17 November 2007 | San Carlos, Mexico
Scott & Cheryl
2 Outboard Engines
Crazing in deck
Painted deck, non-skid,
Painted all lockers
Painted Engine Room
Re-varnished locker doors
Hole in headliner - V-Berth
9 Cabin Lights
Engine water strainer
Manual Bilge pump
Hurricane Damage - hull
Termite Damage V-Berth
Bottom (rebarrier coated &
Changed Port of Call
Cleaned Diesel Fuel & Tank
Attach Wood to Forward
2 Winches - moved
1 Solar Panel
1/3 Electrical Wire
50 ft Water Hoses
Hawes Pipes aft
Staysail Leads & Blocks
Lines & Halyards
DC Electrical Panel
1 - 12 V Outlets
2 - 35 gal Water Tanks
Manual Bilge pump
Main Bilge Pump
Outboard Engine Mount
Dinghy Lift Straps
110 Outlet Covers
Insulation - ceiling &
1 Boomkin Bolt
5 Solar Panels
3 New Batteries
2 Exhaust Fans
2 Dorad Boxes
Emergency Water Maker
Extended Bow Pulpits
6 Fuel & Water Jug Covers
9 Deck Woodwork Covers
Anchor Rode (chain)
2 - 12 V outlets
2 Oil Lamps
2 Back-Up Nav Lights
2 Weather Cloths
May 15 – June 14
14 June 2006 | San Carlos, MX
Raven gettin' wet!
We got a little stranded in the States waiting for a couple of boat parts and the new auto registration stickers we discovered had expired 2 months ago so we took the opportunity to do our shopping (3 days!), which included both of us going to the eye doctor and getting new shocks on the truck. Then went to visit Lori from Crested Butte who now lives in Bisbee, AZ. Bisbee is only 30 minutes from Sierra Vista so it was a short drive to our next locale. We had fun hanging out with Lori & Juan, sometimes being tourists; checked out the mining museum as Bisbee has a huge hole in the ground from some strip mining and sometimes just hanging out and having neat spiritual conversations or reminiscing about CO and Taos (Lori & Juan lived there for a while too). We ate yummy health-food from the near by co-op and even went to see the movie - Da Vinci Code which was pretty true to the book. Hilo seemed to feel right at home at Lori's (though he hid from us when we were trying to get him out of Jane & Paul's). Lori said she'd watch Hilo while we are in Europe if she is still in Bisbee in September as she is thinking about starting a pet sitting business, that would good.
Once back in San Carlos we continued on with focusing on getting Raven in the water: Omar came to continue fixing the engine, Scott waxed and buffed the top-sides which really improved them and did all the little jobs that were either below the waterline or required a power tool, I added on to the smaller awning with the new material, installed the new bilge switch, oiled a piece of wood on deck and stowed all the food and stuff we bought back in the states, etc.,etc.
Ray and Bryan left. Ray for the summer, Bryan should be back. The work yard got bare as no one in his or her right mind would WANT to work here during the summer heat. Only the people that HAVE to, do. God Bless 'em! One night it only cooled off by 1 degree between 3 pm and 9pm, from 99 to 98! It was much cooler out of the boat and closer to the water so we couldn't wait to get Raven in the water. Hilo found a new place to sleep: in the head, on the floor. I call that his 99o F sleeping spot. I am surprised he doesn't go in the bilge as that is cooler and very 'den/cat like'. But then I don't understand why he doesn't sleep outside in the shade where it is cooler anyway. Once the temp got to 100oF Hilo looked like he was starting to get heat stroke - panting - so we had to zip him in his cage where it was cooler for 2 days in a row. Thank Goodness we will be in the water soon. I was thinking that I may have to forget about wearing tank tops and shorts and just wear my bathing suit and sunscreen on the boat if this keeps up (and it will only get hotter and more humid).
Dateline June 5, 2006, 08:00, Marina San Carlos, San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico: Believe it or not - after 13 months and 20 days doing time in Marina Seca San Carlos, sailing vessel RAVEN, homeport Crested Butte, Colorado, was seen leaving Marina Seca! Thousands of spectators (just kidding) came out for the long awaited event since all the very helpful people who accompanied Captain Scott & Admiral Cheryl prepare for the voyage had left for the states to avoid the Mexican summer heat. Loud cheers were heard coming from the MSCMS yard workers. The splash went off without a hitch and Captain Scott was last seen motoring out to mooring ball #28 with an expression of joy and apprehension. Captain Scott was unavailable for comment but someone overheard Admiral Cheryl saying, with a smile, 'We will be on vacation until further notice, knock on the hull before 10 am at your own risk'. 1st Mate Hilo added, 'MEOW!' as he tried to figure out what all that water was doing under the boat and why it was moving!
