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S/V Si Bon
Haul out
Steve
12/21/2011, Fonature Boat yard, Mazatlan

One of the first things I realized after purchasing Si Bon 2 years ago, was that although I had had plenty of experience sailing 20-30 foot boats, there was a huge difference in handling a 42 foot boat. The actual sailing part is pretty much the same on a larger boat, but docking is MUCH more challenging. I spent many hours practicing docking and even at one point hired a professional Captain to teach me a few things. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone should get to cocky when it comes to maneuvering a sailboat in tight quarters, sailboats do not turn the same as a power boat, especially in reverse. I now have about as much confidence as anyone should have in my docking abilities (not cocky, just confident).
Last week I checked out the travel lift that would be hauling Si Bon. The travel lift rolls out on two large concrete piers...not a dock, but rather piers which are about 10-15 feet above the water (pic). I would be steering Si Bon between the narrow piers and tossing lines to some dock workers above me. This was not something I was looking forward to doing singlehanded. Luckily for me one of my neighbors Ed volunteered to go with me and help with the lines. After waiting at a near by dock for the travel lift to drop another boat into the water, I steered Si Bon between the narrow piers and Ed and I tossed the lines up to the dock workers who tied her off. The operator of the massive travel lift was a young lady about the age of my daughters (pic), definitely not your average travel lift operator, she expertly ran the complicated piece of machinery with a remote control unit. As the operator began to ask me questions and look at some photos I had of Si Bon's prior haul out, she said "I have some inconvenient news for you, you need to go back out turn the boat around and back your boat in". This was not what I wanted to hear, but who wants to argue with a young lady in charge of a monster piece of equipment...not me. As I backed Si Bon out, turned her around and backed her back in between the narrow roll of pilings (pic), my confidence level rose a few more notches...still not cocky.....but getting there (I better be careful with that).

12/22/2011 | shaybo24
wait for the day that i have to doc Si Bon... that'll be a real eye opener! really proud of you and looking forward to her safe return in the water. :)
12/23/2011 | Steve Cook
I think Mazatlan will be a good place for you to start your docking practice. Lots of empty slips at the other marina for you to practice on.....food for thought.
time to get busy
Steve
12/20/2011, Mazatlan

Amber and Ashley left today after a 4 day visit....which was WAY to short. It was really great to be able to see them and show them a little piece of my current lifestyle. We rode in the local Pulmonia's and used the local bus system, we went to a Venandos game and toured the Centro Mercado. We even climbed to the top of El Faro before boarding the water taxi to eat lunch at Stone Island. Even with all of the other excitement, one of the the highlights of their visit was dinner last night in which they prepared the famous Cook family tuna noodle casserole...which was certainly a challenge here in Mexico.
It is now time to get some work done. One of the reasons I stayed in Mazatlan instead of returning to the states for Christmas is that there are things that need to get done on Si Bon before continuing south. In a few minutes Ramon will be here to pick up our dodger (a windshield type enclosure), for long needed repair. Tomorrow I will be taking Si Bon to the boat yard where she will be lifted out of the water and have her bottom sanded and have new paint applied. While Si Bon is in the yard I am going to have a MAJOR engine service done which should be done every 1000 hours....I have no idea when or if it has been done before. There are also a few other "little" jobs that the boat yard will be taking care of.... and I'm sure they'll most likely be something else that they'll come up with. Hopefully Si Bon will be back in the water next week at this time and she'll be ready for many more hours of problem free cruising.
As for me? Well after spending some time in Amber and Ashley's ocean front luxury hotel, I've decided to get a room at the Ramada Beach resort and take a little boat break of my own....pictures to follow!

