With "fruits of the zea" returning...

Is there anything that I should be trying to grind ahead of time to be as prepared as possible?

I’ve built a zea ship, but I’ve never been out there…

I don’t remember if there’s anything worth stockpiling, but you don’t actually need your own ship. There’s a ferry, so that all can participate; it’s much easier to take that even if you do have a boat.

If you’re visiting Polythreme, there are a couple of items you may wish to acquire beforehand.

[spoiler]Battered Grey Overcoat ($12.80), and Exceptional Hat ($115.20)

Both can be upgraded to items with +1 Bizarre.[/spoiler]

but aside from that I’m not really sure.

You can pay Cartography items to help with fishing.

Map Scraps and partial Maps if I remember correctly. I think higher quirks helped too…

Just found this:

edited by fitz on 8/19/2015

As a newcomer, should I partcipate in this festival or continue the regular stories when it begins?

I would recommend joining in. I don’t recall it being very stat driven.

I enjoyed it as my first-ever holiday last year. And lets not forget you can unlock a Destiny during it…

cartography is probably the materials I have the least of.

I think I never found a solid grind for any of them.

Are there any good grinds for it?

Well, the festival of the zea is actually a pretty good place to get some. Otherwise, you can grind glim in mahogany hall and upgrade, or else take a turn as governor on the Carnelian Coast and favour the Khaganians for puzzling and partial maps.

There’s probably an outcome of Theological Husbandry that gives something good, but I wouldn’t know which one.

Otherwise, maybe get Compromising documents from the affair of the box, and cross convert twice to Zea-stories?

The closest thing to Cartography items that Theological Husbandry gives, IIRC, is Memories of Light which can be cross-converted to Zee-Ztories. But it’s much more efficient to get Compromising Documents from Affair of the Box and cross-convert twice. That’s also a little more efficient for Zee-Ztories than grinding tons of Glim and up-converting twice.

As for Partial Maps, Khaganian favor in Carnelian Coast might be better than up-converting from Zee-Ztories, plus you get the profits from any Puzzling Maps? But I’m not sure.