Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Intermezzo Sails Again...Almost


Intermezzo sails again!

Well, almost. The boat needs to get back in the water first.

I´m back in La Paz to take Intermezzo out of dry storage and start a new sailing season with serious aspirations. If all goes as planned, I will resume The Voyage to the East Coast US via the Panama Canal in January, a voyage that began in October of 2015 and aborted due to more important family matters.

The original Voyage was planned as relatively leisurely double-handed port hopping along the coast, taking time to enjoy the stops and take inland side trips. We got as far as Panama doing this last time and had some great adventures before we turned around and sailed back to La Paz. This time I plan on sailing with two or three crew members with a more structured itinerary designed to take advantage of seasonal winds and get Intermezzo to the East Coast and out of high-risk hurricane territory by July. The journey will be broken into multiple legs of relatively long passages between ports where I will leave Intermezzo for a few weeks so that I can fly back to stay connected to loved ones, friends and ¨real¨ life ashore.  I´ll summarize the sailing plan and schedule for The Voyage in a future blog post soon. 

I´m not sure who my crew will be for these legs. I´m hoping some friends and family members might have time to join me, but I´m counting on the many sailors out there seeking opportunities to serve as crew to enjoy a coastal sailing adventure and gain sailing experience. I´ve put feelers out on several sailing crew websites and some good candidates have expressed interest. I´ll be following up with them and continuing to recruit crew over the next month. 

I plan on leaving La Paz in January on the first leg, a 1,000 nautical mile (nm) passage to Huatulco where I will leave the boat for a while to wait for better weather conditions for crossing the notorious Golfo de Tehuantepec.

Between now and January, I have a lot of work to do to get Intermezzo ready for this demanding trip. Overall, the boat is in great shape but there is a long list of minor maintenance and repair items that need attention.

I arrived in La Paz last night and I'm staying in an inexpensive Airbnb right next to the marina seca ("dry marina") where Intermezzo sits not more than 100 yards away. This morning was my first visit back to the boat since early June and I was pleased to find Intermezzo dirty on the outside but in good condition and fresh and clean on the inside. While the desert sun and dust aren't kind to the exterior, I really appreciate storing the boat in a dry climate compared to the tropics where I've spent days trying to prevent and days removing mold from the inside of the boat and many stored articles. Today I gave Intermezzo a five hour spa treatment, rinsing, washing, rinsing and drying the entire exterior, even underneath between the two hulls, which rarely gets attention. The boat looks great.

Resuming purposeful sailing means resuming regular posts to this Sailing Intermezzo blog. It feels good to be writing again and sharing this important aspect of my life with whomever cares to read about it. What lies ahead is a much different sailing experience for me on Intermezzo than it has been so far.  Longer passages, without co-captain Renee, changing unfamiliar crew, transiting the Panama Canal, some more challenging sailing conditions...much more uncertainty involved  and requiring more self awareness and confidence. All the makings for an interesting sailing adventure and personal story. 

How I found Intermezzo in the marina seca after six months storage on the hard

BEFORE spa treatment
AFTER spa treatment