What I Brought With Me

In case you're interested, here's a list of everything I brought. It all fit into two duffel bags (checked baggage) and one small daypack plus a small nylon bag (carry-on). I have comments for some of the items.

Items marked with an asterisk were in carry-on luggage; items marked "wear" I wore or carried with me on the flight.


Shirts - shortsleeve pocket knit shirts, 1 to 2 weeks worth (Qty: 7 plus wear 1).

T-shirts - for "sloppy" wear, instead of knit shirts (Qty: 5). During the adventure, I frequently ran out of clean shirts due to the difficulty of doing laundry. However, it would have been hard to fit any more shirts in my baggage - the duffel bags were stuffed completely full.

Long pants - 2-pair blue jeans (wear 1). In South American countries, adults usually don't wear short pants, and especially not when transacting any official business or even shopping. Bring long pants to wear around town.

Short pants - 2-pair, for use around the marina or on the boat.

Underpants - 1 to 2 weeks worth (14-pair, wear 1).

Socks - 1 to 2 weeks worth (14-pair, wear 1) This turned out to be way too many, since we were usually barefoot on the boat, which is where we spent most of our time.

Shoes - white non-marking boat shoes (wear), sturdy walking shoes (for hiking on rocky trails), water shoes (for beach walking).

Swimsuit - actually cutoff shorts, to use as swimsuit.

T-shirt - to wear in the water.

Nightwear - T-shirt, pajama bottoms.

Boating hat - with chin strap so it can't blow away. In the equatorial region, I think it's essential to wear some kind of hat to keep the sun off your head.

Baseball cap - 1 (wear).

Cool-weather clothes - gray sweatshirt and sweatpants, three-season jacket, windbreaker (wear). As we headed into the southern hemisphere winter, we ran into cooler weather, and many times I had on ALL these items. I should have brought my fleece shirt and pants, plus a warm hat.

*Sweat towels - 2 (only 1 carry-on).

Bath towel - 1 (in plastic bag).

Washcloth - in ziplock bag.


Toiletries - bar of soap in plastic case, shampoo in small plastic bottle, toothpaste, toothbrush and case, deodorant, antifungal cream, hand lotion, Q-tips, nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, dental floss, hair brush, plastic cup, a couple of disposable razors in ziplock bag (never used them), carrying case for toiletries.

Extra toiletries - shampoo, soap, Q-tips, pack of tissues, antifungal cream, toothpaste.

Electric razors - AC-powered/rechargeable (with tape on switch so it can't be accidentally turned on); also a separate AA-battery-powered razor, in case AC power wasn't available for regular electric razor.

Personal mirror

Comb - 2, in case I lose one, which I did ("wear" one).

Wristwatch - essential to be water-resistant (wear).

Wallet - with updated telephone number list, also with e-mail and web site addresses for everything I use, leave non-essential items home ("wear").

Sunglasses - 2 pair, with retainers. Make sure they are in decent shape. (wear 1).

*Journal - Notebook for journal.

Pocket note pad - spiral bound, to carry around town on shopping expeditions or internet trips ("wear").

Memo notepad - small tear-off pad.

Writing paper - didn't use.

Manila folder

Envelopes - didn't use, and the flaps got stuck shut from the humidity.

*Pens, pencils - 2 each (one each carry-on). During the trip, I used up six pens writing my 350-page journal.

*Calculator - remember, I'm an engineer, so I never go anywhere without my calculator.

*Magnifier - pop-out, for reading fine print on charts and maps.

*Reading glasses

*Cash - hidden in carry-on. I brought about $1,500 but had a lot left over.

*Cell phone, DC charger - I brought my cell phone to use in the U.S. while traveling to/from South America. During the adventure, I kept it stored away, unused. Just before flying back, I recharged the phone from the boat's 12-volt supply, so I could use it again back in the U.S.

Travel Items

*E-tickets and itinerary - print out and bring, for American Airlines and LanChile.

*Passport - make sure your passport is good for at least six more months.

*Birth certificate - didn't need it.

*Documentation - the letter from David explaining the one-way ticket, didn't need it.

Guidebooks - for *Ecuador (including Galápagos), Chile (including Easter Island, Juan Fernández Islands), Galápagos nature guide.

Spanish lesson book

Duffle bags - two, for two checked bags.

*Purple daypack - used as a carry-on bag on flights, also essential when shopping or adventuring ashore—we used daypacks all the time.

Mesh bags - two, laundry bag plus a spare.

Plastic bags - ziplocks (small, medium, large), grocery bags, white plastic bags, with ties.

