It’s been a whirlwind since we’ve arrived. We have so much to do and so little time, because the minute my mom and our friend AJ leave in the next ten days, any productive work on our boat will come to a screeching halt (seriously, I cannot thank these two enough. Worth their weights in gold right now, gold I tell you!) Three small children require a lot of attention, particularly if two of them are 100% dependent on an adult for everything from feeding to moving, and even more so if the almost three year old has entered a rather…how should we say? Challenging stage.
It’s all hands on deck over here and while we are very happy to be back in the islands, it’s certainly not relaxing and time is seriously of the essence. But enough of that – things are getting done! Because a) we were so meticulous about putting our boat away and b) we had a company keeping an eye on her every few weeks ($150 per month) we returned to a boat more or less in the same condition we left her. This made life much, much easier. Our varnish, of course, has gone to hell after a year in the sun – but after being quoted a cool $3,000 to re-do it all and we quickly made the decision to simply let it peel and flake like a puff pastry until it goes gray. We won’t be the prettiest girl in the anchorage, but we won’t be the ugliest either. That said, splashing your boat for the first time after being on the hard for so long is always a bit of a nail biter.
“Make sure to check all the hoses before she goes in,” the yard manager cautioned us, “if any rats got on, they might have chewed through some – they like hoses.”
Boats are one of the few things that actually become worse for wear when not used, and it’s often after a long time out of commission when an issue will rear it’s ugly head. So after checking our cutlass bearing (it was fine), and replacing every zinc (they were not)…after re-packing the stuffing box, and attempting to replace our generator’s heat exchanger (we were sent the wrong model -it’s okay, it was more preventative)…after loading up the sails, running the rigging and polishing the heck out of our stainless…our the boat was more or less ready to splash. I am happy to report she floats! Asante is now back in her element and we are one step closer to moving aboard.
There is still so much work to be done, but having our boat back in the water was obviously a biggie on the checklist. So there’s that… Totally unrelated, but I also have to give a little shout out and big, huge virtual hug to our blog follower Tracy. When we landed in San Juan after our insane travel day, we discovered, sadly, that Scott had left our GoPro Camera in the seat back on our flight. Talking to the ground crew in San Juan was proving futile, when I suddenly remembered that we had a follower who told me she worked for American Airlines. I reached out to her on Facebook and told her of our predicament.
What ensued was pretty incredible and shows the power of social media combined with awesome, loyal followers. After my message, she simply replied that she was “on it” and got to work trying to contact the flight. Ten minutes later – while the flight was in the air en-route back to Chicago – this was the message I received: “Sooo, as it turns out, my instructor in training is the purser (flight attendant in charge) on this very flight. He is very thorough. If he gets my message before he gets off the plane, he will make sure he finds your Go-Pro! In addition, as I was checking the crew, a pilot decided he wanted to help out. He contacted the flight deck (pilots) on the flight by sending a message via their communication system. They are probably checking row 10D now! I will keep you posted.” And then, this message, a day later:
I am very diligent about finishing what I start, especially when it comes to my “personal projects” as in everything that is not husband or children related. Now that I am done rambling, I wanted to tell you although your GoPro was never found (sorry), I was overly impressed by the graciousness of both the pilot who contacted ATC directly and the crew of the return flight to ORD. In fact, the ATC contacted the working pilot mid-flight requesting a search of the seat back pockets.
Once the crew landed, the flight attendant sent me this message, “We just landed in ORD. We got a message in Flt from dispatch & checked 10D. There was nothing there. Our plane came in from ORD to SJU When we got on the plane in SJU the cleaners were on already. There was a sweet old couple in those seats from SJU-ORD.” I am sad that I do not have better news for you. I wish I could have helped find the camera. I know it would have come in handy. Okay, so we never found our GoPro (major bummer – hope the thief enjoys all the baby movies on it!) we are so incredibly grateful for Tracy and American Airlines for all their efforts on our behalf. What a small, awesome world.
This right here is why I love blogging. (Okay, that and I have an insatiable need to write.) Okay, life is pretty hectic now, and I will try to keep posting when I can. In the meantime, it’s much easier for me to update via our Facebook Page, so you will find more regular postings there. Thanks to everyone for all your support, well-wishes and love. We’re soaking it up over here like the vitamin D we’ve been missing for so long. Click here to read more from the Windtraveler blog.