Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcome home

It was a 28!-hour bus ride - ugh. Justin picked me up. There are always things that I immediately begin to enjoy having again. Like:

crunchy Cheetos (Dick's rolling his eyes at this moment. He says Cheetos have an unnatural color, but I think the color is pretty close to the natural color of carrots and oranges),
lots of hot pressured water for a shower,
the ability to put toilet paper IN the toilet for flushing,
seeing what new toys Justin has,taking down the tile from the last time I was here, and putting up the next one,
getting "Welcome home" emails from cousin Phyl in Rio Linda and from Glenn in Regina Saskatchewan,
having two cards from BFF Paula in Foley Alabama,
putting out the Ibarra's pottery bowl I bought in La Paz,
toasted bread for breakfast with real butter and Saskatoonberry jam. (Sadly, Mexico doesn't have very good butter. I tried them all, thankfully you can buy one stick at a time, but there was not a brand that compares to USA butter. Dick is rolling his eyes again. After he once suggested that butter was one of those things in life that was unnecessary, I replied earnestly, "Oh no, butter's important!")
talking to Justin getting, and
getting the wonderful news that Thais and Lenin are expecting a baby due in mid-October!
It's good to be home again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leaving Guaymas

Today we head our separate ways. Dick is taking a bus to Topolobampo, then the ferry to La Paz, where he'll meet up with Darren & Haruka. In a day or two, they will set sail for French Polynesia. Dick is soooo excited!
A few hours later, I will board a bus for a 24-hour ride to Sacramento. Stayed tuned for family updates from California and Dick's progress on his Pacific crossing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Buenos amigos

Good friends, Panchis and Roberto. We went to dinner at Los Arbolitos tonight as a thank-you for all they've done for us.
It took ALL day today to learn the following lessons:
1. Don't lose your debit card, especially when you're almost ready to leave the country.
2. Beware! The bank may block your other debit card if it receives a report from a merchant that the card "has been compromised." The only way you will discover this is after you've been denied a purchase and made a phone call to the bank.
3. A bank will send a replacement debit card anywhere in the world and give you a specific date of arrival, but that doesn't mean it will arrive before you leave. On-time delivery in Mexico is considered a miracle.
4. Know the PIN numbers for your back-up credit cards because . . .
5. The ONLY way to get cash in Mexico is from an ATM machine.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Boat cover: day 22

Fin, finito, finale, the end. Hurray! It's done. 22 days of work. My home sewing machine did a surprisingly good job working the stamoid. We ran out of material so the helm station is covered with some sunbrella fabric that came with the boat. The two bow sections are covered although it doesn't look like it. The fabric is heavy and lays quite flat on the deck. The cabin top is not covered - not enough fabric - but Dick thinks maybe it won't need to be covered.

Around the bottom edge, there's a hem with polyester line at the edge. Dick then laced heavy fishing line at various points and laced underneath the boat so it doesn't flap around in the wind. There's a rope strung around the boat stands, part of the lacing structure.

In the end, Dick decided to tie an sail cover over the cabin top to cover a couple of hatches that could possible leak.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Viernes Santo

Good Friday. On my way from Roberto's house to the boat, I came upon a small procession followed by a large group of people.The group was preceded by somber drumbeats

Roman soldiers on horseback laughing and taunting Jesus who dragged a cross.

A sad group of women followed behind.

They made their way along the malecon to Iglesia San Fernando.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boat cover: day 18

We are closing in this project. There are 5 large pieces which velcro together. In this picture the cockpit piece is in place which means access to the cabin is unavailable.
Before we left for the day, Dick went through one of the hatches to get what we needed.
We've been housesitting for Roberto while he's been in Sierra Vista. Our condolences to Roberto and his entire family in the passing of his sister Rosa a few days ago.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Darren and Haruka set sail

The big adventure of returning to Australia is about to begin. Tidy sailor, isn't he? This is the "proper" way to leave one's lines on the dock.

A final rinse for Cool Cat before leaving. It's quite dusty here, the boats get quite dirty very quickly.

The "deckie" pushes them off. Dick will join them in La Paz in about a week.

There they go. Fair winds, safe seas to you both.

If anyone wants to follow their blog, you can find them at:

Once Dick joins them, I'll be posting updates here also.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Celebration before the exodus

Quite a few people are leaving Guaymas tomorrow, so a get-together at Casa Juanita's, across the street, was in order. L-R: Ken from Plan B is heading for Portland Oregon, Dick and I aren't going anywhere for a couple of weeks, Jackie from Windstrutter along with partner Tony are returning to Brighton England.

