We spent 4 months on Banyan in the spring of last year and put her to bed while we RV’d all over the US and Canada. We had an awesome time and it was mainly necessary because of work… and I really wanted to spend the holidays with family. Now, I can not begin to describe how great it feels to be back aboard. Banyan truly is our home.
Cameron arrived back a week earlier than we did. He finally bent to the wisdom of working on the boat without us around. My thoughts were that he would get much more done without us constantly in his space. It is hard to live on a boat that is being worked on; cupboards are open, floorboards are up, locker contents are strewn across the cabin sole and cushions are put away for protection from dust and dirt. Cameron worked his tail off while he was there on his own and got a ton done without us constantly putting things back together behind him.
We had some interior wood damage due to the heat in Guaymas during the summer so Cameron set to sanding, filling and revarnishing our dining table and a few other locations. He fixed the floor in the head which was starting to show signs of too much water seeping in from the shower area. He painted the bottom of the boat (no small feat) and he removed the poorly done vanish job in the cockpit that has bugged us ever since we bought the boat.
When the girls and I arrived after a frantic week in Indiana ordering things like crazy from Amazon, finalizing our healthcare and working on our taxes *groan*, we were ready to get on the water. Thankfully, Cameron had the boat scheduled to splash the next day. Boom! We were in the water and prepping for a passage to La Cruz, MX, where we will camp out until we are ready to cross the Pacific.
I was highly motivated to get on our way. Guaymas has been good to us in so many ways, but I was over it and ready for some new scenery. We all went to work provisioning and doing the last preparations for the passage.
After less than a week and with all our ducks in a row we headed out of the bay in Guaymas with high spirits. We were heading offshore for a 5 day, 500 mile trip down the Sea of Cortez. The dolphins escorted us out (which I took for a good omen) and we had our sails up in no time.
The passage was a good test for our upcoming passage. The Pacific should be anywhere from 25 – 35 days depending on lots of factors, while 5 isn’t nearly 35, it gave us all a little taste. We found our rhythm pretty easily. After dinner time I would lay down for a quick snooze, Cameron would wake me up at around 11 pm. I would be on watch until about 3 or 4 am, then it was Cameron’s turn till I woke up at 9 am or so. Then, after breakfast, he would go down for a rest. We had a few days that were really mellow and the girls were able to pull out their instruments and practice. Thankfully though, the wind kicked in and we were dead downwind for almost the whole rest of the trip. Seas were fairly agreeable at around 3 – 5ft for the rest of the trip and the girls, although complaining of boredom at times, never seemed to lack something to do. I had prepared a few meals ahead of time and I’m very glad I did, it made life much more fun.
We had no major failures of systems although we noticed some areas of chafe that we caught and managed. We found a stray bolt that we replaced from our mainsheet block and we fooled around with our boom break system, not being fully satisfied with any of our solutions. Our depth sounder was a little finicky which gave us pause and our chart plotter has also been a bit touchy. Finding solutions for those things as well as our outboard motor that is leaking gear oil is next on our list.
We arrived in Punta de Mita at about midnight on the 5th night and we had a great nights sleep before sailing the next day over to the La Cruz marina. That was only after both girls had their FaceTime music lessons! FYI I LOVE our music teachers. Isa is excelling rapidly with lessons from Liz in Canada and Adelaide is embracing her keyboard with her lessons with Becky Baker in Indiana. Did I mention that we bought a keyboard??? Well, we did. Adelaide was taking lessons in Indiana. I had seen it more as an intro-to-music-by-way-of-piano seminar for a few months while we were there and didn’t expect Adelaide to fall in love with the piano. But, she did and we are thrilled to support her interest in piano. Of course, we extracted very serious commitments from her before purchasing it and bringing this rather large and difficult-to-stow piece of gear aboard. It did require some sacrifices. I will now be taking over the Ukulele, a smaller and more agile instrument.
So, for now, we are marina rats until we get our outboard fixed up. Which, is fine with me as the girls can easily make boat friends in this kid-hub of a marina and we can hop on and off and get our errands done. We have lots to do in preparation for the crossing. But, more on that later.