Yes Raven is in the water! It is SO GREAT to finally be out of the work yard and in the water! The bay is quieter, prettier, it is much cooler in the bay than the work yard but more humid and we actually feel like sailors a bit now. We even have more counter space now that the 110V fridge is gone and we have more things in their rightful homes like the gas tank for the dinghy. We say our launch went like this: we didn't hit anyone or any thing, we found a spare engine key and Scott wanted to go swimming anyway. (IE; we had a bit of a time maneuvering our full keeled, 19,000lb boat out of the marina, the key broke off in the ignition after we got to our mooring and Scott had to plug up a leaking seacock - all that before 10 am!).
Since no one was around, it was an especially nice surprise to see Mike (of sv Yoli) and Dennis (of sv Spirit) show up while Raven was being loaded onto the truck. Dennis was putting Spirit back in the water for a couple of weeks with his 16-year-old son Calan. Dennis was our 'photo angel'; he even came out to the boat later in the day and took the picture of us on the mooring as well as shared a celebratory drink!
Hilo wasn't sure what was going on and spent most of his first day on the water sleeping in the shade or in his cage. On the rare moments when he did walk around the deck, he would cautiously look over the side, not getting too close, as there were strange sudden new noises on the other side; loud outboard engines from the panga boats & other's dinghies, large fish jumping in and out of the water, the kayak that was banging up against the boat a bit, etc. He, as well as we, are getting used to all the new noises. It only took him 2 days to get all four of his 'sealegs'; walking around a bit more and even jumping up onto the bimini. He was eating and drinking and purring though so we figured it would only be a matter of time. Now we just need to see how he'll do while sailing! I didn't get much sleep worrying about him going out in the morning though.
We did nothing after our big morning the first day except take naps, toasted Raven & being in the water (up on the bowsprit with champagne from Zen & Nick from our going away party 2 years ago back in Colorado! - thanks guys), Scott did a little organizing of the deck and then Dennis and his son stopped by. The second day we put the kayak in (as our dinghy until we find a small part for the inflatable) and the wind scoop up. Kent and Kerry of sv Glan david (our work neighbors for a while) dingyed by for a quick visit- that was nice. I lounged around in my bathing suit (did some dishes and started dinner) and Scott went into town to do errands. He returned with friends Dean & Lorena (they canoed over) for a nice grilled steak dinner - that was great. That was about all the partying we could handle though we do feel weird that Ray, Howard, Wes & Kristy, Christophe & Arran, Bryan, Kirt & Judy, Eric & Anita, (among others) aren't here to help us celebrate or even see Raven in the water (they should all be back in the Fall), as they really helped us out alot. When Bryan gets back we'll have him over for carne asada tacos! Thanks for all your 'congratulatory emails'! Only one person could only say, 'You just cost me money.' (he had a bet that we won't get in the water this year - too bad for him!).
We both went into town on our 3rd day and I already had 'land sickness' (My sea-legs must be on!) and it is more crazy on land so we were wanting to go back to the boat but had a bunch of errands to do. Using the kayak as a dinghy is surprisingly easy and I think nicer since there is no engine noise and is easier to point into the wind. I think we'll use it more often than the inflatable unless we get to a point were we can't take the kayak with us or we have a bunch of people or stuff to bring back & forth.
We had to refigure internet access on the boat as there is a big rock in the way of the tower now, but with a stronger antenna and the wind just right it works sometimes, thanks to Kent and Kerry for giving us the pointers and Juan & Jose at EXPRO for being so nice. Then there are other things to reconfigure too like trying to live without dairy products, ie not spend a fortune on ice just to keep milk & cheese cold as we don't have enough power for a refrigerator yet (plus I figure when we're out in the middle of the ocean for 30 days where are we going to buy food to put in it anyway). Other cruisers have done it and we'll see how the ice box works after we re-insulated it- soon. We are going to try just one small bag in the regular cooler for things like leftovers, chilled drinking water and meat, when we get some. We just will shop as we want stuff and surprisingly most foods will survive unrefrigerated, like veggies, if they weren't refrigerated originally. At least we can cook again as it isn't as hot as it was in the yard! We are also trying to get exercise w/o going to the gym: paddling the kayak, swimming a lot at the pool etc. I feel like I am getting a pretty good upper body work out with all the paddling and even making hummus with the manual food processor. Scott says, 'Just wait until you start hoisting sails!' Speaking of which we are itching to go, me, I think because it is my usual 2 year Wander Lust kicking in and we didn't buy a boat to sit in one place. We are inspired to finish our smaller projects and I've even been brushing up on my sailing instruction book (it seems to make more sense when you can walk around your own boat and figure out what everything is and I have Scott to answer my questions)! The noise of the weekenders jet skis is also inspiring us to go somewhere more remote (then we'll miss being able to get ice and having a trash can to throw our garbage into, etc.). our social life is another thing that is different but Dena & Lorena are here to hang out with!
