We land In Hermosillo, and are greeted by our old friend Jesús, cab driver extraordinaire. A smiling face in the heat. It’s hot and the cool air conditioning of the Guaymas Holiday inn Express is a welcome relief after our drive.
The next morning we get up early, enjoy the included breakfast and head off to the boat with Jesús, our driver. Stopping at the OXXO store (like a 7-11) we load up on ice and drinks. We won’t have refrigeration until the boat is in the water but the yeti is ready to keep things cold while we work in the dusty heat of the boatyard.
We have planned to replace our exhaust elbows, a normal replacement after about 2500 hours of operation and mandatory after breaking one off last year. We also have new props in the hopes that we can improve our motoring performance. I remove the elbows and discover that the exhaust manifold is more than 90% blocked with salt and soot. I had inspected the elbows but did not expect this buildup in the manifold. Now it will be hard to tell if our new propellers helped at all. I am amazed that the engines were running at all. It’s a lot like the engine had a severe case of asthma.
We spend six days getting the boat ready to splash, the heat is oppressive and we barely make it to three o’clock each day before the heat wins and we scuttle back to the comfort of the hotel and its pool. Jesús stops at the store to let us buy vodka, cranberry juice (jugo arándano), and limes, to make a sea breeze which we sip by the pool.
All of cruising seems to be filled with characters, and the boatyard is no exception. A few boats away a large monohull is on stands, which hasn’t moved since we left 5 months ago. Its occupant, a wizened old man, spends a significant amount of time wandering around the yard with Blackie, his sweet dog. Blackie is a new dog, a “boxerish” animal that runs around with a friendly zest for life. This ancient mariner tells us his previous dog passed away during the summer and that after several months of mourning, a friend brought Blackie to him from the animal shelter in Tucson. They are still getting “used” to each other. He clearly dotes on the dog. We wonder if the ancient mariner, who lives on his boat with Blackie, will ever leave the yard.
Silly us, we use the last day to wash the grit and grime off the boat in preparation for the launch. Launch day comes and we squeeze out into the bay dodging a large Tuna boat that was partially blocking our path. The boat of course is covered with tire marks from the launch fenders.. We are thankful that there was no repeat of the hydraulic oil baptism we had when the boat came out of the water on the same hoist.
We had planned to stay in Guaymas after our launch but decided on the fly to motor to San Carlos, making fresh water along the way. We stayed at San Carlos to provision and then went a few miles north to Algodones bay. There we finished putting the boat together gladly accepting the assistance of Scott and Laurie from Muskoka in putting the mainsail back on the boom.
While it was still pretty hot, the jobs were much easier at anchor rather than in the boatyard. We took breaks swimming off the transom steps and snorkeling.
With the new cleaned out manifold and the new props the boat is basically 2 knots faster at any RPM and has a new wide open throttle of 3500+ rpm. A definite improvement. We now plan passages with minimum speeds 7 knots instead of 5!
In the afternoons, the wind at Algodones can pipe up to 25 knots. While Footloose would have a couple of reefs at that point, the kite surfers are loving it. Just watching is great fun.
After 5 days in Algodones, we took over Muskoka’s slip in San Carlos to wait for the arrival of our friends Rich and Laura from Petaluma, who plan to join us cruising on their own boat in the not too distant future.
We bought provisions at Walmart and then arrachera (hanger steak) and amazing bacon from the local San Carlos meat market…WOW, now we are ready for our next adventures.