Boat repairs - Part 2 in Guyamas, Mexico

Escala Nautica
 Tied up at Escala Nautica, Guyamas - Slip A1
Not much wind on our trip to Guaymas, but the swells were still a little uncomfortable. We were able to make good time though because we were able to motor at the recommended 1800 RPM. The new motor mounts are working, although we discovered the lock nuts still come loose ... we will have to double nut them.
The new and improved alternator is a real disappointment - it worked for about an hour and a half, then quit. Don't really want to take it back to Calgary again, hopefully we can find a shop in Guaymas to look at it.
The next problem we encountered - we should have changed the cutlass bearing - it's making a real racket. Hurricane Jimena really messed up our plans - so many jobs Don had wanted to get done had to be put on hold. Looks like we may have to haul out again in Guaymas.

Blue corn pancakes for breakfast (cause that's all there is left on board) Need to do groceries today, but first Don is changing fuel injectors and the bolts on the engine mounts.

Then he will put the old alternator back in and start up the engine. May be we can put up with the noise if it's just at the higher RPM's. I finished the laundry then we went for lunch & groceries.

Next morning we went to the office and paid Arianna for 2 weeks at the dock and a haul out.

They are having a special this month, so we will take advantage of the reduced haul out rate and change the cutlass bearing. Shouldn't take more than a day or two, and they should have a spot in the yard for us in a day or two.

Meanwhile, Horacio, the yard supervisor, told us where to take the injectors to have them cleaned, so after lunch it's off to Laboritorio Diesel. No problem finding it, it is right beside the viejo parque acquatico, which is right across the street from the maquillidoras or factories producing product for export only.

No one spoke English at the Laboritorio, but no problem explaining that we want the injectors cleaned and serviced. They say they will be ready tomorrow before 2 pm and the cost will be 350 pesos (less than $35.00 Cdn). We are not sure if that is each or for all three, but in any case to bring them home and have them done there would be about $300 Cdn. Sure enough, the injectors were ready the next day, and for the 350 pesos for all three.

Next we took the sewing machine up to the cruisers lounge to repair the bimini and put on some new velcro. While we were into the sewing bag, we also fixed the slug on the main sail.

Jelly fish bench
  Jelly fish benches along Malecon in Guyamas
We took the afternoon off from our chores, and went for a bike ride along the malecon. Very deserted malecon compared to Mazatlan or LaPaz, but instead of fancy statues lining the way, they have very interesting benches. Looks like they were all done by local artisans, in the shape of a crab, a seahorse, a whale tail and my favorite, Jelly Fish.

When we returned from our ride, Don went looking for Horacio to give him our empty propane tank. He was going to take it with him tonight and get re-filled for us.

He found him in the work yard hosting an impromptu fish fry and invited us to join them. He and his staff were cooking up several buckets full of whole fish on what looked like a giant bunson burner. One guy was scraping off the scales, the other did the frying and Horacio was passing out plates of tortillas with pico de gaillo sauce.

The fish were about 8 inches long, mostly head, and it was hard to get more than a few bites off of each one - very tasty though!

Next on our list of "Things to Do"
Get our tourist visa's. Very easy process here in Guaymas.

  1. Produce passport
  2. Explain that we arrived by bus not airplane. (When you arrive by plane you get the paperwork at the airport - doesn't happen on the bus)
  3. They fill out a form that we take to the bank to pay
  4. Return to Immigration and fill out the card for 180 days
  5. They stamp it ... we're done !

Stopped in at Hernandez Bros to see if we could get some 7/8" stainless tubing to adjust our solar panels but no luck.

Lunch at Las 1000 Tortas, then back to PSS. No sooner got on board when we heard someone calling from the top of the dock.

It was Hal & Cathy from Airborne who had also just returned from Calgary where they were visiting with some of their kids. We met them in 2008 in Manzanillo and hope to meet up with them again this year at Christmas. After a drink and a visit with them, we went to turn on the computer to check e-mail etc. It's toast ... won't turn on, and something smells! Think the CPU burned out ... now this could be interesting to find computer parts here.

