Monday, January 21, 2019


This is what the boat looked like for the past 10 days. I took every sheet I owned and covered up the books and all the other bits we have stored, extra sails, tools,dinghy wheels, etc. It was a losing battle trying to keep the sawdust off of everything, but the sheets did help. We took all the cushions off and stored them in Bob’s truck.
 We have finished sanding and trying to fill in the holes and then stain the filler. We would smear the filler on then sand it down, then stain the little holes. The problem was that the filler would stay in the wood grain and there would be minute particles that stayed white around the original hole. It is driving me crazy.  Perhaps I should not have tried to fill the holes, oh well too late now.

I have two coats of varnish on and it is not coming off.  This is the view of the pieces of the cabin sole I can remove and my work area behind the boat, thank heavens for the wall. They look pretty good from 3 meters up. They will be a lot better than they were so that is what counts I guess.  

Bob and I went hiking yesterday morning. We scrambled up the first hill and then found a path leading us to the top of the next peak.  It was a gorgeous day and the views were stunningly in all directions. We marvelled at the many varieties of cacti, large and small and some were flowering.

When we got down I hurried off to a local beach to support a march for women against violence. They hadn’t even started the spearheaded when I had arrived and it was going to be 40 minutes until the Zumba dancers and an hour until the marched.  I purchased a t-shirt and left a donation and scooted back to the boat to put the second coat of varnish on. 
Bob has been busy changing the bearings on the wheels of his trailer. He managed to find a place that sold them in Guaymas and somehow communicated what he needed. We are really enjoying having our car down here, trips to the new Home Depot occur regularly.  I have convinced Barry that our corroded covers for our 110 electrical plugs need to be replaced so there is another trip in our future. 
The engine part we are waiting for is supposed to be shipped to us tomorrow. Who knows when it will arrive, in the meantime I can continue to varnish. Polishing the top sides comes next, my wrists hurt just thinking about it. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Guess What?

We are finished scraping the cabin sole, all the varnish is gone, how exciting! Here Bob and I have just discovered that teamwork really works. Usually when heat gunning by yourself, you blow super heated hot air on the boards then you put the gun down and scrape that section pick the gun up and do it again. When you put the gun down it cools off and so it takes extra seconds to heat up. With the two of us working together the gun stays on, the board stays hot and you can go about 4 times as fast.  It was awesome, when Barry took this picture he commented on the fact that we were doing the job and we were co-operating there was no fighting going on!

Here is Bob getting ready to put the finishing touches on the whole floor, boy did it ever feel good to be done.  Now I have to sand about half more and I want to fill in a bunch of dings that have appeared in 14 years. The staining of those patches will be the tricky part, I am not sure how close I will be able to match the colour. After that I will put the first of 8 or so coats of varnish on while the guys will polish the topsides and prepare the bottom for some touch up paint. 

Here we are at sunset at the spot we arranged to have dinner with our friends. The company was great and the food was good, and the setting was magnificent. It was good to get away from the boatyard. 

Yesterday we decided a little more R & R was in order and that the dinghy motor needed testing. We loaded the dinghy and the motor in Bob’s truck and went and launched it. There had been a bolt that was seized on it and Barry took it to a shop and they freed the bolt and Barry decided to have them change the oil.  Well, the guy put too much oil in it, twice as much as was called for and as we chugged out of the marina, the motor started smoking. We turned around and Barry ignominiously rowed back in. He let us off at the closest dock and then rowed another 300 m back to the launching area. So much for our lovely sojourn out on the water.  

The weather has been perfect, temperatures in the low 20’s during the day and mostly sunny. At night it cools right off and the trailer is not plugged in, so there is no heat and we are sleeping with 4 blankets on. It is warm and cozy in the queen sized bed, what luxury.

Monday, January 14, 2019


Here is Cat’s-Paw IV in the yard.  We are right next to Intrepid II which just happens to belong to some people who were in our offshore fleet with the Bluewater Cruising Association in 2005.  It is unbelievable who you meet in boatyards around the world.  We will be having dinner with them tomorrow night.  There boat was one of the unlucky 4 that were knocked over in the storage yard in the named storm that went through San Carlos this summer.  They suffered quite a bit of damage and are slowly getting her back into shape. 
My To Do list was decimated today as we beavered away and managed to get 6 things with a ticky box beside them. whoo hooo!  The best was that we were able to bend on the sails in the early morning when it was dead calm.

I continue to heat gun the varnish off the sole and I have finished from the fore peak aft to midships . We went and bought an orbital sander today and I think I will give up the heat gun, with great sorrow, (as she sighs dramatically) and let one of the guys have a go. I hope to start sanding after we have taken the cushions off the boat and covered up most other things.
Bob McGyvered a piece for one of drawers, the slidy thing that allows the drawer to go in and out.  He used the old one as a template and fashioned a new one out of an old plastic cutting board. It is great to have someone handy around.  Barry took the outboard motor into a shop and they used a mallet and hammer to convince a very stubborn bolt that it really did need to move.  He also bought the last can of black paint for the bottom, we only need to touch up spots and do the waterline a couple of times.  The fridge technician is coming tomorrow and the correct heat exchanger has been ordered, progress, progress, progress.  

