Preparing to Leave Home…..

Garage in Use

Garage in Use

So from this weekend it will be pretty much the last time I see my home for 5 months, excepting a fleeting return from London over the Bank Holiday weekend to pick up a clean set of boxer shorts.

The last couple of weeks have been fairly hectic at home trying to put in place a variety of domestic tasks that would normally crop up during the period I’m away; e.g. car tax, house insurance, kitchen appliance insurance, putting my car to bed for 5 months.

Putting my car to bed hasn’t been straight forward either. Suddenly dawned on me that can’t just leave it on the drive for 5 months and expect it to be Ok when I get back. So decided it would be better off in the garage, the garage that hasn’t been used in 20 years to store a car….. So that involved buying a shed to transfer most of the stuff (junk) out of the garage and into the shed. But even then it’s not just a case of driving the car into the garage and shutting the door. After a discussion with Mini and Google’ing I came up with a task list that needed to be done so that it’ll sleep soundly whilst I’m away:

  • Change the oil before and after storage (because synthetic oil breaks down when not being used),
  • Disconnect the battery,
  • Over inflate the tyres to stop them flat spotting (or put the car on axle stands),
  • Cover the exhaust pipes up to stop rodents making nests in them,
  • Ensure the fuel tank is full to the brim (to expel all the air out of the tank),
  • Put it away clean!

I’ve also had to trawl through my finances (both personal & business) to put in place direct debits for any payments that crop up whilst I’m away.

The most surreal exercise was writing Xmas cards and sorting out presents for Xmas and birthdays months in advance. Normally I curse the shops for having Xmas stuff in way too early – this year I was cursing them because they haven’t got cards and wrapping paper in stock early enough! In case I’ve missed anybody – HAPPY XMAS!

There was also small raft of tasks to complete for the actual trip; setting up my Satellite phone and e-mail account, ensuring I’ve got all my necessary documentation, booking my flights back from Oz, sorting out currency for all the countries I’ll visit (well enough to buy a pint when I hit land without having to find a cash point first), sorting out a Global SIM Card, arranging global pre paid debit cards, etc. The list seemed endless at one point.

On top of all that also had to pack for the trip – but I’ll post about that separately I think. That was a major task in itself!!

But it is all done now, bags ready to go for Monday and if I’ve missed something now …… well it’s a bit tough really. From Monday the focus will be one thing – THE RACE. My life from this point onwards to January will consist of sailing and maintaing a 70′ Ocean Racing Yacht.

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My Clipper 13-14 Adventure