Keeping Busy in Guaymas

Posted by Admiral
Jul 30 2010

Guaymas in July is all about heat control – no way to pretty it up.  I start most days with a shower, then a swim.

July 2010 from Aq 050 Nice pool, but the sun heats it up pretty fast every day.  You have to swim before 8 to get reliably cool water.

I only use a towel to dry my face since the water dripping in my eyes is annoying.  Other than that, you let the water soak into your clothes and evaporate.  This is the best technique short of air-conditioning for heat control.  For terrific a/c, we go for a drive in Linda’s Suburban.  Lots of places to go around here.  We have made several trips to Marina Real in San Carlos to help with various problems on the boat of a friend.  The boat is called Blue Dolphin.  They have two CO detectors which overreact in the heat.  We have disabled them.  We went once to locate special varnish to hand off to a worker who will sand and varnish for them.  Meanwhile, Kathy and Robert of BD are at home in Texas, swimming in rivers and generally keeping cool as well as they can.  Our friends on Ubuntu are in Hawaii – lucky them!  That is after spending some time at Doug and Linda’s beautiful home on the Napa River.  We are all very fortunate to have stumbled into the world of Aquadesiac – beautiful home on the river to visit, Suburban with 4-wheel drive and air-conditioning, Doug the super-trouble-shooter guy who will work past midnight, and Linda, the wonder woman.  No problem too big or too small, she seems to find the solution!  We have made many great friends, more every day.  We are very, very fortunate.

This is Jose.  He works here six days a week (a typical Mexican work-week), and has the most colorful, friendly personality Linda and I have seen in a long time.  He reminds me of the character of Belle’s father in “Beauty and the Beast”:

July 2010 from Aq 078 Today, we asked him for an idea about a restaurant for breakfast.  He and his co-worker discussed this for several minutes before sending us to a great place with really good food.  Jose is our good friend.

Here in Guaymas, we have spent a lot of time driving SLOWLY to Wal-Mart or the Soriana supermercado.  Then we browse SLOWLY thru the aisles, sometimes with specific objectives, most times not.  We went to see the new Tom Cruise movie, Knight and Day, at a local movie theater with terrific a/c, plus artery-clogging popcorn as required for proper movie viewing.  The movie was presented in English with Spanish sub-titles.  The movie was actually very entertaining – should be billed more as a comedy than an action movie.  The action was nearly non-stop, but it was all way over the top and done for laughs.

We took that trip to Ciudad Obregon where we purchased walnut for the construction of Aquadesiac’s cockpit table:

July 2010 from Aq 040 This was one of those outings where Muggs earned her keep by being the designated spokesperson.  My fractured Spanish got the right ideas communicated, and the table has been built with good results:

July 2010 from Aq 075Teak is unavailable here, but the carpenter who did the work (here in Guaymas) recommended walnut which he could obtain in about two weeks.  Instead of waiting, we drove to Obregon and purchased it ourselves.  The lumber store was quite something:

July 2010 from Aq 042 No signs!  We had directions which turned out to be good, but the shop was closed when we first drove by.  Eventually, we asked some people on the street where the lumber store was, and they pointed to this shop which was closed at the time.  We can back about an hour later, and they had reopened after a two hour lunch-siesta.  The only way to cope!   No air-conditioning here, and the temperature in Obregon topped 116 degrees that day!

While we were in Obregon, Larry and Doug went into an appliance store and bought a fan (for us) and an a/c unit (for Doug and Linda).  Then, of course, they had to build a platform for the unit:

July 2010 from Aq 047

July 2010 from Aq 049

Before I arrived in Guaymas (going back to early July), Doug, Linda, and Larry witnessed a young Mexican couple that had just gotten married come down to our dock for pictures – look how beautiful they are:

July 2010 from Aq 010

July 2010 from Aq 008

As a foursome, we went to the Delfinario last weekend.  This is a water park similar to Marine World but much smaller.  There was a dolphin show and a sea lion show.  Both were very cute with a particularly entertaining clown who started the action at each show.

July 2010 from Aq 085 And the price was right.  There were only the two shows that interested us, and admission was about $4 for Larry, $8 for me.  You could pay $40 extra for a swimming and touching experience with the dolphins, but we decided not to spend the money.  There was a little audience participation in the sea lion show.  A pretty young woman was brought into the pool area and escorted to what she did not know – a sea lion kiss!

July 2010 from Aq 098

We also met an interesting family from Juarez who helped us communicate when there was a snafu with our tickets – fluency is a very good thing!

July 2010 from Aq 094 I talked to her daughter for a while.  We eventually learned that she and her husband work with disabled children in Juarez.  Juarez is one of the hot spots of drug-fueled violence in Mexico.  It was eye-opening to meet people who are leading dignified, productive lives in the midst of such horror.

After the dolphins, we went to the Soggy Peso, a beach bar where the swimming was fine and the drinks even finer:

July 2010 from Aq 112 July 2010 from Aq 109

July 2010 from Aq 073 July 2010 from Aq 111

July 2010 from Aq 101 July 2010 from Aq 100

Somewhere over this past weekend, we also visited a pearl farm.  This was very interesting.  First, you arrive in a parking lot (naturally) where there are free nature sights:

July 2010 from Aq 056 Note the iguana in the center of the picture.

Then we were greeted by a man who turned out to be a partner in this venture.  He had studied marine biology in university and did his master’s thesis on the process of “farming” cultured pearls (my word, not his).  He led us down to the water where we sat under a palapa roof, and he described the work they do there:

July 2010 from Aq 063 The building at the top of the hill.  It is part of a small campus of buildings which comprise a small, private university.

