1 March 08 – Week 4
Less than 2 weeks to go to our target date and there seems to be more jobs on the list than there were 2 weeks ago.
The engine work has still not been completed. The oil cooler has arrived but we are still waiting for the new exhaust part to me manufactured. Hopefully it will be ready by early next week. By the time Alfredo comes back to finish the engine work he will find a much cleaner and brighter engine space. J-G has spent a few evenings cleaning the space and touching up the engine. He will also see the new hot water heater that arrived on Friday. It will replace the original G&M Aquaheat heater that has not been working for a few years.
The mainmast was removed on Friday to repair the crack at its base. Rocco the rigger assures me that it should be finished by Tuesday. In the meantime I have replaced the incandescent masthead lights with LED lights. We won’t be among the many boats that run without lights at night to save battery power.
The refrigeration tech paid us a visit and sorted out a minor glitch. We now have refrigeration and Fran was finally able to empty the stand-by ice chest. Now we have to decide on moving the refer unit as it takes up too much valuable storage room under the sink and is in an overly humid location. The refer tech did suggest that I spray the entire unit, except the cooling fins, with Boeshield T-9. Developed by the Boeing company to coat the entire inner surfaces of wings before final assembly. The resultant film protects against all corrosion. It can also be sprayed on electrical and electronic assemblies.
For the past few days we had a nagging problem with the water pressure circuit that developed quite suddenly. J-G traced it to a short but all it cost us was wasted time – something we can’t afford too much of. Another battle won was an irritating leak in the shower mixing valves that would cause the water pump to come on every 10-15 minutes as the pressure leaked out.. After replacing all 3 sets of the o-rings in each unit we can finally put that concern behind us.
We have met Phillip Cooper, a young British sailor who, after years of skippering boats in the Med and UK he has decided to accept a position with a British university to head up their Maritime training division’s sailing program. He was sent to the US to buy a suitable boat and has found a real gem in a Swan 44. He is just completing the preparations to ship her to the UK via land to Ft Lauderdale and then ship transport to Southhampton. We were invited over for a sundown party on Tuesday where we met a few of the local characters, including one of the RN exchange officers. Phillip also introduced us to the local yachties’ bar, Fiddler’s Green, a locale where the elite of the sailing world hang out. On the evening we went J-G met Doug Peterson, the designer of Antares. Dennis Conner is another usual here but was away racing in Mexico.
On Wednesday we drove to Ensenidas (Newport Beach) to Minny’s a used boating superstore much like the Boater’s Exchange in Sidney but much better organized and laid out. Fran had to warn the boys not to get out before the car stopped moving. We found lots of treasures there including a 35lb Danforth anchor and many smaller needed items. On the way back we picked up a 5 HP Nissan outboard motor that we had found advertised in the local boating news. Earlier in the week we purchased a second hand Achilles inflatable dinghy.
Dove, our son Mike’s partner had a layover on Wednesday night with us on her way to meet Mike in Cabo San Lucas. It was a short but enjoyable visit, Fran benefiting the most from Dove’s professional attributes with a neck massage before bedtime. Dove’s parting words were wishes that our problems would dissipate. Within 3 hours we had refrigeration, water pressure and news from the life raft inspection facility that our 27 year-old liferaft was in excellent shape!
We have also discovered that the rules on Mexican fishing licenses have changed. It is no longer necessary to have a license for the boat, dinghy, life raft and each member of the crew. As of January only the crew needs to be licensed.
Fran has begun the inventory that we will need to present to the Mexican authorities on making our clearing in procedure. Downwind marine makes the process much easier by providing a disk with most of the required forms and a full description of the process.
More news next week.