The last time I posted here we were blissfully sailing around Pacific Mexico in our thirty-seven foot monohull sailboat-slash-floating-home. We were exploring remote coves, sailing crystal clear waters, and learning to be self sufficient while keeping a large sailboat in ship shape.
As the pleasant winter weather of our tropical region gave way to the ever increasing heat and humidity of late spring, we moved Pura Vida into the shelter of the marina in charming Barra De Navidad, Jalisco.
While typically not nearly as severe in terms of damage as the hurricane season in the Carribean, this part of the Pacific does produce hurricanes during the summer. To keep our floating home safe we always seek protection during the ‘cane season in case a named storm decides to meander onto land.
This particular marina is often referred as a hurricane hole due to it’s geography. It is in a completely enclosed lagoon at the end of a long channel and is tucked into the base of a steep mountain. This winning combination makes the marina a great place to plunk a boat in a big blow. The big ocean waves have zero chance of working their way into the marina, and most of the wind is blocked by the land. Bonus, the marina is attached to a really nice resort with pool access included in the slip rental fee. Both we and our insurance company approve of the spot.
In addition to physically moving Pura Vida into a marina we spent a few weeks getting her as ready as possible in case of big winds.
Preparations for leaving the boat included:
- removing the sails and stowing them below
- taking down the running rigging (the ropes used to handle the sails)
- spiderwebbing the boat into the slip with heavy duty chafe guard on every rub point
- covering and ratchet strapping the dinghy to the davits
- ratchet strapping the kayaks to the stern rails inside the cockpit
- removing anything from the decks that wasn’t bolted down
- waxing the hull and stainless
- laying up the watermaker
- full engine service and layup
- removal of ALL food, spices, oils, drinks, etc.
- cleaning and scouring the whole interior
- cleaning and scouring the galley again extra carefully to remove anything a bug could possibly want to eat or drink
- laying of bug traps
- filling, then shocking the water tank with bleach
- stowing all paper products, linen, towels, clothing in sealed plastic bags with silica packets
- cleaning the bilges and testing the pumps
- wiping down all wood surfaces with vinegar then adding protective lemon oil
- adding super fancy black out curtains to all windows (aka taping aluminum foil over the inside to keep the sun out)
- hanging shade canopies over the bow and cabin
- arranging with Pancho, the boss of the local dock workers to open the hatches weekly, clean the bottom monthly, and keep an eye on the batteries.
- a million other little details that I can’t remember
Writing this list makes me feel like an obsessive person, but we know from several first hand accounts from other cruising sailors that failure to do any of this prep results in damaged sails, missing equipment, and BUG INFESTATION. The last one is literally my worst nightmare. Imagine coming home after a relaxing summer away to discover roaches the size of your fist and millions of ants have taken over your home….no thank you.
Moving on. While not the best place for long term living in the summer, the well protected marina in Barra allowed us to put Pura Vida up snug as a bug (but with no actual bugs onboard) while we jumped on a plane for long overdue visits with friends and family.
One of our stops was a month long jaunt to New Zealand (yes, it really does look like the Lord of the Rings movies) where we spent a few fabulous weeks with good friends. They had just acquired a lovely Voyage 43 catamaran. (Check them out at QuixoticCharters.com). It was, to put it mildly, very, very nice. We ended our visit with a bad case of want-a-catamaran-fever. Be careful, it’s highly contagious!
This may have been the end of our fever, but then we attended a boat show in Annapolis, Maryland and fell in love on the brokerage dock. Thirty-nine beautiful feet of sleek fiberglass, carbon fiber, and gleaming stainless steel tipped us over to the wide side and we took the plunge into catamaran ownership.
Introducing S/V Half Moon. A lovely example of the Seawind 1190 Sport model. She’s fast, she’s comfortable, and she’s our new Mexican floating home.