Lynn In The Lazarette

Where do I begin? It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about life on LA VITA.

We’re alive and thriving. You probably guessed the ‘alive’ part because I’ve written this post. Thriving is subjective, but I’d say we are.

Over the past months we’ve tackled huge projects, both personal and boat-related. I’ve wanted to describe the details and share my fears and triumphs. But I couldn’t. Why? I set two priorities: improve my writing style and enhance our Website.

I dived into the world HTML code and got lost for several months. After all my fiddling, I hope our blog loads faster and the pages are easier to read.

I’ve been studying the art and craft of storytelling. The hardest lessons: tell one story, make if brief, and make it personal. Apparently, long technical posts are no longer in vogue. This post is my best effort.

Special thanks to our blog followers and my writer friends for your input, suggestions, and encouragement.

I am forever grateful to three special writers that stuck by me as I fought my way along the learning curve.

Marie, Peta, Lynn, Marie
(LCWG: La Cruz Writers’ Group Members)

My retreat is over! I’m back. I’m writing. I’m posting.

~~~~~ _/) ~~~~~ _/) ~~~~~

Lynn Looking Out of Lazarette

To discover what I learn in the lazarette, click
In November 2012 Rick and Chava (Torno Neptuno), collaborated to design and build a stainless steel arch that would be 6-feet high that spans the width of LA VITA, at the stern. It took a few weeks to complete and a fair amount of fortitude.

Rick (white shirt) and Chava (blue shirt) and
Torno Neptuno Team

Arch Ready for Installation

The arch design was multipurpose: support a wind generator and solar panel, and provide tie-off points for the canvas awning. It had to be strong enough to climb so Rick can finish the job by connecting the power cables.

Mounting the Wind Generator

Mounting the Solar Panel

When it was time for Rick to scale the frame, I held my breath as he stepped on the rungs and worked his way to the top of the arch.

Sitting high in the sky Rick connected the wind generator to heavy-duty power cables which carry the power generated by the wind to our battery charging system.

Rick Sitting High In Sky Wiring the Wind Generator 

Rick Wiring the Wind Generator

The cables run down inside the stainless steel tubing, through the hull, and connect to the charging system in the lazarette (large storage area below deck).

Charging System in Lazarette (Lynn’s toes!)

Lazarette Hatch

My contribution was to pull the cables through the hull and into the lazarette while Rick shoved the cables from above. Here’s what happened next.

Equipped with a camera and flashlight, I open the hatch and ease into the dark storage space below deck.

Lynn Looking Out of Lazarette

Lying on my back, I work my way under the steering cables and over the exhaust hose to the starboard side. I wiggle around some more. I can’t find the lead wire!

A lead wire is thinner and more flexible than the power cables. The lead wire is shoved long the route and into the hull with the cables attached. The idea is to pull the lead wire and the larger cables will follow.

Lynn In The Lazarette

I shout, “Where is the lead wire?”

Rick answers, “Where are you?”

I reply, “I’m not sure, I think I’m under the propane locker.”

Rick said, “You can’t be. The propane locker is too far aft. Take a picture so I can figure it out.”

I take pictures of what I see and pass the camera to Rick.

After examining the images, Rick said, “You’re under the upper muffler and I see a little problem.”

Now it makes sense. In the dark, the lead wire is blocked from my view by the muffler. We decide to ‘deal with the little problem later’ and go ahead with getting the cables into the lazarette.

With my feet braced against the hull, I reach above my head, and grab the lead wire.

From above, Rick pushes cables down the pipes. They moved a few inches. I’m encouraged. I force myself into a better position; ignoring the bruises forming on my back.

My hand is around the lead wire and I pull. I get a few more inches. I’m encouraged. I continue to yank with all my strength. The cables are stuck. They won’t budge.

I’m determined. I tell myself, “I can do this!” Blisters develop on my hands from my persistent pulling. My frustration intensifies. I’m cursing and crying at the same time. Rick remains calm while urging me to stop and come out of there.

I shout, “No, I can do this!”

In time, reality sinks in. I’m disappointed and angry with myself as climb back on deck. Rick goes for a long walk to collect his thoughts.

The ‘little problem’ was a hole in the upper muffler. This explains why recently, we smelled exhaust fumes in the cabin. During the arch installation their calculations were off by 1/2-inch. They accidentally drilled into the edge of fiberglass muffler when they screwed the backing plate to the hull.

Although, I failed to pull the cables, my photo may have saved ourselves from carbon monoxide poisoning. As they say, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

Rick calls Chava and explains our situation. Chava makes arrangements for a fiberglass expert to fix the small hole in the muffler and paid for the repair.

Hole in the Upper Muffler (in white box)

Hole in Fiberglass Muffler Repaired

The following day, a couple of Salvador’s men arrived. Pablo goes into the lazarette and within thirty minutes, the cables are pulled through the hull and coiled in the bottom of the lazarette. I’m dumbfounded. I ask, “What did you do? How did you pull them through?”

Pablo Entering the Lazarette

Inside the Lazarette

Pablo shrugs and shows me piece of dried rubbery stuff. A thick glob of sealant had oozed around the entry hole between the hull and the backing plate. When it dried, the opening was blocked. Chava cut away the excess sealant.

Backing Plate Bolted to the Hull

With the hole open, it was easy to pull the cables into the lazarette while his partner pushed the cables from outside. The exact same way Rick and I pushed and pulled.

The picture below shows the hole filled with dried sealant. The gray wire is the lead wire the red cable is one of two power cables that needed to be pulled into the lazarette.

Hole Clogged with Dried Sealant

Black and Red Power Cables Pulled Through the Hole

The next day, Rick climbed into the lazarette and connected the power cables to the charging system.

Our hard work paid off. Thanks to sun and wind power, we have plenty of D/C power to operate our cabin lights, refrigerator, VHF and SSB radios.

Wind and Solar Energy on LA VITA!

~~ _/) I learned there are times when I need to push beyond my limitations and grow. Other times I need to surrender. The trick is knowing which and when. ~~ _/)

So that’s one event in a nutshell. We’re still on LA VITA in Marina La Cruz. This fall we plan to cast off and go sailing. Our destination is still uncharted. Kinda like life.


