Sizzle While You Work

No we haven’t fallen off the map.  But melting is not completely out of the realm of possibility.   Do me a favor:  take whatever negative stereotypes of Mexicans you might have (if any) and toss them out your window.  Of course that will likely require compromising your climate controlled room/car.  Down here it is we who are climate controlled, not the other way around.  In a Mazatlan summer doing anything first involves a taking personal inventory of your remaining strength, your fitness for public presentation, and the current intensity of the heat.  Which begs the question, how does anyone get anything done??

Best case scenario: it has rained overnight (which means we actually slept last night, but also that it’s even more humid now). I already have the materials I need to do a task.  I fill up a huge thermos of ice water, set up some shade, and start to work (really “start to sweat” would be more accurate if you’re measuring what actually happens most).

More often than not, any work I do on the boat requires a sweaty walk just to take a bus in order to walk to a store which probably does not have what I need.  If I can find something to work with, completion of any task still must contend with the walk back to the bus, the bus ride itself, and then the full heat of mid-day.  Frustration aside, these are ample reasons for anyone to move and work slowly.

Could we have picked up an AC unit?  Yes, however, you never actually see the boaters who have AC units.  Discounting the fact that 95% of the boat owners flee north from the summer heat, the 5% who remain are virtually invisible.  They do what they can before sunup (i.e. walk – since nothing is open that early down here) then sit in their cool boats (literally and figuratively) until sundown.  Then it’s out for a cheap dinner and drinks – not necessarily in that order – and off to a cool night’s sleep.

We, on the other hand, wanted to experience locals and local life.  And the heat really does seem to influence most of it:  a two hour siesta mid-afternoon, breakfast and dinner on the 10s, dancing – but only after midnight.  Work and play all revolve around the heat.  Things do move painfully slowl, but they have to.  You’re going to pass out if you don’t.  But much the same as the temperatures, the people tend to be warmer, too.  I’m genuinely surprised when people don’t greet me as I walk by.  I wondering if arrogant attitudes just have trouble sticking to a sweat-soaked shirts.

Maybe we’re not as productive as we used to be, but we are learning about ourselves and other cultures – sometimes we’re even getting work done, too.   (I’ve included a list of our tasks, as evidence.*)   In the meantime what matters most to us is that you pray for our next step.  We don’t want to wait here as expensive winter rates kick in (November), but we don’t want to wander around blindly either.  We’ll keep you posted, and you do the same.

In the two years before we left:

Rebuilt, fiberglassed and painted our aft cabin top.

Added new mainsheet traveler

Installed new jib sheet winches and mizzen sheet winch

Re-mounted our mizzen and main boom crutches

Recaulked the teak cockpit

Added sail tracks for jib sheet lead cars

Re-installed our lifelines

Painting the boot-stripe

De-blistered, faired, and painted the bottom of our hull

Removed and glassed over # thru-hulls

Removed gross, old holding tanks, macerators, and marine heads

Added a new electrical panel, batteries, alternator, solar panels, VHF, and SSB radios, nav lights, foredeck/steaming light, engine blower…

Rebuilt Karis’s hatch

Sewed new sail covers.

New fridge! Deeper side is freezer, shallower is fridge.

Built a DC freezer/refrigerator box.  Wired & plumbed compressor and cold


Made and upholstered new interchangeable couch cushions

Installed a propane locker and oven.

Installed two electric bilge pumps and a counter/alarm

Installed a 1 gallon stroke manual bilge pump

Installed an electric freshwater pump

Installed a freshwater galley foot pump

Installed a manual saltwater galley pump

Re-plumbed the entire freshwater system

Lowering main mast onto our boat – thanks for the strong arms/backs that helped us!!

Routed and mounted a port of call sign for our stern

Pulled our masts with homemade crane, sanded them trucked them to and from anodizer in Emeryville.

Pulled out old chainplates.   Installed new chainplates on the exterior.

Off comes the old teak, then fill the holes and fiberglass!


