Well, the boat is now in the work yard and we started working on her yesterday. Lulu is stripping Cetol from the tiller, windvane steering oar, belaying pins, and their mounting racks. She’d barely gotten started when the heat gun gave up the ghost, at least on the HIGH setting and the LOW setting isn’t ht enough to strip the finish. Way back last fall in La Paz she loaned our heat gun to a Mexican worker, Luis, to use to strip the varnish from s/v Island Seeker, our friend Frank’s boat. Well, Luis burned our heat gun up. Actually I suppose the gun burned itself up. At any rate, Frank replaced it with a Black & Decker which Luis then used to strip the Cetol from our caprails, rubrails and bowsprit platform. Apparently heat guns aren’t made to be run for these long periods of time because now the B&D is toast, too. So, today we’ll try to find another one in Guaymas.
My job yesterday was to get the engine all disconnected and ready to be pulled. I’m happy to say that I was successful although afterwards I felt like I’d been in a fight. There were several recalcitrant bolts in very unfriendly locations that had to be loosened somehow. You’d have marveled at some of my ingenious misuse of tools to get the job done. My original plan was to use a come-along hanging off the boom, supported by extra shoring, to pull the motor myself. But the more I thought about that, the more it looked like that just might not be the very best idea I’ve ever had. I know that other boaters have done it successfully but I believe I’ll wait until I’m somewhere where there’s no other choice before I try it. Instead, we’ll hire the little crane that the yard has. $80/hour in 1/2 hour increments and the pull will be nice and controlled.
We started working at the boat about 8:30, maybe 9:00. By the time we knocked off at 1:00 PM, we were beat. The heat was just brutal. Everything I had on was completely soaked with sweat. I had to keep a bandanna on my forehead to keep the salty sweat from running into my eyes while I worked. Fortunately, they have showers at the yard.
On our way back to the boat, we ran into Mark & Katie (s/v Selkie) and their friend JoAnna. JoAnna, a young woman from San Francisco, is currently hotel-sitting. There’s this little place called Posada del Desierto which has something like 7 rooms. Somehow JoAnna met the owners who were looking for someone to hotel-sit while they took a vacation. She’s fluent in Spanish and was an ideal candidate. Anyway, she invited Mark & Katie and us up to the Posada later in the evening to grill up some food and visit. We went back to the store to get some cerveza and hielo (ice) as well as some zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and peppers to throw on the grill. Back at Chamisa we cut the vegetables (except the mushrooms) and then coated everything in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Mark and Katie brought a delicious salad and JoAnna contributed chicken and some more vegetables. The grill was small and we had a lot of stuff so we ate as things came off the grill. We had an excellent time visiting, eating grilled goodies as they came off the fire, drinking cervezas, and trying to keep the bugs at bay. Now the bugs I’m talking about here are not mosquitoes or gnats or jejenes (no-see-ums) or any of that although they did feed on our ankles during the early evening. No, the bugs I’m talking about are these big hurkin’ beetles and large crickets. They’re everywhere after the recent rainfall. I mean everywhere. And they’re big! If one lands on you, as they did on all of us at one time or another during the evening, and you flick it off, you can clearly hear where it hits. I smacked one off into a concrete wall and could hear the smack when it hit the wall. Later I flicked a cricket who bounced off a bunch of beer cans and sounded like a rock hitting them. There were also some praying mantises making the rounds. We tried to get Wylie, Mark & Katie’s dog, interested in the beetles but his interest usually waned within a few seconds.
It was still hot when we got back to Chamisa about 10 PM. We watched a couple shows and then hit the rack. During the night we got a thunderstorm with rain. Although it felt good getting rained on through the open hatch and ports, we didn’t want to get everything wet so we closed some of them up. However, the temperature dropped along with the rain and made for a very pleasant rest of the night. I woke up unsweaty today for the first time since we’ve been in San Carlos. It was so comfortable that we both slept until after 9:00. It’s still relatively cool this morning and the cloud cover is keeping the sun at bay. We’ll see if it lasts.
This afternoon we’re taking the bus to Guaymas along with Frank & Linda (s/v Blue Snail). Sunday is September 16, Mexico’s Independence Day, the day that the the Mexican people declared Independence from Spain. Our understanding is that the celebration goes all weekend, so we’re going over to Guaymas today to check things out on the malecón. It’ll be fun since we’ve never been to the malecón. Our experience with Guaymas was confined to getting our bus tickets to Puerto Peñasco. We’ll scope things out, maybe buy a souvenir or two, eat some festival food and come back home. Tomorrow, being Sunday AND a holiday, we plan to do a whole lot of nothing. Maybe go to the beach, maybe go back to Guaymas, maybe just sit and veg. Then Monday it’ll back to work. Hope this cooler weather lasts that long.