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Notes from the Farm #2 (#yardlife)

Life in the yard means I get to enjoy other folks' dogs. It would seem to be a small thing, but critter comfort and companionship is missing for me :: I won't insist on taking a cat or dog overseas, there are too many complications that go with that, but my heart strings are tugged over and over again. We have a precious pup that is our daughter's now, so I get regular photo updates ... still, it makes me miss them more! And the halo effect of rescuing a kitten or a street dog from Puerto Penasco is part of the tug I'm sure. So I indulge with dogs or kittens I know nearby and actively avoid gates open or gaps in fences along the road that may allow charging chihuahuas to draw blood. Bitten once, it's on the wee chit. Bitten twice, it's on me.

Life in the yard means I get to enjoy the progress of other folks' projects even if our's get a hitch in the giddiup. It's really something to walk among dozens of boats in various states of repair. Crusiers come on to the hard for service intervals of various systems, to make a needed repair, or to make a desired improvement to their home-at-sea. Bottom paint is a biggie for most and necessary for all. We have surprised many by choosing to tackle full top deck repaint plus non-skid and cap rails. A couple of boats in the yard will be stopping their tasks at hand to watch and learn as we apply the Kiwi Grip non-skid. Everyone knows it's better to learn on someone else's time and deck. Overall, Cabrales is very much a do-it-yourself boatyard. This makes it a fantastic resource of combined knowledge. The combined years of blue-water sailing experience here blows me away -- I would love to know that calculation. And cruisers are so generous with their time and knowledge to assist. [I also know that's similar in many sub-cultures around lifestyle choices :: Shout out to scooterists and climbers!] As each crew works on their own boat, there is shared commiseration, sharing of expertise and shared victory cheers. One long-term 'yarder' makes a point to coordinate the Friday night non-fire (in the summer) and bon-fire (in the cooler months). This camaraderie goes a long way to keeping folks motivated and on task.

Life in the yard also means I get to go home. We have chosen to haul out this far north in the Sea of Cortez knowing that it is the final re-fit, up-grade, out-fitting haul-out before our Pacific ocean passage. So we wanted to be close to the border for quick and easy (read constant) access to family and friends. As we make our way through the project Trello board, transcribed to literal post-it notes on the fridge for me, and tick off the projects {DONE} my heart vacillates between pride of accomplishment and dread of finality. We are working aggressively toward our own launch off shore to very distant lands. It is a comfort to have conversations in the yard with cruisers who have gone before; some circumnavigated and others crossed oceans more than once. Others have built their own boats once (or twice). We always get a charge from stories of these wonderful daring adventurers. But my heart, when it quiets, wonders how long it took them to reconcile the quickening of carpe diem with the solace of "home sweet home". Maybe that tension never recedes and it becomes the force that brings you back to port.

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