Christening the Boat, Gearing up and Cleaning the River

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate “BLUE MOON.” Then everybody raises their glass filled with champagne or your favorite non-alcoholic beverage and shouts, “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO BLUE MOON.” Everybody takes a sip.

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That is the start of the script for the christening ceremony.  Tomorrow, a.k.a., Easter Sunday, Blue Moon will take her first ride in the Missouri River as the Blue Moon.  For those of you who are not aware, Bob Bellingham of Australia paddled down the Missouri River last summer in the same boat, which was then the Barbara May.  In the spirit of  “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” I have purchased Bob’s boat for my expedition, and she is no stranger to the river.

Bob Bellingham in his Shasta, which is now my Shasta, and my ride down the river.

Bob Bellingham in his Shasta, which is now my Shasta,
and my ride down the river.

The Barbara May brought Bob down the river, from Three Forks to St. Louis, in 89 days.  Ideally, Blue Moon will replicate that schedule so that I arrive in St. Louis on August 1st (give or take a couple of days).  Tomorrow, I will conduct a short ceremony in order to loosely hold on to the tradition of renaming and/or christening a boat.  Those paddling with me, and anyone else interested, are invited to take part.

Today, I hope to apply this blog site address onto the sides of Blue Moon.

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Things are really revving up, gear-wise.  Packages are showing up on my porch, such as the lettering for my web address, my solar panel, compression dry sacks, my sleeping bag, a camera, cleaner for the boat deck, etc.

I spent 3 hours in Batteries + yesterday trying to assemble an appropriate electronic system to charge my laptop from the roll-up solar panel.  Solar panels do not advertise laptop charging.  Normally, they are geared for only the smaller electronic appliances, i.e., iPhone, iPad, camera, or GPS.  After yesterday,  I’m ready to teach a Physics lesson for sure.

I had to get a 12V battery, which I learned, come in a wide variety of sizes and corresponding weights.  I need a battery that will not be too big, but that will charge my laptop up in a reasonable amount of time and/or charging sessions.  I won’t go into any details because my brain is still tired from yesterday’s numerous calculations.  Big thanks to Herb for patiently assisting me in assembling a system!  And thanks to Chad, Batteries+ store owner, who gave me a business account, which results in a small discount on all of the accessories I bought…

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for my roll-up solar charger.  Big thanks to Julia at PowerFilmSolar for the discount, too.

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One of the employees at Batteries+ suggested a wind turbine for the boat.  Holy cow, that’s brilliant!  I’m sure I’ll be thinking a lot about that on those windy days on the lakes!

I have been dehydrating lots of food and vacuum sealing small packages.  Why have I not been doing this for the last 30 years?  The beef jerky is out of this world!  And, the bananas, green apples, pineapple, etc. are all soooo delicious! I’ve also dried tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and spaghetti sauce.  Yep, spaghetti sauce.  Starting on broccoli today.  These veggies will be wonderful to throw into my side dish pasta meals.

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Naturally dried tomatoes and mushrooms

I now have my tent, sleeping bag, stove, Thermarest, paddling gear, under layers, neoprene boots and shoes, Teva sandals, portable hard drive, three cameras, an iPhone, a laptop (which I’ve owned for a long time and hope it performs), maps, drybags, compression dry bags, compass, whistle, wheeleez for portaging, and a lot of little items that I had to pick up as I walked through Walt’s Wilderness store.  Little things like a first-aid kit, meal kit, coffee french-press with cup set, moleskin, caribiners, and a wide-mouth water bottle for my alfalfa sprouts.  I even picked up my one and only packaged freeze-dried meal:  camp eggs!  I love eggs and will need to cook up this package for some special occasion, which could be anything, like one full day with zero wind!!  I may be missing my eggs on this trip.

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I will test my gear this week-end when I go to Missouri River Relief’s MO River clean-up in St. Charles.  Seven years have passed since I started back to school and have not had an opportunity to go to a river clean-up since.  These clean-up events are a must-do activity for everyone, ESPECIALLY, river communities.  The sense of accomplishment, camaraderie, and contribution to society cannot be fully appreciated until you take part in one.  I am so looking forward to being with fellow river stewards, cleaning up the trash, and trying out the gear that I will become one with for the next 3 and 1/2 months.  I definitely have to make sure that French Press works.  Gotta have my cup of Joe to get my day on track!

Confluence Clean-Up in 2012.  Jeannie Kuntz massages the crew (She'll be driving to Montana with me and my daughter Haley. :))

Confluence Clean-Up in 2012. Jeannie Kuntz massages the crew after a long day. (Jeannie will be driving to Montana with my daughter Haley and me. :))

St. Charles Clean-up in 2011

River Warriors
St. Charles Clean-up in 2011

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Stay tuned for an upcoming post in which I will share with you the red-hot heart-warming LoveYourBigMuddy Blues Benefit from last Wednesday, March 27.

Live fast ~ Paddle slow

See you on the river!

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Categories: Expedition, Planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Christening the Boat, Gearing up and Cleaning the River

  1. Linda Albano

    It will be a wonderful Easter celebration for you and the Blue Moon, no doubt! I am Linda, the gal you spoke to at the Island Park, ID. Forest Service. I am very pleased that you were able to be granted your request from the keepers of the gates on Sawtell Road to make your way to Brower Springs! It has been warm around 45 degrees the past few days and the birds are finding their partners to settle in for some nesting. Happy Spring!

  2. Hello Linda! Yes, speaking to you that day was key in getting around the gate. Thanks so much. Sounds like the weather might be cooperative come mid-April (we’ll know in a couple weeks). Even though it just snowed here, the birds keep singing and that gives me lots of spring hope. Looking forward to the trip north!

  3. Melanie

    Amazing post Janet! I cannot believe all of that cool gear you have acquired and the dried food looks so delicious! I do wonder how its going to all fit in your boat though! I am also so excited to hear that you are coming to St. Charles! Yay~! Can’t wait to hear about how your maiden voyage went today, it sure was drop dead gorgeous out there… you guys picked an excellent day to do it.

  4. You really ARE gearing up, and I am so thrilled for you for all your sponsorships and the great way it has all come together…I was so hoping to be there when you completed your trip but it looks like your ETA at the confluence places you there when I am on the Great River Rumble in WI/MN paddling the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers…you know I will be with you in spirit all the way, praying for safety, success, and smooth sailing. Kudos, Janet!

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Missouri River 2013 - Mississippi River 2016 - Yukon River 2017

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