11/05/2010, San Carlos, Mexico
Well, it's now after 2200 and Tracy is off to bed with the kids and I'm out at the table letting you know how it is going.
So far, we've cut off the blue tarp, put on the main sail, jib and the roller furling Genoa sail. The reefing lines have been installed on the main. The deck has been vacuumed of all the blue dust and the San Carlos dirt. I've changed out the blocks that the lines that raise the main run through. The old ones took two lines(primary and backup lines) through one set of blocks that had two wheels. When one line was pulled, the block had a tendency to twist making raising the sail harder. Now each line has it's own block. I'll be posting some more pictures so you can easily see what I'm talking about. Check under the "Main" photo album for the pictures under the "San Carlos boatyard" heading.
The hull has been cleaned and waxed so she's looking good.
Tracy has stowed tons of supplies in the numerous cubbies we have onboard and is making a pile of things I will be taking back home. After being out here for a few years, we know what we really need and what we don't.
The water tanks pressurized just fine(sigh of relief) and the batteries took a full charge. The frig/freezer is up and running after getting two cans of coolant run into it. Not sure where the old stuff went but it was sure gone. I borrowed and coolant sniffer(amazing what you can find on peoples boats out here) and checked all the copper lines. NO detectable leaks. Oh well.
I've torn apart two of our through hulls(the first one three times) cleaning off the surface with a "valve polishing compound" normally used on car engine valves(again---amazing what you can find on boats out here. I bought my own supply today at Autozone in Guaymas.
We have two deck hatches in a fiberglass shop in Guaymas getting the underside fiberglassed over. Again--take a look at the pictures for a closer look of what shape they were in(bad).
I've installed the zincs on the propeller as well was five on the rudder. It keeps the metal on each from getting eaten by electrolysis or some such thing. Once that was done, I spent a good bit of time pumping grease into the gears of our propeller. It's not like you "normal" prop that just spins. This baby rotates as it spins from forward to reverse. Called a "MaxProp", it's a VERY expensive piece of equipment for a boat. The last owners of Zephyr had it installed. Works great but again, it's another maintenance project.
As I said earlier, the kids are adjust ing quite well to being back home. Sleep all day other then a few walks around the deck and then Blue wants to stroll the decks at night. That's not going to happen.
Brackets are made for our radar reflector but I have to go up the mast for that installation and it's a few days off.
Tomorrow--on to our electrical problem. We have power on the port side but not starboard. Out with the volt meter for some real fun. Sure hope I don't fry myself.
Check the pictures for more show and tell. If you have any questions, just leave them in the "comments" section.
11/04/2010, San Carlos, Mexico
As I sit here copying disk after disk of charts to our assorted computers, Blue is curled up right next to me. It's been quite a long time since she has done that. Snowshoe is asleep in the floor of the stern head(a favorite place of his). Both have settled in well. Heck, it's like being home again. No arguments (or at least only a few)so all is well.
More jobs to do. Back later.
11/03/2010, Marina Seca yard in San Carlos.
Let me tell you, working on boats is a younger mans job. Up and down the ladder numerous times. Lifting things aboard using a rope and hook as we emptied the car again. Boy did we bring too much stuff. We'd forgotten how much we already had on board. We'd left more than either of us remember. Now we have more. Heaven help Zephyr when we launch her. Sure hope she stays afloat.
Monday, I took off two hatches and took them over to Guaymas to see about having them fiber glassed over. When Zephyr was built, they included two lockers in the stern section--one for the propane tanks and the second we treat as a garage with lots of stuff crammed into it. Both hatches were built like picture frames with solid wood around the edges and a piece of plywood filling in the center of the frame. Teak was then laid across the top. Over the years and with a good bit of moisture(water) the underlying plywood has begun to fall apart and with it, the structural stability of the hatch in general. When you step on the hatch, it sinks slightly into the locker below. Not a good thing. I fixed one with angle mending plates screwed into the solid wood so it would hold the plywood in place. Well, when the second hatch began to come apart, it was time to get serious about getting them fixed and having it done properly. Off came the hatches and I went in search of a good fiberglass repairman. With enough epoxy and pieces of fiberglass mat, they should be nice and stable when we get them back. I dropped them off Monday and expect to have them back on Saturday. Hows that for a fast turnaround? We'll see how they look when they get back.