Hilo seems pretty happy still, after over a week on the boat, but he's not running up and down the deck as he used too. There are less bats, cats & dogs to watch here on the water than in the workyard and every once in a while a bird will get close and he'll get to run up the deck to get closer but he slowly is starting to be more active. Once a day he braves looking over the side, I guess I don't want him getting comfortable to sit on the toerail as he will surely fall in when a wave rocks the boat then. And every night he thinks about going out to the boomkin (a spot off the back of the boat that sits out over the water), where he used to hang out, but that is freaking him out too. He's even coming in at night earlier without us having to go get him. Poor guy, he'll figure it out eventually.
Everything is staying cleaner: us, Hilo's white furred parts and the boat, though we do have the salt water to contend with but that is pretty manageable. There's no constant toxic dust flying around so we can finally breathe again. Funny how things go as I was really wanting to buy a swim cap (they seemed so geeky when I was younger) so I can maybe keep some salt water out of my hair. I'm going to prove to everyone that you can have long hair and live on a boat with only 70 gallons of fresh water at a time.
Shawn and Heather of sv Omshanti came back! They will be here for a month so we are looking forward to spending some time hanging out with them. Besides that we resumed work but the smaller projects seem more fun to do, or is it just because we can do them in our bathing suits?
April 15 – May14, 2006
15 May 2006 | Marina Seca SanCarlos, MX
the ceiling going up!
Now that the ceiling is back in I got to put all the fans and lights back on (for the 3rd time) again. And we got to put all the hardware back on, that for example, holds open the portholes - so now we have more air! Scott put all the hardware on for the 3 holes we drilled in the ceiling for ventilation. The boat looks totally different and we spent part of our lunchtime staring at the ceiling for a couple of days. With the white ceiling in, it is much 'crisper' down below, like I just got a stronger eyeglass prescription or cleaned my glasses.
Went out to a restaurant one night that we hadn't been too: one of the other fancier places for Veronica's (who left for the states shortly after) belated birthday dinner. We had a nice group of people, the food was great and the bathrooms were the best we've seen so far. On our way for a drink to Froggy's, it was I, this time that fell from a 'Gringo Trap'; holes and uneven sidewalks. I got away with only 3 major bruises, which were helped with a margarita (applying the ice cubes helped ease the pain too).
Wes and Kristy arrived - great to have them back! They had been generously acting as our personal Pack & Ship; receiving a bunch of packages and bringing them down to us including some specialty health food stuff and more stuff for our upcoming electrical project! And they were our neighbors for a week, until they went into the water (before us of course).
Suddenly, one day, we heard that Bill & Joe who were to help us redo our electrical system next month where leaving Mexico in 3 days! So we did an Emergency-Stop-Everything-Else-And-Start-Another-Unscheduled-Project! Bill & Joe were great, working until 9 pm 2 nights, putting in 11 hour days. Scott and I mostly were their Go-fers; Scott going to the store a gazillion times and cutting holes in parts of the boat to add the new monitors and plugs. We are happily amazed that it is done. Now we don't have to take all 8 pieces of the steps out 4 times a day (every 4 days) to check and charge the batteries as it is all set up to automatically charge via the solar panels or through AC power while at a power source. We have a nifty monitor that tells us all kinds of things like how much power we are using and how full the batteries are, complete with tiny little green glowing lights (yes, Bill they are enough to serve as a night light!). We added more batteries and an inverter that changes DC power to AC so we can also run things like a vacuum cleaner, power tools and the computer via the solar panels while away from shore (AC) power. We are very excited! Raven has suddenly moved into the 21 century!
After a much needed day 'off' (still managed to clean up and wire the chart lights, etc.) Scott started on the bottom project and scheduled Omar to look at the engine (instead of us trying to bumble through something we know nothing about). I started shuttling a bunch of our other stuff (sails, lines, snorkeling gear, found my favorite tea cup, etc.) from the storage unit to the boat and started reorganizing it and stowing it. Also took great pleasure in making a pile of stuff we don't need or want any longer and getting it off the boat. I feel much more nautical, very exciting!
We got Kirt & Judy to restart the 4:30 Mast Parties since their boat is next to the masts and they weren't here for the other ones. Now we meet at 6 pm though because it stays light out until 7pm. Uninvited guests show up - the mosquitoes- every night and we try to ward them off with all kinds of repellents until we can't take it any longer. Luckily it had been cool enough to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts when it is windy.
Scott put up the mosquito netting in the cockpit and spread out all the cushions so now we have a harem-like tent to hang out in minus the mosquitoes. We plan on using it to sleep out of doors when it gets too hot to sleep down below and right now we bring up the laptop and have drive-in-like movie nights out there as Kent & Kerry keep on giving us movies to watch. Very posh. We figured out how to keep the mosquitoes out of our boat at night too, they were managing to get in and harass us while we tried to sleep.
