Friday, October 31, 2008

All work and no play 10.31.08

Well, you know the end of the proverb, I’m sure. Luckily, we haven’t lived up to it this week…

We're still working on the boat, surprise, surprise. Remember, it’s just like a house, stuff breaks, chores get put off until later, there’s always cleaning & maintenance and it’s much easier done at a dock than out at anchor. We have 1 of the 4 sails put back on the masts, 3 to go (the biggest ones, of course! We did safety checks – the windlass (works!), un-pickled the watermaker and ran it for a while using water from the hose, checked the pins in the turnbuckles of the rigging, Michael added stainless steel backing plates onto the inside of the boat where the turning blocks and the arch & davit system attach to the boat which will make it more solid and prevent the deck from flexing, and lots of little things that we didn’t write down or cross off of the list.

On Friday we had our cabinets glued & screwed & put back together. Our cabinets in the main salon are a lifesaver, nice & large so we can store lots of items and are the cushions of the settee. The bad part is they are nice & large and have lots of room to stuff lots of stuff inside! Two of the 6 cabinets are used for dry good storage, specifically all of our canned goods, which are very heavy. This weight has caused the frame of the cabinets to bow, making the bottom pull loose from the top, so the latches don't work the way they should. We could shore them up from the bottom for the time being, but the bottom is the top of the futon couches so that's not an option. So we removed everything from the cabinets (6 of them) and had Joel, a wood/cabinet guy, take them apart, re-glue (epoxy) them, get them in place and then counter sink some brass screws to make them look pretty. That turned into a 36 hour project - removing everything and storing it in the V Berth, the 2 1/2 hour cabinet work, then 24 hours of curing, then putting it all back in, neat & orderly. Whew! haha... And just like magic….the cabinets work just like they should.

While waiting for the epoxy to cure, Michael took advantage of the clutter free zone and replaced the macerator on our waste system. Just before we left the boat in May, the macerator went out (this is a pump that chews up the waste on board and moves it to a holding tank or out of the boat - a stinky job!) and we had to have the marina come over & remove the waste from our holding tank. This was the most dreaded item on the ‘list’ but luckily turned out to be a fairly easy replacement.

We have a ‘list’ of items to complete (ask any boat owner, they always have a ‘list’ to complete…). The heat is keeping us moving slow and we get jobs done on a daily basis, but not everything yet. Here's the list (right now...) Michael is rigging a topside shower and just needs a few more parts to complete it (Home Depot, here we come...again!), Fix the 3 sail slugs that broke on the main sail before replacing it (an all day job of sewing and then another day to get it put up on the mast at least!), repair a stanchion base that was loose (the fiberglass work & the deck painting is done, we just need to drill holes in the deck & remount after getting the stainless steel backing plate drilled by one of the contractors (a 4 day delay already), Oil change on the generator & engine, at least a 2 day job but we can’t start it until the stanchion base is finished. (the refrig compressor is in the engine room which keeps it nice & hot in there), re-attach the SSB antennae (5 minute job but must take the entire bed apart, a 2 hour job!), and a long list of some really minor things. Not much!

We have had a very social week which is more consistent with the cruising lifestyle that we love. We started doing the Tuesday Dominoes pizza parties on our dock and had 12 people the first week. On Tuesdays, Dominoes has a 2 for 1 night - two pizzas for the price of one. Word has gotten around though and we'll have many more next week, I'm afraid. I did the ordering of the pizza, all in Spanish, and did pretty well! I was nervous as all get out though. Then Wednesday, our dock neighbor, Sally & Gerry on Aquarius, who live up in the condos, invited us up for a swim party. Oh.....the pool felt sooo good! It was very cool, almost chilly, and was perfect against the heat. There were 11 people there - boats Aquarius, Scrimshaw, Overheated, & Joy-u (I have no clue how to spell their boat's name so will just spell it phonetically) plus us and a straggler from Willow. And what do you think we all did?! Brace yourself....we played keep-away! I was about laughing my head off as here we were, 11 grown adults in the pool, and we played keep away! But it was a great time and we played until dark. After a nice swim, we met at Gus Gus, the Restaurant at the top of the dock where the singer from last week was playing and had a nice relaxing dinner. The 3 boats Aquarius, Overheated, & Joy-u are going to head out right after Thanksgiving and go straight down to Huatalco and then work their way back up the coast and we might just join them. We'll see...nothing is set in stone but it's an option.

We had a Halloween party on Friday night at the cruiser's lounge. Halloween in Mexico is like the 4th of July in Canada – it just doesn’t fit, but any reason for cruisers to get together, and eat…and it’s a party! We dressed as pirates, I know....real imaginative....but we've had the costumes from long ago and shockingly there was only one other pirate.
This is a picture of Michael & I with Elvira, the Manager for Marina Mazatlan dressed as Sleeping Beauty. Such a princess! There were about 50-60 people there but only 8-10 of them dressed up. The lounge was decked out and there was lots of food for everyone. We made worms & eyeballs for the potluck. Worms are hotdogs cut lengthwise in quarters then grilled/pan fried. When they get warm and are that small, they start to curl, looking somewhat like worms. And eyeballs - big carrots cut into 1" rings, cream cheese & black olives make the eyes. The eyeballs were extremely tasty - and easy. They will be one of my top appetizers from now on - they were crunchy, salty, & creamy. A perfect combination! I'm not a black olive fan but these were fantastic. And it was healthy!

I'm feeling MUCHO better! Boy, if I had known that this was an infection, I'd have started on antibiotics much earlier. Michael is doing much better as well, still can't hear out of his ear, but his cough is almost all gone. He's weaning off of one of the meds and starts another in the next couple days.

It's still very hot & extremely humid (which is the worst part) here – today’s high is only supposed to be 86 (although it's already 92!) but 98% humidity. You can't walk from your boat up to the office without dripping in sweat. We had one evening this week of rain which cooled everything down for a couple days, but then that sun poked back through the clouds & the heat was back.

Boats are beginning to come & go, slowly, and more cruisers are returning to their boats. We typically see about 1-2 new cruisers back on the docks or up at the cruisers lounge daily and it’s such a welcome sight! The camaraderie here is just amazing, it’s a wonderful feeling. We have plenty to keep us busy for the next few weeks in chores alone, not to mention playing with friends, surfing, & just enjoying Mazatlan. We both like it here a lot. There is so much to see & do.

More to follow!


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