Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fitting out for a new cruising season in San Carlos

We had an easy drive across the border and down to San Carlos on Wednesday. If you listen to Fox News, you probably think that Mexico is one big gun battle. However, its a big country -- most people are unaffected by the war between the government and the narcos. There were plenty of tourists (mostly Canadian snowbirds) at the immigration station. I read somewhere that tourist numbers actually have risen this year, despite all the violence.

The boat had already been moved from the storage area to the work yard by the time we got there. It didn't look too bad - a thick coating of dust on the outside, but perfectly clean on the inside, with no sign of bugs or other pests having gained entry. The batteries still had a good charge and plenty of water, after having been checked only once since May. We did have one major cleanup - a brand new, unopened gallon of Delo 400 motor oil leaked about half of its contents into a locker, and from there into the bilge. We had double-bagged all aerosol containers in a contained space, on advice from other cruisers, but hadn't thought to containerize the oil.

Before launching, we have to replace two thru-hulls that had been removed before storage (check), replace the impeller in the raw water pump (check), re-install all of the running rigging (check), install a new steaming light, put up the bimini, dodger, and sails, install new zincs, paint the bottom with antifouling, and wax the topsides.

A few of the replacement parts I brought down turned out to be the wrong size. What do they say - measure twice and cut once? Oh well, at some point you have to improvise, and we are in Mexico, the land of master improvisers. They look at my old parts, and chuckle at me for thinking they are no good anymore.

It has been good to see old friends from last year's cruising season. And it feels really good to be back in Mexico - everyone is friendly and laid back, the sun is warm, and the fish tacos are cheap. We can't wait to get back on the water!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pirates in the family!

During the time we've been away from the boat, I've been doing some genealogical research. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my ancestors is Sir Edward Morgan. Edward was uncle (and father-in-law) to Sir Henry Morgan, the 17th century Welsh privateer. Both Sir Henry and Sir Edward were authentic "Pirates of the Caribbean" and reportedly flew the Jolly Roger during their various exploits. Arrrr!