We are currently hauled out in Guaymas; the large Mexican town 10 minutes from San Carlos. The hardstand area is amazingly clean and comes with lap pool, great restaurant, wifi and security, with a view to boot. However, at the end of the day it is the hardstand after all and we take our hat off to those of you who have spent months and months and months living on the hard!
The travel lift here is operated by remote control. Orasio did a perfect job in operating the lift from a small control box he had around his neck. A bit like playing a video game!! By the time the tide was right, it was a little too windy to reverse into the concrete lift bay amid the trawlers! Much easier to take the (new) furler off!! We enlisted the assistance of fellow cruisers, leaving nothing to chance! Marisa and Allan came along to oversee proceedings; Allan is our surveyor and kept an eye on the position of the straps under the keel and Marisa speaks fluent Spanish…a good safety net. Fellow Australians, Karen and Paul (from Darwin, who have just bought their dream boat – a 2005 Island Packet, located on our dock in Marina San Carlos...... they had read our blog and saw that we had done it…) offered their assistance, so all in all, a much appreciated effort.
Although our haul out time was at noon, the semi finals of the FIFA games were on (of course we should have checked the schedule first!) so at 1300, the end of the game (with the good outcome of Espana winning) it all happened very smoothly. (We watched them win the finals too. Great game!)
The pool was the place to cool off and wait for the the props to be placed around the boat. Maybe a little of an oversight as Stolen Kiss is a little bow down!
The new furler was installed by Oscar in San Carlos, with Peter standing by to assist. Peter was very happy to have Oscar doing this, not only because of his expertise, but especially considering Oscar went up the mast 3 times, the last of which was is in considerable 25 knot winds!! What happened to my man who used to free climb Hitchhiker's mast when I met him???? We are getting to the end of our list, not to mention the end of the bank balance!! All our purchases have been through Defender, who has given us such a terrific discount on all items purchased. They are a warehouse who does not charge sales tax! Some very kind friends who live in San Carlos let us use their mail address in Tucson, so getting bits and pieces here has not been difficult. We have had our autopilot on order for 3 months now, with it finally being shipped today. Peter has decided to go with the Octopus pump rather than the Raymarine one. Our instruments and pilot controls are on the way as well. We still have to figure on how to get the life raft through the border. As long as they don’t want it opened!!!!!!!!
The Sierra Madre Mountains inland have a huge impact on the local conditions, bringing monsoonal type conditions in the afternoons in the form of Chubascos (squalls). We have not had one to date, however the humidity is growing. Its rather nice getting back in to the sub tropical life; at least we can justify our daily siesta.
The mountains also bring monsoon conditions to the south of Arizona (the great Senoran Deserts knows no borders!) which we were delighted to see during our visa run…a long time since we had seen virga rain.
Whilst we had to go to Tucson, we managed to extricate Didy and Gorbar from visiting family in Colorado..not that it took any convincing. Although we did not get out to all the nice anchorages (due to the remnants of Hurricane Alex throwing up a horrid sea), we did get to explore the surrounds…and there is nothing like taking a geologist out in an old volcanic landscape! Gorbar was a very happy chappy.
On our short sail (motor sail!) in a sloppy sea we did manage to land a dorado (the second in a month!) which was a sensational catch. Strange as it seems, it was easy to land and just curled up and died once it hit the bucket. Gorbar's idea was that it relaxed when it saw Peter as it thought it was safe! Gorbar and Didy did the filleting, with Gorbar volunteering to cook it. Did he not trust my cooking?
Didy and I were caught out in the galley…a rare occasion for both of us! (Singularly and plural!)
Di and I of course had to have our Pina Colada (much to the amusement of others who have only seen me drinking soda water!!)…..where ever we meet on our sailing adventures, Didy and I celebrate with a Pina Colada! This started in Queensland, around 20 years ago.
We will stay on the hard until the end of the hurricane season in November. It is a little more comforting being on a concrete pad than a dirt pad in times of excessive rain from tropical storms. It’s a similar price to what we paid in Asia, without the monkeys, rats and dirt! We no complain.
The two towns of San Carlos and Guaymas are very different. San Carlos, a predominately gringo town, officially became a 'commissariat' of Guaymas in 1963. Guaymas on the other hand has a long history of Spanish resistance and eventual occupancy.
The story goes along the lines that the Guaymas area was occupied by the fierce Guaymenas Indian tribe, which created enough resistance for the Spanish that they were not able to actually occupy the Guaymas area until the 18th century. The history of Guaymas, due to the early Indian inhabitants, dates back over 2,000 years. The Yaqui, Guaimas and Seri Indians lived in this natural habitat, sustained by the waters of the Sea of Cortez. The Yaqui Indians are still around and come to sell their very colourful wares in San Carlos.
It was not until 1769 that the mission was successful, and the new town of San Jose de Guaymas was named.
Its occupancy was somewhat complex and varied as desirable port city, Guaymas was occupied by foreign military forces and of course pirates had attempted the same. During the 1847-48 Mexican-American War, 2 US naval vessels, captured Guaymas areas taking control of the harbors & town until late 1848, and then very briefly in 1853 by the 'freebooter' William Walker, a French pirate 'Captain Rousset' operating in the Sea of Cortez in 1854 (who, after a 4 day battle was executed for his trouble), followed by the French under Emperor Maximilian in 1865.
At last, the first two decades of 1900 brought revolution again to Mexico, and the port/cove areas suddenly became supply points for General Francisco (Pancho) Villias 'Army of the North'. Not surprising that Francisco is a popular name around here!
Guaymas is today the 7th largest port in Mexico, which is surprising given its shallow depth of 11m at the entrance to the harbour. An amazing natural harbour though as it is, some of its beauty has been lost to the old fishing trawlers left to a rusty death in many areas of the harbour.
The locals are proud of the fact that Guaymas (in the State of Senora) had three Presidents that came from here during the 1920’s to 1930’s. Since then the state of Senora (sharing around 400km of its border with the USA) has its reputation steeped in drug and people trafficking. Although there have been a few incidents (a bit of violence between the drug gangs) we see nothing of it; the same as 99% of the population here.
Although its getting hot (40 C) the flowers are out, the bees still around (the honey is to die for!!) and the beaches welcoming. What's not to like??????????
Its the fishing season......
Life on the local busses is very entertaining..
We have decided to fly to Australia for a few weeks for Barnaby and Anita’s engagement, catch up with family, then some land travel in the USA.
Our current plan after splash down in November is to head south… not sure how far we will get……