Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Life in a boatyard - Up Close & Personal

We were "launched" this afternoon and have safely arrived back at the marina! It's been a long two weeks living aboard the boat during repairs in the boatyard - something most people will never experience. So, what was it like? Let's see...

Waiting There's a lot of waiting. First, there was the wait to get an appointment for repairs as the facility was so busy. Then, we waited a couple of days after arriving at their dock to actually get hauled out. Here's some pictures of us waiting to get hauled - first tied to one floating dock, then we moved to another dock to allow mega-yachts to get launched after their repairs.

The repair of our rudder was long and complicated. It required many different processes, some of which required curing or drying time before the next process could occur. Each process was performed by a skilled craftsman - skilled in that particular process. We needed to wait as they scheduled the craftsmen.

Trains Yes, trains. What? You didn't expect freight trains to run through the yard every night? Well, they run through Knight & Carver here in National City near San Diego. The facility next to the boatyard is where they unload automobiles that arrive on huge freighters. The cars are loaded onto train cars and shipped out to the dealers. The trains not only ran through the yard, but also they went forward and backward banging into the train cars to hook up a long train. Each time they changed directions every train car smashed into the next car - BANG! BANG! BANG! Coupling up the cars is known in the train world as "humping".
This is a picture taken from our boat (that's our boat in the lower left corner) of a locomotive. This was also one of the few times that they were out in the daytime. These trains were usually nocturnal. We came to dread the sound of a distant train whistle.

Climbing With the boat up on blocks, we had to climb up a rickety 14ft ladder to get on and off the boat. Because the ladder wasn't tall enough, they put a couple of wood blocks on top for additional steps. The folks that worked in the boatyard were very pleasant and really tried their best to make us comfortable. It's just that a boatyard isn't a resort hotel. Period. You gotta deal with that. They were really going out of their way to even allow us to stay on board - many yards forbid it.
And here's a photo of the ladder that we climbed from the floating docks to the yard while we were tied up waiting to be hauled into the boatyard. The dock moved constantly, the ladder rode up and down in the bracket, and we never fell off! Dang, we're good!

Personal Cleanliness We couldn't run any water because it would simply drain under the boat - and other folks don't want to work in our gray water. So, we had to shower in the boatyard's restroom. The only shower was in the women's restroom and showers were permitted during non-working hours. Plus, we had to wash any dishes we dirtied in this restroom. Mostly we ate out and brought back leftovers - the local mexican food restaurants are very generous in their portions! Anyway, the shower was plenty big enough for two people so Jones and I figured out that we could be efficient and shower and do dishes at the same time! Naked dishwashing! Whoooo hoooo! Sorry, no photos.

The Neighborhood Meet some of our neighbors. First, we have the Serengeti. This is Johnny Carson's yacht, which is now being refurbished by his widow for eventual sale. Look closely...those are adult men in the white overalls on the ground. This is truly a "mega-yacht"(137ft). Just think of all the interesting people who have been aboard this boat!!! Next we have the Xilonen which was in for some upgrades($2 million worth of upgrades!). That little toy boat parked behind it is our Niki Wiki, kinda humbling...

And then, we have me sitting on the deck, reading my newest Patternworks catalog and Jones out on a stroll along the train tracks leaving the yard.

That's all for now - I'll post more details and photos about the repair itself later.

Now for Ha-Ha News: We have a full crew! Both of our sons, Ryan & Brett have made the commitment, and Tony M. - a friend of Jones' will round out our crew of 5. They all will be flying in to San Diego on October 28th to get ready to sail with 170 other boats on Monday, October 30th. Tony and Ryan will be leaving us a couple of days after we arrive in Cabo San Lucas around November 10th or so. Brett, will stay aboard for the crossing to Matzatlan which is great because we could use a 3rd crewman for this long sea trip (oh, and we love him too).

I've bought Mexican fishing licenses for all of us plus the boat and dinghy (a requirement or they could confiscate the boat). To do this I had to go to the Mexican fishing office here in San Diego, fill out some forms, and buy a money order for the total amount. Not really much of a hassle. Also, we have received our ship's radio and operator licenses for the boat radios.

We have chipped away on our long list of things to do and buy for the big trip. I'm planning the menu for the HaHa days and stocking up on non-perishables. Mexico has really changed in the last few years and most foods are readily available in the major cities so there's no need to buy in massive quantities for times past the HaHa. Heck - there's a WalMart in Puerta Vallarta and a Costco in Cabo San Lucas.

Knitting Of course, I've been knitting away these past 2 weeks. Mostly working on Harry's Golf Vest - it's about 80% done now, just have the upper back to work and then the cardigan banding. I've been working on beaded stitch markers again for my exchange partners and also as gifts for the gals who knit pink scarves to raise funds for breast cancer / Komen foundation.

Knit on...

just found your site from yhe Aran Yahoo group messages.
what an awxome adventure--i can only dream of that.
Cool use of circular needles. never iinow when they will come in handy.
Am enjoying looking at your site and will check it out
more thoughly when i get more time.
My dh is retired, but i continue to work at a beaty salon.
just bought an older RV and would like to think about selling out and traveling, around the states.
will give it some thought! Peg
oops -spelling is terrible --should have edited that last message. Sorry...Peg
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