Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Waiting for " A Norther" to blow in

So it is entirely too long since we shared events with friends and family.  We are still on the dock, waiting for wire.  But there has been movement in the situation - more on that in a moment.

Tonight as I write I'm sitting at the dining table in our main salon.  The boat is gently moving, and the movement is lulling Tamsyn to sleep.  Griffyn crashed about an hour ago, and his mom fell asleep on one end of Griffyn's bed about 15 minutes ago.

The fact that I'm able to sit at the table and write is a major improvement in the stowing of gear.  Major strides have been made along those lines.  Two days ago I cleaned out what was intended to be the boat's "wet locker" - a place you store all the foul weather gear, life jackets, boots and stuff.  This locker is termed "wet" because it's designed to hold wet dripping gear, and thus has a drain into the bilge.  The previous owners had used this prime real estate for storing all kinds of junk that should be elsewhere.

Well, fed up with the sad state of what should be the most important locker on the boat (it was lined with mildewy burlap, and the locker sides were stained brown with age), I ripped out all the burlap, vacuumed, and painted the whole thing with white enamel paint.  This evening I loaded all our life jackets and foulies into the wet locker for the first time.

Other gear is finding a home, and now the place were we had been storing the foul weather gear will become home to something else.  It's kind of like one of those old puzzle games - the ones with little square tabs with either a picture or letter on them, and you had to slide all the other pieces around until you could assemble the picture or spell out the word.  Each item displaces something, which in turn displaces something else, etc... until they hopefully end up in the place of the highest and best use - or something like that.

Tamsyn and Griffyn are doing pretty well.  They are a little wild (hard to imagine) and not always easy the reign in.  Much has happened in their lives the last few days.  Three days ago I went up to the boatyard at the end of the dock prior to breakfast, and when I got back no one was on the boat.  I went aboard figuring they would be back in time.  No sooner had I gone one step down the ladder than I heard Carrie hollering for me to come quick - Griffyn had caught a fish, and I had better hurry.

Not knowing how Griffyn had gotten a pole, let alone caught a fish, I got off the boat and followed Carrie down to the end of the dock - some 200 feet away.  There were three youngish employees of the boat yard we were at (it was their day off) with poles and a bucket, and Griffyn and Tamsyn - both with poles, and both catching a big 12 inch fish every minute of so.  There was an incredible run of these spotted fish whose name I don't know.  In a few minutes they had landed eight fish - fish that would end up being dinner that night.  So now the kids are very much in love with fishing.

One of our neighbors on the dock is a nice old guy by the name of Ivar.  Ivar's got a big old wooden powerboat, and has been much help to us in finding where to shop, and pushing coffee on us in the morning.  Now Ivar's in his 70's and has had ten kids through a couple of marriages; his youngest kids are Gabriel and Alejandro.  Three days ago I introduced my two kids to Ivar's two kids, and before I knew it they were fast friends chasing around and fishing together at the end of the dock.

Now the wire.  At the end of last week, Fisheries Supply in Seattle, who I had bought the wire from, was being very difficult.  When I bought the wire, they said it would be no problem sending it to La Paz - they do it all the time.  The suggested using DHL, and all would be great.  I gave Fisheries a lot of money - and a week later my rigging wire was supposed to be in La Paz.

If you read earlier entries, you know that's not what happened.  Turns out that DHL is not, and never has been, a BONDED carried in Mexico.  That means they cannot ship Bonded goods for a "Vessel in Transit," and thus goods sent by them have to have huge duty (like taxes) paid in addition to the item cost and the shipping.  Well, Fisheries Supply has maintained that somehow we were to blame for the wire not making it to La Paz, and that they filled out all the paperwork correctly.

After numerous communications with DHL Mexico, we determined that there was no way they could ship to La Paz.  I pointed this out to Fisheries Supply, and at this point (last Thursday) they said it was my problem, I should figure it out myself.  DHL Mexico wanted an additional $650.00 to release the wire.  Well.. I let 'em have it.  I fired off a ton of emails to folks I know, and the next day they gave me a full refund.  Hooray!  Now I've got wire on order from a different supplier and am working out the shipping.  So, some positive movement.

Lots of other milestones too.  We received our first weather faxes over Single Sideband radio.  We attached custom made bow pulpit supports, got our vessel documentation from the U.S. Coast Guard,  and probably tomorrow we'll get our Temporary Import Permit for our boat to be in Mexico.

Tomorrow we are supposed to get the beginnings of a windstorm called a Norther.  A Norther forms when there is a huge high pressure system over New Mexico.  That dense air wants to rush to places where there is lower pressure - like the waters to the south of La Paz, and the resultant wind has us in its sights.  They are predicting a couple days of high wind and gale warnings.  I've re-inflated our bumpers, and put up the running backstays to help support the rig, which is weaker than it should be because a couple of shrouds have been removed.  So we wait for the winds to come.

My mission for the next couple of days is to slow down a bit and spend more time with the kids, and balance the parenting load with Carrie more.  The boat is starting to come together.  Congrats to my friend Michelle for landing a job she'll do great in - my old job in Edmonds!



Jennifer Johnson said...

Good to hear things are moving along. And yay for Michelle!

Gabriel says the kids did great fishing! (they sent an email to Carrie a few days ago, in case you haven't checked in awhile.)

Take care.

Sue Johnson said...

I am so enjoying hearing about your family adventure! Please keep it coming ... pictures too! Thinking of all of you and hope your rigging gets there soon! I am glad about Michelle too :) Take care ...

Sue Johnson

caddy said...

What a great experience for the kids! Sounds like things are beginning to settle in as "new life routines" Does the Norther mean you stay where you are and hope you don't get bumped around too much in dock? We have had some sunny days and are going to be at freezing or above over the weekend. Days are getting longer and spring is going to come. Have actually enjoyed this snowy winter as new snow every few days keeps things fresh and sparkly.