Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Journey and Life At Sea Drawing to An End

San Felipe, Baja California

We're leaving San Felipe this evening for Puerto Peñasco, the last leg of the journey from Puerto Escondido, another overnight passage so as to arrive on a rising tide tomorrow morning. It's pretty much a straight shot across the top of the Sea of Cortez, around 14 hours. The weather is good, the winds when they are blowing, from the South-Southeast.

San Felipe has been a lonely anchorage for me. I haven't been motivated to go into town, choosing to do chores and projects on the boat while at anchor instead. I've been feeling a bit anxious over hauling out in an unfamiliar place, a bit down that my pleasant life at sea is drawing to an end, probably for an extended period.

I was worried about finding a place to dock in Puerto Peñasco before hauling out. I called Sal at the Cabrales Boatyard and asked him about dockage. He told me that the marinas are small, pretty full, don't take reservations, and typically don't answer the phone. Not encouraging. I asked him for advice and he told me there is always somewhere to dock, to just look around for an empty space and take it. Not the way I like to roll, but if that's how it is, that's what I'm doing.

I pushed our haul out date to Thursday to minimize the time spent squatting on a questionable dock. We'll arrive on Wednesday morning, (hopefully) find a place to dock and I'll spend tomorrow preparing the boat to be hauled out.

We haul out on Thursday at high tide. I need a line handler to help me get into the travelifit slip. I was going to enlist one of the boatyard people. However, as luck would have it, my old friend Wayne from my days in Phoenix contacted me and has offered to help.  Wayne follows my blog and happens to be visiting Puerto Peñasco (aka Rocky Point by Arizonans). I haven't seen him for, I'd say, over 20 years. I'm very grateful for his offer to help and am looking forward to catching up on life with him.

I'll stay on the boat Thursday night and then on Friday, pick up a rental car, check into an Airbnb and begin laying up the boat for long term dry storage.  There is a lot of work today, work that I've done many times before in different places, often in sweltering weather. Here's the list:
  • Clean/wax interior fiberglass
  • Clean/treat vinyl
  • Polish wood
  • Mildew prevention treatment, cabins
  • Bag cushions, bedding, clothes etc.
  • Clean fans
  • Cull lockers
  • DampRid lockers
  • Drain dinghy hull
  • Secure dinghy on davits
  • Clean and cover dinghy
  • Service outboard
  • Shut off engine/house batteries
  • Backup plotter data/settings
  • Remove chart chips
  • Remove IridiumGo!/Garmin Inreach/PLB
  • Change engine oil
  • Flush/replace engine coolant
  • Wipe down engines
  • Change fuel filters (primary/secondary)
  • Fill fuel tanks/treat fuel
  • Flush engine raw water system
  • Change sail drive lubricant
  • Clean stove
  • Defrost/clean fridge/freezer
  • Turn off propane
  • Clean BBQ
  • Remove food
  • Remove trash
  • Lubricate hatch seals
  • Affix hatch and window covers
  • Clean and dry bilges
  • Wash and wax cabintop
  • Polish stainless steel
  • Cover forward windows
  • Wash and wax hulls
  • Replace engine hatch seals
  • Secure portholes and hatches
  • Clean, dry, stow kayaks and paddle board
  • Remove portable batteries
  • Pack clothes/personal items
  • Bring log books
  • Remove/stow lifebuoy/lifesling
  • Cover electric winch switches
  • Pickle watermaker, clean strainer
  • Flush holding tanks
  • Flush heads/relieve joker valves
  • Clean shower sump
  • Empty water tanks
  • Change portable generator oil, run dry, drain carb
  • Clean and grease windlass
  • Exercise and lubricate bottle screws
  • Remove bowsprit/furler
  • Remove/store sails
It will take me about a week to get through this list.  Next Saturday, I'll take a shuttle van across the border and to Phoenix, where I'll board a plane to head back to The Ranch.

My longer term plan is to keep Intermezzo in the Cabrales yard during the next sailing season and do a significant refit of the boat. After 10 years and many miles of sailing, there are several major projects that need to get done to keep the boat running well and looking good. Plus many, many small projects that I just haven't got around to doing while sailing. I figure on taking month long "working vacations" to Puerto Peñasco over the next 18 months. I'm not sure what I'll during the rest of my intermezzo from sailing, but I'm sure something will grab my interest.