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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Boat projects

17 November 2007
Marina Mazatlan

Cruising life in a marina is not like the lazy life at anchor for the crew of Nakia. We generally try to avoid the expense of marina stays unless boat work or other chores can be facilitated by being tied to a dock. So while other cruisers spend leisurely mornings over lattes at the marina cafe, afternoons strolling the mercado and plazas in town, and evenings dining out or enjoying concerts at the historic Angela Peralta theater, John is working his tail off and I'm lending a hand where ever I can.

We are up by 5:30 most mornings, awakened by the Ziggy alarm, and we take turns walking him in his harness and leash (or allowing him to lead us around to be more precise). We had to abandon restricting his outdoor time to just the boat itself (which he'd gotten pretty good about with the help of a squirt bottle) when John began painting the side decks. Now he's very good about the harness and leash, but doesn't understand staying on the boat when there's enough of a break in the wet paint/brightwork cycle to let him out on his own.

John is usually ready to start on the project du jour after the local VHF net, by which time the decks are mostly dry. He tries to work until late afternoon, and then it's beer time, followed shortly after dinner by bed time. The cap to the Ibuprofen bottle is getting a real work out. (Ziggy also gets a little more bug chasing, grass chewing time before dinner.)

So the non-skid is on the side decks and now it's time to refinish the exterior teak trim which we stopped maintaining long before we left for Mexico. Yesterday John scraped off the last of the peeling Cetol while I polished stainless, and then we scrubbed as much of the mildew out of the cap rail and bulwarks as we could. Today John started sanding and I'm doing laundry to stay out of his hair.

For entertainment we have spent one Sunday afternoon watching football with friends at a local restaurant; gone to dinner at a friend's home in one of the new marina condos; and shared Domino's two-for-one pizza with friends on their boat. Sometime before the end of the month we hope to catch a Venados baseball game (if we can manage to stay up that late), and we'll probably go out to dinner somewhere on Thanksgiving. At 236 pesos per person the catered Thanksgiving extravaganza organized by the folks here in the marina is pricier than the cruiser holiday potlucks we've enjoyed in La Cruz and La Paz, and we're not the dinner and dancing types anyway, so we're giving that a pass.

The weather here has been significantly warmer with higher humidity than we experienced in San Carlos. Nice if you're in vacation mode but not so good when you have to worry about dripping sweat onto your fresh coat of paint or freshly sanded teak. Yesterday was different because the scattered clouds in the morning actually built to rain showers by the late afternoon and early evening. It was wet enough that even Ziggy decided to forego his evening walk, and the cool north breeze made for a nice change.

In other news, we've sold our pickup truck to cruising friends who plan to do the same as we have - cruise Mexico, making occasional trips to the States, and storing it in Mexico between trips. Since our plan is to continue down to Central America and Ecuador next year, it didn't make much sense to keep the truck any longer.

Ziggy continues to both charm and exasperate us. He's a beautiful animal with a mind of his own, and sometimes we wonder if he wouldn't be happier living on land. But until someone comes along who has more to offer him than we do, we'll continue to honor our commitment to him. He's slowly getting more affectionate, but he's sure not a lap cat.

Linda and John