Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deja-Vu. Sweating it out in Guaymas at Gabriel's yard.

20:30, 18 Nov 2014,  On the hard, Gabriel’s yard, Marina Seca, Guaymas

Well, I have procrastinated long enough. We have been here for 10 days, to the same yard we were in Fall of 2009. This time we are living just beside Gosling in our Casita trailer, that we towed from Canada and have been working doggedly getting Gosling ready for another season. Progress is slow but steady and we hope to be in the water in a week or two or three....
Interesting sign in Nevada. Didn't stop to taste 'samples'

After a lovely month with friends just outside of Kelowna we bade goodbye to them and our faithful pooch, Rosie, for another winter. Don’t know if she will be thanking us as it is freezing there now but the sweltering temperatures here would not have been comfortable for her in her winter coat. We took a long torturous route through Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona and finally, Mexico. It was a new drive for us and the scenery was superb. We stayed with good friends in Coeur D’Alene and visited more in Palm Springs and Sierra Vista where we had Thanksgiving dinner with Bill and Linda (Tanque de Tiburon) and Ellen and Ian (Kasasa) before finally making the border crossing at Nogales. The stress of the trip evaporated once we had crossed the border checkpoint. Although we got the “red light of death” (inspection required light) our search was just a cursory one and we were on our way within 10 minutes. A more formal search would have been expensive! We spent the night in San Carlos and arrived in Guaymas about noon. Compo Juan’s seafood stand was open so we had our first feed of seafood. It is Shrimp season in Guaymas, the shrimp capital of the world. Check out the ones we bought last weekend in Empalme. These giants are called “Cowboys” (no idea why). 3-4 make a full meal.
Thanksgiving at Bill and Linda's

Having the Casita to stay in makes for a more comfortable arrangement while we work on the boat. We have been doing some refinishing in the V-berth so the entire contents of that space is strewn throughout the remainder of the boat and mainly in the aft cabin. Today we had an electrician installing a new inverter-charger so the contents of that space is piled up in the cockpit. Tomorrow he will be installing the new wind system so the contents of the salon will have to be moved to….wherever. Good thing the painting in the V-berth is done and that the upper deck is dry with no chance of rain. This would not have been the case back in Panama.

The cruisers are arriving back to their boats in droves. Just in the last few days there have been about 10 arrivals. The yard is getting busy as are the tradesmen. Omar has finished our engine repairs (injector pump and injector service) and Francisco has begun the paint touch-ups but he has so many other jobs on the go that it will be a chore to get him to finish by our deadline. Once the electrician is done we will be able to re-arrange the boat to a more habitable state and get on with the real work of getting her ready. There are sooo many things to do…. Nothing new, there always are at this stage.

Fran has set up our huge outdoor carpet with the folding chairs and table just behind the Casita. It seems to be the focal point for evening cocktails (OK, a beer and chips) and we have already had a Friday night get together. Our friends Ian and Ellen (Kasasa) are just a few boats away.
Fran on the patio
A few days ago Ellen pointed out a chrysalis suspended on one of their boat stands. It was later identified as a monarch butterfly chrysalis and after a few days were fortunate enough to see the butterfly emerge. What a treat!
Notice the gold lattice on the seam

3 days later

Later the same morning. We missed the "Launching"

We have had our share of grief these past few months. 2 very good cruising friends have passed away over the summer. Bill (Optical Illusion) died just a few weeks after their boat was delivered to Victoria from Panama and Don (Prairie Seashell) passed away in Calgary just a few months after putting the boat in storage here in the yard. Lynne has just left here after spending a few days to get the boat ready for sale. It was sad to see her go leaving the boat that Don had built in the back yard over a 12-year period and where they has spent so many happy times.



21:00 Next evening

Another long frustrating day. Salvator completed the Inverter-Charger setup and it is working great, however, the installation of the wind instruments has hit a snag. Drawing the wire down the inside of the mast has proven impossible and, while at the masthead, Salvator found that the VHF antenna is on its last legs. Looks like the lightning strike in panama had another victim. Good thing we had disconnected the radio from that antenna. Our hopes for a fast turnaround are now dashed as we have to face the onerous task of removing the mast to make effective repairs. Certainly hope the insurance company still answers the phone when we call next.
New Inverter-Charger

Salvador was up and own the mast like a yoyo that day.

After Salvator finished his work in the stbd lazarette we had the opportunity, while it was empty, to paint it in a nice “battleship grey” like the storage locker under the vee berth. Funny how things you have always wanted to do to your boat always get done when she goes up for sale. With all the improvements Gosling is getting, whoever buys her will get a boat ready to sail away. It is amazing how many people looking for boats just look at the “bargain junkers”, and believe me, there are many in every yard. They sell cheap but the great majority will need tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, upgrades and so much TLC that the purchasers can’t expect to sail away for months if not years. Another thing few realize is that most replacement marine products are difficult, if not impossible, to get in Mexico. Most suppliers are in the US and do not ship to Mexico for fear of lost shipments, a genuine and justified phobia. Many cruisers use border mail drop offs or shipping companies and drive the 5 hours to Nogales to pick up their stuff. Then they face the border officials and a considerable duty, not to mention another 5 hour drive.

23 November 2014, same location

Work continues, albeit slower than expected. J-G has been afflicted with another bout of prostatitis. He seems to get them twice a year and always at the wrong time. His last one was a few days before departing Panama on our way north last January. Although he managed to make it through a swap meet we had organized for Saturday morning he was wiped for the afternoon and evening. After having so many of these, the sequence of events is quite predictable. For the next few days, mornings are OK but afternoon naps are a must. Hopefully he’ll be better on Wednesday when the mast will be removed. Before then he will have to make 3 saw horses to lay the mast on while it is being serviced. Today he managed to land the dinghy, prepare the mast for Wednesday and started the servicing of the outboard. Then he crashed!

Enough. Gotta post this tonight.