L-R (excluding the back of Jackie's head): Darren, Tony, George from Mollyhock isn't going anywhere either, and Haruka. Darren and Haruka, Cool Cat, are sailing across the Sea of Cortez to Baja California.

L-R: George, Haruka, Carol from Intrepid along with husband Kelly are returning to Victoria BC Canada.

L-R: Kelly and Ken.

Pretty darn good margaritas at Casa Juanita's, I must say. The rim is dipped in honey before it's dipped in coarse salt. They use their own brand of tequila. At the end of the evening, you're invited to purchase a bottle to take with you.

Bon voyage to Darren and Haruka, safe travels to all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today was our 8th wedding anniversary. We had a shortened work day and went to dinner at Pancho Villas. We ordered molcajete. A molcajete is a traditional stone bowl but when ordering this in a restaurant it usually means the edge is draped with a variety of meats, the center is a mixture of salsa and melted cheese. On the side are refried beans, guacamole and tortillas.

Boat cover: day 10

See that cloud cover? That means it's wonderfully cooler for a few days. There's a new rectangular hole in the work table, Dick is making platform to hang underneath it. The fabric sections need to lay flat as they are fed through.
The first short section is ready. The section nearest Dick must be rolled up tightly so it fits through the space under the arm.
With lots of fabric, it got much more complicated. This is called "one machine, two people, four hands, one foot." Dick feeds the fabric forward, but I also have to pull gently since the mass of yardage is quite heavy. I work the foot pedal, Dick pulls out the pins with pliers, I snip threads. Note that I'm wearing a sweatshirt - it was a chilly afternoon and I was happy.

We have our frustrating days to be sure. One day, Dick described our situation as "We had a poor plan, then measured the lengths of fabric wrong, and then sewed the pieces in the wrong order." We had to undo 3/4 of what we did that day. Dick also finds feeding the fabric into the machine and keeping it aligned quite anxiety-producing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Boat cover: day 6

The two forward bow sections are done, this is port stern section.
A close-up of the conical collars that go around each of the 34 stanchions:
The sewing station has now been moved to the 4'X8' work table. Another modification will be needed when we begin stitching sections of 59"-wide fabric together.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Boat cover: day 3

It all started several weeks ago, when Dick saw this boat and said, "I think I've got boat-cover envy." He's been wanting to protect our boat from excessive rain in the coming wet season. We explored the idea of shrink-wrapping the boat but it would be an annual project and the wrapping material would be thrown away at the beginning of every sailing season. The bows would be the most complicated so I draped blue-line pellon over one "nose" and made a pattern then made a draft out of muslin. It fit just fine, but at this point we still weren't sure how to deal with the 34 stanchions, crossbeam and other assorted lines.

We're leaving the trampolines in place for as long as possible as a safety precaution while we complete the bow sections. The fabric is Stamoid, woven polyester coated on both sides with vinyl. It's heavy, the finished cover will weigh about 100 pounds, however it will be in 2-3 sections and velcro-ed together.

Let me just say, "Buggers, it's hot!" (Darren's Aussie slang has invaded my vocabulary.) Working under the boat is much cooler. Here I'm adding cone-shaped collars at designated points to go around the stanchions, then adding a placket to one side of the opening below the collar so the sections can be velcro-ed closed.

We begin the day's work around 7:30 and stop for the day around 4:30. Mostly I'm sewing while Dick is cutting or marking the fabric. Dick isn't getting his afternoon siesta these days and I'm so exhausted by day's end. The fabric is so heavy and the pieces so long that my arms are getting a workout. Dick has also taken over the cooking and laundry which I appreciate.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cuando el gato está in Sierra Vista,

When the cat is in Sierra Vista, the mice are having a little party. Today Roberto left to visit his sister in Sierra Vista. Dick and I always housesit when Roberto goes out of town. Soooo . . . a few of us got together this evening on Roberto's patio for ceviche and a few beers. L-R: George from Mollyhock, Brad from JoJo. L-R: Dick, Darren and Haruka from Cool Cat.
Panchis made a big batch of ceviche, absolutely delicious.

Dear Roberto, we hope it was ok to have this little get-together at your house and wonder when you will find out by reading this blog. You are a dear friend and we really appreciate your hospitality.

Before the sewing project begins

In the morning, I drove Dick to San Carlos and dropped him off before I returned the rental car. Dick, Darren, and Haruka sailed in very light wind back to anchor in the bay in front of the Guaymas marina. Here, Darren is returning Dick to the dinghy dock: