“So long you guys! Thanks for everything, it’s been so much fun. We’ll see you soon, somehow. We’ll just make it happen.”
These were our final parting words to our friends the Brownlows and the Baergs as we stood outside of Hammerheads, a local watering hole close to Marina San Carlos. We’d started the evening at JJ’s Tacos down the road, but the music was too loud and the band’s groupies weren’t really our crowd. We wanted to visit with each other; an impossible thing at JJ’s that night. S/V Blue was heading across the sea the next day and we were taking their slip in Marina Real for a couple of nights to wash the boat down. We planned to leave this side of the sea ourselves in a couple of days. S/V Slow Motion was still stuck in Marina Seca Guaymas, awaiting a new water tank; one of those unplanned expenditures that seem to happen all too often with boats. We didn’t know when we’d all be together again.
One should be very very careful of the words they use when saying goodbye to people. It’s almost like throwing wishes out into the universe and asking for trouble. When I said, “ See you soon, somehow. We’ll just make it happen.” what I really meant was “We’ll find you in a nice anchorage soon and have a great snorkel together.” Instead what the universe granted us was something altogether different.
It went like this. The day before we had successfully launched Galapagos on a windless morning at highish tide. With the Brownlows and the Baergs in attendance, Curt and Kevin got our big boat turned around, walking her stern into the slip adjacent to the dock. Cressie and Lynn stood by on the other side of the fairway, just in case we went crazy and needed help on that side. You never know. Shit happens sometimes. I love a lot of support at the dock.
With her nose pointed in the right direction, we were off. Within 15 minutes we were lying at anchor in the bay, breathing sighs of relief and drinking champagne in the cockpit.
It was great being back aboard and remembering how we do things around here. I thought I had probably forgotten a great deal, but it all came rushing back: how to get off the boat and into the dinghy safely, how to tie the dinghy off on the davits so it doesn’t swing around, how to move around the boat without falling and stumbling into things, which toilet to use when, the dance of anchoring, watching the weather, so many little things that become second nature when you live on a boat. It’s just a completely different way of living. Yes, I thought. It’s really time to get going. It felt great to be out on the water once more.
Not that houses are bad. We love houses, too. We’ve really enjoyed having a house to live in with friends while Galapagos was in the boatyard, but San Carlos was starting to grow on us too much. I think we’ve been here too long. We are getting familiar with all the places to eat and shop. The folks at the local grocery think I live here; just another gringa looking for canned stewed tomatoes and ice cream made with actual cream, items which do not exist in these parts.
Driving to Guaymas no longer terrifies me, although I prefer not to go too deeply into town. There are many one way streets that are not marked. Ask me how I know. I know all the largest potholes around here by heart and work to avoid them in advance. That’s how you know when it’s time to go: you know the potholes personally, by name, and driving is no longer terrifying. That level of familiarity happens alarmingly quickly.
After our fond farewells last night, we were ready to head over to Marina Real early this morning; our final stop before crossing the sea. We planned an early morning departure to stay ahead of the wind that builds during the day. I was enjoying my morning coffee watching the sun shine on the surrounding rocky hills when Mike popped his head up the companionway.
“Well, we’ve got another problem now.” I love how he says that stuff, all deadpan-like. “The starter battery is dead.”
Well, damn it all to hell and back.
I knew things had gone too well. We had got Galapagos’ bottom repaired beautifully, got the new boom painted and deployed, the bottom job was spectacular. And those were just the big jobs. If you know anything about boats you’ll know that there are unlimited smaller jobs that happen at the same time. It’s a quantum physics thing, the amount of jobs that can be squeezed into one day at the boatyard. Science has not yet devised a way to measure such things so we chalk them up to the unlimited mysteries of life.
Galapagos was shiny and ready to go, all systems great. Or. So. WE. THOUGHT.
So now, the start battery. Once more it’s important to be grateful for the timing of such things. We are in port, we have a car, we have friends. Mike has known that replacing this battery was going to be a pain because it’s really big, heavy, and located inconveniently. Mike has determined that one cell in the battery is bad. That means the entire thing is toast.
So we’ll see how quickly we can get this replaced. He plans to replace this flooded wetcell 8D battery, an Armor Plate 36, with two smaller more nimble units. The battery, by the way, is about 6 years old. It was installed by the previous owner. Apparently one cell has gone bad. And if one cell is bad, the whole thing is bad.
So that “See you soon!”? Yeah. Soon as in TODAY. Mike and Curt now have a special date to muscle this baby up and out of the boat. We’ll get to say farewell to them all over again! Hey, maybe we’ll get another go at those tacos at JJ’s after all.
We’re paying 33$ US per day to stay tied up in this beautiful marina, meanwhile, so I cannot complain. After all, we already know all the great places to go eat. And what could be more important than that?
We’ve decided to go south with the wind this year. When all systems are ACTUALLY a go and the weather looks good, we’ll sail back across the Sea of Cortez towards Santa Rosalia and try to catch up to S/V Blue. Maybe S/V Slow Motion will be close behind. And then go south from there. We are both positively stoked to get snorkeling again. We’re coming for you, fish!