Mike and I have literally been lazing around doing almost absolutely nothing for, let’s see, 4 days now. This is the laziest we’ve been in a good long while and I feel almost, but not quite, guilty about it. We’re trying to embrace the time to do absolutely nothing before the next rush hits. But I have to tell you, sitting on the couch for 5 hours binge watching the new Lost in Space has done nothing good for my body. (Could Parker Posey BE any more evil as Dr. Smith?)
When we last posted we didn’t have a plan and weren’t exactly sure what we would be doing with the boat. Would we be repairing and splashing her again? Would we be flying home to Washington from our easy flight out of Loreto as planned? The answer to those questions is NO and NO. It didn’t take us long to realize that the hull needed to dry for an extended amount of time. We made the tough but necessary decision to leave Galapagos on the hard in the storage yard at Marina Seca in San Carlos. We’d figure out how to get home from there, changing our ticket as necessary.
I’ll tell you this: that’s a decision we hope never to have to make again. The amount of work it takes to get a boat ready to leave in the hot, dry yard is way more than I ever want to have to do again, although I’m realistic about that. My anxious brain plays out every scenario it can come up with and I find myself ziploc-bagging all the books, heat sealing things like pens that can dry out, heat sealing all of my artist paints (the ones I’ve used exactly once so far), vacuum bagging every single cushion and piece of cloth aboard, throwing out perfectly good food (it went to the yard workers) and then heat sealing any foods I refused to give up because I can’t get them in Mexico. If they ruin, I’ll throw them out at that point.
Then, because I worry about bugs (OK, I perseverate about bugs. Fine. I admit it, ok?) I had to place bug gel in every conceivable place aboard. Hey, at least if we have to bug bomb the boat, all the cushions will be sealed against that poison. Doing this in the heat was not a lot of fun, not to mention the smell. I’m not talking about the smell of the boat, either. I’m talking about the smell of our own selves. We would go to the boat early in the morning, work feverishly until we couldn’t take it anymore, then drag our dripping pathetic selves back to our air conditioned apartment about a mile down the road, worn to a frazzle and smelling even worse. We literally stripped our clothing off as we walked through the door. If you’ve done this, you know the feeling. Maybe this is why most people leave their boats in Mexico in March. Of course, they miss out on the warmer and clearer water that way, too. It’s a trade off.
While I was inside doing all my things, Mike was stripping the outside of the boat of anything that could possibly catch wind or be destroyed by the sun. Sails down and stored below, all running rigging removed and stored below, winches covered, the list seemed endless and just when we thought we had done everything, I’d think of something else. Every thru hull plugged with material that allows water through but keeps bugs out. Every screwhole that is just the right size for a solitary bee to build a nest (which we discovered one day) covered with blue tape. At some point we knew we had to call it good and just say goodbye.
But wait! There’s more! Just as we thought we’d done it all we got the gift of a day of heavy rain from the remnants of hurricane Bud. What an interesting experience to be walking in a warm downpour. The winds were actually pretty mild compared to what we’ve been through already in the Sea of Cortez, but we haven’t seen rain in months. Literally. Galapagos has a few thousand miles under her keel since she has seen rain of any measurable amount. And you know what that means? That means leaks. So, ironically, we were actually grateful for that day of heavy rain because we learned we have a drippy hatch over the galley now. We put a pan under the leak. There was another small drip through a light fixture over the nav station. God only knows where that is coming from. A container is under that, too. It’s the best we can do at the moment, and we were glad they appeared before we left. Add those to the list of ‘fixes’ when we get back; in cooler weather.
So last Saturday we went to the yard early, expecting a move to the storage yard at 9:00 AM. We waited. 10 AM rolled around and we were still waiting. Mike finally went to the office where he discovered we would not be moved that day. Their trailer for moving boats our size wasn’t working. Our boat would have to wait until Monday. And, this being Mexico, we assured ourselves that Monday would come and go and the boat would still not be moved, so we would either have to change our travel plans again or leave her there to the tender mercies of the marina, who would move her into our carefully chosen spot as soon as the trailer was fixed. We decided that we would leave her and it would be fine.
Alarm bells rang in my head but the cooler part of the brain prevailed as we discussed this new plan with other cruisers who happened to be doing the same thing. They reassured us that their boat had been left many times and the marina would do right by us. Omar, in the front office, assured us he would text us photos of our girl as soon as she was in her spot. We spoke to the yard manager about what we needed in terms of chains on the supports, and the spot we had chosen which faced into the wind and was on the asphalt, rather than the spot they had assigned us. That spot faced the wrong direction, meaning that water would enter our cockpit during a storm from the south and south wind would catch our hard dodger; putting stress on the boat. Reassurances given, we let it go as much as we could and walked away. The rain may have been over, but our faces were wet as we trundled down the road dragging suitcases behind us. The party was over. It seemed somehow wrong.
Our travel plans to home had changed dramatically. What was once going to be an easy trip home was now much more complicated and less enjoyable. We opted to take the Tufesa bus to Tuscon, and then fly out of Phoenix at the end of the week. We landed at the home of some good friends of ours who have a place in Green Valley, AZ. They aren’t there during this hot part of the season, but the home was available and they graciously allowed us to stay there. Here we sit, doing nothing but cruising the internet and watching Netflix because it’s 108F outside, even hotter than Mexico. It might be a dry heat, but it sucks the life out of us.
Omar followed through with his promise. They moved the boat to her chosen spot with no issues on Tuesday and he texted us photos that reassured us that she is sitting where she is supposed to be, supports chained. The rest is up to the fates.
So now what’s the plan? We go home on Saturday, Mike’s birthday. We have some goals while we are there, one of which is to make final decisions about what to do with our house. We love our house but probably will not grow old there for many reasons. We have to either rent the place or sell it, and we lean toward selling although that’s an emotional decision that is hard to make. We hope that these decisions will be made clear when we get there and spend some time.There is loads of work to do there to get it ready one way or another, and possessions to go through and release. There is yard work, painting, all the stuff of home ownership. Some of those things I look forward to doing.
The other goal is to put some money in the cruising kitty. To that end Mike is looking for a contract gig in IT. I am crossing my fingers he can find something where he can live at the house with me while he’s working and enjoy our last times with our son before he goes off on his own adventures as a married person. Here’s a little excerpt from Mike’s resume, in case you know someone who is looking for an employee of his caliber. One thing that’s not on this part is how well he plays with others. That’s important, and one of his best attributes.
“My 25 years of increasingly responsible experience allows me to be comfortable and confident presenting complex technical data to leadership and other professionals. I have extensive experience in the following areas:
– Analysis, development and presentation of complex web-based data in engineering, manufacturing, finance, and marketing
-Managing projects and developing inclusive, collaborative partnerships with customers
-Working with customers during requirements analysis and discovery”
Our goal is to return to Galapagos in the fall, timing dependent on many things, including whatever work contract Mike picks up. We need to keep that goal firmly in front of us. As Mike has said, it has always felt like a little bit of magic that we have been able to do this at all, to even leave the dock the first time. Now we ask for more magic of the same kind.