July 2010 from Aq 058 The palapa

July 2010 from Aq 059 The floats used to hang the baskets with oysters in the water.  The floats are being cleaned here.  The problem is the same that we have on our boats – barnacles stick to the water-side of the float and grow and prosper!  It takes nearly a crowbar to get them off.

July 2010 from Aq 060 A “field” of pearl farm floats.  Each float has a multi-tiered basket full of oysters at various stages of development.  There are approximately 120,000 oysters here.  The particular, colorful oyster which is used to create cultured pearls here is endemic and exclusive to the Sea of Cortez.  The scientist described how the “grain of sand” (which is not a grain of sand, but a pearl-shaped ball of shell material made of the shells of a clam that is only found in Tennessee!) is inserted into the oyster with a small piece of the shell’s mantle material.  If all goes well, a small pearl has developed after approximately 12-18 months, and a more commercial-sized pearl after two or three years.  Doug and Larry bought us jewelry at the end.  There was no charge for the tour, and the jewelry was very reasonably priced if set in silver.

On a different day, Linda and I left the boys behind and went exploring.  We drove out to Canon de Nacapule (there should be a tilde over the first ‘n’ of canon).  This turned out to be an interesting drive – goat herds, longhorn cattle, several well-laid-out farmsteads – with a beautiful canyon at the end:

July 2010 from Aq 113

July 2010 from Aq 114 There were gulleys and washes all over the place, and the rain to fill them appeared to be on its way.

Somewhere in here, Larry and I went for haircuts.  Linda had a pedicure:

July 2010 from Aq 120 July 2010 from Aq 122

The sky was starting to look dark and ominous, but when we asked the beautician if she thought there would be rain, she insisted that there would not.  There was!  Bigtime.

That evening, we had planned to go out to dinner.  I went to the restroom in the yard because it was closer to Linda’s truck.  When I finished changing clothes, I stepped outside to the start of rain.  Large drops.  I had no jacket or other protection, and I didn’t want my nicer clothes to get drenched.  So I changed back into my original clothes and “stole” a pink plastic shower curtain (which I replaced the next day) to use as a rain cape.  I ran to Linda’s truck.  Meanwhile, she got drenched coming to find me and then Larry.  We gathered up Doug, and then Doug decided that we should go for a drive in the rain!  Seemed nutty at the time, but what an experience.  Within fifteen minutes, the water was running 10-12” deep in the streets.  You could not have crossed the street safely on foot.  We were all truly amazed that we did not see one car stall nor any accidents.  It was rush hour, and the traffic was very heavy.  We still talk about it with a certain awe.  Anyway, eventually we arrived at a restaurant that had been recommended to us which is located adjacent to the Wal-Mart store.  We all went in, but Linda and Larry decided to drive over to W-M to buy dry clothes.  They were well and truly drenched.  Meanwhile, Doug and I sat and ordered drinks and remarked on the fact that the very large palapa roof had not one single leak anywhere.  There was a drip-drip leak near the entrance to the restrooms, but this was thru a more standard-type roof structure.  Eventually, Larry and Linda returned and changed into bright new dry clothes.  Look for them soon on People of Wal-Mart!

July 2010 from Aq 123

Meanwhile, Tucker is always with us.  One day, he had a run-in with some fly-paper:

July 2010 from Aq 076

Earlier, though, he was the supervisor of the rigging project:

July 2010 from Aq 024

After I returned to Guaymas this month, Linda gave me some extra fabric she had which she figured might make nice covers for our cockpit cushions.  It is really difficult to keep them clean, and she thought these might be more easily washed, etc.  We took the fabric and one cushion to a local seamstress.  We had enough fabric for only two cushions, so we asked the seamstress to pick a different fabric – her choice – and make them all up.  The final price for these four beautiful cushion covers was $80!  They include elastic in the back for getting on and off and a finished hole for the handles to poke through:

July 2010 from Aq 133 Fabric chosen by

the seamstress.

July 2010 from Aq 136 The original fabric.  Gorgeous!  Plus she made six napkins from the extra fabric.  (See the handle poking through…)

Yesterday was an eventful day.  After the usual activities – yesterday it was refilling water bottles and topping off diesel and gasoline cans – Linda started discovering termites.  Then the guys moved a small pile of plywood that was waiting to be turned into a support for Peregrine’s air-conditioning, and they found the source – a large colony of termites!!!  Yikes!  Then later that evening, we all heard a loud bang which turned out to be a battery of one of the boats on the dock:

July 2010 from Aq 142 This sent the smell of sulfuric acid into the air throughout the poor guy’s boat, so we contributed our new fan to help air the place out.  The boat this happened on was the biggest one here – a 75’ motor yacht called FnFun.  And no, that is not misspelled!  Anyway, it is a beautiful boat with twin engines and twin engine rooms, but he is not immune to the vagaries of battery charging problems.  He has been trying for two weeks or more to get an electrician to visit, but the man has not arrived yet.  Maybe tomorrow!

Our rigger has finished his work, so now we are ready to discuss the next move.  And we all think it won’t be a minute too soon.  If we can leave here and get to a nice anchorage, we can spend most of the day in the water!  We will lose the nice wifi connection we have here in the marina, but I have fired up the Telcel Banda Ancha device, and everything is still in working order.  Whenever we have cell phone coverage, we will be able to keep in touch by internet.

So until we have more to report, this is Admiral Muggs signing off.

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