Dreams and preparations

Monkey's been up the mast. Fittings and shrouds looks good. Here's our to do list before we're ready to go:

Mast check ✔
Anti rattle fittings for engine cover
Change oil and filters
Check steering cable and pulley ✔
Stove outboard below
Polish fuel ✔
Organize weight, in particular move tools and books down to the center
Empty starboard aft cabin to be used as sea berth (couch used on the other tack)
Top up diesel tank
Fill water tanks 
Get a US courtesy flag
Organize food lockers
Check transmission fluid
Food purchase ✔

And these are our serious looking US visa application photos btw haha. Why do we need Visa someone asked, we are from the EU? That's right, but when arriving on a private yacht, one must apply for a specific tourist Visa called B2 which we got approved after an interview at the American consulate here in Panama City.
Last night in bed before sleep, we went through possible stops and places that we wish to see in the US. It's a little crazy since we previously have had absolutely no plan whatsoever to go to the States, we had originally only thought of following the equator around the world and right back home to the Med, so it's a little overwhelming realizing that we have such a huge new fascinating landmass to discover, starting in just a short short while. These are only some of the places we would love to see, if time allows:

- Florida and Miami a week or two as a first stop when we arrive.

- Catch the golf stream up towards New England which will be our and our boats base for the summer. We are going to live on land close to water for a few months while the boat is undergoing the final parts of the refit. 

- Sailing and exploring the state and coastline of Maine, as well as Nova Scotia, Canada.

- Visit organic farms in Vermont. Maybe drive over to Toronto and Montreal.

- Mountains of New Hampshire. Martha's vineyard. Newport. The Hamptons. 

- Visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol Rhode Island - We have previously been in touch with Mr Halsey Herreshoff (designer of our boat) who have been kind to send us original plans and drawings of Duende. We would now also like to visit the museum dedicated to the history of Herreshoff family's many beautiful classic yachts.

- New York City adventures. Catching up with friends old and new. Sailing the Hudson river (preferably by sunset!)

- Drive from New England across the country. Stops including Washington, Annapolis, Savannah and Charleston on the East for sure. Then over to New Orleans in Louisiana, followed by Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Smoky Mountains of Utah, Grand Canyon Arizona, Nevada, Las Vegas, Mojave Desert California. San Francisco, San Diego and LA of course... We have a few friends scattered about in various states with whom it will be an awesome pleasure to hook up in their home base, and maybe we'll even bump into some blog readers on the road, knowing that 55% of you are from the United States after all. 

I must also definitely make sure to find a classic old Western style horse ranch somewhere on the way... any tips please let me know.

As you can see we're just dreaming and all these are only hypothetical destinations right now, but if there's a will, there's probably a way. No matter what, we are immensely anxious to get up there and start exploring. And maybe most importantly of all, to get the boat into a safe, sweat and humid free harbour where we can get her ready for a continued journey down South in the fall. 

Then Cuba, Panama Canal and South Pacific next!