12/20/2011 | shaybo24
haha, i'm glad you finally got your tuna noodle casserole, lord knows i wont touch the stuff... the thought of eating hot canned tuna-fish totally creeps me out. :-/
12/21/2011 | Mark
I would service the transmission, check valve adjustment, check hoses, including hose clamps and the exhaust system. I used aircraft type when i put thenew exhaust system in my boat. Im sure you will do a good job.
12/21/2011 | Pat K'ski
Send the recipe! Only right that SiBon gets a make-over since she's been so good to you. Gotta take care of your women. Enjoy the space and hotel amenities.
12/21/2011 | Steve Cook
Shaybo, you'll have to eat it at some point, it's part of the Cook family initiation. Pat, I'll give it to you when you're here in Feb, but I can tell you that the only one that has ever made it the same was my Mom and she didn't leave us the Recipe. Mark, they are also going to pull and service the heat exchanger and they are going to clean and reset the injectors and who know what else.
12/21/2011 | shaybo24
okay, well the day i am officially "initiated" into the Cook family, i promise i'll have a bite. but until then, there will be no tuna-noodle casserole for this cat... sorry babe :(
Comings and goings
Steve
12/18/2011, Mazatlan

Lots of changes the past couple of days. On Friday Amber and Ashley arrived to Mazatlan, after checking into their hotel we made our way back to Marina El Cid where they were to enjoy their first boat party. Our friend Keith on Victoria Dos had purchased 2 kilos of delicious Mazatlan shrimp and as he was returning to Canada the next day for Christmas, we had to eat it all or throw it away...no problema. This was also to be Sharon's last night in Mazatlan until she returns after the holidays, so it was a sorta welcoming and going away party for all. After enjoying happy hour on Victoria Dos the girls (Amber, Ashley, Sharon) and I headed out to a Vernados game (baseball), everyone was kinda pooped out so we left after about the 6th inning and called it a night. Yesterday morning before Sharon left, we all met for a beautiful desayuno (breakfast) on the beach.
Sharon and I have spent most of the past 3 months together...and living on a 42 foot sailboat...this puts a whole new meaning on the word togetherness. We have each made many adjustments over the past 3 months, getting use to living together, getting use to living in a third world country, getting use to the cruising lifestyle (it's not for everyone) and for Sharon getting use to living on a boat. Over the past few months we have become not just boyfriend and girlfriend but also teammates. We have discovered, and are still discovering who does what jobs better, this includes everything from who cuts up the onions (I do) to who takes the helm when anchoring (she does).
So as I'm excited to continue showing Amber and Ashley Mazatlan, I was already missing Sharon even before she stepped into the taxi....enjoy Vermont and hurry back.

12/18/2011 | shaybo
awe.... how'd i get so lucky. and hopefully i can get KB to fill in as onion chopper while i'm here. if not i'll blame my tears on missing you. loves ya!
12/19/2011 | Midge
Glad your girls are with you & a quick return for Sharon.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A FUN SAILING NEW YEAR!!!
Paradise found?
Steve
12/14/2011, Diego's beach bar, Mazatlan

As the time nears that Sharon will be returning to the States for Christmas we continue to check things off our "to do list". Since arriving in Mazatlan we had wanted to see one of the local performers who goes by the name of Brenster, Brenster does a combination of his own songs, some Buffett, some country and a little rock and roll. Brenster does a show every Tuesday from 2:00 till 6:00 at a place called Diego's beach bar, there is a 50 paso cover charge (4.00 USD). Diego's has a special that enables you to pay 200 pasos which includes the cover charge and all you can drink during the show. So just to clarify it... we could get into the show and drink as much as we wanted for FOUR HOURS for a total price of about $15.00 USD, for those of you that don't know Sharon and I....this was not a good business decision for Diego's. We had heard that you needed to grease the waiters palm if you wanted to get served very quickly....however this was not the case with our waiter Mitchell, Mitchell never let one beer get completely empty before he had another one in front of us. Mitchell would then encourage us to guzzle down whatever was remaining in the one he was replacing by yelling "come on drink up, it's free".
Diego's is right on the beach and the stage and dance floor are on the sand. As we drank and danced the warm afternoon away while looking at the sea through swaying palm trees, there were several times that I wondered if we were actually in the "proverbial paradise".
A great time was had by all, the music was great, the ambience was fantastic and I now remember why I don't make a habit of drinking in the afternoon.

