Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tao on the hard and August 2010

Although Shawn had vowed never to go through the pain of putting Tao on the hard again, we found ourselves once again racing to get her safely put away. After getting to Bahia San Carlos, we spent a day trying to plan our attack at which point we realized that we only had 4 days to get it all done and there was absolutely no way that we were going to do most of the work in the anchorage and meet the time schedule. After going to town to fetch Pepe from her storage spot, picking up a load of fresh veggies, and reserving space in Marina San Carlos for 4 days, that evening we went over to Mystic for dinner. Great company, trigger fish ceviche, and two huge Caesar salads (one for each couple) was a perfect way to spend our last evening (for a while) on the hook.

The next morning our work began. First stop, fuel dock to fill with diesel and biocide. Next stop our slip for the next four days. Then a whirlwind of activity: freshwater clean everything (sails, lines, canvas, chain, metal parts, down below) of saltwater, hang to dry, pull down below when the monsoon decides to open right above us, do it all again, climb to the top of the mast, remove tricolor light, cover with foil, remove all perishable food, organize medications, remove any propane propellants from cabin, remove all deck gear (BBQ, Moni, Sunny, boom, lifelines, etc.), remove running rigging, decommission Yannie and Seahor, clean and store Eeyore and life raft, disconnect and stow all electronics, and the list goes on.

Four days of craziness, made even more exciting by the unsettled weather, still we got everything we needed to done. Thursday the 29th we were at the haul out dock early to run freshwater through Yannie and then the lowboy came to haul us out just after 0800. We spent the rest of the day doing final tasks; cleaned the bottom, wrapped everything in tinfoil and zipties (no duct tape as it is a pain to remove upon return), plugged through hulls except cockpit drains, did laundry (upholstery etc), covered portholes and hatches with reflective material, stored everything down below at which point Tao was no longer open for living in. Phew!

We enjoyed a final dinner in town at J.J.’s with Mystic and Serenity and luckily found a decent but still inexpensive hotel with Griz to catch some zzzzz’s before the big drive north. The next morning we stopped at Tao for a few last second things, purchased car insurance for the days drive, and were off! It was a crazy drive north through several different storms- drainage on highways is not so great in Mexico... The highpoint of adventure was just before the border going under a flume carrying water over the highway, with the cliff on our right dissolving onto the highway, crossing a river of muddy water and having to swerve to miss the waterfall of water overflowing from above. Yay Pepe the wonder-truck. We're pretty sure driving through Mexico in the monsoon season is more dangerous than any sailing we've done yet. (Good thing Chris was driving)! We got searched at the border, likely because the official asked if we bought anything in Mexico and when our reply was “only a sombrero for my nephew” he eyed our completely packed car and asked us to pull over. A team of four women searched the car and were very nice, smiley and fun and weren't in the slightest worried about or interested in Grizzly or any of the other gear in our car. We were quickly off again and around dusk and the next rainstorm, pulled into Tucson for the night. The last day of July we made it to LA, thankful to be able to stay at Chris’ fathers place for a couple days of organization before Shawn and Grizzly flew east and Chris continued on in Pepe to Idaho. We did manage to squeeze in visits to Jane's storage barn, breakfast with Scheherazade, and dinner with Ledy and Angie.

Through August, Chris has been in Idaho having time with the river and his river family. This season he’s been a “celebrity” guide for Canyons (whose new owner is Greg McFadden our friend and fellow guide) with 3 very fun trips: the first annual LGBT trip down the Middle Fork and the Natural History trip and the Wine and Culinary trip down the Main Salmon. He’s recovered brilliantly from his pectoral rupture at the end of last season and is loving this however brief time on the river though still dreaming of sailing. (This season's river pictures to come soon!)

Shawn and Grizzly have been in Shangrila-de-Judy to help support her through her first several rounds of chemotherapy. Judy is going to be fine, but was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer that is being treated aggressively due to the presence of the HER2/Neu+ protein. Treatment = lumpectomy plus sentinel lymph node removal, port installation, 6 rounds of chemo at 3-wk intervals, a month of radiation, and Herceptin infusions for a year. She’s doing amazingly well with a good attitude and the only side effects so far are bone achiness, a frustrating week of very low energy post infusion, and hair loss (which she's replaced with super styley wigs).

In the midst of this Shawn has also gotten to be there to: (1) help with the final closing and moving of her maternal grandparents estate (which included a well timed boat ride on the St. Lawrence with her dad and mom, a trip to market in Kingston with her mom, Aunt Barb and Cousin Daniel, first yoga classes and even teaching one at the studio in Kingston, Canada!), (2) go sailing on Cayuga Lake on Rags, (3) see her twin 18-month old nieces (Ainsley and Campbell) baptized and visit with her almost 4-year old nephew Liam, (4) spend time nearly daily with high school friend Leah and her partner Gretchen who just brought home their 2 premature twin boys (Gabe and Luka) from the NICU, and (5) even do more yoga and teaching in Ithaca.

Life in the “real” world is busy and although very glad to be on the river and in Ithaca, both of us are also looking forward to life back on the boat in our own little sailing world. We’ll be back together at the beginning of September and until we get back to the boat, we will continue visiting and enjoying our land based adventures with family and friends.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see you, sweetheart! I love what you've done to the blog. Love, Chris