May 1st brought the confirmation of increase in work yard rates starting July 1st. We'll be getting out just in time! Guess we'll haul out to Guaymas when we need to do additional work next time. We do feel for a couple of cruisers that are in the middle of big projects. Also we weren't allowed to bring our vehicles in by our boats for any longer than a 15 minute loading/unloading time period so now we get more exercise walking back and forth to the truck. I was also locked in one night while trying to empty the liquid part of our toilet (in the bathroom toilets) as the new gate doesn't have a part where you can walk through like the old one. The security guard was doing his rounds Scott discovered and was able to be let out through the gate.
A regular group of friends: Scott & I, Judy & Kirt, Brian (originally from NJ), Ray and sometimes Howard went out for a long dinner/drinks nights a couple of times. Of course that only lasted a couple of weeks before Judy & Kirt and Howard left to go back home (and us to the States for a couple of days). We had a nice last supper together by having a beach party - very fun.
We had a small disaster; left the fuel line valve open one night which resulted in 5 gallons of diesel fuel leaking all over the engine room and into the bilge. We spent 3 hours cleaning it up but on a good note it cleaned off the oil that we couldn't reach under the engine.
We've also been starting to plan our trip to use up the airplane ticket credit we have left over from canceling our trip to Chile. We are now thinking of going to London, Devon (where Tanja lives - haven't seen her in 7 years!), Paris, and maybe visit Dave & Henry in Germany.
Right before we left (May 12th) for our short trip to the states Omar started working on our engine (it runs!) and changed the cutlass bearing, the last 2 projects, while I repainted the boat stripe so we are getting closer! But then we discovered we needed another part that involved taking the cutlass bearing out again so luckily we are headed for the states where we can get it shipped and bring it back.
Our drive back to the Sates was luckily uneventful - even had only a short wait at the border complete with a border guard that had a sense of humor. We stayed with Jane & Paul in Sierra Vista, AZ and first spent the weekend having fun hanging out with them: did a picnic lunch, a short hike and the local army base's (Fort Huachuca) museum one day then a folk music show and a summer-time bar-b-que dinner with another couple. Very fun! It took 2 days for Hilo's normally-white-but-now-brown fur parts to turn white again as living in the boat yard has made him a bit dirty from walking around on the deck (even though we wash the deck off every week or so). I try not to focus on the fact that he now has ingested all that yard 'dust'. He and Jane & Paul's cat Buddy really hit it off this time, one time Jane came home to find Hilo sleeping on top of his cage while Buddy slept inside it! It was sad to break them up when we left for Bisbee.
March 15 – April 14, 2006
15 April 2006 | Marina Seca San Carlos, MX
putting the bowsprit back on!
I'd REALLY like to tell you that I am writing this from the water (as we had planned) but I'm not.
I'd also REALLY like to tell you that we will make our next splash-date on the 19th but we won't. We are very close though and we are making a huge effort to get stuff done even if that means working inside during a heat wave: 95 o F w/ 60% humidity. I think it is an unwritten rule that one has to change their splash-dates a couple of times so we are right on schedule then. The rest of our month went like this:
Day 335 of our time in the Yard: By 8:15am Scott was up and ready to put the top coat of nice white paint on the bowsprit, the forward deck and the boomkin but just as he was about to open the can of white paint the guys next to us started sanding the black bottom paint off of that boat! Love the yard! Love the yard! Scott didn't win the 'Who's-painting-and-who's-sanding-war' so he had some coffee then decided to join the fun and grind the 4 spots of Raven's hull that needed to be painted (where the stands were). I went to get some exercise as my back was killing me, I think from lack of real exercise or from our bed (we are getting new cushions).
We found Hilo over on the power boat to our starboard side one day. Luckily he'll come back when we start calling to him because the yard guys moved that boat about 10 mins. after he came back. I'm sure he would have time to get back before they actually moved it with all the noise they make moving the stands around. Other wise he has been making regular jumps over to our friends boat (who are not here) on our port side. One time we found him on the ground, apparently had missed a jump, and he was all freaked out (his tail was 4 times it's regular size!) and trying to get back up. As indoor cats get, he ran from us for about 10 mins before I got close enough to catch him. As I was bringing him up the ladder he reached out and grabbed the ladder and climbed a 1/3 of the way up. We decided to put a board across our 2 boats so he could just walk over but he didn't notice it. After a couple more mornings of him bounding 5 boats down and him learning to climb a metal ladder (after missing a jump again), we decided to keep him more confined. I can only hope it bothers us more then him. When there wasn't a boat next to our friend's, we let him go over when ever and checked on him if we didn't hear him jump back after an unregulated amount of time.
