Our new Stolen Kiss was awaiting us! Due to the private schools in Perth finishing on Nov 27, the last FF flight was on the 24th November, via Narita Airport. As my contract was until Nov 27, Peter scored the rather circuitous route (the latter word pronounced the American way!!) taking some 30 hours to LA, then a further hour or so on to Hermosillo, Sonora and finally over an hour taxi ride to San Carlos. A long time travelling! I followed a week later; the Pacific crossing undertaken in the salubrious Qantas A380 airbus. Getting through LAX involved 2.5 hours queuing for various security checks, with the little surprise of my Aeromexico flight not having been paid for when we booked on-line in Perth. Luckily there were spare seats as, unlike me, there was no contingency plan for meeting up with Peter in Hermosillo.
Peter did a sterling job in driving over to meet me; spending the day shopping for necessary items. It was the first time in a while driving on the wrong side of the road! He managed to score a great degreaser, linen and other miscellaneous bits and bobs, considering all were in Spanish and he could not find a soul who spoke English. Yes, learning Spanish is on the list of things to do!
By the time I had arrived, Peter had replaced the freshwater recirculation pump, sorted through the spares, replaced numerous hose clamps, started to sort out the charging system and took off 5 bags of rubbish. Just as it happened, one of the cruisers was selling their vacuum cleaner – wet and dry as well as suck and blow! A most valuable purchase; timing is everything!
Now that most of the cleaning is done, there are other things to concentrate on, like navigation stuff! As the Sea of Cortez has not actually been surveyed past the 16th Century, there is a warning about using GPS with any of the charts. Sounds a little like something between the wherethefuckarewe tribe (the pygmy tribe that lived in the long grass) and suck it and see! Some of the islands can be 2 miles out from their chartered position. I read something about the longitude being quite accurate as opposed to the latitude which is a little hit and miss. Should be fun! Cunningham has some charts that he has drawn that he claims are reasonable accurate with GPS. We also have bought a beautiful cruising guide by Breeding and Bansmer with great information. Its not as though we are short of landmarks as the landscape is awesome. Everyone else seems to get from A to B without mishap, so there is no reason why we can’t! Not sure why I even bothered about re-installing the navigation programs on the computer.
The 'WOW' factor is pretty out there and we do get to stop on occasion to enjoy the view from the cockpit.
An awesome birthday dinner with some awesome friends here who hired a personal chef was just divine. First though it was an amazing birthday cake (chocolate filled with Milky Way chocolate bars!)..The hammer was for the starter motor which failed, keeping our celebration in the pen. Worse things happen at sea!!!!
Our dinner and cake celebration was also shared with some fellow cruisers from Canada, who have also just purchased their new yacht - a Hans Christian Cristiana. Their purchase included all the toys on board you could possibly dream of, and more! How good is that!!
Being a predominantly Catholic country, xmas here is a phenomenal event. December 12, Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a public holiday and celebrated in different ways throughout the country. We went over to Guaymas, our nearby town to have a look!
Churches here doninate the landscape with the mountains, a little change for us than looking at Mosques. Guaymas has a very small dock and a great hardstand that is actually concreted. Unfortunately for us, the new owner (apparently the wealthiest man in Mexico) has just put up all the prices. However, at $400 USD per month, it is still a good deal.
Peter has so far put “Stolen Kiss” on each bow and has removed the old name from the stern. We are awaiting some paint so he can re-paint the stern and finish it off with the new name. We will soon have a re-naming ceremony! By the time he has painted the cove line gold, she will look more like “Stolen Kiss”.
There are many very kind cruisers here who have offered to drive us hither and thither and show us where the necessary shops are. We did have a win in getting our TIP (Temporary Import Permit), facilitated by re-naming the boat. It was as if we had just arrived! Well, we had, but not in the same way they anticipated! No questions were asked of us and we did not volunteer any information! Phew!
The weather of course is cool at night and in the early mornings (we overlooked this minor detail in Perth), warm during the day, the scenery simply awesome as are the people.