High and Dry in Mazatlan — Let the Chaos Begin!

High and Dry
Singlar Marina, Mazatlan

High and Dry at Last

Here we are, high and dry, with the accompanying chaos.

Our Tuesday haulout didn’t go as planned, as the north winds kicked up and Miriam, the lift operator, plans methodically for a calm, stress-free haulout. At her recommendation we waited until Wednesday morning, which was perfect.


Miriam the Lift Operator

We entered the lift at 9:05 a.m., and were high and dry by 9:20, with guys armed with a pressure-washer at the ready. It’s the first time we’ve seen a travelift operated by remote control, and with a cute, petite woman at the command. She’s a pro, and doesn’t lift a finger unless everything is perfect.

It was also the first time we stayed aboard until the boat was supported by the sling – the travelift moved us forward, the guys organized a ladder at the front rail, and we just stepped off. Brilliant!

We were in our designated work spot by about 1:00 p.m., with the crew beginning the tedious work of grinding off barnacles. Once we saw the propellers and the running gear, it was clear why we only managed a top speed of 7.5 knots! Those critters, plus the slime and fur of whatever prehistoric warm-water organisms like living on boat bottoms, manage to slow us down considerably!

A Thursday meeting with Rick Cummings of Marine Services Mazatlan gave us all kinds of confidence that this will be a successful haulout. We’re going to get the bottom painted, the trim stripes redone in AwlGrip, some fiberglass and gelcoat dings repaired, and a galley refit (hooray?). Essentially, we told Rick in general what we wanted; he took a tour of the boat and made some notes, and returned today with preliminary figures.

In the meantime, we’ve been working hard. The first day we knocked 11 items off our 30-item list, and yesterday I stripped all the 27-year-old vinyl wall covering out of the master head. I guess we’re committed now! Ole’s been all over the boat, taking out the huge Jenn-Aire range (with Chris’ manly help) and cleaning seawater intakes and marking anchor chain.

We’ve also secured a hotel room for the duration. It’s a bit tough to live “on the hard” with no running water and no toilets – and since we don’t pay for “lay days” while Rick and his guys are working on the boat, the $35 a day we’re spending at Bungalows Mar Sol is well worth the comfort. We’ve got unlimited hot water, a kitchenette with gas cooktop and microwave, and full-size fridge.

The Bungalows attract a very loyal following of Canadians and Americans – a group of whom have been coming here for 21 straight years to spend the winter. And Miguelina, the owner, couldn’t be sweeter. The hotel is a 20-minute walk or a 50-cent bus ride from the yard, and transportation is constant. It looks like, from Rick’s initial estimate, we could be here for as many as 8 weeks until the work is completed. We don’t mind a bit – it’s safe, secure, friendly, and cozy.

The Aftermath of Barbecued Lamb at Montalaya

This afternoon we found a great restaurant – Montalaya – famous for Borrego, barbecued lamb. The waiter brought a charcoal brazier and 8 side dishes, then an entire kilogram of the most tender, succulent lamb we’ve ever tasted. Served with hot corn or wheat tortillas, a slather of guacamole, a squeeze of lime juice, a splash of green salsa and a garnish of cilantro, these do-it-yourself lamb tacos made piggies out of all four of us! Add in an ice-cold Pacifico or Negro Modelo, and the after-image speaks for itself!

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