Saturday, May 14, 2011

Final Preparations?

The last week has been crazy.

  • Climb mast- Chris check masthead rig and prep for painting, Shawn paint red visibility stripe atop mast and several pieces around boat: check.

  • Fit dodger, awning, and weather cloths: check.

  • Have stainless tiller bracket backup fashioned: check.

  • Assemble abandon ship kit: check.
  • Complete hand sanded teak plugs for haus pipes (where anchor chain goes through deck), remark anchor chain, detach for long passage to reduce leakage: check.
  • Provision dry stores at Mega: check

  • Spend several hours pulling the freshest fruits and vegetables for a 30-day long passage at the local La Cruz Thursday evening veggie market. Borrow marina dock cart, wheel through town, fill with veggies, stop at favorite taco stand for dinner en route back to Tao: check.

  • Clean each fruit and vegetable individually and dry: check.

  • Pack all food so it is organized, secure, and accessible: check(?)

  • Motor in early morning calm to Nuevo Vallarta to obtain zarpe and officially check out of Mexico before the port captain and immigration offices close for the weekend: check.

  • Sail back to La Cruz in beautiful breezes with 100% jib alone- our first sail with the cockpit enclosures: check.
  • Continue to tie up details, download weather data (GRIB files), attempt to relax at the Friday night cruisers movie in the Sky Lounge: check.
  • Clean and grease winches: check.

  • Still to do: blog updates, final water and fuel fill, Skype family members, clean the bottom of the boat...

Throughout this tumultuous time we have worked to find peaceful moments slowing down enough to enjoy the moment. We have luxuriated in the supportive cruiser atmosphere by taking part in Andiamo's dock party, going surfing with Popoki, eating street tacos with Safety Cat, enjoying pineapple icebox cake with Kenta Anae, and celebrating with the fun young couple on Dream Keeper their just completed circumnavigation and our near jumping off for Hawaii. It has also been fun to follow friends in their cruises across the Pacific over the last months (Mystic, Britannia, Piko, Midnight Blue, Ka'Sala, Buena Vista, Saviah, etc.) and educational in regards to our upcoming attempt. Not to mention we've received lots of advice and had many easy interesting conversations with too many other boats and marina employees to name.

Our excitement runs high and we have only a few last things to do before leaving the dock and heading out to anchor (don't worry we will be sure to reattach the chain). Once we're out of the marina (and most of the radio interference) we'll be able to listen to weather on the Amigo and Southbound Nets and also check-ins from around the Pacific on the Pacific Seafarers Net. We hope to make it out to the La Cruz anchorage tonight and then Punta de Mita tomorrow where we'll attack the tasks still left undone. It will be at anchor that we'll do final passage preparations and await the "perfect" moment to pull anchor and head west. The weather data is looking good for a Monday departure, but only time will tell.

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