~~~~~ _/) ~~~~~ _/) ~~~~~

To view the pictures in this post and more, click on the Photo tab (above) or click on the camera icon (below).

30 Responses to “Lynn In The Lazarette”

  1. Janet on October 28th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Lynn, loved this post and all the pictures really add to the story! Congrats to you for the effort on the boat and on the computer. Looking forward to reading more and viewing pics in the future.

  2. Lynn on November 8th, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Thanks you, Janet for being one the LCWG (La Cruz Writers’ Group) that helped me improve our site and my writing style. Looking forward to reading your next post.

  3. Jane on October 29th, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Haha. I was going to say “great fun” but mentally amended that through my fingers to “great adventure”, which again is in the eye of the adventurer. The blog looks good and is much easier to read. The slight tint of the background helps eliminate glare. Nice work, Lynn.

  4. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I’m so glad you like the new and improved look. It was quite an adventure. Learned a lot, stumbled many times, and took big risks. Thanks for being there for me.

  5. kevin and laura on October 30th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Love your story mom its very informative and funny about life in the lazzerete.
    You both have a great day. Our first jewelry show is this weekend Nov 1-2 in Reno.

  6. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 4:55 am

    CONGRATULATIONS on your huge success at your first jewelery show! You’ve worked hard and it is paying off for you and Laura. Glad you saw the humor in my lazarette adventure. It was a lot funnier when I wrote about it. Not so much at the time.

  7. Marie Nicole on November 2nd, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Cute! I love your ending “Our destination is still uncharted. Kinda like life.” Hopefully it won’t be another year before your next post?

    p.s. I just posted my 2nd one today, on account of prompts and challenges…

  8. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 4:57 am

    You were one our LCWG that worked the hardest to make me realize I had to make changes to our Website and my writing. I’m so very grateful. I promise to post before 12 months go by. Thanks!

  9. Bob & Janet on November 5th, 2013 at 8:03 am

    miss you guys, & love to hear of your experiences, makes us sometimes miss the sailing life. We have swallowed the anchor & living in Idaho with if you are ever up this far please stay & visit.

  10. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Thank you for the offer to visit. If we’re in the area, we will stop and say Hi!
    For those wondering, “swallowed the anchor” means a person sold their boat and moved on land. A huge decision and major lifestyle change.

  11. Rosie on November 5th, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Hi Lynn and Rick, great to hear from you, and sorry to hear of Rick’s continuing health issues. We’re well thanks, and at home in the UK. As for the squeezing into the lazarette- I’ve been there. Our sailboat at home (Solade) is 29ft and when Alan was painting her a few years ago he couldn’t get into the lockers and paint them so I had to do it- not pleasant at all especially since it was bilge paint I was using! Same thing with Serendipity including pulling wires through and painting in the difficult to reach areas, cupboards, fridges/freezer, even a wardrobe which I had to climb into 3 ft off the ground. We’re currently considering our next move with Serendipity. Looks like next year we will try to sail her to Greece from Spain. As you say, sailing plans are always flexible. So we will see what next year brings.
    Have a great Christmas. Rosie

  12. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:17 am

    I’m so glad you commented on your experience in small places. It’s really something to work on boat and the contorted positions we have to get into. Best of luck with Serendipity. She is a beautiful boat and someone will be very much to get her. I know these are not easy decisions.

