This morning we head away from Guaymas to a clean quiet anchorage in San Carlos. The cabin temperature at 7:30 is already 93 degrees so we are leaving bright and early to beat the heat - as if that's possible. Our time in Guaymas has been productive which is great because I think the heat is going to slow down any ideas we might have on doing boat projects or much of anything really.
I finally finished our sunshade which other cruisers had told us would be essential for surviving a summer in the Sea. I started working on the sunshade way back in January while in La Cruz. The idea behind the sunshade is to have a awning of sorts over the whole boat to keep the beating sun from raising inside temperatures to intolerable levels.
You would think it would be simple. Maybe a big rectangle suspended from the rigging and your good to go. Except for two important problems. 1. we have four solar panels that can't be covered and 2. that rigging.
The rigging of a sailboat is a complicated thing. We have an eight shroud, two spreader rig with a back stay, the forstay and a stays'l stay. In addition we have a boom brake that attaches port to starboard midship and a set of moveable running rigging for heavy downwind passages. Then of course there are the three sheets and four halyards (sailors' names for all those lines.) Plus of course the mast itself and the boom all of which are in the way of anything one tries to suspend "above" the deck.
As for the four solar panels: with them we generate enough electricity to stay at anchor unplugged from civilization essentally indefinitly. With them covered we would be forced to run our engine daily to run the ship. Running the engine means heat and that is a kill joy.
In the end it required aproximatly 45 yards of hem, 50+ grommets, 25 bungy cords, a handful of snaps and 8 hemmed slits for rigging, sheets and stays to produce four seperate 6'x12' panels aloft and one 5'x5' foot panel that snaps off and on to provide side shade as the sun clocks around us. I already can feel a difference but I suspect in the end we will find out that either we love it and use it faithfully or it simply becomes too much of a bother. Did I mention that we will have to take it down every night or risk having it torn to smithereens in one of the Seas frequent night Coromuels or Elefantes -sudden night winds that blow in the Sea in the summer?
Bill was busy installing both our repalcement power inverter -so I can run my sewing machine at anchor and the new radar. The radar turned into a bit f a fiasco unfoartunatly. The chart ploter we purchased before we left Seattle was purchased partly because it was supposed to support running several different electronics all at the same time onthe same viewing screen. It already was wired with: chart plotter, GPS, VHF, Loud Hailer, AIS and Depth. The radar should have been a simple install and add on. Unfortunatly Standard Horizon doesn't supply enough ports to run a radar too. Eventually Bill wound one of his miracles by installing a set of switches in the cockpit so we can toggle from one application to the next without needing to go below to flip a switch. That going below by-the-way would have primarily been Kats job. Up, down, up, down -a one more trip and I will scream kind of job.
Yesterday was our first truly hot day -even with the new shade in place. I am not going to try complaining to all of you. It is just the way it is here. We came looking for Christmas in shorts and flipflops, tropical beaches and warm blue waters. Those things don't come without an off season. When it comes to the tropics the off season always brings either blasting heat or drenching rains from storms. Oh, and hurricanes or typhoons.
Today there is the first murmer of a "depression" off to the south. Not a hurricane, not even a tropical depression. Nothing for us to worry about, no need to run or prepare but it is the season and we check every day. When woke up I looked at our cabin thermometer, just to check because last night had felt hotter than any other so far. Sure enough the cabin was 90 degrees at 8:00am. By 3:00pm with every port, hatch and companionway wide open it was 99!
We worked a few hours in the morning and the afternoon was left to relax and do nothing. While doing the laundry I slipped into my swimsuit before hitting the marina laundry mat. Wash in, a dip in the pool. Move the laundry and another dip in the pool before doing the fold and fluff. This morning its a flurry of getting ready. A quick trip to the bank, sunshade down and stored, hatchboards away, everything stored and a quick check out with the marina. Swimming and hopefully a cooling breeze. I cant wait. Once back at anchor (and out of the poluted harbor) I can slip into the water as often as I like to stave off the heat. My only worry right now is how to arrange a reading pillow on my new water cooled airmattress. Kat