Use It or Lose It

Like many cruisers my life is a succession of several weeks in port followed by one or more transits to a new area. As I cycle up for my transit South for the winter I have once again started my daily "pretend you are at sea" I cycle on everything that I would normally use at sea - multifunction display, radar, AIS, sonar, water maker. I use RMS Express and my SSB to send test messages over the RF link. I turn on my Sat phone and make sure it can register with the network. I turn off the shore power breaker and live on solar panels and battery power for a few hours. I do this not only because the repetition reminds me how everything works, but to make sure it works. Getting out to sea only to find that your Sat phone contract has expired, or the corrosion (which is always with us) has taken down some piece of equipment is not fun.In my experience things on sailboats, particularly electronic things, start acting wacky before they actually fail. Using them every day as if I was on a passage reassures me. Of course it is a false hope, that is why I (like everyone else) carries spares!!!

Fair wind and following seas :)

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