Thursday, July 8, 2021

Intermezzo Is Back In La Paz

 Intermezzo has returned to La Paz, exactly two years and six months after we set sail on The Voyage on January 8, 2019. My long ordeal of waiting to load onto a ship is finally over. I am feeling a strong sense of relief and one of celebration, for having closed the loop, returning from where we started.

The unloading went smoothly, although 12 minutes delayed. After waiting three months to load onto the ship, I can deal with that sort of delay!

My friend Johan served as crew to receive Intermezzo as the boat was lowered from the deck of the Chipolbrok Star. We met a panga a the end of Muelle (Dock) 4 at Marina Palmira, which coincidentally was once Intermezzo's home in La Paz. We boarded the boat just as the slings of the crane were being lifted away.  Intermezzo's decks are covered with spots of some powdery substance, I suspect the same as whatever the ship is carrying in its bulk cargo holds. I didn't have time to do a thorough inspection, but didn't see any obvious damage. It looks like Intermezzo made the journey unscathed, but a bit road weary.

When we started the port engine, no cooling water came out with the exhaust like it is supposed to. I poked around a bit but couldn't remedy the situation. I resigned myself to running both engines briefly only for maneuvering, relying on only the starboard engine to get us to the marina. Fortunately, when I revved up the port engine to back away from the ship, the raw water pump finally had enough suction to get things flowing and all was well.

We motored to Marina Cortez as the sun was setting. It felt so good to have Intermezzo back, so good to have the boat back in La Paz and the Sea of Cortez. We docked the boat, snugged up the docklines and fenders and then went to Johan's place to have a celebratory beer and shot of tequila. Johan's wife, Barbara, had taken pictures of the whole event from their rooftop terrace including the one for this post. I'm very grateful to both of them for their friendship and support.

Tomorrow I will wash down the boat and give it a good look over. Saturday we will provision for the passage to Puerto Escondido. Sunday we depart. Johan has volunteered as crew for the trip, so I'll have good, capable company for the three day trip.

When I finished The Voyage in New York in September 2019, I wrote, "It feels like a lot, sometimes too much. I can hardly distinguish individual memories of all that passed, it's more like kaleidoscope of experiences that are now a part of who I am, experiences that will influence who I will be." It felt like that again today, the feelings not as big this time, but of a similar nature.

It's not a wrap yet, but we're getting close. In just over a week, I'll be walking away from Intermezzo for a few months to live on land for a while. Life for me is shifting again.

Look closely and you can see Intermezzo being lifted off the deck of ship in this picture Barbara took from her rooftop