Sunday, May 5, 2013

Back to reality - 2013

13:30, 26 Apr 13, 30,000 ft alt, aboard AA flight 1189, somewhere over the Central US

There are snow covered mountains and frozen lakes below us, a far cry from the suffocating heat we were enduring just a few days ago. We departed Panama City yesterday and will arrive in Vancouver in a few hours.

It has been a very busy week. After arriving from The San Blas Islands we had 5 days of frenzied activity getting Gosling ready for her summer sleep. Everything that had been exposed to salt water had to be washed, dried and stored below. That included all of the running rigging, sails, sail covers, awnings and anything that could be moved below, including the anchor cable. Luckily we had good dry weather. Our real fear was storing wet items and increasing the humidity level below decks. The engine oil was replaced and the engine thoroughly rinsed out with a product called “Salt-Away” which is supposed to remove any salt deposits and leave a protective film over the internal surfaces. The same product was used on the outboards and the refrigeration and water-maker systems. Electronics were unplugged to protect them from any lightning damage, clothing and bedding was vacuum packed and all surfaces were washed with a vinegar solution to discourage mold.

Most of the above work was done afloat. On Tuesday we were hauled out, first, by a travel lift, then deposited on a hydraulic lift trailer and transported to the storage yard where the final preparations were done. The bottom was pressure washed,  storage cover rigged, engine rinsed, rented dehumidifiers installed, fuel tank topped up and biocide added and, as we locked up we set off 2 insecticide bombs, a routine we have followed for the past few years. We will do the same on arrival in October and hope the buggies will not survive. We had a good season this time with very few bugs.

It was with a heavy heart that we left Gosling in the stands, dry and quiet for the first time in 6 months, but we must admit that it was a definite relief to have it all over with. She is in a good secure yard with an electrified fence and regular guard patrols (as claimed by the administration).

As it turned out, we got off luckier than Optical Illusion.  Once they had her in the slings on the travel lift they realized that her wing keel would not fit on the hydraulic trailer so she could not be brought to the dry storage yard. She was refloated and will spend her summer afloat at the dock. Needless to say, Bill and Janet were disappointed.

The weather was dry but the sun was extreme and we were close to sun stroke by the time we finished. Every day we were in the pool for a spell by noon and again by 4PM. We have never drunk so much and peed so little. Our pores are very clean!!! Also, by that time, J-G’s cold had run its course and all he was left with was a residual cough.

Thursday afternoon at we all left with Bill and Janet for Panama City to spend a few days before flying home. Fran had chosen a very nice small hotel, the Baru Lodge, close to downtown Panama City and close to the major shopping districts. We will probably go to the same place on our return and do our re-supplying before heading back to the boat.

We are a few hours from landing in Vancouver where we will be met by the people who are storing our truck. We will pick it up and drive back to Victoria, pick up Rosie and stay with friends for a night or 2 before picking up our 17 ft trailer, our interim home for a few months, yup, boat trash to trailer trash.

This is the final chapter for this season. Thanks to all those who have read it (without falling asleep) and to those who did. We expect to be heading back to panama for next season by mid-October. Believe it or not, this is the 116th entry in this blog. Where will it end?

Happy summer to all.

Will be inserting photos as soon as I can figure out how to download them from Fran’s phone….


  1. Hi JG, Fran.

    From the metal detecting centre of the universe (Hampshire) pleased you have had another fun season on the Gosling. Are we going to have a Trailer Blog? By the way, I'm now working on HMS Victory. Keep in touch. JOHN FORSTER

  2. Just found your response, quite by accident, really, while checking an app I rarely use.
    No trailer blog. I know how much you just love TRAILERS or Caravans, as you call them. just thought I'd pull your chain with the pic of ours.
    We are now in the interior of BC (Kelowna) at the location we will store the dog, truck and trailer for the winter. We leave here in a few weeks for Panama and the 'bateau'.
    Tell me more about your recent detecting finds. I need a good detector charge!
    We have been enjoying a number of Brit TV series of late. I download them and we watch them on the boat and in the trailer when out of TV reception range (which is most of the time). Your series are absolutely brilliant. Just finished Rome, Game of Thrones, Garrow's Law, some of Foyle's War (2 seasons left to see), We have Orphan Black, and a few others waiting in the wings. Keeps us out of the tequila bars, you see.
    All the best.
    Respond on my hotmail address.
    Cheers, mate.