Don checked with Horacio in the morning to see if we might be getting hauled today. It didn't look too promising, said to check back after 2pm, so we decided to go to Plaza Ley where Don seems to remember seeing a computer shop.

Sure enough, as we are getting off the bus, a guy is getting on with a tower computer under his arm. Guess we found the right place. We spoke to Claudio at this Internet/computer shop, and he believes he can get us new CPU, motherboard and memory for about $220 Cdn. It would have to come from Hermosillo as all he has locally is Intel, and Don wants to stay with AMD so that hopefully we won't loose any info our hard drive.

Guyamas Yard haul out
PSS hanging high and dry at the Guyamas work yard. Horicia controls the lift with a remote control strapped over his shoulder
Checked with Horacio again when we got back, and he says if we will call s/v Volo, who are sitting in the bay waiting to be hauled, and let them know that it is too shallow to haul them this afternoon, that we can have their spot today (we are a shallower draft boat than them) and he will haul them tomorrow morning when the tide is up.

So, off we go to the haul out slip, except Horacio didn't tell us we had to back in, and when we were almost there, another cruiser came to the dock and let us know.

So around we went, Don did a great job considering he has no 3D, and this was far from a square approach. Boats don't back up very well, and the wind kept taking the bow. Anyway, all went well and we are parked right beside s/v Gosling, another Canadian couple we met in Mazatlan in 2007.

The work yard here is very clean, cement pad, and no cucarachas or frogs in the bathroom - no hot water either, but guess we can't have everything.

Went to another computer shop that Horacio recommended, no joy there, but they recommended J.G. Computadoras near Soriana (the major grocery store). Looks like a good possibility, this is definitely a repair shop, not an internet cafe selling computer parts. Ulysses speaks some english and is checking on prices and availability. We will probably bring the computer in to him tomorrow.

Tonight, we are being serenaded by the Mexican Navy Band who are practicing on the malecon. I feel like I'm back in Sea Cadet days ... (actually I think our Sea Cadets were a little better than these guys).

Cactus forest
Dingy tour around the bay, past two little islands that look like cactus forests.
Next morning, got up early, (as usual) had a quick breakfast so we could get started on the cutlass bearing right away. Then we spent the better part of the day trying to find our very exclusive, custom made, prop puller.

There are many small lockers and hatches on our boat, not all easily accessible. I keep a note book with whats in which compartment, unfortunately, sometimes when things get put away, we find a better place to put them, and the notebook is not always updated like it should be ... which of course was exactly the case today.

Anyway, while Don got busy with the prop and put in new seals and cutlass bearing, I worked on getting the windshield lexan clean. It has weathered poorly and has discolored and gotten scratched and cracked. Trying some Maquires polish again to see if we can make it acceptable for at least one more year.

Don finished up the dirty part of the outside job then we had some lunch and headed off back to the computer shop with computer in hand. Ulysses checked the computer and the bios did not come up. Fan isn't working, so he hopes maybe the motherboard isn't gone. He will have a new fan in it tomorrow, and we'll cross our fingers that an $18.00 fan solves the problem.

Don started the alignment when we got back while I finished up on the windows. The first of the northers blew in last night, and it has been blowing all day. Consequently it's pretty cool tonight, so I made some peanut butter cookies for desert. No A/C required today!

Did a patch job on the transom, put the prop back on and finished the alignment and re-installed the shaft saver. Sure hope all the bottom jobs are done this time. We are going back in the water tomorrow morning at high tide.

Mexican sun hat
 Mexican sun hat
While we were in the yard, the boat next to us was getting a new bottom paint job and sometimes the painters just had to work in the sun. This guy had the right idea! Now, I've seen reflective sun shades in the windshield of cars before, but I'd never seen anyone wearing one before!

Back to the computer shop again tonight, no luck with the new fan, so he will order us new motherboard, CPU and memory. This is Thursday, and he says it should be available by Monday.

