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.

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