Launching Day And Final Preparations (continued)
|Once a boat is launched and tied-up in the med-moor area, this is how you get back and forth to shore. When med-mooring, you don't have a dock or pier next to your boat.||
||Suni and Charlie, the cruisers on the neighboring boat Cosmos, blowing a conch shell and ram's horn as a farewell to Barbarella, a boat that left just before we did. (Photo by Marcie Connelly-Lynn.)|
Sunday, March 21, 2004 - Monday, March 22, 2004
As might be expected, two very busy chore days:
- Yearly engine maintenance (David) - Change oil and filter, change fuel filters, drain and clean fuel/water separators, change coolant, check hoses and water pump impeller, change engine zincs, check all other parts of the engine, clean engine bilge. A yucky set of tasks that produced a pail of vile-looking slop fluid that was a mixture of everything.
- Bend on sails, rig sheets and control lines (Marcie and John) - Went well, it wasn't too windy.
- Check rigging (John) - Check for cotter pins, split rings, safety wire, fittings in good shape and properly secured, retension the backstay, etc. While doing this, I got a bad sunburn on the tops of my feet and on my lower legs. Also, my hat fell overboard but I managed to fish it out.
- Test brand-new bilge pump float switch (David) - (see below)
- Replace brand-new bilge pump float switch (David) - In one of those typical boating snafus, the brand-new float switch didn't work properly and had to be replaced. As David fished the bilge pump assembly out of the depths of the bilge, you could hear water trickling and sloshing around like he was working in the sewers. It was a messy job but he finally got a replacement switch installed which worked properly.
- Top off water tanks - (by running a hose from shore).
- Climb mast (David) - Fix the spreader light, fix the anchor light (except the wires had broken off and fallen down the inside of the mast, so), remove the anchor light, remove the wind speed spinny-thing (for later repair), grease the mainsail track, inspect rigging at masthead.
- Get lots of provisions and supplies (everyone) - We went to two places for oil and filters, then went to the street market for fresh veggies (which keep better than refrigerated veggies from the supermarket), then got lots of provisions at Hiper. Any provisioning trip around town usually includes an equal number of additional stops where they didn't have what you wanted.
- Last-minute emails - We went to the cheap Internet cafe, which is half the price of the one at El Paseo.
- Prepare for sea - Everything has to be stowed and secured, safety equipment has to be made ready, charts and navigation equipment prepared, all the equipment that hasn't been used in months has to be tested and made ready, etc.
- Visit immigration office - We had hoped to take care of the formalities on Monday, but we went twice and the office was closed both times. We can't do the rest of the paperwork until we visit the immigration office. This means we'll have to stay an extra day and get all the paperwork done on Tuesday (hopefully).
Now that we're in the water, you can't just hop off the boat in the morning to take a shower. Instead, you have to lower the dinghy and row ashore. There is no seat so you have to row standing up and facing forward. Good thing it's only three miles. (Just kidding, it's only a hundred feet.)
Tomorrow should be our last full day here, and it will be another busy day. Barbarella left today (the boat across the marina from us), bound for the Galápagos. It was a major production with perhaps a dozen people helping including a diver and a man in a launch. Barbarella is such a huge boat and had been so extensively tied into the dock and mooring balls that it took a major effort to cast off all the lines. When they motored away, all the remaining cruisers blew their horns as a farewell and bon voyage gesture.