Sunday, June 26, 2016

Our first haul out, Puerto del Rey

Puerto del Rey marina and haul-out facility.
Departing Green Beach, Vieques for Puerto del Rey in Fajardo, we are off anchor by 8:00 am with the genoa unfurled & one engine at idle and a 15 kts quartering tailwind.  Once we clear the shoal, we turn northbound and are on a beam reach.  However, there are big waves on the beam (more confused waves) and it's (another) rough ride until we turn westbound for the marina, just past Isla Pineros (Beautiful.  Tentative stop that we are passing up for the marina.  Next time.)  We have the marina in sight with two sailboats heading out.  This places looks fun!

Passing Isla Pineros

It's been two months since we've been in a marina and Puerto del Rey is one of the bigger marinas we've been to.  We call on the radio to get our slip assignment (916, on the powerboat side but also near the lift).  The boats are HUGE and the fairways look narrow as we try to determine which side of dock 9 we need to be on.  The dock hands flag us down and I look back at The Captain, awaiting any last minute instructions.  With two dock hands waiting on either side, I decided to throw the stern lines first and walk both lines to midship.  With two casual tosses and a gentle kiss, we're on.  The dock master welcomes us with, "It's regatta weekend.  Lot's of food, drink and MUSIC!"  

What to do first?  Showers?  Restaurant?  Nope.  Air conditioning!  It will be in the 90's for the next two days.

"Is it on?!"

Officially out of canned beets.  "Here's your dinner, honey!"

Stats:  Total time 2:40, avg speed 5.0 kts, total mileage 13.5 nm.  Motor sail with genoa and 1-engine 50%.



Warranty Taylor Made fenders
It's always like Christmas when our packages catch up with us at a marina.  Our boat came with a set of Taylor Made Fenders.  The Hull Gards have a lifetime guarantee and true to their word, Taylor Made replaced our two blown fenders!

On the right, the new hatch covers
We were the lucky winner of an Outland Hatch Cover from The Boat Galley. We ordered a second one since they were having their spring sale.  We neglected to tell them we were an older PDQ with the older version of this style hatch, but with a little shaving, they're on!  An improvement over our canvas covers that occasionally blow off or leak (leech line caught in seal). Thank you!  They look great!

Our last stop of the season has beautiful sunrises!

Winterizing the dinghy outboard for hurricane season--you know what I mean!

All that food organization means lots of bins to clean

Now we're in that awkward in-between phase.  We're at the marina, but we don't haul out until next Wed.  We've consumed a lot of the provisions that I so carefully stockpiled as we went (may regret that in Nov!) and the water tank ran dry as we hit the dock.  It's a long walk to the bathroom, so we're still using the head.  I need to start cleaning the interior of the boat:  pack remaining provisions into plastic tubs, clean & wipe everything down with vinegar/tea tree oil (to prevent mold), wash everything that I can fit in the washer/dryer (sheets, towels, cushion covers), then pack it all into plastic bags.  But we live in a very small space...The Captain is only outside in the mornings, before the heat builds.  When we moved onto the boat, it was April--things were spread across the salon, the cat was confined to our berth and it spilled out into the cockpit and onto the dock.  Not really an option now.

(A special thank you to Summertime Rolls for suggesting to leave extra provisions in the laundry room.  I was wildly popular with the cleaning staff, even though I had to explain lentils and coconut milk.)

And of course, the food of Puerto del Rey:

Fried fish sandwich and Arroz con Pollo.  They don't look exciting but they're yummy!

Mofongo:  fried plaintains, smashed and cooked in garlic.  YUMMO!  

Even the guava and avocado were FIRE!

Laundry day.  It was $3 to wash and $3 to dry but you have to buy a $5 debit card that you "load up".  I used a $5 bill to get the card then only had a $20.  Somehow I spent $25 on laundry!

Through the Women Who Sail FaceBook group, we met up with s/v Outta Control for drinks.  It turns out they've hauled out for the last 6 years and also have an RV back home.  Lots of great advice!

Bimini before

Bimini off
Another day and more items to check off the list.  The strataglass got a fresh water rinse then an Imar clean and condition by the First Mate before The Captain starting taking off the bimini.  As the day heats up, I move inside to clean out our berth locker (stow some unused clothes in bins.  Hang up dryer sheets on those still hanging) and then attempt to clean/find the nav table.  Love the a/c!

Starting to pack
Electric tea kettle (too high amp draw), Nutribullet (too expensive for 2), Aeropress, 5 t-shirts, 2 shorts, 2 capris with room to spare. Backpack with iPad, Kindle, personal paperwork to go. Bam!  I'm packed.

"I sense change.  I'm not happy."

