Just received a wonderful email from Jan and Jen in Bowlus Minnesota. They were our warmshowers hosts on last summer's bicycle tour. They sent some pictures which I thought everyone might like seeing - it's a world of difference from our warm sunny winter in Mexico. Skiing is one of their only winter outdoor activities:
Jen shoveling the deck after one night's snowfall a week ago:
We camped under the trees on the left on July 18-19, 2010. Check out the blog posts for these dates to see the amazing difference.
We searched for crossrocks at Blanchard Dam. Jan and Jen found this beauty and had it made into a pendant.
Thanks so much, Jan and Jen, for staying touch and for sending these pictures!
The weather is still quite nice in Guaymas, but there is the occasional warm-ish day that makes me think soon it will be hot. This is one of the last boats going into the water. There are only a couple more that still plan to "splash"
Two large power boats recently hauled out. Now there are 20 boats in the yard, but that will easily triple over the next 2-3 months.
Iwa sits at anchor, ready to be hauled out tomorrow.
This will be my first year to see what Carnaal is like in Guaymas. The previous two years, I'd already gone back to California to deal with a health issue for my mom. These posters, provided by Tecate beer, are all over town.
This photo, taken from the cockpit of our boat, shows a newer bigger louder carnival company has set up shop at our edge of the malecon.
Dick is mixing the first batch of epoxy. Darren is once again ready to help.
Today's job is finished. Dick is applying the final coat of epoxy.
And now, we are stalled. We are 3 yards short of kevlar for the outside of the port hull. More material must be ordered and delivered to an address in Arizona, then we need to drive north to go get it.
**Note: This blog entry is by Dick. I think this is a first.
This is the day Arlete became the real star of the show. Maybe because it's fabric, she felt confident to step in and take over one of my jobs.
I turned around to lay down my roller. When I turned back, Arlete had the squeegee and was smoothing out the cloth. Hallelujah! I don't have to bend over anymore and my aching back is smiling. All I had to do was run the roller, Arlete did everything else. When I was "wetting out" the applied cloth, she would measure the resin and hardener for the next batch, moving the job along faster. She did a really good job.
Starboard hull completed, job half done.
It was such a pleasure working on this project with Arlete. In my experience, I'm always the one that has to watch the job for constant quality control and doing the work as efficiently as possible. Today Arlete stepped in while I ran the roller and watched my sweetheart manage the job.
Happy Valentine's Day, but there's still work to do. Today we will finish the outside of the starboard hull. Dick is cutting the kevlar we'll be using today. We had to buy special scissors for this project, kevlar doesn't cut very easily.
Dick rolls the epoxy onto the bare hull for the next 5-6 feet. I place the kevlar along the top edge while Darren holds the remaining bulky cloth. Dick then smoothes out the kevlar and then hurries to fully "wet out" the cloth that's been laid. Dick is really hustling, Darren and I stand around and wait a lot.
38 feet complete today, we are now 1/4 finished.
Although we were both quite tired at the end of the day, we had a romantic dinner and a nice bottle of wine and went to bed at 8 pm and fell asleep right away. It felt good to actually do some real work on the boat, but I was so tired. I'm not used to working this hard.
This is kevlar cloth, the bulletproof upgrade from fiberglass. The photographer asked me to do my best Vanna-pose.
Today we practiced our technique with an 8-foot length. The first step is to mix epoxy resin and hardener and roll it onto the surface. Next, stick the kevlar along a pre-marked line and smooth it onto the surface using a plastic squeegee. It's important to do a good job the first time because fixing mistakes is really difficult.
Darren, who just arrived from Australia to meet his new catamaran Cool Cat, is helping us, but it looks more like he's measuring me for a nice kevlar dress.
Once the kevlar is smoothed out, Dick goes over the surface again rolling on the epoxy so the fabric is soaked through. You have to mix just the right amount of epoxy and work efficiently because once the hardener is mixed into the epoxy, the hardening process begins. If it's warm, it "goes off" more quickly. This epoxy has some white pigment mixed in also. It will be the only time since the pigment isn't essential to a good outcome.
Dick has nicknamed the other boatyard in Guaymas "Camp Dirt."
The treasure chest: a falling-apart trimaran that's being parted out. We came home empty-handed.
While Dick explored in the treasure chest, I watched 5 men work on a boat that had gone aground - oops! The truck is tethered to the boat and is backing up while the two guys are pulling on a line tied to the top of the mast. They're trying to "rock" the boat sideways hoping it will slide off a shelf into deeper water. There is also a dinghy (hard to see) on the port stern pushing for all its worth. The owner of the boat is ondeck scampering about. Dick and I didn't stay long enough to see if these three simultaneous techniques worked out.
One time-honored tradition among some cruisers is having Sundowners, drinks with friends at sunset. Tonight we were invited to Elke's boat, Wind of Change, which is berthed at the marina. Elke and her husband, Uwe, are from a small town near Hamburg Germany and, over the past couple of years (oh my, we've been in Guaymas for almost two years), we've become good friends. Elke and Uwe have sailed for the past 17 years so they have a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Elke actually invited us for Sundowners last night. We told her we couldn't make it because we were going to watch the Super Bowl. She said, "What's that?" How often in one's lifetime, will you hear that?
We've watched, or listened to, the Super Bowl in a few interesting places. This year we went to Roberto's house and watched the game in Spanish. Dick made a traditional American meal of hamburgers with all the trimmings
including freshly roasted chiles.
Of course, Dick and I had to place a friendly wager on the outcome. My team, the Green Bay Packadores just scored against the Pittsburgh Acereros. They would go on to win!
Inside the courtyard of Casa Buena, my little room was tucked into a quiet corner:
Breakfast in the morning was in the big common room in the center of the courtyard:
Around 10 am, I walked a mile or so from Casa Buena, along the malecon to the bus station:
A local bus took me to Pichilingue to the ferry terminal. The ferry left at 3 pm.
It was another cold ride across the Sea of Cortes to Topolobampo, we arrived at 9 pm. And there was Dick waiting for me! Hurray! A short taxi ride to Los Mochis and our bus back to Guaymas left at 11:30 pm.
Go well on your way, Glenn. And remember the message on the poster behind you, "Expect the unexpected." Next time, I hope there's a sailboat involved. I drove back to La Paz and will stay tonight behind the walls of Casa Buena. This 18-room bed and breakfast is owned by some an American couple who used to cruise. Tomorrow I begin my journey back to Guaymas. Hopefully the ferry will be able to leave. It's quite cold here and the winds are gusting to 40 mph. My fingers are crossed.
What fun to catch up with new friends, Chris and Agnes on s/v Sulima, who we met in Guaymas in the work yard. It was also great that Glenn got a glimpse of the daily morning coffee at the La Paz Marina cruisers club. Chris kept one eye on the wind as it began to pick up. There's a "big blow" coming in from the north and cruisers who are anchored outside the marinas are laying in supplies and may be on their boats for 2-3 days keeping watch that their boats don't drag. Chris and Agnes already had to deal with another boat that "dragged anchor" and drifted toward their boat. Afterwards, breakfast at Rancho Viejo - yum! again. Ibarra's Pottery, beautiful handmade pottery of all types and sold only at their shop. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside - darn! A weaving factory. Hand-carved spools The oldest loom is 50 years old and still in operation, although it looks much older. No modernization or mechanization here.