After four months, 1,000’s of miles by land and by sea across two countries and seven states, in every possible mode of transportation, we are once again happily floating onboard our beloved Happy Dance. Don’t get me wrong, we had an a-MAZ-ing (that’s for you, Grant) time visiting family and friends, seeing old haunts and finding new hangouts, but as anyone who travels a lot knows, it’s always good to get home and sleep in your own bed.
For us, home is currently tied to a dock in San Carlos, Mexico. It’s been fun along the road to try to explain what that means to new friends that we’ve made when they ask “where do you live?”. So for the next few weeks we live in San Carlos, a well protected harbor located in the northeast corner of the Sea of Cortez. Just look for El Tetakawi (the goat teats) and we’re right below them.
Now it’s time to get Happy Dance ship-shape again. We have sails to hoist and furl, water tanks to clean, messenger lines to remove, lines to run, kayaks to inflate, provisions to stow, plenty of cleaning and re-organizing, and beer lockers to fill. It’s time to prepare to cast off the dock lines and head out to sea….ahhhh!
As with all boat chores, seemingly innocuous jobs can turn into time-consuming obstacles. So far this has only happened a couple of times, with filling the water tanks turning into a cleaning, sanitizing, filling, emptying adventure. That’s a job that takes a while with 100 gallons of water in the tanks each time you fill and empty them.
We also had a minor road block when removing the last of the four messenger lines that we’d run up the mast to keep the halyards out of the destructive UV rays of the summer sun. Messenger lines are lines that you attach to the end of the halyard so that you can leave the less expensive messenger line on the outside of the mast while the all important and expensive halyards get stored inside the mast out of the damaging sunlight. All our messengers came down no problem with the exception of the Genoa halyard that remained stuck at the top of the mast. Rutro!
I’ve been telling myself for three years that I needed to make that maiden voyage to the top of the mast, and now the time had finally come to swallow my fear and do it. Yikes. We talked through our process, the signals we’d use if the walkie talkies failed (or if Marty drops his overboard..yes he did..ha) and then I started tieing myself into the harness. I used two halyards, one on the bosun’s chair and one attached to my harness. Marty started winching me up and when I got to the lower spreaders I had him “hold” so that I could catch my breath and decide if I wanted to/could go further. As I looked up the mast it still seemed like a very long way up and I was already feeling a bit shaky! Actually I was scared sh*#less!
As I was hanging there trying to calm my nerves, a fellow cruiser from another boat heard me tell Marty that I didn’t think I could do it and she yelled over that “yes you can!”. Her vote of confidence was what I needed, so I took a deep breath and signaled to Marty to keep winching. By the time I reached the top I was feeling pretty awesome and enjoying myself! I was able to release the stuck halyard, and pull out the burned out mast light and even snap a few photos. It was a cool attagirl moment for me; accomplishing a task that I was truly afraid of.
As we’ve been in the marina for a few days it’s been nice to slow down and readjust to life in the slow lane. The sounds of Mexican ballads float across the water from the local bars (and yes the booming bass at 2am), the smiles and “buenas dias” of passersby, the taste of a cold cerveza on a hot afternoon, the sound of the wind in the rigging. Ahhhhh. It’s been good to meet new friends and find out where our cruising buddies are so that we can catch up to them in a few months.
So now we’re back to our list of “to do’s” and will hopefully leave the dock in a few days for a post vacation from vacation shake down cruise. We’re both eager to get back to one of our favorite coves, drop the hook and go for a swim. Life on Happy Dance is muy bueno!!