We arrived at Fort Pierce, FL this past Thursday in preparation for our voyage. We had both engines serviced with oil change, oil and fuel filter change, and normal maintenance to the vessel. We have decided to have all the batteries on board replaced just to be on the safe side. Our skipper, Bob Buckland, has been pouring over the charts and plotting our course and familiarizing himself with the electronic chart plotter. I, along with our first mate, Alex Plante, have been performing odd jobs to get the boat in ship shape for the trip like swabbing decks, cleaning staterooms, and small jobs of fixing items that needed our attention, as well as procuring tools and safety equipment we'll need aboard.
I have also spent time with the previous owners of Yesterday finalizing paperwork and gathering the proper documents to make sure the boat is Coast Guard-compliant. On Sunday afternoon I went on a tour of the vessel with one of the previous owners to familiarize myself with how everything operates, from the electrical switch box to the water purifier.
Our fourth crew member, 'Hurricane' Mark Valentine, was picked up from Palm Beach International Airport and joined the rest of the crew on board. Mark is an experienced mariner and will be a welcome addition to the crew. He will primarily serve as navigator/bartender.
We wait now only on the batteries that had to be special ordered and hand-modified for this boat. We anticipate the installation of the batteries to be completed tomorrow morning. At that point the skipper and crew, along with the dock master at the marina and several others in his employ, will take Yesterday out for a sea trial on the Intracoastal Waterway. We will make sure that all systems are go. Depending on what time the trial is completed, we will leave the dock master and his crew at the dock and set out, or we'll return to the dock so that I can broadcast my radio show.
The plan right now is to set out each morning at daybreak and travel until an hour before my radio show starts. That should give us about 8 hours of travel time each day. It's approximately 645 miles to Mobile, AL. That's our goal on this first leg. Depending on how the voyage goes, we may press on to Tennessee or we may wait and finish the trip at a later date. At the pace we plan for each day, we expect the journey to Mobile to take around 8 days.