Meanwhile, the frig is up and running great. The freezer is nice and cold and the frig area was at 25 degrees this morning after a good start up last evening. With that news, we packed up what was left at the condo(Gringo Pete's) and headed for Zephyr this morning. We're now living aboard again after a long 4.5 months away. I brought Blue aboard first thing and got her set up on the "throne". The top perch of a tall cat tree(smuggled aboard at night so no one would laugh at us while we were still in Newport, OR). She looked around and settled in. She's spent most of the day there or slowly wandering around the deck taking in the sights of her home again. She's not to impress with the boatyard dogs that go running around under all the boats(and that is just fine). She will stay on board. Snowshoe took up residence in the stern bunk and really hasn't move much. He knows he's home and appears to be quite happy about it.
I tried to open some of the through hulls so sinks can drain around the boat. Nope--stuck TIGHT. No amount of heaving or hoing was going to undo them. I finally stuck a big wooden dowel under it and it broke free--sort of. I consulted with another(much more experienced boater) about my problem. He came aboard and took the whole thing apart and showed me how to clean and rebuild it. It's a big family here with everyone helping each other. I loaned my drill and some screwdrivers to another boater a few days ago.
And that's about it for now. The body is in need of some pain killers(more than just alcohol). More tomorrow.
11/03/2010, San Carlos, Mexico
Just a quick note as to the last few days.
We got the frig up and running yesterday afternoon after adding two cans of coolant to the system. Where the old stuff went, we have no clue. That was the last stumbling block keeping us from moving aboard. While the inside is still a bit of a mess, we need to move aboard asap. The kids are a bit fritzed but I'm sure will be "happy" to be home with no more moves(at least land moves).
I'll fill you in on the rest of what is happening once we get a chance to stop for a while--like doing laundry.
11/01/2010, San Carlos, Mexico
Yeah, I know, I've missed a few days but we have been traveling again.We headed back to Tucson on Sunday morning and got in about 1400. Over to the storage shed(thanks UHaul)and Tracy loaded the car. What a pro. She got everything we had brought in the trailer into the car with room to spare. With that being said, we took off for Costco to get more canned Tuna and other things that aren't available down here--the list is long.
Over to Lowe's to buy a few things including brackets to fix the hatch that covers our propane locker. For some reason when it was built, they made a four sided frame(like a picture frame) and then plopped in a piece of plywood as the main body of the hatch. Over time, the "frame" has begun to crack, letting the main section of plywood come loose which makes the top outer layer of teak that covers the outside break. Now I have to take it apart(same thing happened on the port side) and reglue it and try and stabilize the entire hatch so when we walk on it it doesn't sink into the locker below and break more. Gee what fun.
Meanwhile, other boats come and go and we keep loading more and more supplies and installing new hardware and putting the sails(main, genoa and jib) back on. Tracy's modification of the main sail cover looks great.
On Saturday night(the night before we left)the guys in the condo next door threw a party. It started at about 2000 hours and ended the next morning about 0600. It wasn't so bad except one of the guests played bongo (yes, that's right) bongo drums through the night. Over and over and over at all hours. With all that noise, it made the nights sleep not tremendously good--if at all. And the 6+ hour drive a great deal of fun. At least the movement of goods is now over and we can really buckle down and get Zephyr up and running.
We heard from the Cool Blue folks that made our frig. His suggestion is to put a bag of ice against the holding plate so the compressor doesn't have to work quite so hard on startup. We'll try it tomorrow. It's the big reason we are still in the condo as we have a good bit of frozen food that needs to be kept frozen and a warm frig just won't cut the mustard.
It's dinner time for the exhausted two of us, so that it for now. More to come as the spirits revive.
