Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Puntarenas: Progress Report

My boat preparation here in Puntarenas is proceeding pretty much according to schedule. 

The heat has been a challenge. I try to get started as early in the morning as I can, but by nine a.m. the sun is intense and there is usually little or no cloud cover. Sweat pours out of my body at an amazing rate; I'm drinking more than a gallon and a half of water a day, plus a couple of beers.  After eleven, I find myself only being able to work in one hour blocks, having to take short breaks to towel or rinse off and regain physical and mental equilibrium. I thought that I would grow more tolerant of the climate and my productivity would increase. However, when I watch the local guys working on nearby boats, their work patterns aren't much different than mine. They start of strong in the morning and progressively slack off as the day wears on, always trying to stay out of the direct sun. Thankfully in the afternoon clouds typically start to form and block some of the sun and a breeze begins. By four p.m., I'm pretty much spent and make tracks for the pool to cool off. If I do that, I can sometimes squeeze in an hour or two more work in the evening. So, I'm putting in 10 to 12 hour days per the time clock, but when adjusted for heat related breaks and lethargy, I'm lucky if I'm getting eight hours of work done most days. Thankfully, that's enough and pretty much the productivity on which my schedule is based.

So far I have washed and waxed the entire topsides (that was a killer in the sun), polished all the stainless steel, installed hatch vents, arranged for canvas hatch, window and dinghy covers to be made, pickled the watermaker so that it can sit unused without damage, serviced the anchor windlass,  cleaned the entire port hull including the head (now off limits too all passengers and crew), cleaned the salon, including treating all the upholstery with UV protectant, cleaned the dinghy, flushed and waxed the outboard. As I'm cleaning the interior, I'm going through all the lockers, getting rid of perishables and superfluous items and then "pickling" the locker by wiping it down with vinegar with hopes of warding off mold and mildew.

Left do to is remove the two foresails, flake the mainsail properly, clean the "lanai" (cockpit), clean the BBQ, wipe down the engines, run the portable generator and treat its gas for storage, flush the holding tanks, fill the water tanks, clean the stove, defrost and clean the fridge/freezer, clean the starboard hull and head, do laundry, pack and organize and prepare written care instructions for the marina staff.

I have one week left to get all this done. I'm confident I'll make my deadline.

I'm going to move off the boat next Monday and stay at the hotel on the marina property. I have a very early flight on June 1, so I'm going to travel to the airport the day before and stay at a hotel at the airport.

I will be happy to be done with all this boat work. I'm looking forward to seeing my loved ones and being in beautiful, cool northern California again. I see a big transition ahead of me, leaving my nomadic marine (and often singlehanded) life and making landfall at what was once my home with its familiar, comfortable way of life but which now seems like a historic place, my present reality greatly changed and my future far more in flux.

Okay, enough philosophizing. I have to get to work...