Lennie and I flew in to town and headed straight to the yard. Boatyards are an exciting place. You spend a year making your haul out list. The list starts right after your last haul out. You see….boats break. It’s a daily thing. As I am writing this I am finishing the Baja Ha-Ha Rally. Today was a light wind day so we began to review our list of broken items. Three hours later we had worked on the AIS, fixed the chain counter and replaced the water pump. Tomorrow…who knows? The point is that problems are constant and if you get into the groove it’s part of the fun. We had been waiting for this haul out for 15 months and the list has grown. Leaking hatches, paint the bottom, service and swap the props, recaulk the windows, take down the main sail and jib and have them sewn, serviced and cleaned. Redo the main halyard, jackline etc. etc. It’s important to give the boatyard all the info up front and work out a time table. Since we are only in town for a week, we need all hands on deck to get our haul out in and out in 5 days. Most haul outs last 2-3 weeks. That doesn’t work for us commuter cruisers so we stay in the yard all day and help where we can. Calling vendors, running for parts and lots of back patting of the craftsman. We have done many haul outs and are quite good at it now. The first one went so bad we had to haul again in a week.
Making the most of it
Some people stay on the boat in the boatyard. Not our idea of a fun place to hang out so we got a room at the swanky Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp district. It was an awesome place to walk around and choose a restaurant and then a bar, and another, and another. We walked in the hotel each evening looking like we had been working in a junk yard. I don’t think the bellman recognized us when we would come back down in our “go out” clothes.
Offshore is serious business
Usually our boat is ready to sail. After all we have been on the move for over 2 years, but this haul out had a twist. We were preparing the boat for a 2-week sail down the coast of Baja with no services between San Diego and Cabo. So for 10 days and 800 miles you are on your own. This takes a special level of planning. We needed to make sure our engines, navigation, sailing gear and safety plan was all in working order and tested for the trip. We also had to plan our fuel consumption and contingencies for everything. Offshore sailing is not a game of golf, or as the brochure for the rally says “You could suffer serious injury or even death!” Death? I better triple check my checklist.
Please enjoy the video of our preparations for the Baja Ha-Ha rally!