12/14/2011 | Karen
LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! I look at your blog with envy and excitement for you both! I hope Sharon will be making it back after the holidays! ENJOY!!!
12/17/2011 | Kathy
I never stop being amazed at the wonderful life you guys are living. I''ll be glad to see Sharon but I'm sure she'll get tired of Vermont weather in a few days. Will miss you.
12/22/2011 | Phil Anderson
Thanks for the tip on Diegos.. .good spot to get some
" liquid" inspiration !
Mazatlan Lighthouse
Steve
12/11/2011, Mazatlan

Yesterday Shaybo and I decided that we were going to hike to the top of El Faro, El Faro is the lighthouse that marks the entrance to the main harbor of Mazatlan. Si Bon is currently in the new marina harbor of Mazatlan which is about 5.5 Nautical Miles north of the old Mazatlan harbor, this was to be our first trip (by land) over to the old harbor. So we boarded the Sabalo Centro bus and rode it to the end of line. El Faro is one of the highest lighthouses in the world so we figured once we got to the general area we should be able to spot it....right? Wrong, although at over 500 feet tall, El Faro sits on top of a very high mountain and is not a 500 foot tower as we were expecting, but rather sits 500 feet above the ocean. Anyway after walking around for awhile and passing the entrance once or twice we finally were headed up the road to El Faro. The well maintained dirt path turned into some cliff hugging, unevenly spaced stairs about 2/3 of the way up and we trugged onward and upward, stopping occasionally to catch our breath while admiring the breathtaking views...(hard to catch your breath while it's being taken by the view...ha ha). Once at the top of El Faro we chatted with the Lighthouse keeper who works for three days straight then has six days off, then we snapped a few photos and headed back down. Not only did we get in an unbelievable workout but the views that we had during the entire climb can only be described as incredible.... and we were able to cross one more thing off our list of what we wanted to do while visiting the beautiful city of Mazatlan.

12/12/2011 | amber
sounds fun :) awesome view!
12/12/2011 | Kathy
beautiful pictures!
Any problems from the earthquke?
Mexican dentist
Steve
12/09/2011, Mazatlan

Over the past few years I have been gathering information on different peoples opinions regarding the Mexican health care system. Most all of the reports that I have read have been very positive and yesterday was our turn to find out just what to expect from the Mexican health care system. Sharon was VERY uncomfortable going to any dentist other than the one she had been going to in San Diego, this included ANY other dentist, even other dentists in the U.S.. We were both overdue for our routine cleaning and Sharon had a filling that she was concerned about, so after receiving a referral from another cruiser we set up an appointment (online) and yesterday we made our way to Dr. Cesar Gavito's office. Sharon went in first and I waited with baited breath (no pun intended) hoping that when she came out she wouldn't have a look of horror on her face.....she didn't. I was next up and as Dr. Gavito (pic) began cleaning and inspecting my teeth he would occasionally ask me questions about past dental work I had had done. Dr. Gavito found a small cavity which he showed me with a mirror and told me that I probably didn't need to do anything about it now, but to be aware of it for the next time I go to the dentist.
Overall the whole dentist experience was a positive one, the small office was clean and professional, we did not have to wait for the doctor or fill out 3 million forms, we didn't read any disclosures or sign any arbitration agreements. The costs for our cleaning was 500 pasos, which is around $40.00 USD, I just looked up my last payment for the same appointment in San Diego and it was $190.00 USD. I decided to set another appointment to take care of the small cavity and Dr Gavito gave me a written estimate of 900 pasos....which is around $75.00 USD.
Ohhh...and two final thoughts. Although he does have an assistant, Dr Gavito did all of the cleaning and inspecting himself and Sharon came away saying how comfortable she now was with Dr. Gavito....I wonder if that has anything to do with his strikingly handsome looks?????

12/11/2011 | Mark
Great, my last dentist cleaning was $118
I can feel for sharon, i've had the same dentist for 20
Plus years

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