Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas in Guaymas

2000, 26 December 2014 - Alongside Fonatur docks, Guaymas

Well Christmas is done, the lights and tree have been stowed in the bilge locker for another year and Gosling is ready to sail. (that was the plan)....
We have had a nice Christmas here with the other cruisers at the docks. There are 4 other boats and Ian and Ellen in their van up in the parking lot. They were here for the past 2 nights so that they could participate in the pot lucks and fun but have now departed for their road trip. Christmas Eve was on Golden Heart, (Cynthia and Lee from Duncan, BC) hosted the gang and Fran’s tourtiere was a hit, as always. Christmas dinner was on Gosling with a Pollo De Navidad, a Mexican Christmas staple, a chicken marinated in fruit juices that cooks to the most delicious chicken you will ever taste. To back that up Ian made up a South African dish, babutti (sp), a lightly curried meatloaf. All this topped off with Fran’s trifle, liberal amounts of tequila, mescal, wine and Ellen’s homemade Baileys. How we were able to play Mexican Train afterwards is anyone’s guess. We wrapped it all up at about 21:30 after a round of Tums. Good thing we stocked up with the Costco bonus container before we left the US.

Greg and Janis (Gitana), Ian and Elln (Kasasa) Christmas dinner in Gosling
You want what for Christmas??????
Today, after the tree was taken down from the bow, we were able to set up, the genoa on the furler, the last of our sails to rig. The rig was tuned last week so, essentially, we are ready to go. We did a total wash-down yesterday to get rid of the remainder of the boatyard dust and the crap that keeps coming down from an osprey that has taken up residence on top of our neighbour’s mast. When the wind is just right he lands a stream of white crap right over us. If the boat wasn’t occupied he’d be getting a few slingshot loads up the oiseau (yes, I know, French for bird, but appropriate here, huh?)Thankfully we have lots of water here at the dock so wash-downs are easy.
Not much happening on the Malecon this year, in fact, it has been really quiet. There is a go-card outfit that has set up shop but he isn’t getting much business, unlike the skating rink that was here 4 years ago. Locals are walking around all bundled up in jeans and parkas while we Norte-Americano gringos are still in shorts and t-shirts. They don’t seem to notice. We will soon have to give in if the temperatures keep dropping. Days are comfortable but evenings get quite chilly and the 3 comforter nights are the standard now.
We are still being plagued by antenna problems. The VHF radio has been acting up and a VSWR test has revealed that the cable we installed last month is suspect.
20:30, 30 December, Same location
We spoke too soon…. When Omar came to do the valve clearances he discovered a problem that has now been sorted out. It has taken a few days but he is very much in demand and we have to wait our turn. The VHF radio that we thought was working OK at launch turned out not to be. The techs were called back and they found a short in the masthead plug and we now have excellent range and reception. This time alongside has given us the time to get a few more small projects done, mostly cosmetic in nature and normally not critical enough to earn too many ‘round to it’ points. The main accomplishment has been the re-design and installation of the anchor chain fairlead. The Bugel anchor that we obtained in Panama was not compatible with the original fairlead and needed an extension to get it away from the bow. We had lots of scrapes after last year’s trip, all of which were touched up by Francisco last month. The new fairlead is a modified cantilever arrangement with a heavily modified stainless steel fairlead adapted to the existing bronze arrangement. Ken (Naughty Moments) may be able to recognize it as his old one. It hasn’t had a trial by fire yet but we hope to be reporting positive results in the next blog after we use it a few times. Fran has been busy creating a new batch of sourdough starter, making a bunch of ‘bake-in-the-mason-jar’ rum cakes that she has been handing out as Christmas and New Year gifts. She also began making ocean plaits after asking other boaters on the dock for old halyards. While doing the laundry she showed one of the halyard donors how to make one. Now, Fran is  of this as a nice change from chair caning……. She also made a new set of fender covers.

Modified standard fairlead (sorry no 'pre' photo)
Installed with original pin and sheave
Set to go with added protection of a stainless sheet 'bib'.

New tan fender covers

Ocean plait - our new gate mat.
We have had a wonderful few weeks here. Canadian boats have outnumbered the American boats for most of the time but we are now equal and we have added a few more invitees to the Annual Cruisers’ Party at our place next August. The cruising camaraderie is a special bond that is not easy to describe but it is real and enduring as many will attest.

Well, if all goes according to plan we will be sailing southwest tomorrow morning towards Bahia Conception or San Juanico. Pura Vida (Mike and Judie from Portland, OR) should be in company. It is tempting to remain here for New Year’s Eve but these delays have gone on long enough, and besides, the winds should be good for a crossing tomorrow. For the next few weeks we will be in poor internet conditions. We will be in La Paz by the 17th to pick up our son and daughter-in-law for a few weeks of cruising the islands.

Now if that pesky Arctic air can deviate a bit further north so that we can get some decent warmth back to this country......

Fran, J-G, Gosling and Rosie (in Kelowna) wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, filled with love and happiness. All the best for 2015. 


1 comment:

  1. Have a safe trip! Call soon! Love the Nadeau/Dewans