Sula was hauled out of the dry storage yard where she had spend a sweltering year in the dusty desert wind and into the maintanence area where I would try to get her back into sailing trim in 6 days. It was mostly a success. It was a funny life, living on a hauled-out boat, backed up against beautiful desert mountains, with equally incongruous neighbors on each side. The days were long and busy. Pure work, only a few lists of priorities. I would only stop to eat for a few minutes a day and then launch back into another task. Sitting isn't super good for boats, even if it is very dry. They like to be worked on constantly! But she survived pretty well. Things are back into sailing form, some things have improved, a few things might be worse off. Next time I haulout I'm not going to be in such a hurry, and I won't leave so much delicate things onboard. Plastic dies in the heat, and becomes brittle. My dodger might permanantly look like it survived a long campaign with the Afrika Corps. One of my neighbors in the yard is a nice old desert rat from New Mex, and he is a 1/3 owner of a 'ugly duckling' mid 1970's deathtrap fibreglass sailboat. He's divorced and after a 6-pack in the afternoon, after we chat about Peak Oil, Bush, and doomer causes in general, his lonliness will shine through. I've met a few of these gentlemen in my time. Independant, older, single sailing men, who have the whole ocean to roam, but would really rather just have someone to chat with. For whatever reason, there's no woman in their lives, and one has the distinct impression that they are the worse for it. Marriage might have a downside or two, but once you reach a certain age, what are you going to do with all that freedom if you don't have anyone to chat with? After my chats with my neighbor, it made me think of and appreciate even more, the person who will fly and drive thousands of miles on Friday to make her way down to San Carlos to sail with me for a while. She is Sara, from Toronto, and I am a very lucky sailor to have her join me for a little adventure.