  13. Meri on November 5th, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Hi Lynn and Rick –

    Really fun read and GREAT photos to accompany. So glad you are both well and hope to see you when we head south – not sure when we are leaving, though. Much love to you both!! Hotspur Crew

  14. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:19 am

    I can be a pest taking so many photos. Living on a boat is so different from living on land, I think the pics really help. We welcome you guys with open arms. Hope to see you soon!

  15. Karen Branson on November 5th, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Hi Lynn and Rick..great post…love your story and it’s informative. I plan on going to Guaymas to work on my boat this winter and I have a similar arch on my boat. I also need to run some new wires!..Lovely hearing from you and might see you somewhere in Mexico this winter. P.S. I am doing well, thank you.

  16. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:23 am

    I’m so glad you are planning to work on s/v PLUM NUTS. We so enjoyed spending time with you in Guaymas. I hope we can see you again and glad you are doing well. Keep up the good work.

  17. richard tripp on November 5th, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Hey Lynn, good to see an update! I actually saw the arch when I was there, really a nice job. Caesar & I will likely stay in La Paz this season unless the divorce gets finished, & we can maybe get away in Jan. If so we’ll pop by then if you are still there, really didn’t get enough time in La Cruz.

  18. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:27 am

    That’s right, you did see the arch. So much has happened since that visit (last year). Good luck with getting the divorce finalized. We sure look forward to seeing you and Caesar again.

  19. Lynn Appley on November 5th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Hi Lynn – Your efforts to improve your storytelling and writing has been time well spent. I enjoyed reading your story, though a painful one which many of us have suffered through, and the photos seamed with the story effortlessly.

    I’ll be down to see your boat project, and you again of course, this afternoon.

    And yes it is good to be back.

  20. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:30 am

    It is so much fun to see you again, here in Marina La Cruz. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to the Puerta Vallarta Writers’ Group (PVWG).

    Thank goodness you see an improvement in my writing. The change was difficult, but apparently, necessary! lol

  21. George & Renata on November 5th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Lynn and Rick – What a great story and pictures…we enjoyed a lot….it was like working with you on the project.We are ok…same house,same job,same cats clan ..all same.
    Well we don’t know when you will be back to Happy Thansgiving…we miss you ……

  22. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Great to hear from you. Glad all is going OK & you are working, healthy, and cats clan the same. Reassuring somethings don’t change. We wish you a very wonderful Thanksgiving.

  23. Joe & Fran on November 5th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    You guys never cease to amaze us with your adventures on La Vita, and you have not even left the dock yet. Can’t wait until you go sailing to read about your new adventures on the water. Glad to see you back on the blog. Real improvements in the speed, and we always thought your stories were very well written and interesting. Stay well.

  24. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Yes, I did a lot of research to figure out how to make the site and pictures load faster. I’m glad it’s working. Let me know if there are any problems. I’m working on some more posts about our adventures on LA VITA while chained and shackled to the dock. Love your comment!

  25. Patrisha on November 7th, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Lynn, Hi Rick!

    I agree with George and Renatta, your story was like working on teh project with you! I am glad it turned out well. Thank you for keeping me on your blog contact list, I enjoy hearing of your journies!

  26. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:43 am

    It’s good to know you enjoyed reading about my adventure in the lazarette. I often struggle between too much detail and what to leave out. As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words. There are more journeys in the pipeline!

  27. Dave Lewis on November 8th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for returning to your editorial responsibilities. I can so well remember those tasks, and reflecting now, realizing how much I really enjoyed them. I remember by seeing your photos things that would haunt me till I had every electoral lead properly tied off, hull and bilge surfaces painted, and metal fittings polished. Hang in there, you will achieve levels of satisfaction, but the resting is temporary, the sea will never stop testing your endurance.

  28. Lynn on November 9th, 2013 at 5:51 am

    The work is satisfying and we’ve taken huge risks to design features for the first time. I’m so proud of Rick for having the ability to engineer many complex improvements that work as intended! The success of these project depend on working with local trades people and support from folks like you. Thank you Dave for your support over the years. You hit the nail right on the head: ‘the sea will never stop testing your endurance.’

  29. Lea Ann on December 10th, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Great job on this post! Have enjoyed reading it and others. We have another house job to look forward to: termite control and prevention and etc. needed to qualify the house for a re-fi. What fun!
    Lea Ann

  30. Lynn on December 25th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Lea Ann,
    These darn little critters (termites and barnacles) sure demand a lot attention. Good luck with your termite challenge. Hopefully, buy now (Christmas), you are back in your beautiful home.
    Hugs and Cheers,
    Lynn & Rick

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