The Elephant in the Room

Yeah, that was nice. Just enjoy the sailing life, relax and unwind. No dirt, dust and rubbish, no noise from dune buggies, no pressure to get up in the morning and go straight to work. Unfortunately the good life was over now. We had to go back to Puerto Peñasco. Back to Milagros, to plunge into the furthest corners of our construction site to be able to explore the farthest corners of the Sea of ​​Cortez. And it’s already June!

The mast of a Kelly Peterson 44 bluewater cruiser sailboat

At the anchorage in San Carlos we were soon busy preparing our return trip. There was hustle and bustle on Anila. We packed our things and the other two prepared their boat for launching at the boatyard in San Carlos. While we only went back to the Rocky Point Boatyard in Puerto Peñasco, Carmen and Iñaki would soon be flying around the world, back home to work in Switzerland.

It could have been simple

The plan would actually have been to get to Puerto Peñasco on Anila. The spot right next to Milagros was already reserved. Unfortunately, this would not happen. We still had a ton of materials and equipment from Switzerland on Iñaki’s and Carmen’s boat. Kitchen utensils, countless books, snorkeling equipment, the list was long. We had to somehow bring all that stuff to Puerto Peñasco. So it was time to pack up.

On the road again

On the day of our departure, we filled up Anila’s cute little dinghy with our travel bags and all the extra luggage. It was early in the morning because the bus left at 10:30. We had ordered a taxi the night before, which appeared on time. Crazy. We are no longer used to punctuality. 😛 With our modest knowledge of Spanish, we talked to the driver about life in Mexico. Although we feel that our Spanish is still terrible, he was extremely impressed with our progress over the 4 months we spent in his home country.

Little details change everything

Our bus trip should take us from San Carlos to Hermosillo to Puerto Peñasco. And all of this without having to change buses. When we arrived at the bus stop we were made aware of a tiny but important difference. The bus left at 10:30 in the evening, not in the morning. Haha funny. What now? The little Spanish we speak came in handy again. The friendly staff at the bus stop sent us to another bus company that offered bus rides to Hermosillo by the hour. An employee even helped us with our mountain of luggage.

Pati and Dave sitting in the Albatros Autobus to Puerto Peñasco
Off we go!

Home again

The bus ride and the change in Hermosillo then went without any further problems. We were also already prepared for the military checkpoint. Unload all the luggage, through the scanner and back on the bus again. In the evening, the bus entered the streets of Puerto Peñasco from the darkness of the desert. Funny, it actually felt like arriving home. The city is definitely not a beauty, but we still kinda like it here. We have everything we need for our daily lifes. Amazon delivers everything else to the border to Arizona.

Everything so different but still the same

When we stepped through the boatyard gate onto the dusty Cabrales boatyard, everything looked very different. New boats had arrived, others had disappeared or had been moved to a different spot. Everything was fine on Milagros. There she was, tucked into her corner. The covers were still on, desert sand everywhere. As soon as we opened the hatch to the cabins, I smelled the typical Milagros smell again. That really felt like home now! A great feeling, like when we arrived in January. We were looking forward to our huge, comfortable, own bed.

Moving on a boat yet another time
Moving in yet another time

Let’s do it

The next day we went at it again. After the communication problems while working on our hull, the first thing I did was inspect the paint. Everything’s not as bad as expected. After consultation with Salvador, the site manager, we decided to simply sand the whole hull clean again. No sooner said than done, and after a few hours of joyful, dusty grinding in the heat, we now have a wonderful topside surface. Nevertheless, we want to entrust the spraying work for the other layers of paint to the workers from the boatyard.

Milagros animal shelter

One morning Milagros animal shelter mode was activated again. A small female dog with a glittering pink collar had run up to a night watchman. He must have escaped somewhere. We decided to take care of the little guy and after a little photo shoot we immediately set out to find the owner on Facebook. The little doggo, however, seemed to object to being stuck in a boatyard. Her haute couture glitter collar would have gotten really dirty. So she skillfully bit her leash and wandered off.

Breakout artist Canela

Since it would have been difficult to keep an eye on the dog all day, we returned it to the guard. The same thing there: she bit her leash and took off. Literally this time, because the guard could no longer find her. Of course, at that very moment, the dog’s owner answered with the complete description. Name, photos and videos, it had everything. The dog was called “Canela” (cinnamon) and the owner confirmed that she is a true breakout artist. I could only give the owner the tip to look around the area around the Cabrales Boatyard.

Good news!

It wasn’t long before a message from the owner flashed up on my cell phone. Thanks to our information, she actually found her dog! Yeesss! Especially after our experience with the budgie we needed to make sure that the dog made it home. Apparently we weren’t angels of death after all. So we could devote ourselves to the work on the boat again. Pati installed the new faucet with shower head in the front toilet and we bought materials and a bit of glaze for some woodwork from our favorite shop, “Todo para el Carpintero”. Of course, not without a few extra drives, because the color we chose was wrong at the front and rear. Same old story. Our new Force 10 stove sends its regards.

Alegria are back

It was also finally time for the elephant in the room. Our mast had to come down. We had already made 2 or 3 attempts but finally never pulled it. Taking the mast off the boat was a pretty big undertaking. The boatyard had to move a crane and an entire crew of workes to Milagros. But first we had more important things to take care of. We had to meet our friends Mike, Katie and their dog Rosco on SV Alegria. After two months on the high seas, they were back for a summer break. They were travellifted out of the water and into the dusty boatyard right next to us, where Anila should have been standing.

It’s a lot more fun with friends

Our mast project required a lot of preparation and a clear approach. First the boom had to be taken off the mast. Our new neighbors Mike and Katie came to help. The boom came off quick and painless. Marga from our Kelly Peterson 44 sister boat Dogfish helped us with the rest of the preparation work. We can no longer count how often they have already helped us. Thank you Rosco, thank you Mike, thank you Katie, thank you Marga! <3

Tackling one of the big three

The aim was to tune our mast and its supports as best as possible, to document everything photographically and to mark the settings of the rig. With all this information it should then be possible to have a company build a completely new set of steel cables for the mast supports. This is definitely a big project. And an important one, because the mast and its supports are responsible for bundling the forces of the sails and correctly “processing” them. And these forces are enormous. We must approach this project with respect and the greatest possible conscientiousness. Anything else would be fatal.

Everything is ready!

A whole afternoon passed, and Marga helped us through all the necessary preparatory work in the sweltering heat. We also experimented a little. What happens if we loosen shrouds or stays? What if we pull the mast in the middle? How do all the different components react to each other? An important learning process for all of us and we dealt intensively with this ultra-important matter for the first time. So the hours passed. And at some point everything was ready. We were only a message to Salvador away from pulling our mast. Aaaaaaahhh…

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