Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gosling's back in her element!!!

Singlar Guaymas; 20:45, Tuesday, 29 Dec 2009
Finally we are there! We are suspended about 6 inches off the ground by the travel-lift bridles in preparation for launching in the morning. The boat is covered with gear waiting to be shoe-horned somewhere on board. Today was a blur of taking all of our stuff onboard from the car, the area around the boat where we had shed lots of loose gear to get it out of the way while working and from a small lock-up where we had the more valuable items stored. It was also the time to complete any watertight integrity related projects. That meant that the speed sensor that we had purchased and delivered to our Palm Springs friends had to be installed. Now all the holes below the waterline are accounted for. I had delayed this project until I had heard back from the manufacturer of the sensor to make sure it would be compatible with the existing system. Finally we will have a hull speed reading and not just speed calculated by the GPS. Meanwhile, Fran escaped with Elke (Winds of Change) and Kim (Salty) for margaritas in San Carlos leaving Rosie and me to fend for ourselves.
This week we also had the welding done. It isn’t as nice a job as we would have liked and the welder was working on Mexican time. When he showed up he did a fair job which will stand up but it won’t be as pretty as we hoped.
Another project for us will be polishing the welds. Another item that had been overlooked was improving the propane feed from the bottles to the regulator. With the potential hazards associated with propane you don’t want to take any chances. We have an excellent control system with an integrated sniffer and shut-off system in case of leaks but the feed lines needed attention. It was quite an accomplishment to finally find a dealer with all of the specific fittings we needed for under $2.50.
Sunday splashed today. Gil and Lexi’s big tri is at the end dock in the marina where we plan to join them tomorrow.
This week’s preparation brought this whole cruising lifestyle into perspective. This is our third and largest boat. Granted, the last 2 were not live-aboards but imagine trying to fit all the comforts of home on a 42 X 12 ft space where much of the space is already taken up by other more important stuff like the engine, electronics, tools, galley equipment with its all-important fridge( with a small, very small, freezer compartment that produces ice for drinks and keeps a few other items frozen). There is surprisingly little storage space in a 42 ft boat after all of the essentials are packed in. Ironically that includes the case of Girl Guide cookies, 5 months worth of dry dog food and the 4 cases of wine we bought in Palm Springs at $2/btl. (Don’t laugh its good stuff. Fran’s discerning wine palate says so). After you put away your clothes and food there are a myriad of items that have to find a home in a few cupboards and storage areas under the benches and bunks (Christmas decorations). We still have sails and lines stored in the V-berth. Once they are brought to the upper deck and installed, their places below will be taken up by stuff on deck waiting to be stored. We also have to clear up the sleeping quarters up there in case we have guests. Needless to say we will be giving all spaces a once over before we leave and all non-essentials will be stored in the van to await our return or taken to the monthly marine swap meet on Saturday. Wonder what I’ll find that I absolutely can’t do without this time....
21:00, Wednesday, 30 Dec, 09
We have made it!! Gosling is back in her element. It was a successful launch. Once the travel-lift had us lowered us into the water we did thru-hull rounds and found and fixed a minor leak in a valve. The engine started right up (thanks Omar the mechanic from last year) and Fran drove us around the marina to our berth. Now comes the real work of getting everything ship shape and all gear stowed. The problem is getting to those tasks without other distractions. As soon as we got alongside Fran announced that neither of the heads were working. That took a few hours to fix. One was easy the other required some repair to an overly large vaccuum break port in the salt water feed line. Naturally it took about 1/2 hour to access it. A more permanent repair will be an item on next year's wishlist. Shore power started to cut out; found the problem in a defective plug in the same cord we had been using for the past month.
Still hadn’t received a part back from the welder; he’s 3 days late. After 3 calls from 3 different people in the yard he finally showed up. The part is repaired and will work but it isn’t pretty.
Tomorrow will be a full day with no distractions, I hope, and tomorrow evening we will celebrate the beginning of a new decade.
Happy New Year everyone from Jean-Guy, Fran and Rosie aboard Gosling, in the water in Guaymas, Mexico

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