one mans paradise is another mans…. well, cage really…

A month and change ago, we arrived in Banderas Bay and celebrated xmas in La Cruz, the main anchorage and a cool little village where fellow boat dwellers tend to hang out.  Once our crew had peddled off into the distance, we took a couple of days to get our bearings and decide what we were up to…

peeling the fun paper off the boring toys at xmas

peeling the fun paper off the boring toys at xmas

The rough plan had us hanging out in the anchorage, until mid-January when Sabi’s parents, or more importantly, Alma’s Oma and Opa, were coming to visit for 2 weeks.  When they arrived we would move into one of the marinas and while the dutch and half-dutch visited the local sites, I would slave away, as per usual, chipping little pieces of to-do list away on Sea Raven.

We had a couple of nice chilled days on the hook, listened to whales through the hulls at night, and even watched a mother and her calf swim 100m or so past us one evening.  By day, we listened to the jet-skis doing high speed passes of the boats at anchor and rolled with the waves they sent our way.

Then we changed plans.  Again.  Well more like as usual I guess.

The anchor was tucked on the front crossmember to dry, and we pointed the bows towards “Paradise Village”.  An all-inclusive holiday resort and spa by land, and the second cheapest marina by sea.  We figured we would come in a couple of weeks early and get some work done before the family arrived, so I could hang out a little too.  Then it rained for a week…. it never rains here in December apparently, and not just wispy rain either, but proper pouring down don’t leave the couch or else rain…. not so productive a week, unless you count finding all the leaks that a year in the desert sun brought back!  Yay, more to add to the list!!

for all of you who think Sea Raven is a big boat

for all of you who think Sea Raven is a big boat

2013 passing and 2014 taking its place was an exciting night aboard.  My beautiful co-pirate had her first migraine in over a year and was consequently out for the count by the time I had my fancy New Years dinner prepared (around 8pm) so I watched a movie and had a beer… then at midnight, mexicans being mexicans, every powerboat in, well Mexico, leaned on its air horns, and turned up the bad music in an attempt to drown out the explosions from the fireworks display…. All super exciting if you are out partying, or older than 5 months.  If you are 5 months old and live on a boat that is normally at anchor, and you had just gotten used to whale song and the occasional outboard passing, it is a whole lotta noise for no apparent reason in the middle of the night…. so I saw in the new year laying in Alma’a bed with her, explaining the the nice mexicans just like to make noise, and that it was new years, so they make extra noise, but everything was ok, and the world wasn’t exploding outside her port light.  She was happy with the explanation, and I was stoked to be spending my first new years with our little girl!

Alma is always working hard too

Alma is always working hard too

And onto the list… you don’t want to see the entire list, I once included on my daily to-do list – “write a full to-do list”… at last count it was still hovering around 100, thanks leaks, but I think now with our escape from paradise looming, I can cross a few more things off…

Like a lot of the middle aged american ladies here, Sea Raven’s biggest achievement for her month stay at Paradise Resort and Spa was  a long overdue facelift.  It wasn’t part of my immediate plan, but when the rigger came to tune the rig, he took one look at the headstay, where the big sail at the front attaches to the mast, and said “we gotta do something about that first” and gave me the number of a machine shop/welder.  I already  knew it needed work, and it had been on my list of fun things to do in Guaymas before they mexicaned me around, so luckily I already had a pretty good idea what was needed… I just hadn’t budgeted the time or money to do it now.  But when you stop and look at something, with someone smarter than you, you realise just how bad it really is, not dangerous, just bad… ugly bad.  And shitty sailing bad, Sea Raven had basically had no headstay tension since we launched, enough to stop the backstays from hauling the mast way back, but not enough to, I dunno, hold a decent sail shape, or point into the wind in any way shape or form, though to be honest I don’t know if that was the only reason for that, but we’ll see!

sea raven's foredeck before

sea raven’s foredeck before

Ok, I admit it, I dove WAY into the deep end with Sea Raven, but I’ve always gone straight to an expert when it comes to the important things – engines, sails and RIGGING.  Yup, I handed over plenty of money to one of the “best” riggers in the bay area, and he never actually managed to tune my rig, always another excuse, and another bill…. so, I went with one of the busiest and still reasonably well respected riggers, and they came, even bought the head of the rigging department for the entire NATIONAL chain with them to figure it out, there aren’t many ketch rigged, traditionally stayed catamarans out there.  Yes they came, they tuned – no mention of a lack of head stay tensionability and they left…. when I called to get them to come back a few weeks later after some heavier sailing, they scheduled and never showed or called again… “rigger mortis”  a new term to describe the riggers who never show as they are too busy tweaking a race boat or some other open-chequebook-yacht to deal with something out of the box….

the foredeck during

the foredeck during

still need to add the centre piece and tweak the lacing

still need to add the centre piece and tweak the lacing

waaaaayy better than before
waaaaayy better than before

The modifications finally let me get the forward tramps installed too, been carrying them around since San Francisco, and seeing as they are by far the best seat in the house, its good to have them out of the box!  And moving the anchor back to the foredeck saves me some acrobat type balancing work every time we drop or raise it.

how it used to be done

how it used to be done

fine in flat, calm anchorages, not so much fun when its bucking around, trust me!

fine in flat, calm anchorages, not so much fun when its bucking around, trust me!

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2 responses to “one mans paradise is another mans…. well, cage really…

  1. Alma has grown up so much, we hardly recognize her! Hope everything is fine! By the way, the boat looks beautiful with the nets at the front! We had a good time in Mexico, great time in Guatemala, and it is super top mega cool since we have arrived in Salvador… Keep in touch! V and M

    • great to hear you made it ok! El Salvador was one of our favourite countries on our drive through, the people are really friendly and the roads super smooth! She has definitely grown up, more in her actions than anything else, she is eating now and sitting up by herself, and still smiling and laughing all the time!
      take care and look forward to following the rest of your adventures! Terry, Sabi and Alma!

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