Every year we do a shakedown cruise before going off on an extended trip.  It is a chance to make sure all the systems work and that we have everything on board that was taken off when the boat was put away for the winter.  For example, the past two years we discovered on the shakedown cruise that our bed pillows were still on the guest bed at home, disguised as a permanent fixture.  Other times we have forgotten such necessary items as matches for lighting the stove and a can opener.  And no one wants to discover in the middle of the Bay that the plumbing doesn’t work right!