May 13 - Back in the USA

We arrived just after midnight to New Port Richey, and still wanted to unpack a bit before hitting the sack. There's a lot to catch up on, but having fast, unlimited internet is a huge help, and Sue's already planning on photo album updates and adding pictures to our blog entries.
Pic: Where Infini departed from 8 years ago.

May 12 - Preparation

As we head out by Maxi-taxi to the airport, I was thinking that some folks might find it useful to see a partial list of what we've done before departure. Here goes: 1. Spray Corrosion-X on electrical contacts and tools 2. Shut sea cocks except for cockpit drains 3. Disconnect SSB antennae at the tuner 4. Disconnect the VHF antennae 5. Shut the windlass breaker 6. Lock the lazarette 7. Shut the propane tank valve 8. Shut house battery switch and all breakers 9. Remove batteries from flashlights, head lamps, and any other items not needed during our absence. 10. Give boat key to marina office 11. Ensure inverter is off 12. Set solar panel array; we shut off our forward pair and leave the aft pair on, drawing current to trickle charge the batteries thru the solar charge controller 13. Lock up gas cans with bicycle chain 14. Fill FW tanks 15. Fill diesel tanks 16. Stuff deck openings to prevent bug entry 17. Wash down interior cabin walls, Formica, and teak with vinegar solution 18. Place Saran Wrap over toilet; this should prevent drying of internal seals 19. Winterize outboard engine 20. Put out moth balls and various bug deterrents. 21.Store all we can below; including fenders, cockpit cushions; anything that could 'walk'. Remember, this is a partial list; some folks do more; a few just lock their boats and head out! We've got four bags, each weighing 50 pounds, plus one carry-on, as well as two backpacks and one camera bag. Infini looks lighter already, even up on boat stands!

May 7 - Haul-out

We were hauled at Power Boats. Typical screw-up. At first, I was told, "Come in bow first. You won't have to drop the head stay." Not...we scrambled to take off the Profurl. Of course, the Allen screws refused to budge. We're in the slings; Michael, the travel-lift driver, is a laid back guy. "No problem, Captain. Take all the time you need." Yah, I could have been there until next month trying to back out the screws and taking off that Profurl..."Go ahead and call the rigger,I said, figuring it was way easier to have him worry about it. Gary, the rigger, showed up about 5 minutes later, took a few minutes to assess the situation, and proceeded to do what I should have done to begin with; he removed the clevis pin holding the Profurl up (after loosening the back stay. I had already removed the cotter pins...). Voila...let the haul-out continue. The rest went smooth as. Later, Brent, the yard manager came by and said "why didn't you back in? You wouldn't have had to remove the head stay." Thanks, buddy...a bit late for that. Next time, maybe say something beforehand? Well, it's all good. We've put up the full boat canvas we had made in Guatemala...we don't use it too much :). We then had a visit from Cold Keate, a guy who works on refrigeration and A/C systems, as well as watches peoples' boats when they're gone for the rainy season. We contracted with him at a fair price to make regular visits to the boat, and rented an A/C unit from him. He fabricated a ply enclosure to surround the unit in the companionway and allow us to lock up, and we now are way ahead in the prevention of mold which regularly occurs aboard stored boats here, especially during rainy season. So, the organization and clean-up continues. We fly out the 12th, so that deadline is coming up. Stay tuned!

May 1 - Update

We've had a busy week. Matt left for Florida a few days ago, leaving a void as well as an empty V-berth. He's on to new adventures of the land work kind, after 6 months and about 7000 miles of the boat work kind; an adjustment for everybody. We've been straightening up, getting ready for our haul-out May 7th. The engine's been cleansed with degreaser, and the deck and cockpit have been washed down, as well as the stainless polished; more halyards have been removed and replaced with runners, our sails are ready for inspection at the sailmaker, and the newly upholstered cockpit cushions look great. We've found time to have dinner aboard with Marion & Dave of sv Kilkea II, who are celebrating the completion of their circumnavigation, along with Gordon & Helen of sv Mantra. We've also been to the weekly Thursday night cruisers BBQ at Power Boats, doing our best to eat and share our food stores before we depart for the States. Since we have about a month's worth of food in the freezer and about two weeks to go before our flight, many folks are enjoying the fish Matt caught and the meats we bought in South Africa. I bought a used 6000 BTU A/C unit the other day, but the power post on the dock isn't wired properly, so we're unable to use our extension cord and A/C until that's addressed. More boats are arriving here daily, and we see our sister-ship, Native Dancer, just pulled in. We haven't met those folks, but it's not very often you see two Westsail 43's in one place!