One day, after the usual set-backs while putting the bowsprit and wind vane brace together Scott & I started to question our emotional sailing/owning a boat strength. Bubble baths and Lazy Boys with remote control cable TV were starting to look good. 'I am tired of Personal Growth.' I said to Scott one night and he laughed and said Anne, his Aunt (hi Anne), and his mom would find that very funny too. We are taking a vacation once we get in the water and Scott bought some really comfy cockpit 'chairs' to get his 'Lazy Boy' fix (they are very comfortable). While working on the bowsprit we also got to work on our Farmer Tans: I am even getting freckles on the under sides of my arms! We huddled like lizards in the shade of Cool Change (our neighboring boat) or strategically parked truck to cool off or eat lunch. It is getting hotter - I've switched over to wearing tanks tops and running a fan most of the day. We surmised that if this all went easily everyone would be doing it and then there would be no room in the work yard for us! We just accepted that you get to do everything at least 3 times when dealing with a boat. Wonder how I'll add that to my resume.
We hung out with some new-bees in the yard: a couple that lives north of Taos, and went out to dinner with Eric and his wife Anita who is from NJ since other friends started to leave (as the Snow Birds all are): first Lorena (Hi Lorena!) went to join Dean in Belize for a month, then Paul & Samara with the twins returned to CO, Elka & Uva back to Germany, Ray to Washington who will be back, as well as Howard - all who have been a huge help with the bowsprit, etc. Luckily Kirt and Judy are here to commiserate with us (they found holes in their steel boat). I spent a bunch of time ordering all the electrical stuff we will need, separating it amongst the many fellow cruisers that offered to bring us stuff back from the states and then tracking down the stuff that didn't show up. It's really helpful to have not only internet access but also a phone on the boat for sure.
In preparation to getting the boat in the water, it seems that our relationship has turned into the traditional gender specific roles: I, being the female - the one who knows the least about boats and has less muscle mass, have been doing the dishes and the general house keeping chores in order to speed Scott getting to the real work like putting the bowspirt together, drilling holes or grinding the toxic paint off the bottom (actually doing the dishes sounds good now). I did some more sewing projects (the awning is finished) & some electrical projects, drilled many new holes in the ceiling panels for the new fans & air vents, etc., in-between helping Scott. We both put the ceiling panels back up then I started adding on all the hardware, lights and fans (again). My shoulders should be getting into great shape with all this overhead work I've been doing. I've also been very conscience about keeping the boat free of crumbs since as it gets hotter the bugs start coming out like cockroaches and such.
Finally we got the bowsprit back on! With help from all our friends. Then Scott tuned the rigging and now the bowsprit doesn't wobble any longer! And it looks great! Then the Hydro Vane (self steering apparatus) went on. Then we got 2 winches, the mast pulpits and various other deck hardware and the doraid boxes (for ventilation) on, the chimney installed, Scott started on cleaning and greasing the sea cocks and replacing hoses and we got our taxes done (before April 15th). Next is the dreaded cutlass bearing and engine.
We found out the work yard fees are going up a lot, actually about 3x's! Not until June, but still. We started searching for another work yard that is less expensive than here as we do have other jobs that we will need to do in a year or so. All the work yard cruisers are up in arms. There was a story on the marina here in a sailing magazine (April issue) complete with a photo of Ray's, Howard's and Eric's boats and aerial views of the marina and dry storage.
We found more left-over termite damage at a pretty important spot in the boat but we opted to wait to fix it properly, other wise we'll have to start wearing those white jackets that force one's hands around one's back and buckle in the front.
We actually went out and experienced Semana Santa (Holy Week) this year, which is also a Mexican 'Spring Break-like' party. Last year at this time we had just moved on to the boat from the hotel and so it was an anniversary for us too. We were nesting so we opted to avoid the whole thing- besides we could hear the music from town on our boat just fine. Right before the 3 day craziness, we went out and did laundry and stocked up on some food as the town gets over run with people, most places just close down and the traffic is terrible. The yard guys are off for 5 days so it was nice and peaceful in the yard and the gate was locked. We were one of the few people who opted to keep our truck inside near our boat mostly because we had tools in it we needed and there's too much traffic to drive anywhere anyway, besides we can walk anywhere we really need to go. Security at night was beefed up: an extra guard (with a night stick) and his young son who did rounds with a big spot light and there was a big backhoe parked in front of the gate. Not that the yard is that close to the festivities. Thursday night it was very hot (90o F at 9pm) so after dinner we sat out in the cockpit and listened to the music from town. Friday night, Scott & I and Howard & Ray (who are back now) went out, walked along the main drag, which was bumper-to-bumper traffic of 20-somethings cruising in the backs of pick-up trucks filled with dancing people or with the backs of the car hatches and passenger doors open playing loud music and partying. People were parked all along the road partying and having tail-gate bar-b-q's (reminded me of the 4th of July fire works in NJ when people would just pull over and park on highway 22, a 4-lane highway with a wide grassy median). It wasn't until we got out there that I realized the dress code for women was a bikini top and tight pants! Everyone was having a good time. Some Mexican people seemed excited to say 'Hi' (instead of 'Hola'), practice their English, to us Americans. There was a hand-full of older or very young people picking up the empty beer cans (to get the deposit money) too. We had dinner at one of the many yummy, street side taco stands that pop up out of no where for this event, then walked around to see a live band then back down the other side of the road to the quite Marina Cantina then back to the boat around midnight. All in all it was pretty amazing to see the transformation San Carlos goes through during Semana Santa - from a sleepy, pretty Americanized, retirement aged town to a crowed, loud, partying town full of younger Mexicans.