Wind has been blowing all night, but thankfully seems fairly calm this morning. Horacio had the lift ready for us as scheduled, we got off the boat until they got the sling on and had her hanging over the water. He lowered it down to dock level, we stepped on over the transom and motored over to the dock. Got the RPM's up to 1800 and still nice and smooth. No more chatter from the cutlass bearing.

Wind co-operated for most of the docking. It's only a 30ft slip, and we are almost 38ft., our gate is right at the end of the slip.

We got all secured and plugged in then Don changed the drawer slide on the big galley drawer. When he was building the boat, I think he thought I was a little crazy when I asked him to build a really big drawer, big enough to hold a big box of cereal etc.

It has turned out to be very functional, except the slides we purchased originally were not quite hefty enough. Now he has changed them to really heavy duty ones, and even better, the drawer opens up even further! I have an even bigger drawer that houses my pots and pans under the settee, but I think it may be a really big job to change that one. Think we'll leave it for another day.

Next day, a trip to the alternator shop with dictionario in hand. Before we left, I got on Babel Fish (a translation program) and figured out what I had to tell the guys at the shop regarding the problems we had been having with this "new" alternator.

Seems he understood, he checked it out, and said he thought it was the diodes. He got in his truck and went to the taller (shop) down the street to buy new ones.

While he was gone, we went and had lunch - another new experience for us Tacos de Cabeza. Loosely translated, I thought it would be like head cheese - which I'm not really fond of. We had walked by this restaurant before, and it was very busy, clientele seemed to be office staff, business people etc.

This time, I walked in and asked the waitress what everyone was eating. There appeared to be no menu, and everyone had the same thing. She told me it was Cabeza (meaning head), it looked good, it smelled good, so we tried it, and it was good!

Back to the taller de alternador and he was finished. He put it on the bench tester and showed Don the voltage which looked good. Unfortunately he did not have the connector to show him the current. Don will have to fashion a connector to install it. If this really solves the problem, we have done well, the charge was $18.00 Cdn for the diodes and $20.00 for the service.

Stopped in at the computer shop one more time to make sure the parts were ordered. Ulysses was not in, but the jefe (the boss) says they are on order, but now will be in on Tuesday. Still keeping our fingers crossed.

It's Halloween today, so bought a few candy's in case we have any Trick or Treaters at the Marina. Found tootsie rolls, and some paletas (suckers) make from goats milk. A little bit like the BB Bats we had as kids. We could hear some Drum & Bugle Bands playing on the malecon, so walked over to check it out. It appeared to be competition between schools, just playing, no marching.

The mornings mission was to install the new alternator and see if our $38 fix solved the problem. It seems to work OK, tachometer reads OK, but still doesn't put out the voltage Don thinks it should. Put the old one back in to compare, voltage reads the same, so put the new one in again. Guess we will just have to live with it, hope it doesn't quit after 2 hours as it did before.

Fixed the zipper pull on the sail bag, put the dingy in the water to make sure it works OK, re-glued some of the lettering on the boat, and finally visited with dock mates Rick & Lynn from S/V La Vita.

LED lights
Installing LED mast lights. Hard at work 45 feet up in the air. Good thing he is not afraid of heights.
The next morning I hauled Don up the mast to change the anchor & mast lights to LED. While he was up there, he also found a way to attach the new 5 ft antenna.
One of the many things he was going to do while he was in San Carlos was to have the mast stepped so he could run the antenna wires inside the mast.
Jimena messed up those plans. He created a mount and I sent him back up again. We can only do this in the morning while it is nice and calm and didn't quite finish before it got too windy. We'll try again tomorrow.

I went to the outdoor mercado this morning with Lynn (s/v LaVita), Bonnie (s/v Murray Grey) and Bonnie's guests, Terry & Greg. Terry has Celiac Disease, and when she heard that Don does also, she was quite excited to do a little shopping with me.

I got her some corn tortillas at the Tortilleria and gave her the spanish she will need to tell the waiters in the restaurants that she is "alergico" to harina de trigo and that she can only eat tortillas de maiz.

