Thursday, May 17, 2012

Decommissioning and Season Stats – April 21 to May 7

Decommissioning:  “Decommissioning” is a fancy way of describing the process of preparing one’s boat home to be unoccupied during Mexico’s hot season and hurricane season (which overlap by several months).  Though many hearty souls stay in the Sea of Cortez during the summer – we have been offered the opportunity to house sit for some friends in San Francisco for much of June and July.  Let’s see – 110 degrees in a small fiberglass container, wondering if a “named storm” (that’s insurance-speak) will take place in the summer of 2012 . . . or staying in a lovely condo in the best city in the world (yes, New Yorkers and Torontonians -- it's true). 

So we “decommissioned”.  Everything came off of the topsides (sails, barbeque, lifesling, biminy canvas, life raft - everything) and was stored either below or with our boat managers.   Abracadabra began to look like a sailboat again!
All food items were removed to “disincentivize” (government-speak) any opportunistic critters in the area.  Everything was scrubbed, including the outside of the oven (removed from brackets, pulled out, and scrubbed – ugh, just don’t ever look there, at home or on your boat).  So we now have the cleanest, shiniest stove on the entire Baja coast - or perhaps on the entire planet!

All wood surfaces were oiled.  The head was scrubbed.  Abracadabra was so clean we briefly considered putting her on the market just because she looked so ready for boat brokerage pictures . . . but not really!
We arranged for Abracadabra to stay at Marina Palmira until October, and hired Buceo Bahia, a La Paz company, to take care of her.  They will periodically wash the bottom, check zincs, start the engine, check the electrical usage, and if (hopefully not) needed prepare her to weather any storm, including any “named storm”. 

After being squeezed out of the v-berth by topside stuff, (below is what was our bed!):

we were then squeezed out of the “guest suite” (aka the salon) by even more topside stuff!  Below Molly is taking refuge in the "guest suite" before the berth there was occupied by the life raft:

We finally decamped for a couple of days to a very nice bed and breakfast in La Paz – Casa el Centro.  We had thought we’d have time for a “vacation” once we prepared Abracadabra for the summer, but we had only a day in La Paz without trips to the marina to do some other last minute thing.  It's a boat - there's always something to do.
Season Stats:  We thought it would be interesting to consider our first season from a statistical point of view, so here are some “first season stats” for Abracadabra:  
  • Days of Travels On Abracadabra: October 7, 2011 – May 7, 2012 = 213 days
  • Nautical Miles Traveled:  2639
  • Guest Crew: Frank Chan and Irene DeBrujin-Chan; Rick Nelson and Corinne Hackbarth; Jodi Rafkin; Bob Romano; and Jim Thompson (thanks all -- we loved having visitors -- particularly fellow sailors!!)
  • Nautical Miles Traveled With Crew:  1424 w/ crew (1205 w/out)
  • Nights Underway:  19
  • Nights Underway With Crew:  10
  • Nights at Anchor / on a Mooring Ball:  39
  • Favorite Anchorage:  Chacala
  • Least Favorite Anchorage/Mooring:  Pichilinque or Yalapa -- it's a tie (though we would love to return to Yalapa WITHOUT staying on a mooring ball!)
  • Marina Stays:  155 nights (including two-ish weeks for repairs; two-plus-ish weeks to decommission; two week for a road trip and assorted days to recover from colds, etc.)
  • Engine Hours:  255.2 (assuming 4.5 miles per hour to take into account water making etc. = 1148 miles or less than half of the trip!)
  • Road Trips:  Guanajuato -- read the blog post about that trip and make sure you visit this wonderful city if you have a chance!
  • Injuries:  2 jammed/broken/and/or wrenched toes (1 Jodi, 1 Molly); 1 toe tip removal (Bryce - just the tiniest bit, but he's now finally installed a bungee cord to hold up the anchor locker hatch!); 1 broken foot (only the tiny little bones on top - but quite spectacular bruising - Molly); 1 set of blackened fingernails (Bryce - but he won't open that hatch the same way again); 1 wrenched shoulder (Bryce - but he's getting much better at controlling the dinghy).  Did we forget others' injuries (?) . . . we mostly remember our OWN.
  • Blog Posts:  25 to date
  • Most Interesting Page Views:   5 from Latvia (we think we know who is viewing in Kazakhstan, but who do we know in Latvia?)
Thoughts For Next Season Based On These Stats: 
  • We'd like to spend less time in marinas (though much time this season was due to repairs,  decommissioning time and road trips . . . so perhaps significant marina time is unavoidable?).
  • We'd like to spend even less time motoring (though sometimes having the motor on isn't for the sole purpose of making miles, but is necessary to fill batteries, and other times the motor is required to get there before dark, though perhaps we can become proficient in braille anchoring . . . )?  And why are we so obsessed with avoiding the motor?  Well, it's noisy and somewhat stinky, but most importantly, to quote our fellow sailor Frank Chan:  "Because we're sailors."
  • We'd like to have fewer crew injuries, so maybe we'll post one of those inspiring "X days without injury on this work site" signs . . . or better yet, buy sandals with toe protection!
Goodbye to Abracadabra:  Finally, on the 6th of May, we tearfully (though El Capitan might not admit it, he was spotted blinking rapidly as we walked away . . . ) left Abracadabra knowing that she would be in the good care of Buceo Bahia,

and on the 7th, we flew to Tijuana, picked up the cross-border bus . . . and arrived in El Norte. 

Soon we’ll blog briefly about our “plans” for the summer (such as they are) and update our marina reviews – and then sign off until we return to Mexico next fall to take up Travels on Abracadabra again. 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful first trip! Let us know when you're back and we'd love to have you come and visit--we can put you up and give you a base to operate from Sacramento if you need. Perry