Monday, May 25, 2015 A New Level of Respect

Woke up:                     Underway

Went to sleep:            Underway

A New Level of Respect

This month I earned a new level of respect from mi esposo, Pedro.

Prior to his trip to Oregon, I think he was feeling annoyed with my apparent disinterest in Penelope and all her machinery.  It seemed to me he had taken over everything except the dishes.  He wouldn’t or couldn’t take the time to explain things to me and I was too caught up tending to my own physical and emotional stability to care.

Things were about to change.  He left us alone in a foreign country.  It was just me and Penelope to look after each other.

Well, not completely alone.  There is Henry

And Henry

The first thing I did was put all his stuff away.  I put away the fishy smelling gloves, the bungee cords and pieces of spare line, the metal shackles and pulleys, the flashlights, screw drivers, wrenches, unopened mail, shorts, swim shorts, t-shirts, shaving kit, ball caps, wet towels and assortment of sunglasses.  All put away.  For three glorious weeks the only person I have to pick up after is me.  My first three week vacation in 22 years.

I took the boat to Yelapa.  To read about Yelapa refer to my blog posts dated Sunday, May 3rd and Monday, May 4th.

Sailing to Yelapa

Sailing to Yelapa Photo by Lynda Davis

People in the marina declared, “My, I am so impressed!  You took that great big boat out all by yourself.  Weren’t you afraid?”  “Yes!  Absolutely!”  My legs were so full of apprehension I felt like I was walking across a wooden foot bridge suspended high above a deep cavern.

I knew I had two choices.  Either feel fearful and stay at home or feel fearful and go anyway.  How could I boast about taking her out by myself if I didn’t?

In addition to Yelapa, twice I took Penelope to the pump out.  This involves disconnecting her from the dock, driving to the pump out facility located on the other side of the marina, emptying her black water holding tank, driving her home, docking, and securing her back in her slip.  Piece of cake.

I hired Jose, a local boat worker, to polish and wax the old girl.  He spent two full days on the stainless steel alone.  I watched him employ a toothbrush to reach between the grates on the butterfly hatch.

I closed all her windows and hatches while for two more days Jose and his helper buffed and applied three coats of wax to her fiberglass.

Three coats of wax

Three coats of wax

Lastly, I began the task of cleaning the boat lines.  This choir has been on my To Do list for five years.

I came up with the idea to use the dinghy as a bath tub.  I hauled the dinghy onto the dock next to Penelope.  I used a garden hose to fill it with water, laundry detergent, and Oxy Clean.  One at a time I removed the halyards, sheets, and mooring lines from Penelope and placed them in the soapy water.  I stepped into the dinghy along with the water, soap and lines and swished and agitated the tub with my feet like Lucy Ball stomping grapes.  (Only my friends over 40 will recognize this reference.)

Like stomping grapes

Like stomping grapes Photo by Lynda Davis

I rinsed each line in a large beer cooler filled with fresh water and Downey.  I methodically threaded each line back through its assigned blocks and pulleys.  In the case of the halyards which feed through the top of the mast, I sewed an eighth inch nylon “leader” to the end of the line to be removed.  Once the halyard was clean, I again sewed the line to the other end of the eighth inch nylon “leader” and used it to pull the clean halyard back into place.  It took two full days to clean the lines.  I’m thrilled with the outcome.  They look clean, feel soft, and smell like Downey.

The watermaker is a fabulous mechanical device which magically transforms salt water into cool, clear, delicious potable water.

If you seek the opinion of all the people in the marina, you’ll find half of them believe it’s acceptable to make water from the bay water in the marina and half of them don’t.  The marina water from the hose at the end of the dock is equally as questionable.  Being faced with these two evils I chose to conserve water and hope I didn’t run out.

Marina de la Cruz

Marina de la Cruz Photo by Lynda Davis

Every three days you must flush the watermaker membrane.  This uses water from my potable water supply.  On the morning of Peter’s return, my luck ran out.  I was dutifully flushing the watermaker when I ran out of water.

I thought, “No problem!”  I’ll just turn on the watermaker and make myself some water but, because I allowed the system to run dry the pump needed to be primed to run again.  You need water to prime the pump.  You need the pump to make the water.  Catch 22.

My neighbor suggested I put water from the hose at the end of the dock into the tank to prime the pump.  I asked him, “Do you drink that water?”  His answer was, “No.”  I convinced him Peter would hang me from the nearest Huanacaxtle Tree if I put non-potable water into our holding tanks.

Finally, the solution sprang to mind.  Peter keeps a 5 gallon jug of potable water on the deck.

I poured the jug into the holding tank.  I used it to prime the pump and then I made water despite the fact half the people say I shouldn’t make water while in the marina.  Peter had told me it is okay and he is the captain.

While I was making water and before I left on the bus to fetch Peter from the airport, I walked to the office of the Port Captain, presented the necessary paperwork, and checked us out of Puerto de La Cruz.  One less thing Peter has to do.

I’m basking in a renewed sense of pride and ownership and a new level of respect.

About Susan M. Gierga

Everyone already knows everything there is to know about me. I wear my heart on my sleeve. To learn current details. Visit my blog, CruisingwithCaptainPeterandtheAdmiral.
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