December 2009: Hanging in La Paz for the Holidays

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On the way to La Paz, I spent a night at anchor with Rod and Elisabeth from s/v Proximity. They'd been at Marina Palmira and had arranged a slip for me before they left. I pulled in on December 9, and found myself on the party dock full of people who enjoy the evening sunset. My slip was in the middle of it.

So, every evening there's a party in front of my boat. It's a good way to meet new people. I have learned, though, to fix dinner *before* sunset.



I came to La Paz to see Sergio Galindo, the stainless steel guy who made my custom stern rails. Sergio had been up in Alameda for years, and we had discussed new bow rollers. The original anchor rollers and forestay attachment was made from cast aluminum, was horribly corroded and too small. The rollers were too narrow for a good shackle to roll over them, and the anchor had to be lashed down well to keep it in place.

I'd balked at the price , but finally decided to go for it, only to learn that Sergio had moved to La Paz and started a business in Mexico.
I decided to wait, sail the boat down here, and then deal with it. Waiting was a good idea, as I added this huge oversized Rocna just before leaving. The new rollers can be built for this anchor.


The old rollers came off pretty easy, after drilling the bolt heads off. I looped a halyard through it and slowly turned a winch, and it just peeled off. It was important to pull the old one off first, since the new one must have bolt holes that match *exactly.* There's a lot of structural fiberglass and a large metal backing plate under the rollers, and I don't want to fill old holes and drill new ones.

(Yes, it's Christmas, 2009.)


Here's a picture of Sergio Galindo installing the new bow rollers.

These new rollers have a steel plate welded to the bottom, that wraps down over the bow and is through bolted. Inside the bow, we added two strong steel backing plates with rings welded on, which are bolted together inside the anchor locker. So my forestay and bow rollers are actually bolted down to the hull, not just the deck.



Shiny. The small roller is for the snubber line. I run a single snubber, tied to the chain rode with a rolling hitch. I like a rolling hitch, as opposed to a chain hook, because it spreads the ground tackle load over a number of links. A chain hook will put the entire anchor load on a single link, and sometimes that can be a lot of stess on a single point.

I still need to attach the forestay at this point.



Sergio also welded a ring onto the rollers, so I can fly the asym forward without worrying about the tack line ripping my pulpit off. No more need for the ATN tacker.








It's time to focus on some other objectives for this trip as well. I've been carrying a mandolin around since 1977, and it's time to focus on learning to play it. Go ahead and laugh. Yes, thirty two years, and I sill only know three chords. I have absolutely no natural talent for this.

Well, I've pulled it out. One step at a time.




I also met a really great lady who's spending a lot of time on my boat.

She won't drink instant coffee, though.




The women around here have a 'stitch and bitch' breakfast every Tuesday, although I've never seen them pull out a needle and thread. Actually, I try to avoid walking past them on Tuesdays, because they suddenly get really quiet and I get really nervous.

Christmas dinner started out as a little pot luck for a few boats on the dock, but over the course of a two weeks evolved into a huge party for all the cruisers in the marina. Somehow, the women found out that I like to cook, and have a well equipped galley. They asked me to make yams. I got into it and invented a new yam recipe with jicama root and a pineapple banana coconut glaze, with no added sugar. Half of my galley experiments are disasters, but this one worked out pretty well.

I was also enlisted to carve the turkeys. We had six of them. It was a challenge to make them fit in all the small boat ovens, so they bought precooked turkeys, sawed in half at the store, which were reheated on Christmas day.

I don't know how I got roped into this.
All these women seem to have adopted me. I'm happy.

So that was the end of 2009.
We're taking off to cruise the nearby islands next week.


Click on pictures to see them full size