Stripped off all our teak decking (replaced some rotten spots) and fiberglassed over everything.

Re-mounted deck hardware (cleats, stanchions, deck fills…)

Rebuilt main mast step and bathroom floor around it.

Removed, rebuilt, refinished 8’ bowsprit and pulpit.

Rebuilt our anchor locker.

Schlepped 200’ of 3/8” chain down into our chain locker.

Installed our windlass (which only worked before we installed it)

Added running and standing rigging to our masts, as well as wiring

Our masts ready to get re-stepped!

, nav/anchor lights, deck/steaming light, new sail tracks, wind indicator, cleats, winches, and rope clutches

Re-stepped our masts (with plenty of help)

Re-surfaced our decks.

Built a table/chart storage

Rebuilt our cockpit floor

Re-installed our companionway ladder

Varnished our trim (fake varnish, really, but still…)

Installed our steering pedestal

Replaced our engine belts

Replaced our engine’s starter and heat exchanger

Added a salon grab rail and grab rails forward outside.

Made a sunshade

Created lifejacket storage

Compiled and stowed exhaustive emergency ditch bag

Made a fish cleaning station

Mounted a fishing gaff

Added sliding drawer latch

Added another DC outlet in aft bedroom

Emptied entire boat and repacked what we actually needed, where we actually should have it!

Made jacklines and tethers

South of the border:

(Taken two YWAM groups out sailing)

Cleaned our diesel tanks.  Made new gaskets.

Cleaned our water tanks.  Added inspection port.

Flushed and repaired our engine freshwater circuit.

Replaced our fuel tank vent line

Fixed our steering cables, twice

Sewed screens/covers for three hatches

Created storage/organizer for big and little line

Mounted extra propane tank

Re-spliced our cap shroud (standing rigging)

Disassembled our stove and replaced a broken spring on oven door

Mounted our new solar cooker.

Mounted and wired a DC dive compressor

Painting and new wooden trim (never fully done)

Cleaned the hull

Made a sun shade for sailing

Reinforced aft hallway floor

Mounted a self-steering bracket to our rudder

Mounted self-steering post inside engine room

Wall mounted a cast iron skillet

Fixed our broken saltwater galley pump.

At least 3 projects in this pic: mast step, hatch cover/screen, and sun shade

Added a step to the mast.

Created boat diagram of essential/emergency equipment

Installed our butterfly hatch safety grills and re-gasketed opening

Mounted two cleats in our cockpit.

Made water filter to make dock water potable.


4 thoughts on “Sizzle While You Work”

  1. I have nothing to say. I am exhausted from the heat just reading about it!

    But of course, I am never speechless for long 🙂
    You guys never fail to impress and amaze me.
    Prayers continue.
    Love you all.

  2. Thanks for the update. We had the pleasure of seeing your parents while they were in MN. Take care and we pray for a safe and rewarding journey for all of you.

  3. I’m tired from just reading the list! Thinking of you often and praying! Will pray for your plans

    We dropped Isaac off at UCSB last weekend. It was an emotional trip but a good time and I held it together for the most part 🙂 Got to visit the Ryans’ church which I loved. Hoping Isaac might land there but we’ll see. His roommates still haven’t showed up as of today.

    Boat life would be a good preparation for dorm living. Isaac’s triple is very small. He’s met a lot of nice people in the dorm though and connected with the IV staff person there. So things are looking good.
    Hopefully I’ll have a spare moment to call or email now that we’ve launched Isaac and things are settling into a routine a bit more. I’m working a lot, back to doing all the driving, doing BSF with David this year. David’s taking 4 classes at CC plus 4H and House at PCC so he’s busy too.

    Missing you all!

  4. Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed. I have often heard that maintaining a boat is an exhausting and endless feat. Thanks for confirming that and don’t ever tire out your readers like that again. At least we didn’t have the heat to contend with, while we read the “list”. Don’t forget to have fun.

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