Friday, June 19, 2009

Race to the finish…

We had been nagged by a persistent worry of how we were going to get back to the States with Grizzly without the help of the Mexican bus system. Our back up plan was not fun, Chris taking a bus to Phoenix where we were to fly out, renting a car, driving back down to pick up Shawn and Grizzly was a lot of driving, time, money; possible, but less-than-ideal. Also less-than-perfect, but our ultimate path was a ride offered by a couple with a boat (Pura Vida) moored in Bahia San Carlos and now living ashore who were headed up to see family in Tucson and then fly out of Phoenix. The only problem with this plan was they were leaving 3 days earlier than we had planned. We lost two full days of time to get the boat in order, go gift shopping, relaxing, and it left our welcome to the States being 3 days of hotels and airport restaurant food. Still, looking at it positively, it was an otherwise perfect ride up with fun people and it forced us to efficiently (aka maniacally) close up Tao.

For those 3 days in the work yard, we raced around. We took Grizzly to the veterinarian on the Dahone for a certificate of good health for international travel, did 6 loads of laundry, climbed the mast before dawn (it gets HOT after the sun rises!) to remove the masthead light and blocks aloft, as well as cover the steaming light with foil, did a final engine flush of the Yanmar (yes, we started her on the hard!) and the Seahor(se), removed Moni and the boom, left bleach water in our water tanks to discourage algal growth, plugged all the through hulls (except cockpit drains to let rain water drain) to dissuade cockroach, spider, mosquito entry, organized on board medical supplies and food stores placing them low and in bags to hopefully survive the heat and if failure occurs reduce mess, cut and install porthole covers and grease gaskets, covered all deck gear with tinfoil, secured mosquito netting over cowel vents, cleaned the whole interior, closed down the refrigerator, removed life lines (attempted not to fall off boat!), removed all electronics, aerosols, paint, bleach, thinner, gasoline, lubricated all pumps, and organized paperwork to take to the States. Although this list might sound exhaustive, it merely scratches the surface.

The last morning (June 2nd) before our 6 am pick up from Pura Vida, we left a note for Plume, who came to ensure Tao was safely moved out of the work yard and onto hurricane posts in the dry storage later that day, and we had to fit the man-overboard-pole, boom (yes our entire boom!), spinnaker pole, whisker pole, Seahor and Moni down below just before locking up for the last time for the summer. Amid this craziness we did manage to have a few very much appreciated restful moments with friends; waffles with Estrella, dorado and New Zealand wine with Plume, and beers with Harmony; these moments kept us sane; thank you all! And all of a sudden we were on our way north to the US/Mexico border and we could start to reflect on our previous adventures and think about all the things that we had forgotten and still needed to do for our future ones.

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