and faithful crew:

Experiences, Sightings, Observations, Impressions, Ideas, Reflections, Remembrances, Insights and Commentary.

They, after all, have accompanied me for as long as I can recall. Their tenure has helped me turn my tiller, fill my sails, and transport me over seas to distant lands. Maybe if you take the time to get to know them, a few will do the same for you.

Click this way and scroll along if you please...Enjoy your stay.   

Departure Checklist

Departure Checklist

Boat Reminders:

_____ Finish all current boat projects.

_____ Inventory spare parts remaining aboard; make a list for any needed replacements.

Food Supplies: 

_____ Complete provisioning and restock supplies.

_____ Store provisions properly in assigned storage location so others can find items easily later.

_____ Remove all paper labels on cans and then relabel items with magic-marker.

_____ Repackage items using zip lock freezer bags.

Medical / Medicinal Supplies:

_____ Stock up on bug spray, sunscreen & lip balm.

_____ Check OTC meds – stock up on Aleve, Benedryl, Band-Aids, vitamins, yeast infection,

_____ Check First Aid kit

_____ Restock prescription meds for 30 more days than anticipating being gone.

_____ Add “sick food” to provisions: ginger ale, 7-UP, crackers, chicken noodle soup.

Sails, Lines and Ensign

_____ Remove and stow sail covers,

_____ Prepare all sheets and furling lines

_____ Double-check reefing lines and all running rigging/sails.

_____ Ensure that both sails are ready to be hoisted (with a reef if need be) before getting underway.

_____ Place ship's ensign (identifying flag) in a holder at the stern.

Hatches and Seacocks

_____ Close and secure all hatches, windows and

_____ Close any seacocks required.

_____ Remove all covers and stow.

Instruments, Radio and Navigational

_____ Switch on all necessary equipment. (GPS, AIS, WiFi, other) Ensure all are operating correctly.

_____ Switch on the VHF radio (including handheld) and conduct a radio check.

Electrical Equipment

_____ Recharge all handheld VHF’s, satellite phones, batteries, anything that needs charging.

_____ Test electrical systems one more time:

  • windlass 
  • solar charging or KISS wind charging 
  • below decks autopilot 
  • wheel pilot
  • wind vane 
  • battery check

Other Navigational Items (Non-electrical)

_____ Purchase all the necessary charts (paper and electronic)

_____ Review cruising guides.

_____ If sailing overnight, ready and raise radar reflector.

Charts and Log Book

_____ Open relevant charts along.

_____ Prepare log book with the date.

_____ Add any pilotage notes or any relevant information for its first entry.


_____ Remind crew of suitable on-deck clothing for various weather conditions

_____ Remind crew of wet locker location (place or plastic bag for separating wet clothes)

Safety Equipment & Life Jackets:

_____ Remind crew of life jackets and foul weather gear location.

_____ Check that harnesses are accessible, if required.

_____ Check life raft and accompanying supplies and necessities

Personal Necessities:

_____ Get cash; bring $1s, $5s, $10s & $20s – lots of places don’t take credit cards or have change.

_____ Make any necessary copies for passports, boat documentation, crew lists etc.

_____ Take care of all tax requirements – extension filed, prepaid taxes paid, etc.


_____ Activate SIM card for 

Iridium Phone

 – 3 month/month by month subscription.

_____ Test 

Sailmail e-mail and SSB, AIS or VHF radios.

_____ Update any online website or blog

_____ Share float plan and contact list with friends/relatives.

Entertainment & Recreational Items:

_____ Check snorkel gear: mask straps, fin straps, mouthpiece, fin straps, spear gun bands.

_____ Stock up on used books and/or CDs.

_____ Fishing rod and accessories

_____ Deck of cards

Weather Check:

_____ Keep watch for a weather window – number of days plus extra on either side.

_____ Research on what a weather window looks like already complete.

_____ Arrange weather email subscriptions: 

Engine / Batteries / Fuel Checks:

_____ Check diesel – transmission fluid, oil, throttle connection, autopilot below deck bolts.

_____ Check for signs of any leaks

_____ Check battery volt meter / amps

_____ Confirm extra oil change supplies

_____ Check alternator belt tension

_____ Spare 3 alternator belts

_____ 4 extra fuel filters for each filter plus one for fuel polishing system

_____ Clean fuel tanks and run fuel polishing system for an hour on each tank.

_____ Top off diesel tanks and jerry cans

_____ Ensure sufficient reserves of each for the trip.

_____ Make sure containers are isolated from possible.

_____ Check recently fixed malfunctions

_____ Top off propane tanks; make sure to have adequate propane canisters for grill

Plumbing & 

Water Tanks:

_____ Unpickle watermaker, test to make sure it’s working after refurbishing pump

_____ Check heat exchanger fresh water level,

_____ Check seawater intake strainer for debris

_____ Test plumbing system one more time:

  • head
  • pressure water


_____ Start outboard engine

_____ Top off gasoline jerry cans for dinghy – do we need more fuel or another fuel container?

Safety Equipment:

Departure Brief:

_____ Skipper should communicate how the boat is going to leave harbor, weigh anchor or mooring.

_____ Assign/delegate tasks for each crew member.

_____ Demonstrate how a task should be completed to crew who are unfamiliar with boat, if needed.

Day Before We Leave Reminders:

_____ Top off water tanks if vessel doesn't have a water-maker.

_____ Fill solar shower bladder.

_____ Place on hold Verizon and Direct TV while on vacation.

_____ Plot Way-points for “plan” in GPS.

_____ Remove any extra dock lines.

_____ Consider anchoring to stage for trip later in day.

_____ Check entire boat for anything that might have been overlooked – a loose screw, anything at all.

_____ Rig lazy jack lines bow to stern, port & starboard.

_____ Socialize with friends, but no big party....to bed early.


_____ Remove the shore or dock lines; coil and store (hang if possible).

_____ Remove fenders, bumpers and store below

Questioning Unknowns

Questioning Unknowns

BVI 2011