Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Getting ready: Refit week 2
Wednesday, 7 December, 2011. On the hard at the Guaymas Singlar Yard
We are half way through week 2 of our refit. Although the boat looks like a gypsy caravan with all of the bits and pieces strew about the deck, cockpit and cabin spaces, projects are progressing well and there is a glimpse of light somewhere in the tunnel ahead of us. Today was a good day. Fran finished making her sunshade for the windshield and J-G finished putting the fwd head back together with a new thru-hull, a new pump and all new hoses. Another project, the lightning ground on the hull was replaced with a 12” by 12” sheet of 1/8 “ copper sheet, a recommendation from Nigel Calder the boating electrical and mechanical guru who conducted a seminar in Victoria last summer. We have also scrubbed and disinfected the water tanks, a big job and messy job. There is much left to do but the major items that are required for us to go back in the water are done. There are always the unexpected tasks and one has been the rebuilding of the port lazarette cover that was badly delaminated. Luckily there are lots of people working on boats and lots of expertise to tap into. One of our neighbours in a refrigeration expert and he has given us reassurance that our system is sound and has offered some advice on how to reduce our power consumption. We are also getting ready for our insurance survey that is due every 5 years.
However, there is a major problem: The travel-lift is out of commission and has been for the past 4 days. We weren’t planning to splash before next week anyway. Hopefully it will be fixed by then. The Singlar facilities across Mexico are run by a government agency, and they are now a millstone they have been trying to sell for the past few years. In August they raised the prices 61% across the board. Needless to say that was not a popular event with the cruisers using the facilities. There will be very few, if any, returning here next season and those in the yard now are hurrying to complete their projects as quickly as they can. The powers to be in Mexico City have been funnelling money from one facility to another to cover expenses and, although, this is one of the few that show a profit, there is no money left in the coffers for maintenance. That is why the travel-lift problem hasn’t been reported to Mexico City yet. They are hoping to get the repairs done under the table so those of us ready to splash before the end of the year can do so. We are forever hopeful...
In the next week we’ll be re-rigging and getting Gosling ready for sea. All the lines and sails are littering the deck at the moment but Fran has the Christmas tree ready.... The new batteries are also ready to install and, hopefully we’ll get that done before the weekend. With a swap-meet on Saturday that will be a good place to get rid of the old ones. Saturday is also Fran’s birthday. J-G will have to think of something special before then. We also have a new boat name and home-port decal for the stern that has to be installed along with a number of new improvements such as a new and more powerful solar controller, the repaired propane controller that crapped out late last season, a noise cancelling speaker system for the SSB and an AIS system that locates and identifies shipping.
It has been very cold here for the past few days. Nightly temps have been close to 50F and daily temps in the low 70’s. We have had some strong winds that have shaken the boat on its stands (we actually live on the boat while in the yard). This morning the anemometer was registering 23-26 kts. We haven’t had to resort to a heater yet but that second down duvet has been handy, not like the spinnaker J-G had to sleep under the first night he was on the boat in San Diego in early 2008. The Americans and Mexicans are amazed at seeing us in shorts and t-shirts while they are in long pants and ski jackets. We just tell them we are tougher skinned but, in reality, we don’t have any winter clothing with us except for what we were wearing on the way down. The weather should be improving by the weekend but the El Nina conditions that have redeveloped over the past few months will be giving us some very different weather patterns this year. Hopefully its effects won’t follow us down the coast.