We are back in Mazatlan on Full & By getting her ready for our sixth season in the sunny Mexico. We drove down to Mazatlan this year as we had to pick up parts for our new water maker in Oceanside and it would have been difficult to get the needed parts any other way. We have driven the route before but this time we were taking a more direct route....we picked the US thanksgiving day weekend to travel and in retrospect that wasn't a very smart decision. The weather was perfect sunny skies all the way cold air chasing us all the way to the Mexican border. At night the temps went below freezing and when we arrived at Nogales at 0700 AM to cross in Mexico it was -2 C. None of Mexican government buildings are heated so needless to say the Mexicans working inside were "mucho trio" The trafic on the highway was a different story ....awful....the highways were packed. Fortunately for us most of the time the heaviest volume was in the opposite direction to us. However a few times we got caught ...stop and go for 150 miles heading into LA Saturday afternoon and then the following day we were slowed down for about an hour heading into Phoenix. Once we crossed the border into Mexico it was clear sailing.... we seemed many times to have the highway to ourselves. Lucky us .... We got the green light at the border into Mexico which was a relief...our car was so so loaded with boat stuff etc. it would have been a nightmare to unload it all...let alone pay the tax/duty! As it was we had to be extra cautious going over the topes and vibradores! This is the Spanish term for speed bumps which are on highway at places where pedestrians, cows horses etc. cross the road or just before small towns...usually they are marked but not always! Fortunately we didn't find any we hadn't anticipated. Our strategy of staying behind the big touring buses pays off as they know where all these bumps are located and they always slow down in anticipation. The only difficulty is keeping up with them as they drive well over the limit! There were several check points along the way ....one in particular at the Sonoran/Sinaloa border where every car was being turned inside out! Fortunately for us we were waved on by!... whew! We rolled into Mazatlan just at sunset
and went directly to our friends Jane & John who had us for dinner at their cousin's beautiful condo
...what a lovely treat. The next day we were at the boat which was moved to the work yard for a new coat of bottom paint
and a polish & wax before we were splashed. As always there are unanticipated issues and the bob stay chain plate that attaches the bob stay to the hull was looking a bit rusty. As this is a strategically important part of Full & By's rigging structure it would need to be replaced. No problemo.....we are in Mexico...within a day a new plate was fabricated and ready for bedding.
Here it is all shinny & new. After five days in the yard Full & By was back in the water
heading back to the El Cid marina...
where we will stay until part way through January of the new year. It has been a very busy two weeks...cleaning organizing....rummaging through all the stuff not finding what is needed at the time it is needed like the zincs that were supposed to go on the keel cooler before the boat went in the water that were found the following day! Once we moved back on the boat we discovered everything worked except the fridge...fortunately I hadn't yet loaded it up with any food. When it comes to fridges it might as well be rocket science...besides replacing the thermostat and trouble shooting....when it comes to repairs it becomes very mysterious voodoo! We had lots of input from our cruising friends..offering multiple suggestions and solutions. Ultimately we ended up with a young very competent refridgerator repair man..just a couple more boat units and alakazam...we are up and running again...we are keeping our fingers & toes crossed that the fridge will continue to keep steady chilled temps.
Full & By is starting to look Christmassy...finally decorated, clean and shinny. She was pretty dirty from her summer season in the boatyard. Our current plan this season is to stay here in Mazatlan at El Cid...enjoying the resort and all its amenities.
until at least after the New Year...we may go the Puerto Vallarta in January and then come back here before heading into the Sea of Cortez late February early March. Our plans are a bit up in the air ....we may even take a short inland drive trip as we have our car with us. Whatever we do it will be an adventure as always and we will keep you posted. In the meantime to all our friends and family a Very Very Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!