Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ready, Aye , Ready

15 March 08

We are there! We have been so busy that we have not even been able to dedicate the time to writing the blog for the past 2 weeks. Our apologies if you were waiting for the next installment.

Perseverance has paid off, cash helped too. We are over budget but the boat is as ready as it will ever be. At some point in the past few days we have realized that, even though there remains a number of small projects, the important ones have been accomplished and Gosling is ready to sail, thanks, in part, to Mike and Dove who arrived early last week. They and were instrumental in getting us ready on time.

In summary, the work over the past 2 weeks:

The mast was repaired and stepped on time and Rocco tuned the rig. The crack has been cut out and the mast has a high-density plastic product as a base corresponding to the amount that was cut off, therefore the stays did not need any modification.

The traveler arrived from Garhauer last week and J-G installed it the same day only to find that the car and end pieces were not compatible with the layout. A quick call to Guido at Garhauer sorted that problem and a new set was shipped. This one was a perfect setup.

Alberto completed the engine repairs on the 14th. The exhaust part arrived late but the welder gave us priority and the gear was ready to be installed by the 12th as promised. The new part was so nice that it was a shame to cover it with insulation. Once he had completed the work we had a sea trial and all worked perfectly.

J-G and Mike worked till the early hours of the morning on Thursday to relocate the refrigeration unit. The tech arrived the next morning to recharge the system and we now have ice for the margaritas!

Several plumbing issues were also solved including replacing the hand operated bilge pump and a thorough cleaning of the water tanks. The hot water heartier is working great, probably the first time in 30 years. When the old one was removed we discovered that it still have a 220V element, no doubt the original one from build.

Fran’s pet projects included the installation of a new windshield on the hard dodger, replacing the cockpit chair and the re-upholstering of the V-berth and the cockpit cushions.

The mainsail wear marks were repaired and the foot line was replaced.

The dinghy’s rub-rails were replaced. This, apparently, is a common problem with Avon products. The local shop replaces them with rub-rails made by Achilles. The Nissan outboard was also serviced.

The liferaft arrived back tested and repacked. The service centre was very impressed

at the condition it was in after so many years. (1981vintage).

The new BBQ arrived, an E-Bay purchase.What a bargain!

Dove and Fran went to town cleaning the accumulated boatyard grime from Gosling. What a difference! It was a real pleasure to complement their work with the installation of the name-plates that Dave Deeks, a CFSA chum, made up for us before we left.

The yard here and many of the embedded businesses were extremely gracious and cooperative allowing us the use of various tools and for their advice. The staff at Yachtfinders, where we bought the boat, has also been a lot of help by allowing us the use of their phones, a computer to do our correspondence and copying/printing of material we will need on our trip South. Fran has been attending to the paperwork we will need when we get to Mexico. The most tedious task has been to prepare a complete inventory of the fitted equipment for Mexican customs. Thanks to the surveyor for listing much of the equipment and the former owner for keeping all of his receipts.

We had initially planned to leave on Friday the 14th but with a winter storm warning with gales and high seas predicted to last out the weekend we decided to delay until Sunday night (16th). The large marine swap meet at the Chula Vista Yacht Club slated for Saturday had no bearing on the decision, really... but we took advantage of it anyway and found a few things we still needed. Why hadn’t they scheduled this a few weeks before? We saw many items on sale that we had purchased over the past few weeks.

Our renaming and thanks to all party was held on Friday with a few friends we had made at Phillip’s party a few weeks previous.. The new BBQ got a good workout and we now know that we can easily fit 7 people in the salon. Cleaning up in preparation for the event was beneficial in that we were able to find nooks and crannies for most of the stuff we have to store prior to departure, including 4 cases of 2-buck Chuck. Here we thought the term was a colloquialism for cheap wine but we now know it is a brand sold at Trader Joes and it is quite decent. Even Fran, with her discriminating taste for wine, rather likes it.

Tomorrow is our last day here. The weather predictions are promising calm seas and light winds from a favourable direction so we should be away by 2200 tomorrow night to make Ensenada the following morning for a quick check in and then depart for Turtle Bay. Dove and Mike only have a week left before they have to get back to Canada so we are pressed for time and we have to see Turtle Bay and Magdalena Bay.. All we have left to do is some last minute shopping, some training and return the rental car.

The next blog entry will most likely be posted by our son Chris, in Vancouver, via a Winlink message. We haven’t been able to test the system here due to the interference here in San Diego so we are crossing fingers that it will go well once we are clear of San Diego.

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