Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Public market

On Wednesday mornings, several streets are blocked off for local merchants to sell their wares.  We only visited the food section:
The honey vendor removing the comb.  He can fill a small bottle from 12" away and not spill a drop onto the outside.
Bee pollen, popular in homeopathic medicine:
Although not obvious in this picture, the vendors make it easy for gringo shoppers by selling prepackaged veggies in clear plastic bags, always 10 pesos per bag. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Around Guaymas this week

Painting as far as the arm can reach:
Horny burritos?  Probably this means the burritos are baked.  Hornear means "to bake."
The very best corn tortillas in Guaymas are made here:
The best rotisserie chicken comes from Pollo López - cooked over a wood fire, small potatoes are cooked below and included with every order.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Acción de gracias

Thanksgiving. All the cruisers in the yard and at the dock got together for a potluck this afternoon. The local stores in Guaymas are pretty good about carrying a few items that los americanos like to buy at this time of year:  whole turkeys (about $2/lb), cranberry sauce, stuffing mix.  Marine ovens are notoriously small so the cruiser who roasted the turket carefully measured the opening and measured the turkey before purchase - a 17-lb bird was the limit.
The marina staff was also invited.  Marlene, who works in the office upstairs, wanted to make a traditional American apple pie, but she was a little nervous about how to do it correctly.  She stayed up all night, she said, making the crust and slicing the apples, and then asked one of the cruisers if she could bake it just before it was time to serve it.  It was important to her that the pie be warm.  She did a great job, the pie was delicious.  Marlene went home right after dinner to take a nap - she was exhausted. 
After dinner we took a look at our new (purchased used) genoa sail made from very light fabric - good for light air sailing.
It looks huge when laying on the ground, but must be flaked (folded) in a certain way for storage (the box is temporary storage).  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Boat update

The larger open space is where the 400 lb diesel engine was housed, the smaller open space held 300 lbs of hydraulics which controlled the steering.   
The last pictures I got of the nacelle construction job were take on 30 March, just before we started making the boat cover.  The yellowish area is part of the nacelle which is now attached to the underside of the bridgedeck.  The outboard engine will hang from an aluminum framework (not shown) Dick made and had welded by a local metal shop.  The outboard will be raised up when we're underway by sail.
Another view of the nacelle which was recently filled with pour-foam:

Another project: making a whisker pole, used to hold the jib sail out to the side when sailing downwind.  To buy one is about $2000, to make one cost about $50. 
Surprisingly, these final projects are going quite well.  We are still on track to go back in the water in mid-December.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Birthday party

So, who cares if my birthday was actually 2 months ago? None of people in the work yard cared one bit. Dick gave me a birthday party tonight.   Dick and Roberto:
L-R: Gordon from Far Country, (Big) Mike from Tazmo, Tony from Forbe and Cameron - singing the traditional birthday song:
Patsy (Forbes & Cameron) then sang the traditional Mexican birthday song with some help from Roberto:
Thanks, Dick, for a wonderful evening.

Friday, November 18, 2011

To Guaymas and the boat

The sailing season is about to begin, Dick says this year there's going to be some sailing.  On Wednesday, I flew from the new Sacramento airport terminal

to Phoenix.  John and Diane, who have their boat Daydreamer on the hard (dry storage) with ours, picked me up.  We went to their house in Prescott for a couple of days before heading south.  The view from their deck of Thumb Butte and the Dollys (named after Dolly Parton):
Diane took me on a tour of the area, including Highlands Center for Natural History where she volunteers when not sailing.  School groups come here on field trips.  The butterfly roof of the main building collects rainwater for irrigation, the solar panels provide electricity - the building and grounds are energy independent.
On Friday, we left early in the morning for the long drive to Guaymas stopping along the way to pick up packages and supplies.  The reason for John and Diane's trip was to buy bottom paint.  At this time, there is NO bottom paint available in Mexico because the company is changing their label (go figure).  Of course, each stop meant repacking the truck to minimize visibility when crossing the border.
All went well, we didn't get x-rayed by the US Border Patrol and got two green lights at the customs checkpoints in Mexico. We arrived in Guaymas just after dark.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Walnut harvest 2011

45 pounds of dried walnuts ready to be used.  Three times more than the 2010 harvest.
I found a recipe for Walnut Candy and made several batches.  My shelling station in the garage.  I was able to shell 2 pounds of walnuts in 20 minutes, the goal being as many perfect halves as possible.  If you hit the pointy end of the walnut just right, getting perfect halves is easy, but a soft hit can also mean the walnut shell will pinch the fingers holding it.  2 lbs yielded 1 lb of nuts.
The walnuts bake for 20 minutes in a sugar, cinnamon, brandy, orange juice mixture.
1 lb of halves made 1 lb 13 oz of candied pieces.  They're terribly addictive.
If I was going to be here much longer, I would have used the shells and husks to boil up some walnut ink.  Maybe next year.
The most recently-planted walnut trees went in the ground last March.  In the last 8 months they doubled in height.  The blue ribbon marks 5' 10" - Justin's height.  If it weren't for his work schedule this week, he'd be standing there.
The fork in the branch was last year's cut.  Justin will prune these trees back by half this year's growth but keep the upward growth going.  One year from now, he'll begin choosing the lateral branches.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Road trip back to California

What fun to travel again with Phyllis. On Saturday 5 November, Dick and I drove from Guaymas, crossed the border (this took 2 1/2 hours), and went one more time to Home Depot in Nogales before I dropped him close to the border so he could walk across to get to the bus station to go back to Guaymas. Meanwhile I drove to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and miraculously arrived as Phyllis' flight was landing. We spent our first night in Kingman AZ and drove to her sister's house in Bakersfield the next day. One of the fun things we do each time we visit with Carol and Jerry is a visit to Carol's art studio out in the garage.
Carol works in her studio every day and even hosts workshops with a guest artist about once a year.
Portraits by Carol:  (L-R) Silver the Brahma bull, Jeff the (female) emu who recently passed away, and Bonnie the mule. 
By Monday afternoon, November 7, I was back in E Nicolaus. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Great-grandma meets Avery

Today I took Mom to meet her newest great-grandchild.
 Sophia has two babies to take care of.  Today they were named Leiah and Olivia. 
She also provided Carter with something to chew on.  Carter didn't have to move at all and began gnawing right away.
Lenin also took family leave for the first few weeks - hurray for helpful dads!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Road trip to Guaymas

(NOTE: Actually I'm composing this on 12 November. I've been going through blog withdrawal because I've been without the proper cable to connect the camera to the computer. Why? I lost camera #2 on the way to Guaymas, and brought back to the US camera #1 but without the correct cable. I promptly ordered the correct cable and even paid for expedited shipping - the shipping was more than the cable itself, but I was desperate. Unfortunately the expedited shipping took twice as long as it was supposed to take. That's my sad story, I have returned to good emotional blogging health. Here goes a few posts to catch up.)

Dick and I left the Bay Area on Monday 31 October and drove southward.  Over the next 3 days, we made 10 stops in 8 different cities before we crossed the border.  It was a 3-D jigsaw puzzle after the big stops as Dick had to repack the car around a 15 hp outboard, then a 60-lb anchor was added along with various
gallons of bottom paint, pieces of aluminum, whisker poles, and personal belongings.  The car was sitting lower to the ground for sure.  Our border crossing was easy and we arrived in Guaymas at sunset on Thursday 3 November.