Thursday, March 27, 2014

Preparing to depart Guaymas Mexico

3/11 to 3/27
We left Clear Lake, Texas on March 11th heading back west on I-10.  That was our first time visiting that part of Texas and it turned out to be a very successful trip. 

Steak Nite at Waring General Store, Texas

my 3 ladies

March 13th we broke down about an hour outside of El Paso, Texas.  Alternator died on us.  We got a free AAA tow into the city.  Got dropped off at Pep-Boy’s 15 minutes before closing.  They took the Volvo into their locked garage over night and gave us a ride to the Day’s Inn up the road.  After two days of waiting for our alternator to arrive and to be installed, we were back on the road.

piña obviously didn't complain about the hotel arrangements

flavored cremas (creme fraiche) in El Paso 

lunch while we waited on the car

back on the road, rest stop sleeping in La Sancha's trunk bed

Once we crossed the border at Nogales, we were making record time towards the boatyard in Guaymas.  Until La Sancha’s gauges started dropping and we lost all power, once again!  Paranoid that something was overlooked, we sat on the side of the highway in a Mexican desert.  
Waving our jumper cables over my head on the side of the road, we snagged a boost.  Which only got us a little more ways up the road, where we died again.  This happened a total of 9 times between Nogales and Guaymas.  A six hour drive ended up being over twelve hours.  Luckily we were quickly assisted at each break down by friendly locals, police officers, taxi drivers, and families.

Our next to last break down I managed to roll into a truck stop.  There I could whip out my battery charger.  We hooked the battery up and went inside for some dinner.  After dinner I took a closer look at the alternator situation.  All the new wires were rinky dink 22 guage and horribly spliced.  It seriously looked like a 4 year old crimped the wires on with its tooth. The battery charge up at the truck stop got us to the end of our road, where we managed to snag one more boost, enough to die infront of our boat!
That was a horrible nightmare car ride.  I spent a few days diagnosing the alternator situation.  With the help of Nick via email, La Sancha’s previous owner and a few guys in the boatyard I managed to get everything figured out.  It was quite the headache for a few days there. Basically I removed and re-installed the new alternator with freshly spliced beefier wires, like the professional should have done from the beginning.  That’ll be the last time I take her to a shop.

fresh tips

healthy connections

beefed up

had to rip the dash apart to check the battery gauge bulb

after days of aggravation, all it took was proper wiring and an extra grounding wire to get La Sancha's battery charging again.

March 19th we had the crane come remove our mast.

so weird looking with no mast

March 20th we had the travel lift come put us on our trailer.

Since we've been put on the trailer, we have spent our days customizing the trailer to fit our boat snug, saying our good-byes to other friends who near their departures as well, and cleaning up our mess to be road ready.
We were lucky enough to find a fellow boater in the yard who is leaving for Pheonix, Arizona this Saturday, March 29th
We were even luckier to meet Brian, through our For Sale ad on craigslast.  He emailed us interested in buying our trailer.  Which I had posted For Sale a couple weeks ago.  After a few intriguing emails we have come to the agreement that he will be meeting us in Tucson on Sunday March 30th.  Where we will switch our boat onto his truck, and he will bring us the rest of the way to Clear Lake, Texas.  
This all may sound quite sketchy to most, but as soon as we found out that he is a fellow cruiser, we knew all was well.  It sure is crazy how things can fall into place in this world.
Splendid Isolation should be floating on Gulf waters in Clear Lake, Texas by Tuesday! Wish us luck on our big move!

fried chicken sandwiches with skillet chips and ranch packets for dinner!

the necessities
Claire's Salsa

prepping for pork stew

Claire's ham, honey, and queso fresco rolls

pork stew with dumplings

our favorite: chilaquiles

framing to box our keel in

piña in the chainlocker

getting the alternator bench/bulb tested in Guaymas

Claire cleaning up the deck.
Securing all the halyards and rigging cables for the highway.

5 minute difference

almost ready!

$8peso pork tacos

9/16" U-bolts for the keel box framing

one our of security guards in the yard.
the siren on that toy police car was quite convincing.

all boxed in.
obviously looks Mexican ghetto for a reason.
But it sure is strong and should keep the keel from wiggling on the road.
there's 2200lbs. of lead in that giant surf fin, with another 4500lbs of boat ontop of that.

gorging ourselves with the best food before we leave Mexico!
forward: giant local shrimp stuffed with cheese and wrapped in ham
center: fish ceviche
back: shrimp tacos

papayas growing in the boatyard

Claire made delicious margarita's with the papaya!!!