Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pre-launch refit: week one

Guaymas, 28 Nov 2010
It has been a week already since we arrived. Progress is slow but we can look back and see that some of the items on the to-do list have been accomplished but the list is long, there is much left to do and we are procrastinators.....
The trip from Tucson was much better than we had anticipated. Once again we breezed through the border crossing and visa stop and with, 2 green lights we were on our way without any real delay. We arrived in San Carlos by 1700, dropped off the turkey at the condo where Thanksgiving dinner was going to be held and proceeded to Guaymas. We arrived at the Singlar yard in the last of daylight and saw the “re-born Gosling”. She is absolutely beautiful with her new (original) colours. Yesterday we completed the transformation in putting up the name and home port decals. Now she isn’t just “the white boat over there”. Thanks again to Dave Deeks for the recommendations for the “gold-ish” Gosling “S”. It sure makes the name stand out. Several other boats have been painted in the yard after their owners saw the job that Francisco did on Gosling. He has been smiling a lot since we arrived back, particularly after we paid him.
The morning after we got in we went for a walk looking for a breakfast and Fran tripped over a protruding piece of rebar and scraped her knee and elbow and sprained her wrist. X-rays confirmed nothing broken. We are happy to report that after a week she is much better and golf is still on the schedule of events this season. Then, this afternoon while she was prepping woodwork for varnishing she stumbled and fell back into the cockpit. She earned 5 stitches to her ear this time, not to mention a loss of dignity. They say crap comes in 3’s. She is staying in her jammies all day next Sunday...
Quite a few friends are already here getting their boats ready. Sea Turtle (Jordan/Judy), Rio Nimpkish (Tom/Shirley), Manasea (Phil), Relax (Bob/Gisele), Full Quiver (Steve/Pam), Faith (Chris/Sandy), Wind s of Change(Uwe/Elke) and Naida (John/Barb) are all here and are at various stages of preparation. Thanksgiving was a blast with Doug and Trish spearheading the preparations and everyone (11 of us) contributing to the event at the condo. The guests renting the condo were so gracious to agree to play hosts to a bunch of reprobate cruisers but down deep they are cruiser wannabees so all was kosher.
Some of the more critical tasks have been done. The Sirius radio has been installed; OK, not critical but desirable. It took 2-3 days just to unload the car and organise the contents aboard. J-G spent the better part of a day re-installing a radio and weather-fax and re-organizing the wiring behind the radio/GPS panel and getting it set up for easier access. The Inverter has been re-installed but not yet wired in so we are relying on extension cords and the solar panels for power. The aft cabin ceiling panels are a tight fit but will look super when all up. We have decided that the wind vane will not break again this year so we are looking at getting it welded. Hopefully Herdandez will be able to do it this week. There will be lots to do this week and hopefully the urge to procrastinate with be held at bay. Trish and Doug will be here for a day to do some plumbing and electrical work. Fran is getting down to her sewing projects. The knock-off Sailrite machine turned up to be a bust so she has borrowed the real thing and is getting things done.
Hope fully by the next report I can report some significant progress. Maybe this blog can become an incentive....
Photos to come.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Season 3: 2010-2011

19 November 2010, On the Road to Guaymas
The migration is on. We left home on the 15th and stopped briefly in Vancouver to visit the grandkids and then spent the night in Anacortes with Les and Marcia Books. Les was with us for the crossing from Escondido to Mazatlan last April. The road trip was not pleasant for the first 2 days with rain and fog for most of the way through Washington and Oregon. Almost by magic the weather cleared and the temperature rose as we crossed into California. This time we took a different route through Central California, through Merced and Fresno before turning east at Bakersfield to San Bernardino to avoid the LA traffic on # 10. We stopped in Palm Springs for a few restful days to visit our old friends Reno and Nina and to pick up our 2 buck chuck, an indispensible cruising commodity. Tonight we are in Tucson, poised to cross the border tomorrow morning after a visit to Harbour freight (J-G’s new favourite toy store) and picking up the Thanksgiving Turkey for our US friends.
We have never had any problems with the border crossing into Mexico, however with all of the tourist warnings of late we admit to being apprehensive. We have heard of a few American cruisers who have been turned back because of minor documentation issues but, so far, there have been no reported issues with Canadians so we are hoping for a clean entry and an uneventful trip down to Guaymas. The plan is to do the well travelled route entirely in daylight to avoid any problems.
We had a very busy summer. Fran’s chair repair business kept us off the streets and J-G was kept busy with yard, house and boat projects. We took time out for a trip to PQ to visit our son Chris and J-G’s parents and another week to house and dog-sit on Mayne Island for our son Mike and his partner, Dove.
Boat projects included collecting the myriad collection of items on the “to get” list and completing the tasks that needed specialty tools or that could be better done in a workshop environment. This included the making of new ceiling panels for the aft cabin, re-finishing of the salon table, rebuilding the boarding ladder and a smaller dockside step. Some of the major items we have collected are a 9.8 hp Nissan outboard, a Honda 2000 generator and 2 x 100 amp solar panels. We have also swapped the 10.8 ft Avon inflatable for a 9.5 ft model. The van has never been so full, in fact, for the first time we have had to use the roof rack to its full advantage.
When we left last May we had contracted with Francisco to paint the hull, expecting him to complete it after we returned. He must have been short of work this year because he completed it in August. The photos we have seen are spectacular and those who have seen it have all raved about the finish. We had chosen to revert back to her original colour scheme of white with gold trim. She’ll look so good we’ll be reluctant to put her back in the water. With the new tan stack packs she will not be recognizable.
We have our work cut out for us in the next few weeks. There is bottom paint to apply, installing the stack packs, replacing the cutlass bearing, re-installing the inverter that was removed for repair when we left , re-installing the running rigging and sails and a myriad of other preparations before we leave. Fran also has a lot of sewing of covers for the gas cans and a new wind scoop. The most difficult task will be to find space for all the stuff we are bringing with us. Hopefully we will replace many items and sell the old ones at the first swap-meet.
Several of our friends have already arrived. Some have already launched and are enjoying a few weeks of great weather in the northern Sea of Cortez. Others are working on their projects and will be launching over the next month or so.
Hopefully I will be able to post an update in the next few weeks.