10/9/2010 – An Update

I’ve been working on a blog about the crazy things we cruisers do to get boat parts in Mexico, but it’s sort of long-winded and not finished yet so, in the meantime, I figured I’d better get an update out before I get one of those pointed e-mails from my Mom.  So, here’s where we’re at.  Sorry, no photos as I’ve been a little remiss in carrying my camera with me all the time and very remiss in snapping photos when I do have it with me.

Yesterday Lulu and I went in to Guaymas to pick up our new glasses.  Lulu’s are just reading glasses but mine are the full meal deal: bifocals with blended, light-reactive lenses.  Also, just in case the sun gets too intense, I got a pair of flip-up clip-on sunglasses to make me look a little dorkier.  The exam was by an ophthalmologist instead of an optometrist (same exam, just spendier), so that accounts in part for the higher cost.  But these specs, while very nice, cost over twice what our glasses in La Paz cost a year or so ago.  Same basic glasses but w/o the clip-on dork, I mean dark, lenses.  Also, I think we got to pick from the “sale” frames last year.  Anyway, Lulu’s glasses/exam were 1900 pesos ($149.00 US) and mine were 5900 pesos ($462.00 US).  If I remember right, that’s still low compared to US prices but it put a noticeable dent in the liquid assets anyway.

However, on the other end of the spending spectrum, we found a great little taco stand on our way back to San Carlos from Guaymas after getting our glasses.  All I’d had for breakfast was some pineapple so, by 11:00 AM I was ready for a bite of something.  We were walking along Serdan across from Soriana when we walked by a little ramshackle taco place, Los Cochitos, the kind that are ubiquitous down here and that are usually only patronized by Mexicans.  I noticed that the menu listed “carnitas”.  Now, carnitas (usually shredded or chopped pork shoulder) have been strangely elusive down here.  Much easier to find a carnitas taco in Oregon than in Baja, Sonora, or Sinaloa so far.  I love carnitas.  So we decided to stop.  They serve 2 things: carnitas and chicharrones (pork rinds) and you can get them as a taco, a tostada, or in bulk (kilo).  We each ordered 2 tacos and a Coke.  The tacos are on small corn tortillas, piled with chopped pork shoulder with no visible “inedibles”, chopped onion and cilantro.  A tub of very tasty salsa was served on the side along with cucmuber slices and limón.  A little salt, a squeeze of limón, and a big spoonful of salsa and these little beauties just melted in your mouth.  Of course, we paid dearly for this gastronomical treat: 3 tacos and an ice-cold 355 ml bottle of Coke: 32 pesos ($2.50).  Oh yeah, we’ll be back.

On the boat front, Lulu has finished the varnishing of the tiller cheeks and the belaying pins.  She has, I think, two more coats on the tiller, windvane oar, the pin rails.  They’re looking really good under what will soon be 6 layers of Cetol Natural Teak.  Yesterday we delivered the gudgeons, the stern tube and the Vesconite bearing blanks to Luis’ shop.  We need him to bore the old rudder bearings out of the gudgeons and then turn down the Vesconite for a press fit in their place.  Also having him turn down the Vesconite bearing for a press fit into the stern tube.  Hopefully it all goes well.

Back at the boat, got a coat of rust converter applied to the parts of the engine that had lost paint and were showing some surface rust.  One more coat of that today and then she’s ready to be painted Westerbeke Red.

All the thru-hulls have been removed and both the inside and the outside of the hull where they go have been cleaned down to fiberglass.  New plywood backing plates have been built and coated with three coats of epoxy.  So, the thru-hulls and seacocks are basically ready for installation.

Meanwhile, poor Siempre Sabado remains a terrible mess.  Stuff piled everywhere and the decks covered with lots of yard grit.  Our poor baby.  We are so thankful to our friends Keith and Kay, owners of Chamisa, for letting us stay onboard their boat at the marina while we work on ours.  Otherwise, we’d either have to find a way to live among the squalor or, more likely,  rent a casita somewhere.

Got our bottom paint bought yesterday.  Went in with Mike on s/v Compass Rose on a 5 gallon bucket of International Interspeed 640.  Hopefully it’ll turn out to be good stuff.  The price was right, at $115.00 US a gallon.  Denny on s/v Tambaran turned us on to the stuff although he’s using Interspeed 641 which doesn’t seem to be available anymore.  Of course, you can’t have everything so this time when Siempre Sabado splashes, it will be with a red bottom instead of the blue we’re used to.  We’re going to hire the yard crew to do the surface prep on the boat which will include taking the top 12″ or so of submerged area down to gelcoat and then a light sanding of the rest of the hull.

The weather is finally beginning to cool down, at least a little.  Long about 4 AM it’s actually cool enough to maybe cover with a sheet if the fans are running, which they always are.  It’s still hitting the low 90s in the daytime but at least the nights are dropping down into the mid to low 70s.  Everyone, gringos and Mexicans alike, only 2 more weeks at the most.  Of course, to celebrate the fine hot weather, Lulu and I and everyone else in San Carlos and Guaymas it would seem, have come down with colds (la gripa).  But, weather be damned!  We keep our spirits up by spending the late afternoon and early evening at The Captain’s Club, enjoying to A/C while nursing a couple of ice-cold brews and a plate of palomitas (popcorn).

So it goes.

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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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5 Responses to 10/9/2010 – An Update

  1. Nice update! It sounds like things are really moving along. Probably will all come together at once. I’m always interested in reading about the cost of medical things in Mexico. I think you paid about the same amount as Mike for his glasses, with insurance!

  2. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    Okay, you lucked into getting a message out before I had time to remind you that it has been awhile since you last checked in. Love, Mom

  3. Beverly says:

    You might plan your glasses buying to do here next time..I just got two pairs (one single vision, one bifocals) for $199, frames included. Extras add on though and those are polycarbonate lenses. Get your dr.exam there and buy the glasses here.

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