What a mess
A friend of mine once told me that " I'm not going out on any boat that has anything jury rigged", well I can tell you that that pretty much eliminates about 99.9% of all cruising boats. There always seems to be things that require that you become creative in getting around this or that, or simply making due with something that isn't working quite the way it was intended to. It is in fact said that the definition of cruising is " fixing your boat in exotic locations". I can tell you first hand that if you can't jury rig things while cruising, you had better stay home in the marina and wait for the $100.00 an hour marine repairman to come to you boat.
The last few days have been dedicated to "un-jury rigging" things, first on the list today was fixing the dinks fuel line.... 20-30 minutes, no problem. Next on the list was fixing the kitchen faucet, of which the water flow has steadily been decreasing to a dribble....not so easy. I first had to get into a space that is about 1.5 X 2 feet, I then had to take apart the plumbing system under the sink and remove the faucet. Please keep in mind that I don't know shit about marine, or any other kind of plumbing. Well after a few (a lot) of choice words, then soaking the faucet system in vinegar then putting it all back together not once, but twice, the F*#%ing faucet is now putting out water like a fire hose.
But wait there's more...that's not the reason for the total disarray of the boat (pic). The 1000 mile engine service is officially underway, this requires that several of the complicated engine systems are sent out for testing/repair by one of the $100.00 per hour marine repairmen. In order to access the engine compartment it is necessary to clear out our aft cabin storage area, which we affectionally call the " Bat Cave". So now most of the contents of the "Bat Cave" are scattered around the rest of our spacious living area...and since it is now 7:15 PM on Friday night...it looks like I will need to get use to this for a few days. Happy New Year to all and hurry back Shaybo, we miss you.
Disclaimer; although it may seem that I am complaining, I'm not. I wouldn't trade this life for anything and the fact that I fixed the F*#%ing faucet by myself gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction...so there!
Home sweet home
12/28/2011, Marina El Cid, Mazatlan, Mexico
At first the thought of getting off the boat for a few days while she was in "the yard" sounded good....actually, it sounded GREAT. Let's face it there are many inconveniences while "living the life" on a 42 foot sailboat. Going to the crapper (head) in a room the size of a phone booth, then pumping whatever you left in the bowl out, having to duck every time you walk thru a door (or forgetting to duck), having to walk sideways thru the kitchen....oopps...I mean Galley...blah, blah...whine whine whine, the list goes on and on and on. The good feeling of taking the "boat break" lasted until shortly after checking into the Ramada Beach resort, I found myself missing Si Bon badly and it wasn't just a case of homesickness, as the days wore on I became more and more antsy to be back on Si Bon. Today Si Bon was "splashed", thats sailor talk for being dropped back into the water, she has a nice new coat (2 coats) of paint on her bottom, her Max-prop was greased and her rudder was checked. Tomorrow the mechanic will be here to do the 1000 hour engine service and tonight I get to sleep in my own bed...granted that it may have a different shape as a land based bed....but I don't care. Well I have to slide step down the galley and put some veggies away, then I think I'll duck into the head and.....well never mind. It sure is nice to be home.
Merry day after Christmas
12/26/2011, Ramada Inn, Mazatlan
You may be wondering....gee what happened to Steve yesterday, Christmas day came and went and no exciting blog???? What happened???
Well I spent Christmas by myself at the Ramada Inn in Mazatlan, where I still am, waiting to get Si Bon back in the water. I thought about writing something yesterday....but then I thought what am I going to say that wouldn't sound either depressing or pathetic, so I decided to wait until today. Truth is that although it was a little strange spending Christmas in a hotel by myself, I did already have a wonderful Christmas last week with Amber and Ashley, both of whom I talked to a couple of times yesterday. Not only that but Sharon, whom I also talked to several times yesterday, and I will be having another Christmas of our own when she returns from Vermont in January. As I've said before, the hardest part of the cruising life is missing family and friends whether it is a special holiday or not. I feel particularly blessed this Christmas as I was able to spend some good quality time with my kids last week and next week my two good buddies, Frank and Russ will be coming down to visit me.
So Merry Christmas to all, and please don't forget the real reason for this special time of the year. God Bless!
12/22/2011, fonature Boat yard, Mazatlan
Sorry to beat this haul out thing into the ground.....but any little boy (or girl) that ever played with a Tonka truck has got to love the travel lift. I mean really, it is a HUGE piece of equipment that can gracefully pluck a large boat from the water and wheel it all around the boat yard before easing it down onto jack stands.
OK... that's it no more blogs about the boat yard....unless???
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).
time to get busy
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!