How Much Dirt is Sixteen Months?

Puerto Penasco, where the boat has been stored for the past 16 months, is located on the edge of a desert. Great because the hot dry climate basically eliminates mold and mildew in the boat. Not great because sand and dust travels freely on virtually any breeze and ends up in every nook and cranny. I think we spent the first 3 days wiping down every surface multiple times. The small shop vac we have definitely earned its keep.

After a few days of cleaning, it was time to tackle the actual job list which looked a little something like this:

Planned chores

Change the engine oil and fuel filters on both engines
Change the raw water pump impellers on both engines
Sand and apply new anti fouling paint to the bottom of the hulls
Apply Propspeed coating to the sail drives and propellers – That only required 5 hours of sanding and prep work
Change out the broken underwater light on the port side- sounds easy, had to cut waterproof sealant with fishing line.
Change the hose on the holding tank – lots of procrastinating on this one ?
Paint the length indicators on the anchor chain
New zinc anodes on the sail drives
Change the broken shifter on the dinghy
Service the winches
Remove and replace the glass portion of all 8 deck hatches

Safety First for 5 hours of sanding
Applying PropSpeed
Boat Yoga
More boat yoga
Cleaning the old hatch frame before the new lens goes in
Top of the mast needs to be checked too

Not planned or surprise chores

Change out the galley sink faucet – the seals were completely dried out and leaking
Clean up the two, 5 liter, jugs of motor oil that split and leaked into the bilge – yup that’s as big a mess as you think it is
Replace two starting batteries that did not survive the heat even with the solar still charging them.

Chore that just did not happen.

Change the roller furler on the head sail. We brought a new one down with us. According to the directions the old one and 14 meters of aluminum extrusion were to easily slide off the fore stay and the new one would slide back on. WRONG. The connection at the bottom of the fore stay was 1/8 of an inch too big. The solution is going to involve cutting the fitting off the bottom and replacing it with a new one once the new furler is in place. New plan. Put back the old one and make it work till we get to La Cruz where there is a full rigging shop with all the supplies on hand. A project for January.

Why do boat projects take longer than expected? Well, when you wind the line on the furler drum, then install the sail you realize that you wound it up in the wrong direction. Except now that the sail is on you can’t just unwind it or it winds the sail up in the wrong direction, so you have to manually un feed it. Then manually re feed it. Except when you do it you find out you put it back exactly as you had the first time. So off it comes again. With special attention paid on how it goes back on the third time. Clearly we’ve been away too long.

That’s just a sample of the 30 items that were on the list. Some go easy like the oil changes, some throw you a bit of a curve ball like our hatch replacements. I brought down the Lexan cut close to the size needed and a router. The plan being to use the router to cut to the final size using the removed piece as a template. That plan did not work well, let’s just say I will not have a career that involves a router. Fortunately, the boat yard has a carpenter with a full shop. He was easily able to cut to size and drill the holes so that saved a lot of time and aggravation.

We figured the boat was going to be a mess when we arrived, so we booked a hotel for 3 nights. We stayed at the Pearl Point Hotel. Notice there is no Ritz Carlton in the name. Spartan is a description that comes to mind. Water most of the time and when it was not working, we just went to the office and the guy would go and hammer on the pump and we’d have water again. But what should you expect for 35 bucks a night? The shower and the air conditioning worked and the bed was comfortable enough. The boat was a bit of a disaster zone with tools and various projects on the go, we ended up staying 6 nights before we moved aboard in the boat yard.

Living on a boat in a boat yard is kind of like camping in an industrial zone sand box. It’s the nature of the beast. Boat yards are full of people sanding, painting, welding, oiling, greasing and doing all manner of work to their boats. It’s a dirty, dusty, sweaty, kind of place where no one is in good clothes and you are just as likely to throw out your clothes when you are done. The people in them are usually great. Everyone will lend a hand, lend a part, help with a drive to get something, recommend the best place to get parts, groceries or a good margarita. We are all in the same boat so to speak so you help one another out when you can.

Boat yard life
Even work days have good sunsets

 We were lined up to be the second boat to launch today.  They load us on the sled to pull us out of our spot. The big travel lift loads us in and carries us to the water, lowers us in, removes the slings and this is where we are to fire up the engines and motor out.  Fire up the port engine, all good. Fire up the starboard engine, fire up the starboard engine, oh crap, it fired up two days ago, what the heck!  At this point we’re kind of committed to leaving.  Decision made, motor out on one engine to an end tie dock about 200 meters away. Until we have some speed and water moving past the rudders we steer using the engines. With only one engine the boat is pushed to one side or the other you cannot hold a straight course. We have one shot to get there. Phew we made it without crashing into the dock.  We tied up there, a quick trip up to Autozone for a new starting battery and we’re all good.

On the transporter for the short trip out of the parking stall
In the big lift headed the right direction

I’m writing this in the evening of the 20th day as we sit at the marina with the boat back in the water and looking to depart tomorrow. All in all, a successful restart given the amount of time since we left the boat here. Our first stop is Puerto Refugio on Isla Angel De La Guarda. 107 miles. The next cell service we will have is likely Santa Rosalia. We plan on going to some anchorages we’ve been to before and some new ones. We will take our time and will probably be in Santa Rosalia in 2 weeks ish. We will update then.

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4 thoughts on “How Much Dirt is Sixteen Months?

  1. Wow , the things we do for love. Now you get to the fun parts. I always enjoy hearing about your adventures. Enjoy

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