The guys came right on time, but for some reason thought we had our own trailer (lots of smaller, trailerable boats here). So they had to go back and get the boat-lift. By 9:20, a tractor pushing a long, low-bed trailer sprouting hydraulic jack-stands came rumbling down the road to the launch ramp. Three handlers warped our boat along the quay, pushing and pulling and dragging Indigo up to the edge of the trailer, finally sliding her keel into the V-slot.
Indigo has always been hauled out using a Travel-Lift: a hulking, 4-legged, metal creature on wheels that uses two slings slid under the keel, lifting a boat up and out of the water. This is the first time we have been to a marina that used a boat ramp trailer – it made me a bit jumpy.
As the tractor rolled away dragging Indigo out of the water, up, up, up the boat-ramp, her bow lifted up out of the water at an awkward angle. In my mind…it’s a terrible, unnatural angle. I imagined her suddenly slipping backwards and hurtling back into the water, hitting her keel on the shallow bottom, sharply twisting over to the side, careening, shrouds snapping, the mast cartwheeling into the water... This moment was terrifying, I could barely breathe, my chest hurt, tears began to roll… like a parent watching their child plunging off the high dive for the first time. This is my house and my house is severely tilted. A house should never be tilted. Not like we haven’t been angled upward that much on a wave crest…still. You just don’t want to see that. Period.
Rollin’ Down the Highway
But after a few seconds, Indigo leveled out and continued to roll out of the water and on down the road. Whew…I started breathing again. My moment of panic subsided (I was not the only one panicking) and we walked behind her, following our baby.
After walking a few hundred yards, the tractor driver noticed us and indicated we should climb into the pickup bed of the leader vehicle. Wheeeee! Riding in a pickup bed! Like we used to do as kids… before multitudes of safety-conscious bans overtook our country. One of the best things about Mexico is their lack of laws. Why can't we just use common sense and evaluate our own risk? Pick-up bed + quiet road + 5mph + 10 minutes… pretty sure we’ll be OK.
A half mile down the road is the Marina Seca (translated as “Dry Marina”). Our storage facility for the summer, it consists of two separate gated areas: the work yard and the storage yard. Any work on your boat must be done at the work yard; once your boat is hauled over to the storage yard you have just a few minutes to check on it but then you must leave. No one but Marina workers and recognized monthly maintenance guys are allowed in the storage yard. This keeps out the riff-raff and prevents theft.
4 Hours in the Yard is Enough
We hoped to spend as little time in the yard as possible. Finishing touches included: tying down the sun cover tarps, finish securing the caprail cover, run fresh water through engine, close all thru-hulls, plug drain/vent holes with Scotchbrite pads (discouraging insects from taking up residence while allowing drainage/airflow), place mice & roach bait cups, double & triple check that we’d done everything on our list.
I spent two hours waxing the hull while Brian worked elsewhere. I did half the job from the ground, intending to use the ladder for the unreachable areas. But the rental ladder was the tall, non-adjustable, lean-to type; it rested up against the flexible lifelines and was too unstable. So, we gave up on the idea of finishing that one last project.
The other problem was, after being in the yard for only 4 hours in 90-degree heat, we were on the verge of exhaustion. The angle of the blazing San Carlos sun must be different in April. I have been severely burned once in the last 2 weeks (the gross, oozy-blistery-bubbly kind) and on the verge again today – I’d never been sunburned in Mexico prior. So coupled with the sun and the working and the climbing up and down a 20ft ladder all day, I was glad we hadn’t planned on taking the bus to Phoenix that same night. We were DONE.
Good-Bye and Good-Night
After waving goodbye to Indigo, hauled off to her final resting place for 6 months, we walked to the Marinaterra Hotel, a ½ mile away, lugging all our baggage (3 small bags and a laptop). We washed away all the unavoidable boatyard grime and watched TV for the rest of the evening sprawled out in a bed wider than our entire boat! But the monstrous lumpy mattress felt like cardboard (already missing my boat bed), voices of cackling children rang through the adjacent walls and the tiled hallway outside echoed every single footfall and murmur. Still, we slept like rocks, grateful there was no loud wedding mariachi band on the terrace that night.
Delaying the Inevitable
In the morning, we awoke from a dead sleep to the pleasant sounds of scraping furniture in the room above. Now we were awake, but we couldn’t move – everything hurt, down to the marrow in my bones and inside my veins, especially my wrists (wax on, wax off). Not to mention the near-sunburn. Brian made coffee and we just sat in bed watching TV until noon checkout time. We were loath to even step outside… not for breakfast, not for a lovely morning dip in the pool… quite the opposite of a “romantic hotel getaway”. We just wanted to hole up inside our little cocoon and not move a muscle until we were kicked out. The front desk called at 11:50 to “remind” us to leave. Believe me, I didn’t need reminding. I could have slept another 24 hours.
Waiting…and Waiting… and Waiting
Once booted from the hotel, we were homeless. Our next 2-1/2 hours were spent lingering over a long lunch (with our luggage) at Shots restaurant. In order to spread the love, we moved our butts a block away to Hammerheads (along with our luggage), lounging another 2-1/2hrs over beer and iced tea. At 5pm, our new friend from S/V Leaway arrived and we drove to Guaymas for yet another 2 hour restaurant layover! After dinner, Jim dropped us off at the Tufesa bus station at 7pm (thanks Jim!). Our bus was scheduled for 8:30pm…so we waited some more! Finally, after an entire day of loitering in various locations, we got on the bus and made a run for the border. Another 10 hours and we were back in the good ‘ole USA once again!