Aug 13, 2016

We Interrupt This Program...

Cemeteries are full of indispensable people

Katherine Pancol

By SV Imagine - follow the link here
It went somewhat like this - - - - - - - - - -

Our last day in Bay of LA, we felt the need to buy a few more fruits, mostly bananas to make muffins with, before heading out to remote anchorages for the last part of our third season in the Sea of Cortez.
While in town, a last email check before disconnecting for the remaining 3 weeks when reaching civilization again.
Hadn’t really planned on going to town – thought of  just leaving after breakfast but something was whispering, please go just one last time…
An email from one of our property managers came in with a picture that needed no words:
A burned down double car garage
A burned down utility room
A burned down classic car…
We had to cut our season short and head up to the nearest marina as soon as possible to leave Déjàlà safe while handling this mess in Arizona.
It all began from a lint fire from the dryer. 
No one hurt but there is no power to the house until all inspections are completed.  It is 120°F there at this time of the year.  The tenants are living with families until we can get the power back on but the power company is overloaded with work from two powerful storms that ravaged the area.  It may be 2-3 weeks.
While surveying the damage we noticed our storage shed was burglarized and 40 years of construction tools and other items stolen.  Even though significant, the material loss is actually nothing; it’s the feeling of invasion and distrust that hurt.
There was no power.
No power meant no one staying at the property.
No power meant no security system on line.
The firefighters had to cut holes in the storage shed to make sure the fire didn’t spread in there…   The door was partially burnt. 
What an opportunity for thieves…
Had to involve the Sheriff’s Department.  Depositions, finger prints taken off broken safe, list of stolen items and their respective values.  Three days spent recollecting what is missing and listing it all for the insurance company and the sheriffs.  Next comes the list of damaged / burned items.
It has been two weeks and the insurance still hasn’t provided the OK to clean up and to get power back on even though we are ready on our end…  We feel really bad for the tenants who have lost items in the fire as well.  Rent income is insured so we lose nothing whether they are renting or not but we feel for them.
We cleaned up anyway ($5K). 
We are going ahead with reconnecting the power ($5K). 
What about people who do not have the money to reconnect power? Clean up?  Get contractors involved?
We had to hurry back up the Sea (we were about 150 miles away from where we could leave the boat) something we normally don’t do and therefore had to deal with pretty extreme conditions. 
Geary, our weather guru, stated that in 30 years of paying attention to weather, this was the biggest storm cell he had ever seen developed in Mexico.  It expanded from Guatemala to Arizona.  We sailed in the middle of it.  Thunder, lightening, rain, 8-10 foot waves but thankfully following sea, etc…  We made it in 35 hours but were quite exhausted.
The boat is now out of the water.  We are still waiting on the insurance company to cooperate, somehow.  That is even harder than dealing with the loss.  They keep trying to low-ball you on all your losses.  Ignoring you is part of the game, to see if you are desperate for money because if you are they will give you the least amount possible.  If you have enough money to weather through it you may be able to get a fairer share of the value of the loss.
Meanwhile we are still preparing to visit Australia on August 23rd, although with a slightly different frame of mind.  We can’t give the insurance a list of all damaged items until we return.  It is too hot to work in the storage shed in this weather with no electricity for either light or fans.

But –
To make things even more interesting - - -
While heading north the other day, we were greeted at the US Border by an agent who was putting on surgical gloves on while asking if we wouldn’t mind if he planted drugs in our car to see if their drug sniffing dog could find it.
Wow – what could possibly go wrong with that?  We barely had time to think about it and only a short moment to say a feeble OK but please note we have a dog on board.  She may influence your dog’s behavior.
They plant the drugs.  Another agent comes around the car with a drug sniffing dog.  It finds the loot and is given kudos and treats.  They take the drugs away.  We keep heading north much relieved that this is over.
We have crossed that border hundreds of time and this was a first! 
Our minds still try to think of the ‘what ifs’ that could’ve accompanied that scenario.  Just glad it went well.  They said it was part of keeping the dogs interested.  If they never find drugs, they don’t perform as well.  They have to ‘win’ once in a while…
Things are always interesting….
Nikki made it in SV Espiritu's blog

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