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Saturday, November 24, 2018

November 24, 2018-Thanksgiving

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Winch-Under Construction

Things are winding down on our 2018 project list. Most tasks are done, a few have been moved to phase II (this is a trick I learned from 20 years of professional project management: How do you always get done on time? As the end date draws near anything which is not yet finished you simply remove from the project and put it into phase two. Phase one is finished, and all is well.)

Here we are servicing the winches. It is a annual task, but I have to say, they didn't need it. I found all the winches were still clean and still had grease in all the parts. But I did it anyhow. Once you have the winch apart enough to know it's OK, you might as well clean it up a little and put in new grease. Six major winches, 10.5 hours. Task complete.

We also this week replaced the stereo amplifier for the outside speakers. That might not sound like a critical task but the old amp was really getting under my skin. It cut out every few seconds. Played for a few bars, then cut out, then came back in. When I was BBQ'ing outside I really wanted nice and steady music, not Off, On, Off, On, etc; The new one cost $63 and had twice the power, and never cut out. I'm happy. Oh, the other reason is that the racing crew wants us to play a fight song when we go out. Well, now we can ROCK IT!

I bought a new MFD sailing display. We have four but one of them is getting weak. I saw one at the swap meet, a brand new unit, and the guy wanted $50 Pesos, which is $2.50 dollars. A USED MFD costs $250 USD so this guy obviously didn't know what he had. I took it and I already have it installed. Beautiful. It's like Christmas.

So today is Saturday. Next Wednesday is the first race. With all of our projects done, and a good crew lined up, we'll be ready.

Unleashed images-cirilo from la cruz inn
Thanksgiving Dinner


With no family around most of the cruisers in Mexico have Thanksgiving dinner with others, like us, who are away from home and family too. Here we are in the quiet street of La Cruz, our village, having a fantastic Thanksgiving at La Cruz Inn with several of our best friends. We had Turkey and dressing, and all the trimmings, and even pumpkin pie. Seconds were included so I over-ate. Isn't that part of Thanksgiving too?

We went around the table and each of us told the group what we were thankful for. This is a Judy initiated tradition. Her idea. She tells people they have to stand up and say what they are thankful for. Everyone does.

I said, "Thanksgiving is when families back home get together and share a traditional dinner with their loved ones. But we are here and we can't always join them. Sometimes I feel left out of that family get-together but here we join together with our dear friends and we have hugs all around and we share our own Thanksgiving dinner and though we may be missing all of our family back home, we are thankful for being with friends on this day."

Judy said, "I am thankful that we have the family we have formed with our crew from Wings and our friends from this community and that we can share our meal with them in health and happiness, once again this year."

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huanacaxtle

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 5, 2018-Squeeze Play in the Boat Yard

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

We hauled out this month for bottom paint.

We've hauled Wings, oh, probably 35 times. It never goes totally smooth but this time we thought we'd gotten away with it. Four days into the job and we'd finished about everything planned and a little bit more.

"We're done," we thought, "it's 1:00 pm and the yard is doing to pick us up, we'll do the last bit of painting, and then they'll re-launch us".

But there is a problem:

They've just put a big catamaran next to us, and guess what? They didn't leave enough room to get the travel lift in and pick us up.

But they're trying.

Four hours later and they are still trying to squeeze the travel lift in between the catamaran and the building. They try, they stop. They go back out. They try again, they stop. I think they should have just picked up the cat and moved it a couple of feet and that would be it. But no, now they are invested in this attempt. They have even been disassembling the catamaran's rub rail to make room. I can't believe they are taking that boat apart instead of just moving it.

And there is another boat waiting to be moved after us. They want to be launched today too.

The clock is ticking.

Finally the travel lift is squeezed into position and they are ready to lift us. The patches still need to be painted. Our painters are standing around waiting. It's after 5:00PM.

I hear that the yard wants to lift us, immediately launch us, and then pick up the other boat. That won't work, we need at least an hour after they lift us for the remaining sanding and painting.

I talk to the operator, "You can't. It's too late, it will rush the painters who still have to finish my hull after you lift us. How about you lift us and leave us in the slings overnight, and launch us in the morning?"

What about the other boat which is also waiting?

We go to talk to the other owner but he's not there and the boat captain can't commit without talking to the owner.

We wait.

We all wait.

People are standing around doing nothing.

Meanwhile my painters are getting nervous. They want to finish the painting and go home but I don't want a rush job.

We still wait. I don't know what is going on. The travel lift is still positioned but the straps are not on and the workers have disappeared.

Peter comes up to me, "They won't put you in tonight, you should go home". But I think I will wait until I see the workers either hook up the straps (meaning they will lift us) or they shut off the machine and go home themselves.

Finally the workers return. The other boat owner agreed. They will launch him in the morning. The straps are hooked up on Wings and they lift us. The painters move towards the hull, but Judy sees another problem: the forward strap has shifted and it is bending the speedometer fin.


I show them. Nobody is happy.

The boat comes back down and they move the strap. Maybe it is OK now and the boat goes back up. The painting starts. Meanwhile Oscar and I try to straighten the fin.

The painting is done, the fin is sort of straight and it's late. We will re-launch in the morning.

Everyone else has gone and just as we get ready to head out I notice that during the confusion my phone has been broken; the screen is cracked. The phone does not work.

It's my new phone.

A funk settles over the day.

I shrug my shoulders, maybe next year our haul out will go smoothly.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings

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