Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last post of the season

7 May 2009; Slip 13, dock 12 Marina Real
We are about to leave for Guaymas where we will be hauled out tomorrow. The wind has picked up noticeably since this morning and thick fog is pouring over the hills from the direction of the Sea. It looks like we will be delayed for a few hours. Gosling has been here for 3 weeks and is looking quite different from when we arrived. Most of the sails have been removed as well as most of the lines. The genoa is still rigged just in case it might be needed on the way. We had another phenomenal sunset last night; see pic.
Our trip back home to tend to Fran’s mom was a fast and frustrating affair. Without going into details, she is recovered well and is now back home doing reasonably well on her own. Her hospital stay was longer than expected as she came down with the Norwalk virus (hospital induced) during her second week. We seemed to have dodged that virus and we are now hoping to stay clear of the Swine Flu which, so far, has not been found in this part of Mexico. On our way back to the boat we picked up Rosie from the kennel. She was in fine form but very tired from playing constantly with the other dogs in the kennel. She slept most of the following day. We have been surprised to see that she has gained self-confidence when dealing with other dogs.
It has been a very busy week since we returned from home. Putting Gosling to bed is much more work intensive than it was last year. Being in a stable environment, with a vehicle available to us, we have been able to get many of the chores that had built up over the past few months. After we haul out we will be rushed to complete all of the preparations to ensure that Gosling spends a comfortable summer on the hard. We have made electrical repairs, varnished the outer woodwork, emptied and refilled storage compartments, washed and scrubbed most of the lockers and bilges, washed and stored sails; the list goes on and on. One big chore at Singlar will be to wash all of the lines and store the genoa and dinghy.
We have also seen several other cruisers who have arrived back to store their boats for the Summer. Warren Peace, Optical Illusion and Indian Summer, among others, have returned and are already on the hard.
We paid a visit to Marina Seca Guaymes the other day and there seems to be fewer vessels there this year. Looks like the word is getting out that it isn’t such a bargain after all. Singlar has many more boats and they claim to have enough reservations to max out this year.
15 May 2009, Phoenix, AZ
We are on the road home, having left Guaymas yesterday morning. We have just dropped off Janet and Bill from Optical Illusion, at the airport and we are heading west towards Palm Springs.
The last week was a blur of activity. We arrived in Guaymas after a pleasant trip from San Carlos. The weather was ideal, light winds and the fish were biting. We caught 3 sierras on the way. 2 are in the pic above. After arriving at Singlar we spent the remainder of the day and the following morning removing and storing the genoa, removing the remainder of the lines and finally washing, dismantling and bagging the dinghy. We shifted to the haul-out basin by 1400 for our 1430 haul-out appointment. The staff at Singlar seemed to be apprehensive about hauling us out. We later learned that they had dropped a boat a few weeks before with our hull shape when a line parted. It took what seemed to be an eternity to get us raised in the travel-lift but all was done without incident and with the help of many volunteers from the boats at the slips and those on the boats in the yard. By 1600 Gosling was propped up and settled for her summer rest. (See pics above)
The remainder of the time was spent servicing thru-hulls and heads, washing all the lines , relocating a solar panel so it will trickle charge the batteries over the summer, deciding what was coming home with us, storing everything else away, cleaning out the fridge, disconnecting all the radios, varnishing the upper deck teak trim and oiling (teak oil) the toe rail, wrapping all shiny bits in old t-shirts to protect them from the sun, the list goes on and on. Finally the last day was upon us. Bedding was washed and stored for next season, through-hull valves were shut and the outlets were plugged with green scrub pads, all loose upper deck items were stored below, battery fluid levels checked, bug prevention measures were activated (cucaracha traps and lots of bay leaves). We have decided to do some major interior work that require bits to be taken home for work so the galley counter was dismantled and all of the main salon and v-berth floor panels were removed and put in the van. The final operation was to seal her up and lash the tarps down over the coach-house, remove the ladder and say goodbye to our friends in the yard. By the time we were finished it was past 20:00 and we were dead tired and looking forward to a few cervesas.
It has been a good season for us and Gosling. We have travelled almost 2000 miles have made many new friends and renewed old acquaintances and have gained another season of experience. Our long-term plans have changed. We plan to spend another year in Mexican waters, concentrating on the Sea of Cortez next year. In 2011 we are considering heading south to Central America, then visiting the Galapagos. Instead of continuing across the Pacific we are now planning a few seasons in the Carribean then onto Europe. This is all a pipe dream at the moment but, we now know we have the boat capable of doing it.
Look for the next adventure beginning in mid-November 2009. Thanks for reading my attempt at story-telling.