This is a post I wrote just before Hurricane Patricia roared onto the coast…. so it’s a little out of date…. hope you enjoy the read anyway. As of today (Oct. 25th) things have settled down and we’re starting to see a brighter light at the end of the working tunnel :-) We’ve even managed to tidy up the chaos in the house and move some of the bins into Rikki. Kathy and Salvadore should finish up tomorrow and then the rest of us get to move our attentions into and onto SSpirit.
What follows is the update, written a few days ago.
Howdy folks… It’s been a while since I’ve checked in… we’ve all been working hard here in sunny, rainy and windy San Carlos. Yes, not only have the northers started to show themselves (early in honour of El Nino) but Hurricane Patricia is claiming fame down near Manzanillo and rumours have it we may experience some of her wrath (in the form of wet sunshine) up here some time in the future. All in a day of Mexican pleasure :-) We are all enjoying the slight drop in temperatures… it’s much nicer to work in the 80’s than the 90’s.
SSpirit is taking shape and beginning to resemble the lovely lady of our dreams. Just yesterday the yard fellows applied her second coat of primer and the first coat of bottom paint. Her bottom (pardon the phrase) looks wonderful! Inside she still resembles a rummage sale at an electrical shop but Kathy and Salvadore have been slaving over the electrical system and repairing and updating as they go. They’ve re-arranged the batteries so that the house batteries (4 of them) all live together and an added benefit to that move is that we now have a good place to store some canned goods in the vicinity of the galley. If not to day, then tomorrow, they will be hooking up the new propane lines to the new composite propane tank which will live on it’s new bracket outside the pushpit. That little manoeuvre has created some more storage space in the cockpit locker (hurray!). And the navigation station is taking shape. An 802 SSB radio and MATRIX (VHF/AIS) radio now grace the place. These are wonderful additions as we will now be able to gather weather forecasts more easily, communicate with other boats on SSB, and even send and receive short emails while at sea. On the outside, we are re-running the running rigging (all but the Jib halyard which managed to get itself stuck for now) and today John and I are going to don knee pads and work at removing all the goop on the deck left over from the Duct tape we used to hold down covers etc. over the summer. If we can, we may even get the main sail back on… it depends on the wind.
I’m having fun on the morning net. We’re part of the early group of folks down here and each morning there is an opportunity to offer things for sale (Swaps & Trades) on the radio. We have so much stuff looking for a new home that I’ve separated them into categories. Yesterday was “mechanical”, today is “domestic” and it’s kind of a chuckle in the boat yard as I mention that fact. Because there’s a smaller group here for now, no one else has much to sell so I get to use the radio time. Had our first sale yesterday… so fingers crossed we can unload a lot of our excess baggage.
With respect to the service folks down here. It changes every year. Some are allowed to work in the service yard, and some aren’t. It seems to be more political than anything else but you have to kind of pick and choose based upon reputation, availability and political affiliation. None of the staff that the previous owner used are available or even still in San Carlos. Well, one is… but he’s not allowed in the yard anymore. The rest have either retired, fallen from favour or disappeared. I think we’ve identified who will do what in the near future… As you know, Salvadore is our electrician this year. His partner Jesus will do the engine alignment and re-charge the refrigeration. A gentleman named Garth (who seems to run a loose crew of service people) has a rigger who will do the rigging inspection, install a radar reflector, and retrieve our Jib halyard. And finally, we will be using the mechanic out of Star Marine (also named Jesus… not too confusing) as our mechanic.
Our home team has been moving forward as well. While Kathy slaves away on the electronics, the rest of us have been working on jobs off the boat, while we wait to be able to get inside and start cleaning. John has been busy with the dinghy. Seems the ‘slow leak’ of yesteryears has turned into a gusher and the starboard side prefers to lay down flat than hold any air. Thankfully the port side is solid. We’ve located the leak and now await the arrival of hypalon adhesive… being carried down from the US by cruising friends.. thank gawd or, as Sue has suggested, we’d have to lash one of the kayaks to the SB side of the dinghy to create a floating raft. John has also begun the installation of new dinghy wheels onto the transom and they look great. They’re the kind that you only have to push down on to engage and release… as opposed to the variety that require you to hang over the back of the dinghy with your head in the water, attempting to push a stubborn pin through four (too small) holes while the dinghy bobs up in down in big (thankfully warm) waves. These pneumatic wheels are fantastic! Thankfully John is a very versatile fellow and as well as the dinghy work he’s also our painter and stainer. We now have nice white shelves and barge boards and a brown stained slim-line book case. Sue has been caring for us splendidly…with 5 star meals as well as kicking in with the bin sorting and inventory, linen sorting (we have enough to open a store!) domestic chores, and planning. She will also be the lead hand when we can finally get into SSpirit to prepare the interior for packing. CJ (me) well I putter… a little bit of this and a little bit of that…
The big picture is… we’re moving forward and things are beginning to shape up. Our house looks like a semi-organized warehouse. There are bins piled in several locations (to the boat; to home; to swap meet) and very soon we’ll be able to start moving them into their new locations. Rikki will become a storage locker mobile garage sale.
For now.. we shall move brightly forward… working on the boat and enjoying San Carlos. We wish you and yours a good day and will check in again when we can. Bye bye for now. CJ