The Ying and Yang of Cruising
18 December 2017 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
December 18, 2107
I am beginning to get excited about cruising again.
Ever since we arrived in Mexico, Jay and I have had a bit of an on-going battle. I wanted to make a plan. I am a planner. Jay said, "No. Wait. No plans. No dates. It adds too much stress. Not until we get the boat back up and running." Well, you know what that means; a lot of work and not a lot of fun.
And despite Jay's comment to the contrary, when people asked, " What are your plans? When are you heading south?" I promptly replied, " Zihuatanejo . Hopefully, around January 2nd."
Just because we had our boat hauled out of the water, cleaned and replaced the packing gland, extended the stuffing box, replaced the cutlass bearing and drive shaft, checked and changed thru-hulls, changed the zincs, painted the bottom of the boat and put her back in the water, doesn't mean we were done and ready to cruise. Not even close.
The boat yard still had to return our davits. On one side, we had a deep crack, so they were taken off to fix it by welding. The welder wanted it to look good when he was finished, so he took off both arms so he could paint them before putting them back. In the process of reinstalling them, the opposite side cracked. Now it needed to be welded. Sounds simple enough, right?
Well, it was two weeks before Christmas and it's Mexico. We started requesting the davits to be fixed last summer. If we took them off again, who knows how long it would take for them to be returned. (Meanwhile, January 2nd was looming over us like a dark cloud. Me and my big mouth.) We need davits to carry our dinghy. No dinghy, no cruising. Speaking of the dinghy...
We have a new name for her, Patches! Because that is what she is made of - a bunch of patches. Another job that had to be completed.
The backstays had to be replaced too. They were ordered in August. They arrived and sat in the Customs office for awhile and then were returned to South Carolina because of a lack of the required paperwork - a new procedure. We are told that since our President took office, some things have changed here in Mexico. They no longer look approvingly on our importing stainless steel from the United States. On December 11th, we were still awaiting their arrival. Obviously, safe rigging is a must. No backstays, no cruising.
And still, I insisted on throwing out the January 2nd date. Poor Jay. I really didn't mean to pressure him. I just needed a plan.
One of our two alternators was fried. Our neighbor, Gadabout, took a direct hit from lightning. (By the way, Gadabout is a Tayana ' 48. When we were in La Paz, our neighbor, Barbara Ann, was also a Tayana ' 48 and it got hit by lightning too. Hmm....) Getting that fixed and working was a two-week dilemma which really wore on Jay.
With so much energy in the atmosphere, there was bound to be gremlins lurking about the boat. And there were. Besides the alternator, the exterior mic for our radio was shot. We ordered that from Amazon Prime and our friend Stephanie's daughter is bringing it down with her later this week.
The solenoid was stuck on the windlass, so Jay got busy fixing that. He fixed the macerator wiring too. He repaired the wire from the starting battery to the Xantrex Controller. We had the fuel filters changed and our generator and outboard serviced. We filled our tank with propane.
But on December 12th, we were still waiting for the rigging, the davits, and the alternator. All must-haves before we can go cruising.
Jay looked at me. I looked at him. No words were spoken but January 2nd was like an imaginary wall between us. He went to see Elizabeth, our boat caretaker. She got on the phone and made several calls. When Jay came back he said, " All I can say is you don't want to be on the bad side of Elizabeth." The very next day, it was amazing. Everyone showed up.
The rigger with the rigging. Alvaro with the fixed davits. The alternator came back and was installed. The generator was returned. So unusual is this, our neighbors came by and stood watching, jaws dropped. " How did you make this happen?"
We gave credit to Elizabeth. She is tough and she gets things done. But, we discovered another motivating factor. It was nearing the 15th of December. Pay day. And the holidays were coming.
Yesterday, we got out the calendar and our cruising books. I put new waypoints in our Garmin. We are making a plan. I think we are going to make our January 2nd (or 3rd) cruising date. Yeah!
Now for the deep cleaning of the inside of the boat.