This whole RV thing is hilarious. To be honest, I’ve had a little bit of a difficult time embracing the RV lifestyle. There is something not very graceful about pulling into an RV park that stands in stark contrast to dropping the hook in a secluded anchorage. But hey, we are getting used to the idiosyncrasies of our new living situation and find more humor in it than anything else. More on that soon.
When last I wrote, we were wrapping up our spring time cruising season in the Sea of Cortez. We left Banyan in San Carlos in the water on the dock while we went up to Canada for almost two weeks of work. During our time there we had a few free days to play which is unusual as it is usually go-go-go. We explored Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, we had a fun day of errands and shopping in the city of Vancouver and then found a cool petting zoo/farm that the girls loved in North Vancouver.
After Canada, I had a trip to France… “Wait, WHAT?!? You had another trip to FRANCE!” I know, I know, it is a little crazy, but I was invited by a cooper (barrel maker) to see their cooperage (barrel making factory)… and who is going to say “no” to a free trip to France? So, off I went to Sancerre, Cognac, Bordeaux, La Rochelle and Paris while the girls and Cameron stayed with my parents in Benicia and had tennis camp! PE… check.
Once I returned from France it was a fast turnaround back down to Mexico. Here is where the real work began.
Summer time is hurricane season in Mexico. You can stay on your boat and sail from hurricane hole to hurricane hole, but the heat becomes oppressive and we just were not up for that.
Banyan weathered a direct hurricane hit last year when she was on the hard with no damage, so we put her back where she had been, at Fonatur in Guaymas, MX.
We spent almost a week with Banyan in the water in San Carlos getting her ready to be hauled. Cameron worked hard washing, drying and stowing sails (all but the main), removing lines and replacing with runner lines, rinsing all those lines in water with fabric softener. We “summarized” the dingy engine, pickled the watermaker, pulled out all the anchor chain, flipped it, cleaned it and repainted the end of it.
While Cameron did most of this, I tried to keep things fun for the girls in the heat. I would do a bit of work in the morning but mainly took care of feeding the crew and keeping us all from killing each other in the heat. The girls and I escaped daily to the Beach Club with our friend on SV Pandion who was a professional swim teacher. She gave the girls swimming lessons in exchange for a bit of help getting her boat ready for summer.
Once we were ready, we sailed Banyan about three hours south into the less beautiful port of Guaymas. We stayed on the dock just a few nights and worked feverishly in the heat to get her ready. We took all the food off the boat, sprayed all surfaces (including locker interiors) with vinegar to reduce mold, conditioned all the rubber gaskets with silicone gel, we removed the main sail, we covered all exterior plastic with towels or foil to reduce heat and sun damage, we took down and washed all exterior canvas, removed and stowed the solar panels, treated the water tanks, removed and stowed the wind generator blades, covered all ports and hatches with foil and insulation to reduced heat on the inside of the boat, changed all fluids in the main engine and rinsed it with fresh water. Deep Breath. We covered all the winches, removed anything that we would need while on the RV and disconnected anything with a battery. After just a few days we had Banyan hauled out (always more than a little nerve racking) and continued the work “on the hard”. The last few days were a bit brutal with the heat beating down and the air completely still. With no respite from the heat except for the grocery store (which really isn’t that air conditioned either), 90 degrees can be a bit oppressive.
Guaymas in the warm months was a bit less appealing than it had been. It is a working town and cool in many ways in that it is very authentic. But the poverty is sometimes quite shocking and the lack of cleanliness is somehow much more felt when it is hot. The air quality was just dreadful and daily the decks would be covered in a black grit. Needless to say, I was motivated to get us on the road.
And on the road we now are! We have had an amazing first leg, which I will chronicle in our next update. Much Love to all of you and we appreciate all your comments and questions!