Back TO the Boat - Season Two
After almost five months of being away from Agape it was good to be finally going home! Rachel and I would divide and conquer for a few days. I'd fly down to the boat to begin getting her ready for this next season, while Rachel flew to Canada for work for a few days to pay for all the things I brought down for Agape. I find that boats are like wives, if you have been gone awhile and they feel like they've been ignored, bring them something shiny!!! For Agape, I was bringing back a peace-offering of two huge boxes filled to the 50lb limit with shiny boat parts!
It was a long couple of days of traveling, including 24 hours in airports and 20 hours on a bus from Mexico City to Tapachula, but I finally made it! After an earthquake, a small tsunami and months left to herself, I was not sure what state I'd find Agape in. As I walked down the companion way I was pleased to find that she had done just fine, with the exception of some scratches on the bow from riding up on the dock during the tsunami surges, a snapped dock line and a broken chock. Other than that, Agape was just as we had left her.
We'd left the air conditioner in the companion way and set to eco mode at 26 degrees celsius, mostly being run as a dehumidifier to keep Agape's interior from getting too hot and moldy. I spent the next couple of days getting the boat back into cruising mode before Rachel arrived. It was mostly lots of little jobs like cleaning the water tanks (before filling), putting the sails back up and going locker by locker checking for mold, leaks, or any food items that had spoiled. I was very excited to not find any traces of leaks, which is always a big concern for boats with teak decks, but Agape has always been a dry boat even in the constant, tropical downpours.
We were also lucky that I'd only found a tiny bit of mold in the deep dark storage of our aft cabin where we'd probably put too much stuff. Other boaters we'd spoken with had returned to their boat's interior completely over grown with mold and mildew, including their clothes and cushions. The tropical heat and humidity in Chiapas is no joke!
Marina Chiapas is about an hour outside the of town Tapachula and there is not a lot to do close by. The surf at Playa Linda, the closest beach, is not very good and it is usually so hot that you really don't want to go and sit in the sun at the beach anyway. This leaves boaters here with few options.
- Work on your boat (this is always in high demand but not high on the list of "want to do's").
- Walk around and distract other boaters when they have chosen option 1 (my favorite).
- Go to one of the small restaurant/beach bars on Playa Linda to enjoy the cheap food, cold drinks and refreshing swimming pools.
As much as I liked the idea of hanging out at the pool until Rachel got down, I just didn't feel good about sitting around while she was working. I did a lot of small jobs but mostly tried to get Agape to look as good as she could so when Rachel arrived three days later she could relax a bit.
As I went over the boat and inspected/re-cleaned all the lockers and equipment, I felt better and better about working so hard to decommission her. Some of our friends had returned to their boats only to find food that had gone rancid and even exploded out of it containers, lockers covered in mold, lines and sails mildewy and even hornets nests growing on them, along with a whole host of other problems.
A week or so later our friend Nicola, who we had met while crewing on Juniper, arrived at the marina! We were both so stoked to see her again! Not only is Nicola a great crew member and friend, but she is an amazing human being. She has this infectious joy and personality, and within minutes of meeting her she will have you laughing and feeling right at home. I really couldn't think of a better way to kick off our second season than to have Nicola on board.
After 13 days back on the boat we were ready to go and begin our second season cruising! We'd be setting off alone for the next few weeks while the other boats in Chiapas were still preparing for the season or they were heading sailing back up north. We were excited to get moving especially after almost 6 months of not sailing Agape! We said adios to all of our Chiapas friends and marina workers and officially begun our second season of cruising Central America!