There is plenty of room in Bob’s trailer and Barry is just taking it easy in the very comfortable rocker after a very busy but productive day.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Working Hard

All three of us have been working really hard the last three days. The stove is installed and looks great.
Bob and Barry did some McGyvering and managed to get it fitting in the space and swinging freely on it’s gimballed settings.  
I have started removing the old varnish on the cabin sole and I am getting better at it as I go along.  It is a daunting job, on my hands and knees, with hot fumes wafting up in my face.  I have not burnt myself on the heat gun yet and I am determined not too. 
Barry fixed the pressure water today after much consultation on You Tube and with Bob, to figure out which way to put the new replacement fitting on. There was no water spraying about the galley after lunch so we assumed all went well. Bob spent the day taking off and then replacing the waterproof barrier in the cockpit lazarettes. It was a thankless job and he did it to perfection.  

I don’t know how many of you saw the quilt my Mom made for Barry and I after we completed our circumnavigation. It was made out of the remnants of all the material I had sent her from all around the world.  I asked her in the fall if she would make a tablecloth for the boat to match it. I am tickled pink to have something my Mom made when she was 90 to brighten up the boat everyday. It fit perfectly. Each piece of material conjures up memories of where we went to find it and the adventures we had getting it.  

Here is our corner of the boatyard complex with Bob’s truck and trailer and our vehicle tucked in between. We are located about 100 meters from the entrance to the work yard where Cat’s-Paw IV resides. You would not believe how nice it is to come back to the trailer to cook meals and not have clean up your workspace on the boat in order to eat or go to bed.  The best part though is not having to climb up and down the ladder to go to the bathroom before going to bed or first time in the morning.

This is one of the views out of trailer, every night the sun sets on these very distinct peaks. Life does not get to much better than this.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

We have arrived

This is the view out of the back of Bob’s fifth wheel in San Carlos just as the sun rose. We arrived yesterday just before the office closed so we were able to get access to the boat.  It was in great shape inside, pretty much as we had left it.  I was pleasantly surprised, I had been thinking that we might have experienced some rain damage but besides dirt build up on the deck, all was fine, YIPPEE!

The empty stove spot.

The new one waiting to be installed.

Today Barry and Bob spent most of the day taking out the old stove and then installing the new one, as someone on Facebook commented, boat jewelry.  It sure is shiny.  The installation took a little longer than expected because the new stove was smaller than the old one.  Barry measured and had discussions with the West Marine dealers but could not determine which size he needed from the imprecise description in the catalogue. The guys figured out they just needed a thick block to attach the gimbal mechanism to one side and then the stove would fit.  It took several trips to the chandlery to get two different sizes of bolts and voila it was in and functioning.  The oven seems quite a bit smaller than the old one, I probably won’t be able to cook a turkey in this one, but cookies, muffins or a roast are doable.
Bob also was having trouble with his battery for the trailer, it would not hold a charge, so we had no lights and the water pump would not work. We headed into Guaymas this afternoon and found a place to buy a 12 volt battery and he came back and installed it.  We now have lights and were able to do the dishes with hot running water, bonus. We are really enjoying the luxury of his spacious trailer. 
I washed all the summer’s dust off the topsides today and put some lines on.  At the end of the day while Barry worked on the stove, Bob and I put on the dodger, without a cross word being spoken.  I must be getting mellow, or perhaps I have just done it so many times that I actually know how to do it now!
Making the transition back to boating life has not been too difficult.  You basically wake up in the morning and work all out, all day to get the boat ready to put in the water.  The guys have been on my case to start using the heat gun we purchased to start stripping the cabin sole.  I don’t understand how they think I can do it with stuff piled high all over the floor.  Tomorrow I am going to move stuff around and get a start on that yucky job. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

We are in the desert

This is the view out of our window tonight. We are in Tucson, AZ enjoying the warm desert air. Yesterday we drove through 4 states, started in Utah, passed through Arizona then into Nevada. We headed back into Arizona but the road we wanted to use was closed because of an accident so we had detour and believe it or not we went through a part of California.  
Snowy Provo, Utah, we went for a walk after watching 2 NFL playoff games yesterday.
A beautiful mountain vista in southern Utah.  We finally got out of the snow as we approached Las Vegas. 

The highway ran through some stunning scenery, it kept my head on a swivel most of the day. We decided to bypass Las Vegas and head further south and visit with some old Yellowknife friends, Doug and Lorraine Ivey. They came and picked us up and I had my steak fix at an Outback restaurant.

It was great to catch up with them.  Today we connected with my brother in Phoenix and picked the new stove for the galley. He fit it in his truck and will travel with us to the boat.  It will be great to have all three burners working. We will head to San Carlos tomorrow and find out what shape the boat is in.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Snow Day in Utah

No mountains visible, freezing rain overnight, snowing heavily. Barry was out early this morning having the oil changed and he almost slipped a couple of times on the extremely slippery sidewalks. We are staying put for today, maybe even tomorrow in Provo, Utah. We are whiling away the day watching NFL playoffs. Safe is way better than sorry.