10/29/2010, San Carlos Mexico
Work continues on Zephyr. We filled the batteries and let them charge over night. By the morning, they were all(six house and 2 start batteries)charged and raeady to go. I'd posted the question as to wether they would still be good since they had been totally drained. The responses were to charge them up and then put a load on them--run the frig. We ran different things during the day and allowed the batteries to be at full capacity when we were ready to leave. Meanwhile, I vacuumed the deck to get all the blue dust(like chalk dust) off the boat. The tarp had left lots of its fibers behind. Lots of stringy bits and a ton of dust. I could have washed it off, but I didn't want to take the chance of getting any of it on our neighbors boats. Tracy, meanwhile worked below decks getting lots of thing put away and other brought out to be ready for use. One of our neighbors boats needed a drill that would accommodate a half inch drill bit so he could drill a 2 inch hole in his hull for a new transducer. I pulled out our big Milwaukee drill that we use to get me up the mast and to adjust the sheets when we are out sailing and that did the trick. It powered his hole saw and he blasted through his hull. One cruiser helping another.
More to come. It's time for dinner.
OK, I'm back.
During the afternoon, a man came by and made an offer to scrub and polish our hull. During the Summer, even though covered, it had gotten not only very dirty but the wax we had put on last year was just about gone as when the beautiful dark blue color. His bid--$250. I thought that was a bit high and told him to come back tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the folks on Prairie Oyster(the ones with loads of blisters on their hull) set about filling each divot that had occurred when they had drilled them out before leaving early in the year. It was going to take a good bit of epoxy to do the job.
The guy beside us had made a new hatch cover for his forward hatch. Beautiful job but he was a 1/4" too big. Out came his saw and off it came. So close but better too big then too small.
This morning when we arrived, the batteries had only used 34 amps over a 14 hour period and still were holding a good charge so it looks like they may be alright. Unfortunately, when I opened the frig, it was not cold at all. Something is wrong with it. I put in a call to the manufacturer only to find that they are closed Friday through Sunday and of course, today was Friday. I left a voice mail as well as sending him an email. Maybe I'll get lucky and he might read them before Monday. I was smart enough to order a recharge kit before we left so if it is low on freon, I've got a supply to recharge the compressor.
I took off early this morning with three other boaters to Guaymas. One needed a bulb for his flashlight(not available in San Carlos). Another(the guy with the big hatch next door) needed a piece of stainless steel to complete his installation of the hatch. The third just came to give directions. I went as I needed to have some brackets made so we can install our radar reflector on the mast instead of hanging it from one of the spreaders on the mast. It's hung by line from a pulley since we bought Zephyr. It's time to get it hung in a proper location where it won't fall over board if a rope fails.
Tracy took our mainsail cover and tore it apart. It's always been about a foot short. We had some extra Sunbrella fabric that matched it so she cut it in half and patched in a foot to make it longer and it fits great. Now she just has to finish the seams and add the fasteners and it will be done.
The hull washer/polisher man came by while I was out running my errand to Guaymas. Tracy talked him into doing the job for $150 instead of the $250 he had originally wanted. Little did he realize what he was walking up to when he approached our hull--Haggler Tracy was ready to go. He didn't stand a chance.
I put our EPIRB(Emergency Position Locator Beacon) back on the stern railing so should something happen, others will know where we are and can come and rescue us(at least we hope they do).
We had forgotten how much work it was working on boats to get them ready for launching. By the time the yard closes at 1700, we are both whipped and ready for dinner. We'd headed back to the condo for lunch and ran into two of the guys that went to Guaymas earlier with me. We took off for lunch at "JJ" restaurant in "downtown" San Carlos. Great tacos and lots of good conversation. With a table full of cruisers, it made for a great lunch.
With the boat cleaner coming tomorrow and probably finishing on Sunday, we will probably head for Tucson on Monday or Sunday if the guy finishes early. We've gotten everything put away from the first load and are ready to try and get the rest down here in one more shot. With Tracy's skill at packing a car, we just might make it.
Stay tuned--as always, more to come. Heck, we might actually get back in the water some day.