Summer in Mexico pt1
We hit the ground running. It was simply too hot to live on the boat now that we were up and out of the water. Our new-to-us apartment had air conditioning and running water, which is a lot more than Meriwether would have for some time, but it was over a half mile away. This meant we had to move nearly all of our belongings from the boat and to the apartment… by hand. Or wagon as it was…and backpack.
No food items could be left on board or they would cook, and that went for just about anything that would melt in the upcoming heat of summer. So, pretty much everything was moved, which was a tall task, and it wasn’t cool out there. It took us most of the first week to accomplish the task. If it were not for the AC and pre-loading of many popsicles, I’m sure I would not have survived this week, let alone what was to come.
Meriwether was placed on stands in the back of the boatyard. Here I would be able to work on the big list of items we were looking to repair before the end of summer. Work… at least for the few hours a day that I would be able to tolerate the heat. As the days progressed more and more boats were stacked in the yard, with nearly all of them being dropped directly beside or in front of Meriwether. She ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. At least if it fell off the stands it couldn’t fall very far.
Once there we set out to get sun shade for the old girl We couldn’t just leave it out there to bake all day, plus I had to be in there to work on things. Said shade came in a huge roll, a mile or more away from the yard. Kerri and I took turns carrying it to the apartment where we were then able to load it into the wagon for the rest of the journey. I then set about covering the boat over the next couple days. While blocking the sun, and some heat, this sun shade also blocks any breeze passing by, so yay.
The dodger would be removed so we could more easily pull the motor out of its living space. All the lines were removed and every hole in the exterior of the boat had to be taped over (to prevent wasps). It was days of work just to get to the starting point of working on the boat, and it was completed just in time for me to fly off to take a vacation from it all. I spent two weeks visiting my son in Colorado and my family in Washington before returning. I left on this vacation with a single small backpack of my belongings, and returned with a 30 gallon suitcase filled with booze, paper towels, dozens of women’s underwear, and a single boat part. Yes, I was worried how I was going to explain all this to the poor sucker who dug through that bag at customs. Luckily, my inability to speak spanish had paid off as I was waved through without question.
I got straight to the big ticket item upon returning to Kerri and Meriwether, who both stayed back in Mexico while I vacationed. Even though I was waking before 5am and at the boat by 6, the temperature outside was in the high 80s, never falling lower even at 4am. With no air movement in the boat itself, it was deep into the 90s in there and no way to cool it down. Profusely dripping sweat all over anything I was working on was just how it was going to be. I would go shirtless during my work, for sanity sake, but by the time I returned to the apartment each morning (by 8-9am) my pants would be completely soaked from the gallons of my own sweat. Still, I can accept this. Working in the Alaskan winter sucked so much more.
Nevertheless, after sourcing a hoist, and with some friendly boat-neighbor spectators (who also helped), we pulled the old donkey out from its living space under the companionway and plopped it right in the galley. Here is where it would reside while I dealt with cleaning and painting the bilge, a rear transmission seal, and numerous engine gaskets. This, all in an attempt to get a notoriously leaky brand of motor to stop puking itself into our bilge. I know it is futile, but maybe I can slow it down? Time will tell.
Our day to day life hasn’t been all hard work. Actually, Kerri gets to stay home and work in the air conditioned apartment, and my boat-work day ends by 8 or 9 – in the morning – at the latest. The rest of the days I try to recover enough to do it again the next, and Kerri and I both try to find some nibbles of pleasure in #apartment-life. This might be our regularly scheduled sun-downers from our very own upstairs patio, or a visit to one of the numerous fantastic restaurants nearby, or even a mid day pedicure (she talked me into it, but then who am I to refuse) to ease some of the aches and pains of working on a boat in a Mexico summer.