We dropped off our mornings produce at the boats, and then Lynn and I went on a adventure to find the water store.

We have discovered that it is very inexpensive (less than $1.00Cdn per garafon which is almost 20 litres/5 USgal) to have jugs of water delivered to the boat, hardly worth running the engine to make water.

Found the place without a problem, and they will deliver to our boats this afternoon, and they will even carry the garafons up the ladder to Lynn's boat as they are presently on the hard in the work yard.

Aluminum rims
 Aluminum rims for bikes
We were able to find aluminum rims for our bikes at one of the many stops we made in town this week. We were only able to get rims for the front, but again, the price was right - about $36.00 Cdn for two rims, which is about half the price that we were quoted for one rim back home.

So, while I washed down the boat, Don took the bikes to the top of the dock to change the rims. Then he discovered they aren't exactly the same, one fits, the other doesn't. Guess it's back to the bike shop tomorrow.

Don continued to work on the old laptop after supper, and now has navigation working on it, not as well as it did on the tower, but it will have to do ... hopefully it is only our backup and we do get a new tower.

We still have a glitch in the VHF radio, it no longer shows our Lat & Long, but the radio itself is working very well since Don put up the new antenna, I believe I can hear people in San Carlos over 15 miles away.

Next morning I went grocery shopping with Lynn (LaVita), Sherri (Tigger) and Sharon (our driver from CastAway) while Don returned to the bike shop.

JG Computators
 JG Computators

I stopped in at the computer shop, and yahoo! parts have arrived. So, after lunch, back to JG Computators. Turned on the computer, and again no joy, it wouldn't even read the bios. Took a second tech to realize that Ulysses had put the wrong memory in it.

And then, after all our efforts to get a motherboard very similar to what we had so that we wouldn't have to reformat the hard drive and loose our info, we lost it anyway. Ulysses is trying to restore it tonight, but if it doesn't work we'll have to take it as is and start over.

I'm getting a little discourages, every time we turn around something else is not right. This morning, we found a leak in one of the connections on the water, so we had a half a bucket of water in the bilge, and to top that off, I woke up this morning with a nasty case of the flu, diarrhea and a fever.

Don went to pick up the computer, in fact he spent so much time there, I thought maybe he was applying for a job.

We had another surprise visit today, this time from Ron & Karen s/v Aegean Odyssey. They now have a slip at Marina Real in San Carlos.

When Don got back with the computer unfortunately they hadn't been able to restore anything, so he spent the afternoon getting it working. Finally by suppertime we had navigation and GPS, and Win-link all working (we hope - can't really test Win-link in a marina - too many masts etc. to interfere with the transmission).

Now talk about tempermental, the next time we turn the computer on, we have no GPS. Don fiddled with it some more, only to determine that the USB to serial port adaptor was also damaged in the burn out. Not surprising since it took out not only motherboard & CPU but the antenna and the keyboard.

We are not sure what caused the burn out, could have been our faulty alternator, or it may have been the shore power went haywire ... the electricians had been working on it for several days.

I am still running a fever, so Don will go to town to see if he can get a new USB adaptor. I'm going to take some more Tylenol and go to bed. No luck finding an adaptor, so best we can do is use the tower for navigation with the boat's GPS and then use the laptop with the hand held GPS for Win-link. The Win-link is very important to me as it is our e-mail system while on board, and provides us with up to date weather reports. Don't want to head off anywhere without being able to get weather.

Woke up the next day feeling better, no fever, but no appetite either. We'll see how the day goes and decide if we leave tomorrow.

We went to the pool for a little while in the afternoon, then went to the office to check out and get our despacho (exit papers) from Ariana.

While Don was sitting at the pool and had a little time to think, he came up with another way to hook up the computer and GPS, and it now looks like we have navigation and Win-link all on the tower. We are leaving tomorrow ... finally!

To see full size pictures, visit our Season 4 Photo Album


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