As much fun as it was to casually drop the words “our fleet of sailboats” inappropriately into conversations whenever possible, we really didn’t need two sailboats. It was a bit of a process to get back to one, but it’s done and my the title of Admiral of the Fleet has been retired.
To the great amusement and glee of the staff at the Barra marina, we docked Half Moon in the slip next to Pura Vida to facilitate moving our possessions from boat to boat.
It was eye opening to start the process and realize how much STUFF we had managed to cram onto Pura Vida.
It’s a well known fact amongst cruisers that you have to carry a lot of stuff around when sailing foreign waters. Not because we like to surround ourselves with knickknacks, tchoches, and decorative doilies, but because equipment breaks, machines wear out, and supplies get used up. Constantly.
The marine environment is harsh, and a cruising sailboat sees constant wear and tear. For boats residing in the US, this is easy to deal with. You have a crew come every couple weeks to scrub the topsides, another to do the bottom quarterly, and a steady flow of professionals show up to fix things and leave behind large invoices. Whenever something owner-replaceable breaks you hop on defender.com and order whatever special dohicky has failed.
South of the border, not so much. The only marine suppliers or professionals are in major ports, and even if you happen to be in one such major port when something breaks, the chances of them having the exact- specific (and it’s always exact-specific, nothing is generic on a sailboat) doohickey you need is slim.
Us boaters are all familiar with the haggard look a sailor carries into happy hour at the end of a long day of jumping busses, walking in the baking sun, and riding in un-air conditioned cabs to get around town hunting down an unobtainable, critical piece of equipment. We’ve all consoled each other over cheap beer and swapped sad tales of being stuck in an industrial port for weeks trying to hunt down a metric to SAS converting sprocket with 39 teeth in a 4/67″ oblong semi-square diamond star pattern.
In the end, many parts have to be imported from the states or elsewhere in the world. Unless you get lucky and Amazon.mx has your item (bless you Amazon!) it can take weeks to arrive, and you’re guaranteed to pay a healthy premium for your trouble.
Hence, cruisers carry a lot of stuff. Oils, glues, cleaners, lubricants, hoses, pumps, filters, line, blocks, bolts, tools, engine parts, electrical fittings, you name it we have it.
Our biggest complaint with Pura Vida (and I’m sure owners of other Hunter brand boats will agree) was the lack of storage. Lots and lots of living space for a 37’ boat, but nowhere to put all the stuff required to keep a livaboard cruising boat going.
We did a lot of locker stocking before sailing south back in the day on Pura Vida, and refreshed said stuff every time we flew home. So I shouldn’t have been, but was absolutely flabbergasted by the amount of stuff that came out of Pura Vida’s tiny lockers into a giant pile on the dock between our boats.
Apologies to Hunter boatbuilders for my many rants and complaints about lack of storage. It’s sufficient.
Once we found homes for all the myriad items in the mountain of boat stuff on the dock, we moved both boats out to the anchorage. We and our bank accounts breathed a sigh of relief to have gotten out of the hot, expensive marina.
Despite Mexico’s reputation for being affordable, that doesn’t really apply to marinas. High season in Mexican marinas is EXPENSIVE. The rates are literally double from the reasonable summer fees, and we had two boats at dock. At a buck a foot a day per boat, it adds up mighty quick. The marina staff were sad to see us and our massive fee’s leave.
Our new broker for Pura Vida, however, was happy to greet us (and the fat commission we represented). Fortunately, he did a fabulous job once we turned over Pura Vida to his capable hands. Within a few short months Pura Vida had a new Mexican owner, and we were back to a single boat family. Whee!