Friday, March 29, 2013

Departure Prep

Pat & Janet come down from Seattle!
Well, even though all you folks tease us about the work we do on our boat, there was still a bunch of stuff we wanted to get done before departing for the South Pacific.  Spending approximately 21 days at sea gives you a whole new perspective on what things you need to change or fix – so our list was pretty long.  Since doing projects at anchor can be challenging (to say the least), we decided to stay at a local (but CHEAP!) marina in Nuevo Vallarta.  For about $20 US per day, we tied up to the dock and had the pure luxury of as much power as we could use and a calm boat!

Fishbowl Margaritas!
What did we do while at the dock you ask?  Well we worked a LOT!  But we played a little too – like spending some time crewing for our new friends on Cherokee Rose during the Banderas Bay Regatta, a nice visit with Pat and Janet (down from Seattle), some time with my prior coworker Nancy, and of course lots of awesome street tacos!  We also made some great new friends, many of which we will see again as they are crossing over to the South Pacific just like us! 

But back to that list – for those of you that care, here are some of the things we’ve accomplished in the last few weeks….

  • Service the water maker and rebuild the housing (thanks for the help Les!)
  • Re-caulked our windows (small leaks)
  • Re-caulked the V-berth hatch – big leak! 
  • Install switch for solar panels so we can turn them off when transmitting on the SSB (lowering radio interference)
  • Set up getting weather information via our sat phone
  • Change the oil on both outboards, genset and main engine
  • “Winterize” and stow the outboards
  • Defrost the fridge and freezer
  • Cook meals for at least ½ the passage
  • Package up our winter cloths for storage
  • Organize and catalog all charts and spare parts
  • Service and install new line on our furler
  • Fix our engine driven refrigeration (AGAIN)
  • Change out all fuel filters
  • Install a priming pump for the main engine
  • Swapp out the fuel filtering system for the main genset
Frankly there was a LOT more than that, but that should give you a good idea of the types of stuff one does before a huge trip like this.  

Thankfully no one was hurt...
Another part of preparation is buying all the food and supplies you will need for the passage.  Since we are on a pretty tight budget and the South Pacific is renowned for being really expensive, we decided to try to provision as much as possible for the next six months while still in Mexico where it’s cheap!  Buying and stowing all that is a BIG job and since a car would definitely be needed, we decided to join forces with Michael and Anita on Cherokee Rose (also going to the South Pacific).  En route to pick up the car Michael, Anita and Brett were all in a car accident when the “collectivo”  (small van type bus) they were in got hit by another car making an illegal merge – yikes!!!  Thankfully no one was hurt and they quickly boarded another bus to get the car.

Provisioning gone wild!
After multiple stops and a CRAZY amount of provisions, it was back to the boat to unload and start the fuel runs.  It took FOUR fuel runs (and more stories than I have time to write) to get both boats fueled up, not to mention we didn’t get to bed until about 1am and then were up again at 6am to finish more errands before we had to get the car back.  Can you say exhausted?  But we’ll have plenty of time to rest once we start our passage. 

Holding our official Zarpa - time to leave!
The last big thing was checking out of the country.  After a short visit to the Port Captain, we hosted Immigration and the Port Captain on the boat for a brief period, before receiving our official “Zarpe” – which is our big kick in the butt to get out of Mexico.  It’s also a very important document for getting INTO the next country to visit – so a must do when leaving Mexico.  Thankfully it was easy and the officials were very nice to work with.

So!  Now it’s time to make this huge journey of just over 2800 miles going approximately 6 miles per hour.  We are hoping it will take around 21 days to get there.  For me, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions these past few weeks.  Fear of the unknown and of being at sea for such a long time.  Excitement at the thought of doing something so BIG and getting to enjoy one of the most beautiful spots in the entire world from the comfort of my own home.  Sadness that I’ll soon be REALLY far away from all my family and friends (who are currently just a short plane ride away), but also looking forward to seeing all the new friends we’ve met that are also making the crossing.  But feeling all of these things is what lets me know I am alive and living my life to the fullest in this moment – so I welcome the good AND the bad days…..but I sure do prefer the good ones!
Here’s hoping for fair winds and following seas!

No comments:

Post a Comment