Thursday, June 18, 2009

Out of the water!

After several days of taking pictures and collecting every measurement we could think of that we might need over the summer away from the boat, we had a last dinner potluck with new boat friends (Smoke-n-Blues we met in Coyote Bay, Odyssey who since we’d seen them had exciting engine stories off San Francisquito, and Sea Tern, a couple who had just nearly lost their shaft and the 80+ year old woman dove in and hammered it back in to stop the inflow of water!) on Wednesday May 27th. We awoke the next morning early knowing the clock was ticking. We had already replaced most of our rigging with runners that we don’t mind degrading in the sun, and the mainsail was removed and taken to an awesome sail maker in San Carlos to have a third reef put in. So, no more sailing, we motored out 3 miles off shore, sent out a Spot report while we emptied our holding tank for the last time on this leg of our journey. (There are no pump-out facilities in San Carlos Bay, and sad to say, I don’t think many people take the time to go 3 miles off shore to pump out their holding tanks, Yuck!) We made our way back into the marina and tied up to a dock for one night for the first time since Ensenada.

We literally exploded onto the surrounding dock fingers. First we found a hose on the dock to borrow and washed down the deck and all deck hardware trying to reverse the corrosion that inevitably occurs. Next, we started the process of rinsing all the sails, canvas, and foul weather gear with freshwater and then hung it all out to dry before removing and folding them for the summer. We set up a 5-bucket system to rinse, then wash, then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse all of our salt permeated lines and finally set them out along any already unused dock space (apparently we have mountains of lines aboard!).

In the midst of this craziness, Chris decided to take the cold-water wax off his surfboard for storage (yes, we have finally found warm water!). Shawn was in the bucket line with the ropes and heard a commotion along the finger of the dock we were tied to. Chris had lost a surf skeg into the water, immediately dropping to his knees to grab it, it floated down just below his fingertips and very seal like, he plopped down shoulder first, then head and finally feet slid into the water fully dressed between the dock and the next boat. He came up sputtering and cursing, his sunglasses askew. The skeg had been saved but he had lost a ¼-inch round chunk of his shin on some pipe-shaped object below the water. First aid ensued, a half-hour of irrigating the wound and then dressing it followed with close monitoring for the foreseeable future. Although wounded, the race against the clock and our 2pm haul out the next day continued. Rope washing continued (see the gauze on Chris' right shin?) and Rocky and all our other anchors were pulled off and washed along with associated rhode and chain (all together nearly 1,000 feet). As the sun set, the drying slowed and we had to leave all the ropes out for the night. We topped of the diesel with biocide, and flushed the engine and head with fresh water and vinegar. We enjoyed brief showers and basic dinner before we quickly fell into uneasy sleep thinking of all the tasks still on the list.

The next morning dawned wet- condensation, we willed the ropes to dry. We collected and re-organized all of our gear and tried to prepare the boat for hauling out. Last minute Chris had to ride the newly rinsed Dahone to the dry storage to pay the bill before hauling (we had incorrectly assumed that this could be done at the marina office), while Shawn scrubbed Eeyore’s bottom and set him out to dry, dry, dry! A persistent breeze was blowing from directly astern. Not wanting to have any motoring-in-tight-spaces-shenanigans, we lined Tao out of the too-small-slip and motored across the marina to wonderfully waiting friends from Plume, who caught our lines.

The next hour was a blur; a tractor pushed a huge trailer into the water under Tao. They hauled her up with Shawn aboard, who felt the shake as she slid- they had placed the keel support too far forward and the weight was resting forward of the flat part of keel on our cut-away. Back into the water and readjusted to the right spot, and quickly out of the water again. Tao, dripping wet and out of her element, was pushed by this tractor onto the road for a strange and thankfully quick ½ mile trip to the dry storage facility’s work yard. Once safely on stands, we checked the bottom, which looked great except for a few spots that had been knicked on the cutaway part of our keel in the first attempt out of the water, our zincs were toasted, and our propeller, rarely used, was 100% covered with barnacles. Totally physically and emotionally spent, we managed to clean the bottom before taking showers and having a nice chicken cacciatore and wine meal under the cover of mosquito nets as we mentally prepared ourselves for the 3 frantic days to follow.


  1. Re: Post -- Hey, MAPS!!! YAAAAY!!!!

    Re: Chris as seal -- Ouch! (but I gotta admit, before I realized he was hurt, I was laughing my ass off. I've seen you do that kinda shit before, Man! :-))

  2. Hey Rob(Man)!

    We love your comments! Have you checked out our SPOT site? It's a link to the right of the screen just above the followers. We updated that near-daily while on the boat, and Chris has it right now on the river, so check it out!

    Alternatively, we send out position reports via our HAM radio, less frequent reports, but you can see the last three months or so here:
    Then enter Chris' call sign, KI6MTD, and press search. Maybe I'll do a post on that soon. Thanks for keeping in touch!