Feb 15 – March 14, 2006
15 March 2006 | Marina Seca San Carlos, MX
varnishing the doors on our bed
We started our next month with me still sick and Scott pulling in a close 2nd. By time I was well enough to get up and get dressed we decided that the varnishing up forward in our bed area was done even though it still needed another 2 coats (it is too dusty anyway). My first day 'up' I moved us back into the v-berth and installed the 2 reading lights so now we really don't need headlamps to get around the boat at night! Hilo even took his midmorning nap in the v-berth as well as slept up there with us that night. I thought he would have been excited to get us out of his normal sleeping area (the whole rest of the boat). Scott fixed the stove. Luckily Scott never got a full blown version of my cold.
After a fun day out on Slade Green, on the water on our mooring, we got very depressed to be still in the work yard so we started making a huge effort to start work earlier, I stopped going to Tai Chi and we have had to turn down social engagements to focus on the getting work done. We had a scary heat wave too, temperatures in the mid 90's. We were happy it was only temporary. We've decided to only do jobs that get us closer to putting the boat in the water though when I need a break I do stuff that won't. We are still on a steep learning curve with the composting toilet, which has been part of the source of our low mood, but I think we are figuring it out and we are getting good support via email from the guy who sold it to us. We have internet access on the boat in the workyard now, too.
We bit the bullet and started drilling holes in the cabin top and installed the vent in the galley, the fan in the head and the main intake air vent in the breezeway. I got the rest of the lights and fans wired and up. The bowsprit is almost done. The ceiling and insulation is starting to go up and the bulwarks are insulated. 3 sections of headliner are back up exposing shelving and the pilot berth fully. We started thinking about dealing with the plumbing: cut the wood for under the water tanks and figuring out how to reinsulated the ice box. I found some more sewing projects to do: finished putting straps, Velcro and elastic on the porthole shades (the wicker paper plate holders), made another Raven for the front of the dodger, made 2 more canvas shade covers for the 2 smaller portholes, my guitar case, the lee cloth, and some canvas 'bags' to protect the few drinking glasses we have from breaking. Scott took out a couple of bolts from a thru-hole that we found out later didn't need to come out. We had a successful shopping trip into Guaymas and found some hoses for the sink drains, canvas for the lee cloth and my guitar case, some narrow PVC piping to make the awning and a bunch of little stuff. We also went to the other big grocery store that we hadn't been to yet, Soriana. It was pretty nice and we found some treats like salami and cutting boards. We also found Luis, the metal worker, to drop off drawings for the 5 projects we have for him (making brackets for the wind vane being the big one).
It still amazes me how much stuff we still needed even after 3 truck loads, we've already had 5 people bring us down more stuff, granted we try not to over load any one person so sometimes it is just one thing like more cat litter and people are nice enough to ask. This months obstacles: we had to wait for a month to get the right kind of paint for the bowsprit (we never got what we ordered but were pacified with the more expensive stuff for the cost of the other- about 1/3 of the price) , we didn't have the right size drills for the vent projects, the smaller electrical connectors we ordered never showed up, we have to wait to get our other electrical stuff to put it in, we seem to have misplaced a small section of the ceiling panels and a piece of trim, I found other pieces of trim in the bilge that needed to be cleaned up and oiled, a couple of the light's electrical wires were to short to fit through the insulation and ceiling panel so I had to lengthen them, etc., etc. So you just wait, barrow and beg to get what you need, make do with what is available, laugh and sometimes cry.
We also came upon an opportunity to get a big, important job done, one that we decided to wait on: the electrical. At first we were overwhelmed but then decided it was an opportunity that we'd be stupid to pass up and the person helping us was willing to teach us how the whole thing works. We won't get the parts until April but we are mentally prepared now.