Anyone who lives with a cat, knows it best to leave them in the dark about future activities that may affect their nap schedule.  When we sold our house, we waited until she went to sleep on our bed, then closed the door to pack/garage sale/clean.  She was fine until we moved out the mattress...Today the cleaning has gotten serious & Amelia is onto us.  After watching Daddy scrub down the salon, she jumped up onto the table, looked at me, and dumped over her water glass.  Pretty sure she did that on purpose.  So that's how this is gonna go...

Yeah, Mama's not talking to you either!
Finally, it's Monday morning and we go over to meet Shanaz at the haul out facility and receive some good news (I hope I don't jinx us).  We'd heard rumors about a rule change that said no work being allowed in the hurricane haul out facilities, even by approved contractors.  The boat would have to be moved over to the boat yard (additional lift charge).  It turns out, we can still hire a contractor to power wash and sand, then we can roll on the bottom paint when we get back. I love it when a plan comes together.  A stop at the marine store inside the marina yields some Damp Rid and Kanberra gel.  Score!

My side of the haul-out battle--mold/mildew and mice/insects.  Today I'm wiping down 500ish sq ft of headliner with a vinegar/water/tea tree oil solution.  Usually, it's easy cleaning our tiny home, but I've never cleaned the ceiling by hand!  Also, hoping that running the air conditioning for 6 days will help dry everything out ;-). 

Dec 2014.  Edgewater, MD.
I was looking through old pics to confirm strap placement for our haul out tomorrow.  The last time Odin was out of the water was Dec 3, 2014 for our sea trial (and technically, still someone else's problem if he fell off the lift).  You think that can't happen?  A catamaran in Luperon had fallen off the lift twice while trying to splash...Momma is getting nervous!  

Genoa off the roller furler

The sails are finally coming off.  It's been too windy the last few days and then, where to put them!  They're HUGE!  
The strength of wind in a sail is amazing.  You can feel it when you take a sheet off the winch while underway, but the last time we did this, I was almost lifted off my feet while standing on the trampoline:  
"Here hold onto this, while I go furl it in..."  
"Um, honey?!?!"
This morning was uneventful.

A friends boat just down the way in the yard.

s/v Outta Control

Veterans at hauling out, our friends on s/v Outta Control allow me to shadow them while they haul out (inside 24 hours people!). I want to vomit as it swings in the slings over the concrete, and it isn't even my boat!  I learn a few tricks including marking the sling placement in masking tape.  I grab The Captain and we walk back over for a quick consult with the lift operator on where we will be located (back fence near water & electricity!), well procedures (stern into the slings for us), and how we would like it blocked (took over pictures and a copy from our Owner's Manual for him to keep).  We advise him we wwill be at the fuel dock pumping out just prior to our slot and he says they'll watch for us and wave us over.  Feeling comfortable with the procedures for tomorrow.

(Pilot friends, zoom in on the logo on their stern.  Can you guess what he did for a living?)

Side note:  Maybe we have these in Missouri, but the boats in the background are in the "Dry Stack" also called a "boat hotel".  The marina has 1000 wet slips and 400 dry stack spaces!  There are 2 separate full-time lifts splashing and restacking these little power boats.  It's crazy!

Oh, and "No one may live or sleep on vessel in dry stack area."

Owner's Manual diagram.  

The Captain's smashed toe in the middle of boat prep.  Sigh...

AND the main sail is off. He is one naked sail boat. Naked, naked, naked.  
Note to self.  Order more ball bearing before returning to boat :-(

One more sunrise from the boat.  Laundry, defrost fridge, rental car, fuel dock, haul out!

Haul out day.  I'm in the laundry room by 6:30 am but the washer's aren't working.  No sweat.  I'll come back.  Back to start the fridge defrost.  8:00 am. Walk up to get the rental car.  Can't find the rental car company that is supposed to be on the property.  Call (pet peeve--once I make the reservation, I should get the phone number to the location that HAS my CAR, not an 800 number) and discover they've moved to the ferry dock.  They come to pick us up.  By 9:15, we're on the road to the hardware store.  (I'm driving.  I haven't driven since June 2015.  At one point I think I'm speeding but I'm only doing 40 mph.  Never got it above 45!). Buy tarp for the bottom clean.  Back to the marina by 10:30 am.  Washer is fixed so laundry is started.  Lunch.  Back to put clothes in dryer.  Clothes don't get dry but I don't have enough on the debit card for another dry--and The Captain wants to be off the dock by 12:45pm.  Walk away from laundry for the second time.  Pull boat to the other side of double-wide slip to counteract wind.  Depart the slip for the fuel dock.  Despite scheduling the day before, the staff is late getting back from lunch.  The Captain eases in and I lasso a cleat.  Score!  Stern swings in & we're tied off.  They tell us to do the pump-out ourselves :-(  Sit and wait for a few minutes and ease off at 1:15 for our 1:30 pm.  The crew truck pulls up to the lift and Bennie and his crew pile out, so we spin around and back into the well.  "We were waiting for you guys!"  Four lines are quickly tied off.  One fender moved that will be in the way of a strap.  I'm ordered off to report to Shanaz in the office to sign our paperwork.  I sign my life away and she radios back to the lift that we are cleared to go.  When I get back, Odin is out of the water and reported to weigh 12,000 lbs.  "Don't look at me!  We ate most of the canned goods..."

