Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All major jobs done

We've been busy with a lot of boat jobs. I have the brightwork completed now and it should be good for a few more years again. I know that a lot of people just let the wood fade and go natural grey but we still prefer the honey gold finished appearance of freshly applied Cetol. A bit of work every few years is worth it for us...I think, so far anyways. Jordan finished it off by sikoflexing the brightwork and windows to make them waterproof once again.

Just like new

Jordan has installed and wired up the various components of our new W-H (Wil Hamm) Auto Pilot. This would have been a much easier job if it could have been done when Jordan totally re-wired the entire boat in 2009 as everything would have been accessible.

Contents had to be removed from several galley cupboards, from beneath the stateroom bed, and from beneath and behind the salon settee. And unfortunately panels had to be removed from the salon ceiling as that is where a lot of the wiring is hidden. Tools were spread all over everywhere!

All this so that wires could be run from the salon to the stateroom, galley, engine compartment, and up the binnacle in the cockpit, without being visible. Then of course everything had to be put back in place. With all that now done, Jordan just needs to calibrate the auto pilot.

While the ceiling panels were down, Jordan also bolted the granny bars to the deck. They had previously been only screwed down and were threatening to become loose. Nice, tight, and secure now. He also added a wooden bar to them to hang lines and such from which will be very handy.

Gale force winds have been blowing in the Sea of Cortez so we are waiting for a weather window before heading over to Santa Rosalia on the Baja side. Predictions are looking good for Thursday the 2nd of December, so hopefully we can get away from the docks by then! We've been here almost 2 months now - time sure flies by fast.

Guaymas Singlar Marina

Monday, November 22, 2010

Local area attractions

We visited the Guaymas Pearl Farm (Perlas del Mar de Cortez) which included a fascinating lecture and tour of the farm. Their pearls are NOT processed by bleaching, burning, polishing, or lacquering as is the custom with most cultured pearls. These oysters produce a pearl which is not available anywhere else in the world that glows "red" (light pink to blood red) under a black light, making this a unique feature with this indigenous pearl oyster. www.perlas.com.mx

Different sizes of nets that oysters are placed in during their 4-year growth

On Thursday, I listened to a biologist talking about the diversity of flora, fauna, fish, and sea turtles of Mexican waters in the Sea of Cortez, where even sperm whales have been spotted and photographed. Mexico has 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles. It was quite an absorbing subject. Upwelling (the raising of benthic nutrients to the surface waters) occurs in Mexico where the flow of water brings currents of differing temperatures together, and increases the productivity of the ecosystem. Mexico is very concerned about preserving this productivity. We are looking forward to receiving a link that the biologist will be emailing to us showing their tracking of tagged sea turtles.

Every Wednesday and Sunday there are flea markets held. The Wednesday market is located near downtown Guaymas. On Sunday, it is located in Empalme, a small town about a 20-minute bus ride away. This market is a lot larger than the one held on Wednesdays.

Both markets have everything that you could possibly think of, including produce and meats, and many items are very reasonably priced. A bowling ball was even spotted! We bought several items of clothing, including a new expensive shirt for only 35 pesos. I lucked out finally finding a skirt that I had been looking for, along with 2 pairs of capris and a pair of shorts for 10 pesos each (about $1.00 ea). Ahoy, bargains galore.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finished Grizzly

Sea Turtle is all painted at last! We put the Grizzly Grip anti-skid on yesterday with their special texturized rollers and a must-have metal paint tray (the paint "accelerator" will melt right through plastic). Can't buy metal trays in Mexico so we just used a metal cake pan! We chose the Almond colour which is an "aliphatic" paint and has a UV protection built right into it. Some of the other colours are "aromatic" and need to have the UV protection added. The aliphatics are made for outdoor use and should not fade or yellow as the aromatics do. (www.grizzlygrip.com)

We couldn't start until 3:00 as you cannot apply in direct sunlight. The 1st coat took 75 minutes and was dry to the touch by 5:00. So then we started the 2nd coat which has to be applied within 1 to 3 hours. This was a little difficult as you cannot walk on the 1st coat, which covers most of the boat deck. This meant standing on the toe rail (yikes!) or stepping over from 1 point to another that was not actual "boat deck" (ie. hatches, etc.)

And to make it more difficult, the blue tape needed to start being removed after about 15 minutes of starting to paint the 2nd coat. So as Jordan was painting, I was gingerly removing the tape without wrecking the paint job or getting paint from the tape onto other areas of the boat, but of course getting lots of paint on my fingers - which does not come off completely. Jordan removed the tape from the stern as that took a lot of athletic monkeying around! We did not finish until 21:00 - good thing we have bright deck lights! We applied the paint fairly quickly but removing the tape was a much slower procedure.

Foredeck with anti-slip Grizzly Grip applied

Close-up of rubberized texture (won't hurt your feet when you walk on it)

During application of the Grizzly Grip, Jordan accidentally stepped onto the wet paint a few times and I stepped into the wet cockpit once. And now that it is all applied, we cannot walk on it for 72 hours until it is fully cured. But at least if we accidentally step onto it, the paint won't be wet and we can just quickly step off it before doing any damage.

Was it worth 3 weeks of prep and athletic paint application? You bet! We think it improves Sea Turtle's appearance 100% and, as yet to be proven by us, it should last for many, many years.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And the paint goes on

We walk to town a lot and have noticed something different in Guaymas (Mexico). At some street corners, the lights for ALL vehicles will turn red while at the same time, the lights for ALL pedestrians will turn to the "walk" signal. This means that pedestrians can walk straight across the street, as normal, or they can walk diagonally from 1 corner to the opposite, as no vehicles are allowed to move! This is pretty cool - I think Victoria BC should give this a try!

We have been going to the marina swimming pool to cool down after working in the hot sun. It probably looks like Jordan is floating on top of water, but he is actually sitting in a couple of inches of water on a "shelf" area right next to the dropoff. So very refreshing, even if the pool is only 3 feet deep!

Jordan sitting next to pool dropoff

Our friends, SV Salish Sea, arrived on October 29th with our 4 new batteries! Jordan spent the day removing the old batteries, installing the new ones, and making new hold-downs for them as they are a different size than the old ones. These are 200+ amp hour 6V golf cart batteries rather than 12V. A much better storage of power.

We organized a potluck and had a great turnout with 35 people. We met 3 different couples who are serious circumnavigators. The Marina is starting to get a lot busier as more and more boaters are arriving to get their boats back into the water. We were almost the only ones around back at the beginning of October when it was excessively hot and humid!

After all the prepping, the 1st coat of Interlux Hatteras Off-White polyurethane paint finally went on the aft deck November 2nd. Followed by painting the 1st coat of the fore deck, sanding of 1st coat on fore and aft decks, and then applying all of the 2nd coat. Here is the finished product before applying special paint to the anti-skid areas.

So shiny!

Before applying the anti-skid, the decks had to be masked off with tape - check out those perfectly rounded corners!

Perfectly rounded corners and circles taped off, ready for anti-skid paint

Tomorrow will be the application of the anti-skid paint which is a marine "truck bed-liner" paint called Grizzly Grip.

The temperature has definitely cooled down here lately. Instead of in the 30's, it's now in the 20's and cool in the evenings. I think it's time to head south where it's warmer...