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San Carlos, Mexico
We in arrived in San Carlos trailing eleven boxes and bags full of gear. From Anchorage to Oakland via airline, Oakland to Phoenix, AZ via airline, and Phoenix to San Carlos via bus. We arrived haggard and stressed, only to face heat and humidity in the high nineties. Bill got heat stroke (unconsciousness and seizures) at one point and Lovely Conni literally saved his life.
After thirteen long days, we finally got a handle on things. The SSB and Pactor modem were installed and working. The solar panels, solar charge controller, and their associated wiring were installed and working. The AIS transceiver was installed and working. The new depth transducer was installed and two of its three functions were working, but we were done with it in any case.
We were simply been too busy during days and too tired at night to update this site but we were soon able to return to our old ways. Thanks for waiting!
The stop in Oakland was twofold. We had many purchased items to fetch, having had them sent there to save shipping, and to help celebrate Conni's dad, LaVerne's, 85th birthday. Happy birthday, LaVerne! He's clutching his present from us, ancient Bushmills.
Conni found a local guy who sells great food at great prices. These are home-made tamales, wrapped in hand-tied corn husks. They're very labor-intensive but great!
While being a good samaritan, Conni injured her left foot. Here, she rests it while reading a novel.
The new communications center. The new control head in center is the remote control for the Icom M802 single sideband radio. The white radio above it is our VHF. Behind the control head is the new AIS install. It transmits to other vessels our GPS location and vessel motion, as well as receives their transmissions and sends the information to our chart plotter. We know where they are and they know where we are. The large black box at left is the actual SSB main unit. The small "SCS" box is the high frequency modem that allows us to send and receive email from anywhere. It also receives and decodes various weather files. That odd white "pipe bomb", as Conni calls it, is an RF isolator: it reduces noise in the SSB. The SSB is fed by a pair of new power cables from the batteries, as well as large cables to the transom and connecting to the antenna tuner and on to the antenna.
For those of you who were on the boat last leg, you might remember this as the home-made solar panel connector: two panels in at top, two wires directly to the battery. Photo for old time's sake.
The NEW solar charge controller mounted in the "man cave" below the cockpit. I fabricated the white plastic mount by heating the plastic with a propane bottle and torch head and bent the hot plastic with a lip for support of the weight. I epoxied four bolts onto the vertical surface. I could bolt the mount and device onto this previously unusable location. The controller constantly monitors the solar output and modifies it for maximum charge to the batteries. The red and black cables lead directly to the main bus bars where the power can go to batteries or appliances. The large gray wire leads to and penetrates the transom with a waterproof "cable gland", then to the two solar panels.
For show and tell, I include this photo of the panel that I built and used for the Raymarine electronics. The autopilot brain (large gray box at top right), remote control for autopilot (small gray Raymarine box), and various other electronics are housed here.
The panels atop their new arch system! Conni finagled the arches to work: clever woman. Our new tan cushion covers are over the aft cushion. Our new center Bimini panel is composed of mesh to allow some airflow but less sun into the cockpit. There are wires, almost hidden, that connect the output from the two panels to the gray cable in the two photos above.
Our boat cover, built at the end of last leg. It's "agricultural cloth", a plastic mesh used to protect tender plants. It transmits about 80% of the light and has great ventilation. It's light and easy to store. Our friend, Hector Morales, did a spectacular job of varnishing our caprails and polishing the chocks (bronze fittings through which the dock lines fit). He also buffed and polished the hull.
Lovely Conni smiles at our progress. Note small air conditioner loaned by Hector. It's saved our lives during the hot days and nights. She's kept me alive, literally, throughout this very difficult work period.
The end of the marina and the hotel rise in the setting sun.
Above us are fancy homes built on the lovely rock here.
The door to B dock, through which we pass multiple times a day, using the restroom, taking baths, and all the rest.
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