Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Home again

We are now home again in Victoria for the Summer. Our intention is to return to Guaymas by mid-November and start the next season's adventures.
The bus ride was long (10hrs) but comfortable in one of Tufesa's gold star buses. We arrived at the border at 8AM and were asked to disembark and have our bags scanned. After a quick passport check we were back aboard, the easiest border crossing into the US we have done in years.
We arrived in Phoenix an hour later and took a taxi to our hotel, the Ramada close to the airport. We crashed for a few hours and then went to a huge mall, the Arizona Mills, where we spent an aimless afternoon buying things we didn't need(Fran might argue that point).
We arrived at the airport shortly after 0500 and flew out by 0615 arriving in Victoria, via Seattle, at 1030.
It was nice to come home but our hearts are still in Mexico where it is definitely warmer.
This is our last entry until we prepare for our next trip, a road trip this time, to Guaymas to rejoin Gosling.
Thanks to all who took the time to read about our adventures. We hope it has been entertaining and that you will follow us again in the future.
Cheers, Jean-Guy and Fran

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gosling's on the hard in Guaymas

Saturday, 3 May, 2008

We have finished putting Gosling to bed for the season. It has been a long day completing the final chores and we are in hotel room tonight in preparation for our long bus ride tomorrow night.

We stayed in the anchorage in San Carlos for a few more days before heading for Guaymas. Our final ocean voyage was in no wind and calm conditions. We accompanied Temeris, a trimaran, with Steve and Sherry aboard (California) to the Singlar Marina where we both began preparations for our respective haulouts at the Marina Seca across the harbour.
This marina is another new government run facility similar to the other Singlar marinas at Puerto Escondido and Santa Rosalia. When we arrived there was only one other vessel there, a diving tender being refitted by its owner. Apparently the marina has been open since December but we were only the 13th and 14th vessels to check in. It appears to be very well run by two managers, one being Carlos, an English-speaking and very pleasant young man. The facilities were all available to us; even the upper pool was open, however, the concrete haul out yard was vacant and the travel lift has yet to haul out its first vessel. The management is aware of the limitations they face. Their government dictated rates are higher than the other local facilities. They face stiff competition from Marina San Carlos and Marina Real where the cruisers are content and well served. The most serious limitation is depth alongside. The end berth is the only one that can handle most keel boats. As it was, we only had a few feet below the keel at low tide. Another limitation is their lack of advertising. We knew that the services at the haulout yard would be very limited so this was the ideal location for making our preparations prior to hauling out. With the dock entirely at our disposal we were able to washdown, remove and stow all our sails, unrig and wash all of our lines, and take advantage of laundry and showers. There was even a coffee shop that was doing a thriving business for the locals. It will be interesting to see how this marina will fare with the massive waterfront marina development project planned for Guyamas harbour. They are well underway to cover the entire downtown harbour front with slips.
Temeris was due to be hauled out the day after we arrived so we accompanied them for the trip to familiarize ourselves with the channel and the facilities at the other end. It was an interesting trip watching the depthsounder hover between 4 and 6 ft. When we arrived at the yard it was close to low tide so we were able to see the hazards for ourselves. We also had a chance to speak to some other folks who were already there about their experiences. We had towed our dinghy over so after scouting out the place we motored back across the bay to progress our preps.
One of the chores on our list was to remove the computer for the Simrad system and bring it home to get it repaired. We had been told by the tech in San Diego that the depthsounder signal was arriving at the computer but was not being processed. As J-G started disassembly he noticed that the depthsounder input leads were reversed. Once reconnected the system operated perfectly for the first time. How convenient to have a dual depthsounder capability just before undertaking the shallowest channel we have ever negotiated!
We delayed our departure until late afternoon Friday to take advantage of the high tide and made the crossing without incident. We arrived with a 20 kt wind on the beam forcing us to crab into the haulout crib. As we approached we felt that heart-rending shudder as we carved a new channel through the mud, however, it was only a momentary pucker and we entered the dredged basin.
We tied up at the crib and waited until Gabriel, the manager, arrived to assess our rig for his travel lift. It was necessary to disconnect our headstay/furler and once done we were ready to go. The haulout was another pucker factor event when Gosling was slowly raised by what appeared to be an under-powered lift but everything went well for the 300-yard trek to our lay-up position where we were safely trussed up with supports (manufactured on-site).
Mike and Kirsten from, Kia Kaha, our neighbour boat made us welcome and, Steve and Sherrie came over with a bottle of champers to help us celebrate the end of our first cruise. We spent a very restless night getting used to a motionless bed and swatting mosquitoes that seemed to multiply all night
Today we completed everything we needed to do by late afternoon. By 1700 the last item was done, wrapping the cockpit dodger and liferaft with a new tarp we had purchased in Cabo. We don’t expect it to last till November but to extend it’s life we crisscrossed it with frapping lines to reduce any motion in high winds.
To get to our hotel was another feat, Fran left the yard in search of a taxi, ran across to some people getting into their car and asked if they could call her a taxi, (all in Spanglish). They said no but they could drive her to where she could find one. With a wave to JG out the car window she was off again, only to return 5 minutes later with a taxi.
So here we are downtown in a new hotel, $50 a night with HOT water, No mosquitoes, TV and A/C; back to the real world…..
Last chapter after we get home.