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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Apsaras is Home!

The email we were sent said that Apsaras would be the first to offload at 9am.  Hooray!  So we met for breakfast at 8am, figuring we would be on the road around 8:45 which would put us on the dock easy by 9:00.  As we sat at breakfast, Dave asked about where the dock is that we are meeting the launch.  Melissa pulled up the email and found the attached map.  And buried in the email a note about being at the launch by 30 prior to our assigned time.  Ooops.  Gonna have to eat and run.  Dave’s phone rings at 8:35 and we figured they were going to tell us we were late.  Nope – it was Canadian customs.  They asked us a few questions, and then “Welcome to Canada”.  Whoo hoo.  No need to stop by the customs dock!  This is good because we aren’t sure given her rudder issues we know we have limited maneuverability.  Here is what the rudder looked like when it was loaded aboard in Panama:

We got to the launch at 9:00.  They were just hanging waiting for us.  They seemed utterly unbothered.  After dawning our life jackets, they took us over to where the AAL Dalian was docked. 

The reason they have to bring us over in the launch is that we can’t climb down to Apsaras in the water from the ship side – we have to board her from the water.  When we get there she is already in the water and the crew is working on getting the crane rigged for the next ship.  I guess that is what we get for being late.  Oh well.  We hop aboard.  What was the code for the lock on the door again?  The lock is so corroded Melissa can’t turn the dials.  Dave can’t see the lock numbers without his glasses – so Melissa reads the numbers as Dave turns the dials.  We’re in!  Dave engages the batteries, grabs the key, and heads up on deck.  She starts right up!  The ship tosses down the lines, and we are off.

We call Nanaimo marina and asked for a slip assignment.  They gave us an end spot we could pull straight into.  Fortunately, it was utterly calm, so our lack of maneuverability and lack of power were no issue.  Dave put her on the dock nice and easy as you please.

And now the work begins.  Dave and Jim start hauling out all the gear that had been stored below.  They re-rig the kayaks on the sides, mount the BBQ, and put up the sails.  While putting up the sails, Dave discovers he has put the shackle for the mainsail somewhere so safe he can’t find it.  Without it he can’t rig the halyard to the main sail.  Off to the marine store Jim and Dave go.  They return and as soon as Dave starts to hook up the halyard, there is the missing part –on the mast two inches from the halyard right where he left it.  Ok, guess we have a spare now.  They put up the bimini, and fill the water tanks. 

Meanwhile, Melissa and Margaret tackle the interior.  First the kitchen, where they tossed all the spices which were hard and disgusting.  All the flour, sugar, and dry goods were also tossed as they had bugs in them.  One of the cupboards was totally infested.  Fortunately, somewhere along the way – probably when the ship reached cooler climate – all the bugs had died.  So it was just a question of cleaning everything.  Became quickly clear the only thing to do was take everything out of the cupboards and wash it and clean out the cabinets before putting anything back in.  Margaret began to wash everything.  Meanwhile, Melissa started on cleaning out all the other cabinets.  Time to toss a ton of stuff.  Rules were simple, if it left Seattle with us and had never been used, out it went.  If it was only useful in Central America, out it went.  Lucky for us the marina has some huge dumpsters.

Before you know it, it was time for lunch.  We headed to the Mexican restaurant.  Melissa usually has good luck eating in Mexican restaurants even with all her food allergies because she can just ask them to dump the insides of a burrito into a bowl rather than in a tortilla.  Alas, this particular restaurant wouldn’t do that.  The only thing on the menu they were willing to serve her was a salmon dish smothered in avocado cream sauce.  Sigh.

With the decks in order, it was time for Dave to tackle scraping the bottom in hopes of getting our maneuverability and power back.  He and Jim head to the dive shop to get dive gear.  Dave suits up with Jim’s help.  In he goes.  Only to discover he doesn’t have enough weight on to be able to submerge.  Fortunately, we had a bunch of spare zincs aboard that he could stuff in his pockets.  Down he goes, only to have his main weight belt slide off his waste and down to his ankles.  He caught it before it dropped to the bottom with his fins.  He surfaces and Jim manages to grab the belt before it went under.  This would have been a problem since Dave wouldn’t have been able to retrieve the weights without a trip back to the dive shop for another weight belt.  Dave managed to scrape the rudder, and found that the prop was also totally covered with growth which explains the lack of power.  He scrapes the prop and about a third of the bottom before he runs out of air.

Margaret washes dishes, and washes, and washes.  Melissa finishes cleaning out all the cupboards and wiping down all the teak, windows, and everything else that was covered with mildew.  She then goes after scrubbing all the heads and showers.  In between Melissa and Margaret go up and down the ramp to the laundry washing all the bedding and towels to get everything nice and fresh.  Melissa tests the printer but it has died and can’t be brought back to life.  No big deal as up here we won’t need one anyway.  The TV did survive despite having been under a leak that started up during the rainy season in Panama.  The Blu-Ray player was not so lucky.  It was covered in corrosion.

By 6pm all the chores had been completed.  Apsaras is now free of the boat mildew smell, and there are even empty cupboards and drawers because so much stuff has gotten cleaned out.  Time to head out for dinner!  We drove down to the end of the bay and found a nice restaurant overlooking the marina.  Dave decided he had earned a big burger.

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