Saturday, March 31, 2012

At the panga docks this week

 Tea Leaves left, to be hauled out at Gabriel's yard which, by road, is only 3 miles away.  It's not the same yard where we were, but is more popular this season for haul-outs due to great dissatisfaction with Marina Singlar.  Earlier in the day, a new boat arrived: Smoke 'N' Blues with new owners JD & Vera.
 A consultation with Dick's favorite (English-speaking) welder in Guaymas to finish the whisker pole.  A big thank-you to JD and Vera for bringing us into town along with the pole.  Dick could not have managed it on his bicycle.
 Imagine thousands of fingerlings like these feeding around your boat.
 I added rings at the head and tack of the drifter and
worked on provisioning.  Food is stored in so many places and crammed into big compartments that I hope having it all entered in a database will help us find what we might be looking for.  It will also let us know what we bought too much of.  Bread, eggs, and fresh fruit/vegetables come last.
We're getting closer to being able to leave Guaymas and go sailing for an extended period of time.  Even the boat projects that Dick wanted to finish are nearing an end.  The big hang-up at this point is waiting for the depth sounder we ordered in mid-March to arrive.  I'm sure that story will be a future blog entry.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Avery and Sophia this month

Thanks so much to Thais for sending these pictures.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sailing with Roberto & Panchis

Today we took Roberto and Panchis sailing, it was Panchis' first time.
Bravely helming the boat:
Roberto made the BEST ceviche for our picnic lunch.
Roberto is a natural and we think he should consider joining us for a longer cruise.
Dick played with a variety of sail combinations including this downwind "wing and wing."
One of two freighters either coming into Guaymas harbor or leaving.  This one carries grain.
A different combination, still "wing and wing."
The non-working lighthouse on Isla Pajaros:

We had a great time today.  It felt so good to be on the water, sailing!  We're so glad Roberto and Panchis were able to be there.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boat work - will it ever end?

Handstitching a tear in the batten pocket on the mainsail.
Checking the tension in the rigging:
Makeshift winch handle holder made from neoprene from an old wetsuit and covered with UV-resistant fabric:
Up the mast again to straighten the steaming light.  We want those ships at sea us coming toward them at the proper angle.
An experiment to add non-skid utility fabric to the bottoms of my flip-flops.  Re-applying non-skid to the deck of the boat is an upcoming project.
A new fuel tank thanks to Roberto driving us to San Carlos.
Two little scuba-type tanks needed air put in.
The list is being whittled down daily.

Friday, March 23, 2012

At the panga dock this week

Singing and fishing for about an hour. A nice serenade, but no fish were caught.
A good day's catch for these panga fishermen.  They came to the dock to remove the fish from their net, sort them by type, and return the nets in a prescribed manner for the next deployment.
Sometimes you go looking for where water is running and making noise, but it turns out to be huge flutters of baby fish feeding at the surface.  Finally I captured a picture of what it sort of looks like, but imagine an area 30 ft X 10 ft. 
These seagulls waited patiently and were fed well.
The final music session.  Rick and Darcy (at left) on Tea Leaves are hauling out next week for the hot summer season and going to North Carolina.  Burt (right) on Island Woman recently joined us at the dock.
Greg (at left) and Janis on Gitana also haul out next week and will be returning to Oroville, CA.  To the right are Sue and Patrick from Susanville CA - they sold their boat last year but are in San Carlos housesitting for friends.
I think it's time for us to go somewhere too. Back to work on those boat projects!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mary from Emar

I looked across to the next dock and thought I saw Mary working with needle and thread. That peaked my curiosity, so I asked her about her projects. She does almost everything by hand. She showed me pictures of a large quilt she'd entered into an exposition in England. All the piecing, applique, quilting, everything by hand.
This project, when finished, will be 3 ft X 2 ft, made from 3000 tiny hexagons.  Each hexagon has a paper pattern inside around which she folds and bastes a square of fabric.  Meanwhile, she taking pictures of sunsets and collecting fabrics that may work in the final design.
Another remarkable quality of Mary's work is she finishes every project she starts. What? No stash of unfinished projects hiding in the back of a closet or in some hidden compartment on the boat? Nope, it drives her crazy to have a project waiting for completion. Good on ya' Mary!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Boat work continues

A couple of weeks ago, the to-do list was 1 1/2 pages long and posted prominently in the galley.  Final cushioning on the deck hatches:
Up the mast.  I cleated him off before taking the picture, by the way.
No, I did not make a hat for myself, it's a 2/3 finished
winch cover.  Dick's been waiting 3 years for winch covers.  I made 5 of them.  The three in the cockpit match the seat cushions.  The two on the mast match the sail cover.
Protection for the GPS antenna:
I also made 5 water jug covers.  I started with the black fabric, each cover was better than the last one.  Nevertheless, it wasn't until #5 that I got the hole big enough for the red cap to screw on.  We got the 20L water jugs from a local bakery.  They used to contain cooking oil.  Dick washed them all out.  We'll be able to carry 120 gallons of water in them.  Most will be stored in the hulls, only the jugs exposed to the sun needed covers.

