This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Friday, June 25, 2010
Settling into Marina and Engine Games
Over the last two days we have settled into life in a marina.
On the practical side we have shore power and I have dug out the toaster, electric kettle, and workshop light which we are now using regularly. I've also set up the small battery charger which puts out 6 amps for the battery bank. This enables us to keep the refrigerator going about 18 hours per day.
I found the marina wireless to be hopeless - so bad that my computer could not establish a connection. I learned from Charlotte that the wireless antenna is at the end of the jetty right over their boat and they get great service. I grumbled about this to the guys at morning coffee and Dave suggested that I get a 50-ft ethernet cable and plug directly into the outlet at the slip's utility post. Sure enough, every utility post supplies 110V and 250v power, water, and internet connection. For 520 pesos I had a 50-ft cable made with a waterproof connector that screws into the jetty service post then ran the cable into the nav station and plugged it into the computer. No password was required. The speed is not spectacular but good enough for useful work. As far as I know there is no limit on data. However, the wireless dongle still has its uses. Brenda uses it for her internet work and we will both use it for secure banking work, given that the hard wire service is described as "unsecure" and I've had no security problem with the wireless service. Years ago I wondered out loud why the Fremantle Sailing Club could not offer internet services to its jetties and here in Mexico it is a reality.
To fill in time until the new engine crossed the border I began the project of swapping the Monitor wind steering lines from the starboard to the port side of the cockpit. On the port side is the manual bilge pump and the engine controls, and it did not make sense to be forced to move around that side of the wheel because the other side was blocked by the control lines. More than once I have moved the throttle of the running engine with my leg as I passed through to get to the cabin. Another reason is that I need to be able to peer around the starboard side of the wheel to see the chart plotter at the navigation table. This was my big chance because I have an opportunity to use a shore power electric drill which will have enough torque to drill through the stainless steel rail on the port side. The early stages of the work were difficult and tense. Because the control lines are of different lengths I to remove them so that I can swap them. But the trickiest thing was to unbolt two blocks so that I could turn them 180 degrees. This involved crouching on the framework above the water and delicately removing nuts and bolts without dropping anything - including myself - in the water.
Bob Carroll was kind enough to lend me his electric drill which I picked up yesterday afternoon as Brenda and I passed by on our way to the Mogote peninsula and I hope to complete the job today. When we returned from the Mogote I mounted the outboard motor on the rail and lifted the Zodiac onto the deck. I'd rather take the trouble of lowering and raising the Zodiac than having it sitting in the water getting its bottom fouled and under the hot sun day after day.
Brenda and I have noticed that the temperature has dropped slightly over the last two days - nothing dramatic, but 95F is a lot better than 105F. Last night it was actually cool enough for a sheet and blanket.
The engine saga goes on. Yesterday I learned that after his visit to Pachuca Mac had made a plywood jig for the engine in the workshop. The engine jig is a light weight model of the engine that is good enough to use for preparation of the engine bed. Essential elements of the jig include the overall dimensions, location of the feet, and the position and angle of the shaft coupling. These elements of the jib must of course be very accurate. The mounting of the engine such that it lines up perfectly with the propeller shaft is probably the trickiest part of the engine repowering task.
But then I ran into problems with Columbia Transport. Judith had not sent me an email message giving me the status the previous day as she had promised. I telephoned yesterday and was told that she was in Cabo and would not be back at the La Paz office until Monday. I registered my intense displeasure.
I passed on this information to Neil and he offered to make his own enquiries with Columbia today. I appreciated that because he has the stature and clout to make a big difference. He advised that I do not begin to dismantle the Sabb engine until the Volvo replacement has crossed the border. That should give me 2 days' notice of arrival in La Paz which should be enough time for the dismantling work.
Well after dark last night I got a message from Judith, which I found bizarre and irritating.
The good news was that the entire consignment had been given the OK to be imported "temporarily" duty free. The bad news was that it would take another 3 or 4 working days for the process to be completed. So far so good: I had been told to expect up to a week of processing and it would now be two weeks, but I could accept that. But then she gave me the option of having the engine placed on the truck for La Paz today if I was willing to pay full duty on the import - about $1300. SAY WHAT???? What was going on? Why was I being even presented with this preposterous option? And why was the option being presented to me well into the night only hours before the truck departed the next day?
I sent a very measured and polite but firm response to not load the engine on the truck today and allow the "temporary" importation process to run its course. I asked her to keep me informed and to confirm that at this point I can expect the engine next week. I'll see Neil today for his take on the situation.
I told Brenda that this is Mexico and I would normally accept doing things their way. However, Columbia Transport is charging me Gringo prices - over $600 USD to handle the formalities - so I expect Gringo style services such as predictable and professional procedures as well as keeping the customer informed.
... No wonder I've been having back trouble all week: I've got $14,000 in assets out there and games are being played.
The first three photos are of Pachuca at slip 111 of Marina de La Paz.
Brenda's Bird of the Day is a Western Gull. There are several variations on this theme in the bird world. They are a familiar accompaniment to the beaching of fishing boats along many coastlines as in the second last photo.The Western Gull occurs from Vancouver island to the southern tip of the Baja California. Robert's photo was just in time.
- ► 2012 (344)
- ► 2011 (288)
- Bent Shaft and Bent Prices
- Visit to Todos Santos
- Hotel California
- Monitor Control Lines Changed
- Settling into Marina and Engine Games
- At the Marina
- Hot Weather Has Arrived
- Fish and Zodiac
- Shopping and Soccer
- Lunch with Bob
- Volvo Engine Is In San Diego
- Meeting and Visit to Mogote Peninsula
- Engine and Fan
- Brenda Getting Established
- Pachuca's Storm Jib
- Goodies From Australia
- Volvo Engine On Way
- Brenda Arrived OK
- More Volvo Photos
- Zodiac Maintenance
- Engine Preparation
- Engine at Shoreline Marine Diesel
- Having a Fitness Fit
- SABB Maintenance and For Sale
- Moved the Boat
- Status on New Engine
- Engine Sea Trial and NewHome for Pachuca
- ▼ June (27)
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- ► 2008 (269)
- ► 2007 (43)