Today was the last day of Doug and Marcy's Mexican cruising adventure. In 2006 I had the pleasure of crewing aboard Charm on the first leg to San Francisco, and again today, when we loaded her on the Dockwise boat Servant 3. It will take Charm from La Paz to Nanaimo, British Columbia, arriving in about two weeks.
Dockwise boats are designed to flood the aft section of the boat, creating a small bay. All that one has to do is drive in and tie up. Divers place cradle supports under the boats, the back door is closed and the bay is pumped dry. Sounds easy but anytime you are maneuvering close to other boats there is a bit of anxiety. Thankfully there were no winds or swell.
BIG BOYS FIRST
THOR GOES IN
STARBOARD TIE TO THOR
Once we got close to Thor the Dockwise crew took over, securing us in place. All of the deckhands were Ukrainian. The loadmaster was American. His assistant was Spanish and the divers were Mexican.
|ONE LAST WISTFUL LOOK|
Sending your boat home like this is expensive, but makes a lot of sense, as the voyage back up the coast is against the prevailing wind and waves and current. The waters off the northern California, Oregon and Washington coasts are notoriously challenging. Many circumnavigators experience the worst conditions of the whole trip around the world here. Dockwise is much easier on the crew and the boat.