A month in the boatyard – part 1
“Pablo was such in bad shape?” was the first comment I read this morning over a facebook post @saltymatey. While sipping my coffee, I realized that the answer needed a bit of context. The only way to explain how we ended up kicking up 2021 in a boat yard required me to do what I dredged for a long time; I needed to write a new blog post!
So let’s back up a bit. Well, quite a lot in fact – 8 months. 8 months ago, in a far far away
land sea, we were happily cruising in Bahia de Los Angeles. BLA; a region of the Sea of Cortez (MX) where you trade internet and grocery stores for stunning views, whale sharks swimming around your boat and the bliss of eating the fish you caught a few hours ago over a campfire, on a deserted beach, while watching the sun set over the cactuses with a few good friends. Snorkeling in the morning, spearfishing in the afternoon and ukulele and sundowners at sunset. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
We’ve spent a few weeks in BLA, roaming around with one big question in mind. Should we haul out? You see, at the north end of the Sea Of Cortez lies a shipyard with very cheap rates and the convenience of being real close to the US border for spare parts and other boat jewelry. If work needs to be done, it’s hard to find better. Therefore, the same question kept popping in every discussion between Cass and I. Is there work really needed to be done on Pablo?
We had hauled out in Panama and fixed a whole lot already. Pablo was ready to cross an ocean we thought. But the latest rig inspection had revealed some troubling signs. So our confidence in the standing rigging, those wires that keep the mast upward, was faltering a bit.
And the expensive bottom paint that kept barnacles at bay was mostly gone.. A fresh coat or two wouldn’t be a terrible luxury either. Was that enough to didctate a haul out? Put our cruising life on pause for a while or should we keep swimming? For weeks, we went back and forth. Then one night, with friends (svPulsar) who had the same question, we all agree that cruising should be enjoying beaches and not sanding hulls. In the sea we would stay!
But as most cruising plans, ours completely changed a few days later, when we learnt that other cruising friends where going to haul out. All of a sudden, the idea of not being alone in the yard made us doubt our choices. Our change of heart was all was needed for Pulsar to start doubting again and 3 days later, the 3 boats were sailing toward Puerto Peñasco to haul out. So much for the plans!
No more swimming for us BUT, I kept telling Cass, it would be an aggressive and relatively short haul out. 3 weeks. Top! Just enough to put some paint, take the mast down to make sure all the rigging is OK and hopefully fix some vibration problems when we’re motoring. We turned our living room in a massive scrum board, ordered the parts we needed and hauled Pablo out of the water on October 3rd, 2020…