Paper towels - a few, in case needed while traveling.

*Pre-moistened towelettes - for cleaning up at odd times.


Alarm clock - essential, so you can wake up any time of the day or night to stand watches while underway.

*Water bottle - for use while traveling, also used on boat and ashore, can refill it.

Health and Medical

Vitamins - in original bottles: vitamin C, vitamin E, Saint John's Wort, calcium, low-dose aspirin, multivitamin.

Melatonin - a sleep aid, rarely used.

Rolaids - rarely, if ever, used.

Antihistamine - generic, low-dose, no other medicine mixed-in.

Aleve - rarely used.

Cortisone cream - rarely used.

Lip balm

Sunscreen - two large containers, essential to have and use good sunscreen. The equatorial sun is much stronger than in mid-latitudes, especially with reflections when on the water. I used SPF 45 "No-AD" brand from Wal-Mart, which worked well.

Insect repellant - DEET lotion, rarely used, there were surprisingly few bugs.

Bandaids - a few for myself while traveling.

Pepto-Bismol - as treatment for "turista", never used (I never had a problem with turista).

Lomotil - generic, as treatment for "turista", never used.

Optics and Electronics

*Photography stuff - Sony DSC F717 camera, three 128-MB memory sticks, AC charger, extra lithium battery, instruction manual, remote control, mini tripod, UV filter, polarizer filter, lens cleaning tissue [not carry-on], dust brush [not carry-on], Tripper (40 gigabyte "digital wallet" for image storage), Windows PC drivers for Tripper [not carry-on], Tripper charger, Tripper USB cable, Tripper memory stick adapter.

*Underwater camera - single-use, with flash, never used. Unfortunately, we never had a good opportunity to take underwater pictures, which was a disappointment.

PSP 7.0 CD-ROM - image-processing program to use on Marcie's laptop.

CD-ROM - with all the files I wanted to bring to Marcie and David: web pages from travel sites, downloaded ebooks, Site Builder, copy of my web site, free FTP program, HTML reference (from web), Tripper drivers, etc.

Audio CD's - I wanted to bring some of my favorite music, but I ran out of space in the duffel bags so didn't bring any.

Boating Gear

Foul-weather gear - two-piece Columbia rainsuit (pants and jacket). This light-duty rainsuit turned out to be too flimsy for a long voyage; the seams ripped and/or leaked. Next time bring something sturdier. Must have a hood with drawstring for protection from stormy weather.

Flashlights - with batteries. General-purpose LED flashlight, plus a small Maglight. Essential to have good-quality, reliable, waterproof flashlights. Bring more than one in case you lose one.

Headlamp - with batteries, spare bulb. I really like using a personal headlamp, to use at night while watchstanding (I used it literally every night). Using a headlamp, you don't have to hold a flashligh so it frees up your hands, which is very useful at times. I used a Princeton Tec waterproof headlamp.

Personal strobe light - with fresh battery. To carry in my pocket when on deck at night. Night watches were almost always solo, and although we used harnesses and jacklines, I carried the strobe light as an extra piece of safety gear just in case. If you fall overboard at night while at sea, there is almost no chance of finding you unless you carry some kind of strobe light or waterproof radio.

Emergency whistle - to carry in my pocket when on the boat.

Mask, snorkel, fins - only used once, at a location that wasn't even a good place for snorkeling. Big and bulky and hard to pack. In retrospect, they didn't earn their keep.

Leatherman tool - almost essential, used many times (transport in checked baggage otherwise it may be confiscated).


Requested items - Everything M&D requested I bring: Hypalon patches, Yamaha carburetor rebuild kit, 20-ft dinghy security cable, (2) Wichinox polish, (1 gal) West System epoxy resin, (3) canned beef and (6) chicken, (36) chip brushes, oval deck pipe, coax deck fitting, Trident propane hose, (3) coax connectors, coax cable kit, (20 assorted) brass pipe fittings, (4) bronze tailpieces, (4) bronze elbows, (4) metal hole plugs, (4) plastic hole plugs, electronic parts from DigiKey, receipts for everything, *"yacht in-transit" letter from David.

Presents for M&D - (50) CD-ROMs, (50) CD envelopes, Casablanca DVD, GoJo cleaner, book Spanish For Cruisers (which they already had).

Paperback books - only a few, the rest wouldn't fit in my overstuffed luggage.

Crossword puzzle book - never used, plenty of other diversions available.

Extra batteries - for everything I brought: six AA's, one C. We ran out of AA batteries; they were very popular in on-board equipment and got used up quickly. I should have brought more.

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