Wes on Cool Change came down for a brief boat visit; good to see him and he brought our mail! Our mooring renters left but Kent & Kerry (our work yard neighbors) took it next so that was nice to keep people on it, then 2 other people asked about it. Some friends from last year showed up suddenly, the folks on Zoe B. Their boat was put just across from us so that was nice. Good to see them again too. We also were tracked down by a fellow Crested Buttian, the man who built the condo we had in CB, Wayne. He and his girlfriend are here at one of the RV parks while they build a house. We had some fun visits with them on Raven and at their trailer in the RV park. By my birthday I was well enough to taste food again so we went out to dinner at a restaurant we hadn't been to before. It was at our favorite San Carlos resort hotel so we took a nice walk on the beach first then a sunset margarita at the outdoor palapa restaurant. The resort is having a special: 2 nights for $50.00, if anyone is interested. Scott also made me breakfast that morning and cleaned up the boat. I took 3 days off and read a book; the World According to Garp which I found somewhat disturbing.
Hilo defended Raven from a stray cat visit one night; we heard cat wailing outside and ran up to see Hilo leaning half over the toe rail growling at another cat that was on the ladder, apparently the one that has been coming up and spraying the cabin top. Hilo also seemed to really enjoy the 95 o F heat wave we had as he stayed inside the boat were it is the hottest. Later, and unfortunately for him we had to keep him confined to either his cage or inside the boat while we were painting the deck up forward (under the bowsprit) and the boomkin (think bowsprit but hanging off the stern-back of the boat)where he likes to perch from 4:30 to 9 pm. Around the same time Wes and Kristi's boat had been moved next to us and Hilo could jump over so we weren't real happy about that.
We've been in the yard so long that we've seen the same people come and go 3 times, the day time gate guard and I are on first name bases and he doesn't even say 'Que Tal' meaning 'what's going on' any more, I say 'Raymond!' he smiles and says 'Charol!' And that's as much whining as I'll do.
Jan. 15 – Feb. 14, 2006
15 February 2006 | Marina Seca San Carlos, MX
new fans wired and mounted
We managed to get done what we were hoping to for Dave & Henry's arrival: me, the projects in the cockpit to make it comfortable to hang out in and Scott, replacing the aluminum foil & cardboard heat guard behind the heater with the nice copper plate and wrapped up some things on the bowsprit. We also cleaned up the boat & car making a couple of trips to put things in storage to make room for 2 more people. It was nice to finally get the pilot berth and the other seat set up. Figuring out how to get those 2 to us was a bit of a challenge with all the different busses and lack of phones but we managed none the less. Dave is more used to traveling in foreign countries on busses than most people.
We all had great fun with Dave & Henry, did a lot of beach time (including a beach bar-b-que), leisurely breakfasts, as well as a little bar hopping. Scott & I made them a grand fish dinner their first night in San Carlos and we brought them to some of our favorite Mexican places the other nights. Our other German friends, Elka & Uva had fun speaking German to someone other than themselves and we all got to hang out with Ray and some other cruiser friends. It was great for me to meet Dave & Henry as Scott and Dave had gone to high school together and traveled a lot together, so I'd been hearing a lot about their excursions for the last 6 years. It's always interesting to hang out with your husband and his friends and find out new things about your spouse too. The 'check engine' light came on in the truck one day before we were thinking about driving Dave & Henry to Hermasillo (250 mile round trip) for their return flight but Henry showed us how to reset the electrical system and we got it to go off. We still need to find a reliable mechanic here. Still Dave & Henry took the bus to Hermasillo since it was cheaper than gas, we didn't need to do any shopping and there was a bus that would get them there in plenty of time for their flight. We did drive them back to Guaymas the morning they left, at least.
Veronica and I have been doing a bunch of stuff together: Tai Chi classes, an art show, discussing sewing projects (suddenly I am thrown into this whole other world of sewing - even the guys can hold their own in a conversation-good thing I literally grew up under a sewing machine), the buttons she is making and a shopping trip into Guaymas via bus. It is fun to have a female friend to hang with.
Our bus trip into Guaymas was fun, more relaxing than taking the truck and driving and worrying about it. I would have felt even more like a local if Veronica's friend wasn't taking pictures of all the Mexicans and worrying about eating the food. We walked around looking for canvas material, a bicycle pump & cutting boards while seeing some neat parts of town; the typical colorfully painted store fronts surrounded by crumpling sidewalks - 'Gringo Traps'. We got fresh potato chips from a street vender which are served with fresh lime juice, salsa and salt - yum. We went to a market which was in a tall, warehouse like building complete with the occasional bird flying in through a broken window. We took a quick walk down the 2 meat isles; no neat cuts of meat lying about in protective beds of Styrofoam with plastic covers like in the states, just mounds of red mangled flesh - some with the bones still intact, the occasional pigs head (eyes closed thank goodness) lying about on cold metal counters & cases of bubbly fried fat keeping warm under lights. You get used to it. The butchers were happy and smiley, glad to see potential costumers. Thankfully, I only saw one fly land on a mound of meat. The smaller grocery stores don't prepackage their meat either but it is under glass all day at least. The rest of the market consisted of stalls of leather sandals and sparkly shoes, sea shell lamps complete with a figure of Jesus, spicy candy, boxes of mysterious tea and bodybuilding supplements, white cotton dresses with colorful embroidery and stations of faucets to rinse your hands. Outside, Mexican women sat behind tables of brightly arranged vegetables: red radishes, chilies and tomatoes mixed with green limes, cilantro and white onions. Red, White, Green the colors of Mexico (the flag). When the bus driver let us off back at Marina Seca he kicked out a paper cup that had apparently hitched a ride with a passenger, it landed onto the ground only 5 feet from a trash can. Veronica gave the cup a boost into the trash can.