Come back from the office to this.  Gonna vomit.

Odin coming over the cement...Nauseous

The crew under Odin

Bennie and the ground crew all crawl under Odin and begin securing straps and using a rubber mallet to look for the cross beams.  They discuss the number of jack stands and the crew member on the left departs to get the stands then meets us at our spot. 

Down through the dry stack

Across the bridge

Into the yard {sniff, sniff}

ALL the way to the back..."Don't worry, Odin.  It will be like summer camp."  F@$%, where's the rum?!  Dang it!  On the boat.

We're in the VERY back corner so they had to take down a fence to get the lift in!

"We're in a tight spot, Harry." 
And now I pace...we're backed up to the mangroves, back of yard from the ocean, near a power pedestal, under a security camera.  Now the blocking begins. Bennie our lift operator, 4 yard employees & the contractor (+1) that will power wash & sand the bottom...

They're expanding the yard.

Tarp laid down.  Reuben & The Captain discussing power wash and sanding.

1.5 hours in, and Bennie is still not satisfied that Odin is level.  Craig hops up and hands down Amelia (which brings work to a halt while the crew says hello to Princess).  I bolt to the car to meet our AirBnB landlord.  By the time I return the lift is gone and The Captain is inside watching TV with the a/c on.  (Now you can call us weenies).  "I didn't want to disturb those guys while they're power washing..."

Security stops by to ask if our outboard will stay on the rail.  "It's locked.  I can take it in but I'd rather not."  No, I just need to add it to my inventory.  We keep track.  WOW!

Keels sitting on blocks (Note the tubing rolled up in the tarp.  They wet vac up what they power wash off.  Interesting.)
Zoom in to see what those barnacles do to your bottom paint.  Yes, ours was shot, but you can see the dots where they were!

4 jack stands under the bridge deck.  2 under the bows and 2 under the sterns.

Hurricane straps

View off the bow (note the 10ft high fence with razor wire!)

View off our stern

The barnacles on the rudder I couldn't reach

Another catamaran advantage over our monohull friends.  We can climb up the swim ladder to get on the boat!

"Sorry, Odin Jr."  Now we know why the davit lines are so long!  We were able to lower it all the way to the ground while on the stands.

Dinghy with cover & tarp then secured to the jack stands ("kayakie")
Our contractor was already wet sanding the hull when we arrive the next morning at 7:30 am.  Main engines flushed, Sea-foam & corrosion X.  Dinghy lowered, bottom cleaned, treated with 303 protectant, covered with dinghy cover & tarp, secured to jack stands.  Kayak secured.  Kitchen strainer cleaned. Thru-hulls closed.  Clean sheets & towels stored in plastic with dryer sheets. Checked out of the marina side. "Whole interior" wiped down with 1:1 vinegar/water.  (PITA).  Trash off.  Bug spray.  A/c stowed.  Power & water disconnected.

We're done. We're walking away.  One dirty glass will go back to the RV as my "boat" souvenir. 

"No wild parties while we're gone, Odin. Por favor no mold, no pests, no hurricanes. Adios!"

Stats:  I don't keep a detailed budget like some other bloggers, but we keep track of the biggies.  Here's what this haul out and trip home cost.

6 days at the dock (can be shortened or cheaper marina):  $1.65x6 days = $59.40/day + 11.5% tax = $397.38 
Electric at the dock (air conditioner) $15
Haul out & blocking (includes splash in Nov) $475
Tarp for power wash (EPA) $110 (we only needed 1/2 that.  Gave remainder to Reuben as a tip)
Power wash & wet sand (Reuben) $621 (yard doesn't allow owners to sand)
Hurricane Straps $25/piece x $4 = $100
Sand off boot stripe & prime white stripe (one-time relocation of water line & boot stripe) $580

Rental car $35/day x 2 + $60 drop off San Juan Airport = $130
Hotel/AirBnB 2 nights at $89 + fees = $239

One-way airline to Miami $175 x 2 = $350

Forgive us retired folks for the BYOB happy hour when we come to visit!


  1. Wow. Detailed. How's the toe? Nurse Bonnie do the bandage? :o

  2. He's constantly banging into stuff and does his own bandaging when necessary (which is why I laughed about looking for band aids--we have thousands at the ready). My contribution is usually trying to bath him in antiseptic, which he hates. He actually just bumped the toe coming into the companionway but (THIS IS GROSS), the nail came off. It's starting to heal and he has lost most of the nail. Flip flops are not his best look right now...