Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Refit for 2009-2010 season

Marina Singlar, Guaymas, MX, Sun, 29 Nov, 09
Day 5 of our refit period. It seems only weeks ago I was writing the same words in the marina Seca across the bay. It has been a very busy few days since our arrival on Wednesday. We have been trying to get some sense of order in Gosling but we don’t seem to have achieved much. We are working around our painter Francisco’s schedule and has been doing the prep work for the upper-deck paint job. Not being able to get some of the gear that we stowed below up on deck and out of the way adds to the sense of frustration but we have seen some of Francisco’s work in the yard and the wait will be worth it.
The last entry had us in Albany, Oregon, being chased down the coast by winter storms. We left Albany in bright sunshine and had a good drive to Sacramento. The news that night predicted that more storms were on the way and that the mountain passes in Oregon had received a 2-1/2 ft snowfall. We don’t know if that included any of the high passes along our route but we were glad to have avoided any of the winter weather. We left Sacramento the following morning to more threats of wind and rain and managed to get into Palm Springs unscathed except for frazzled nerves from driving in LA traffic for a few hours.
In Palm Springs we enjoyed the warm hospitality of very good friends who have welcomed us each time we passed through. We were able to relax, recharge batteries and load up on 2-Buck Chuck. How we were able to fit another 4 boxes in the van I have no idea but Rosie must have noticed her seat was getting smaller and smaller with each stop. We left on the Monday morning, intending on reaching Tucson that night and meet up with Gil and Lexi Ballatore (SV Sunday) who were there for a few days of shopping. On our way through Phoenix we bought the stainless tubing we will need for the railing aft where we plan on mounting the new solar panels. More weight on the car! This is where we noticed that the roof rack brackets had broken but everything up there was double tied and still secure.
We had a good evening with Gil and Lexi catching up on all the latest news and gossip. Before departing the next morning we had to make one last shopping stop at Walmart to get a turkey for the US Thanksgiving. We had received an e-mail while in Palm Springs inviting us to Thanksgiving dinner with Doug and Trish (Ka-Em-Te), Gil and Lexi and Bill and Janet (Optical Illusion) and asking us to bring the turkey. We’ll do anything for that kind of party!
Our next and biggest concern was whether we would make it through the border without a thorough search being made. A tidal wave of relief washed over us when we got the green light and were waved through. Welcome to Mexico! We arrived in San Carlos before nightfall and bunked in with Bill and Janet who were in a condo for the week while their boat was on the hard getting some last minute repairs, how convenient was that! We were also able to deliver the turkey where it would be consumed a few days later. Rosie got to play and make nice with their new kitten Amber.
The following morning we drove the last few miles to Guaymas and Gosling. There was evidence everywhere that Singlar has been a very busy location this season. We would like to think that we had contributed to that fact with all the recommendations we passed on at the end of the season.
Opening a boat after a six month absence is always done with a degree of anticipation. We had been assured that Gosling was dry after the hurricane but we found our bilges full with filthy water with a thick scum. That took the better part of the morning to clean up. So far we haven’t noticed any associated problems. Fran was also busy for the better part of the afternoon cleaning out cupboards where some of the water had seeped in. She also had to deal with mini-bugs that had permeated storage jars containing flour and a few spice jars. So far there has been no evidence of cucarachas that others have experienced this year. Maybe Fran’s Bay leaves have had their desired effect.
Plans for the benefit for Doug are in high gear. Several events have been organised to raise money for his chemo treatments and already donations have started coming in. There is even a website called www.payforward where donations can be made under “Friends of Doug”. Doug is actually looking quite well and is looking forward to restarting his treatments this week. Last year when he started them it was almost too late. We are hoping to get a big response from the local cruising community. An article on the benefit drive is being submitted to Latitude 36 for the next issue.
This weekend has been a very “LOUD” one where we are. For the past 2 nights it has been very hard to sleep. There have been 3 venues close by vying with each other to see who can be loudest. They must rest on Sundays because there is only the nightclub at the marina making noise tonight and the karaoke they are playing is God-awful!!
It now appears that the prep work on the boat will be completed by Thursday and painting will be done on the following 4 days so we will be occupying the condo (same one that Jan and Bill had) for the weekend. This will be handy as we will be attending the Christmas Bazaar and the benefit events for Doug that weekend in San Carlos and we’ll be spared the daily drive back and forth. This is where Fran will have her head shaved at high noon on the completion of the days raffle which will determine who will wield the clippers..
More next week. Adios.

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