2 boat yard friends arrived back from the states with our some things we needed so we finally had the things we needed to continue on with our projects. I did some more varnishing, did some more sewing, wired for the fans, and fixed the lights - some of these jobs were very rewarding; the fans went in easy (I think that is because they were new appliances and didn't need new switches like the lights) and scraping the hinges of the cabinet doors I revarnished (Scott said I should polish the hinges but first I had to scrape the yellow old varnish which made them look more like brass than silver). Scott finished the bowsprit (including the platform that goes on the bowsprit, and even drilling all the holes to put it back together) and we are Cetoling and painting it (as soon as the paint comes in). We are still experiencing a learning curve regarding the composting head. The long story short is we are going to finally put the fan in the correct way. Wish us luck. I think we are both procrastinating about drilling holes in the cabin top - our next big project. I know I am a little freaked about it. Scott started replacing the cutlass bearing.
We had some supportive feed back about feeling overwhelmed - email from fellow cruisers who wish they were here working on their boat and met a couple who are working on a house while living there. That helped us feel better. I also figured out the showers here so now I can have hot showers; turns out that yes, the hot water is the left handle (I tried this before and it was colder than the right) oh well. I discovered where to get a huge cup of carrot juice in town (for only $2! -they are usually more like $5 in the states).
We have taken to chasing Hilo around the deck in the evenings to give him (and us) a little aerobic exercise. We usually finish with a quick game of Bimini Pounce. I wonder what our neighbors think. We also seem to have trained him to go in and out of the boat in a new way: out through the forward hatch and in through the porthole next to Scott. We use this tactic when he wants go out before we want to get up in the morning (which is most of the time). I have to sit up in bed to hold open the hatch through which he jumps up -Scott says he looks like a flying cat from his spot. Then when Hilo wants to come back in Scott lets him in through his porthole, which looks funny from my spot because Hilo has to practically jump on Scott's head to get back in. Hilo has us well trained. Kerry let her cat out on their boat one day and found her later, 2 boats over. Guess they are closer to their other neighbors.
The monthly 'swaps' have been moved off of marina property due to what seems to be an annual scare about selling stuff in Mexico (which is illegal hence the word 'swap'). This time someone caused a ruckus by making an insulting comment about Mexico to the yard owners, to which the yard owners retaliated by commenting on all the stuff they are swapping at their boat. The swap was held at our friend Mikes newly purchased building that he wanted to make a 'sailor's hang out' anyway so this was good for him. Turns out the police where called only because of a parking situation.
The last week of this month we did some 'tearing apart' of our living space: the stove broke and we were varnishing a wall in our sleeping area so Scott & I got to check out sleeping in the other berths of the boat. That was interesting but the problem was that there is one very large cushion from our bed that doesn't fit anywhere out of the way so we just moved it around depending on what we are doing. Hilo seems to be affected by the chaos the most so he's been waking us up at 5 am instead of 6 am wanting to go out or up forward (our regular sleeping area that is off limits). We try to keep things as cleaned up as possible and have been going out to eat a bunch or cooking on the grill. We do have a camping stove that is very tippy and only has one burner and is really hard to keep on a low flame. We plan on getting into Guaymas soon to look of parts for the stove.
We had some fun social events: a couple we met while living at the hotel last year tracked us down in the work yard and invited us for dinner - that was fun, then Shawn from Om Shanti came back. We met Shawn (and his girlfriend Heather) last season twice briefly; once right before they left to go sailing and then they stopped by on their way back to the states after storing the boat for the summer. Om Shanti is also a Westsail (like Raven). It was fun to get to know Shawn as he is also into digital music & graphic design, has sailed more places than just the Sea of Cortez and knows more than us about diesel engines and boat electronics and he's younger. We've been having fun hanging out with him though he only spent a week in the work yard.
I had a really bad cold around Valentines Day so Scott made a nice dinner, which I could barely taste and we watched a movie. He was the envy of the yard when he bought flowers back to the boat. I think there was a rush at the florist after Scott told everyone where he got his/mine. Hopefully we can do something more special for my birthday.