Sunday, July 21, 2019

Oh my goodness!

There really is very little that I miss from our land-based life, not that I couldn't make a short list of things that I miss, but right now I am experiencing a difficulty that is much greater than I had when living in a house. That is, leaving the house for an extended period of time. Not counting the packing and getting ready for the demands and realities of our destination, leaving the house was relatively easy. Make sure the plants are well watered, feed the cat, arrange for a friend to repeat those steps as necessary, lock the door and drive away.

It is not quite as easy when leaving Rhapsody. This year is the first year that we are leaving her in the water. Every other time we have left her we have pulled her out of the water and situated her in a boatyard. Currently she is in Nuevo Vallarta Mexico, just north of Puerto Vallarta and we are preparing for a two month trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Lists, lists and more lists! This is just a portion of the total number of lists!

We started preparing a week ago when we arrived at the marina from our trip to Isla Isabela. We began by finding someone to check on our boat while we were gone and finding someone else to do some improvements on Rhapsody. This is always a risky proposition- will they do the job correctly? Will they do the job at all? We always prefer to be there when the work is scheduled, but sometimes scheduling causes us to put our faith in the hope that they will do what they said they would do, and when they said they would do it. Our track record on actually having this happened is about 50/50.

Next there are two main categories to address 1) preparing  for the possibility of a hurricane in our absence and 2) preparing to avoid the growth of mold inside Rhapsody. I will begin with the hurricane prep. According to our insurance carrier, we would be safer if we were further north, La Paz and Mazatlan seem to be the dividing line and the further up into the Sea of Cortez you go the better the insurance companies like it. The reality is that Puerto Vallarta has not had a hurricane make landfall there for many years and points further north in the Sea of Cortez have been hit hard in the last few years. Boats on the docks in San Carlos (approximately half way up the SofC) were sunk when the docks themselves came loose, and boats on the hard toppled like dominoes when the ground beneath them became satiated with water from the storms.The last time a big hurricane hit Puerto Vallarta was in 2002 and previous to that it was a 35 year gap. It is always a gamble trying to decide where to leave a boat during hurricane season. Rhapsody lived on the hard in the BVI for three seasons, but it wasn't until after we left that the double threat of Irma and Maria devastated the area. 

Extra lines to tie her to the dock, chafe guards on the lines and all fenders out for protection.

So, we picked our spot and crossed our fingers. Lots of lines tying her to the dock, chafe guards on the lines, someone to check on her and make adjustments if necessary. We will be carefully watching the weather, as usual, and hoping for the best.

All the cushions brought inside and stacked up.

The other issue is mold and/or mildew. Again, this is a new issue for us. Leaving Rhapsody in the BVI and Grenada did not present that problem to us, both of those places are dry enough that the mold was not a consideration. In Mexico it is a different story. High humidity and lack of airflow on a closed up boat are a recipe for growth. Our solution, on the advice of friends, was to buy a small air conditioner. We will leave this running for part of the day, every day while we are gone. Also wiping down all the walls and ceilings with vinegar in an attempt to head the mold off at the pass.

So, what are some of the other things we have to do? Here is a partial list:
-Empty and clean out and the refrigerator
-Get rid of any food that may go bad
-Clean out lockers and any spaces that may have crumbs (I am sure there are enough crumbs left somewhere to feed our resident gecko)
-clean and stow or secure sails
-clean out the bilges
-remove batteries from any devices so they will not corrode and ruin the device
-disconnect the propane
-secure the dinghy
-prepare both the outboard motor and the diesel engine for storage
-take down any flags that are flying
Complete list available upon request!

Finally we think we are ready, I have crossed off the last item on the list (lock the boat). Off to the airport. See you in September, Rhapsody!

We love to hear your comments.

Greg said...

Lost your blog address much to my dismay. Thanks to Steve F. iam once again able to enjoy your adventures!! Great to see all is going well!

Sarah said...

Glad to have you back with us!