Dick took everything OUT of the bow compartments, decided what to keep, how it should be stowed and where while I created a searchable database so we can find a specific item.

The bow compartments being organized, there's still a lot of things sitting in the cockpit waiting for a  happy place to be.
Underwater trying to get the transducer for the depth sounder to read the depth.  No luck, we had to order a new one.  Now we need even more luck getting the new one delivered to Mexico.
After three years of being the no-name boat, I applied the decals to the stern.
Ta-dah.  We have a name!

Many things got scratched off the list this week, but we MUST stop adding to it.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Understanding the Paraje-Fatima bus

The Paraje-Fatima bus is the only one that comes down the road toward the panga docks. There are few designated stops, you wave as the bus approaches and it stops. It’s the same way to get off. You call out “Bajo” (down) anywhere along the route and the bus will stop to let you off. The route goes from Fatima on the south side of Guaymas, through downtown, and along the bay. The last big neighborhood on the route is Mirador on the other side of the bay, then it turns right and goes over the hill, past the entrance to the panga docks, to the fish processing plant, and finally to the small community of Paraje. At least that’s what I thought it did.

6 Mar: Greg, Janis, Dick and I went to dinner, we left at 5 pm and chose a restaurant along the bus route to make our return easier. Around 7:30 pm we went to the opposite side of the street to wait for the next bus. Many buses came by, not the right ones so we waved them off. It took about a half hour for Paraje-Fatima to come by, the bus driver looked like he was about 12 years old. There were quite a few people on the bus, including a young couple sitting behind the driver making out and a young man sitting across from them. As we drove through the Mirador neighborhood, including one section of bumpy dirt road, all of the passengers except for us got off at various stops. At the last intersection, the young man asked us where we were going and we told him the docks at El Mero over the hill. The 12-year-old driver and the man making out with his girlfriend quickly exchanged places, the bus turned right and roared over the hill. We were thrilled when the bus went down the road right to the guard shack at the docks. What service! We found out later the last Paraje-Fatima bus is at 8 pm. What good luck!

12 Mar: I got a ride into town with Rick and Darcy and told them I’d ride the bus back to the docks later in the day. I left the marina’s computer room around 5:30 and walked a few blocks to catch the Paraje-Fatima bus. At the same intersection leaving Mirador, the bus driver told me I should get off because the bus doesn’t go over the hill after 5 pm. Darn. I had to walk the last two miles pulling my little cart filled with computer and a few groceries. The road is narrow with uneven pavement, no shoulder, no center line, curvy, and has lots of fast-moving traffic in both directions. It’s important to watch, listen, and get off the road (into the weeds) whenever a car approaches.

13 Mar: I waited for 45 minutes at road, no bus came by. I walked over the hill, no Paraje-Fatima buses came by. There are supposed to be 8 per day, but not this afternoon.
A spot of color on my walk.  See the hummingbird?
I was able to catch the bus in Mirador. On the way back, I asked the driver (this guy looked like he was about 14 years old) if he was going to el parque industrial (the fish processing plants). “Si, si.”

But my question must not have been phrased correctly, because at that same Mirador intersection, he told me I should get off because he wasn’t going that way. Once again, I walked over the hill.

16 Mar: Success today. Not trusting the bus system, I got a ride with Rick and Darcy to shop for groceries at Super Del Norte. I caught the Paraje-Fatima bus easily,

phrased my question differently (Are you going over the mountain?) “Si, si.” And everything worked fine. Today’s bus driver didn’t drive the usual route through Mirador, but rather asked where people wanted to get off and even shortened the route by a mile or so. Indeed, we went over the mountain and I was let off at the entrance to the panga docks. Hurray!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gitana arrives, evening music begins

Rick and Darcy arrived on Tea Leaves a couple days before Janis and Greg arrived on Gitana. They are tied up to the same dock as we are.  Greg, Rick, and Darcy are all musicians, so music sessions on the dock

or in a cockpit soon became a nightly event.

John and Mary on Emar, from England, and tied up at the next dock, joined us a couple of times. Mary is a sign language translator and signed along with the singing and playing.

The only thing to beware of is when the tequila bottle shows up. The music lasts longer, Janis Dick and I join in the singing, and the walk back to the boat is a bit wobbly.