Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day 3

There are a couple of other cruising boats here in the marina and despite the fact that we are scattered on different docks, we seem to run into each other a ton. Last night, we caught up with the crew of one boat and they gave the girls a few pesos and insisted that they get cupcakes for breakfast. So while Bryan went to the marine store to look for oars (a rowboat’s not much good without oars), the girls and I went out for breakfast sweets.
The store wasn’t open yet, so Bryan headed on over to the build site. The girls and I finished breakfast and walked over to the marine shop to try again. This time they were open, but didn’t have oars. And their recommendation for another place in town sounded doubtful (and far away!) So we joined Bryan on the site and waited for him to finish sanding the exterior seams.

I had to run back to the boat for some forgotten equipment. I run the 2 or 3 blocks back and forth so often, even the persistent cigar sellers on the wharf have given up trying to sell to me and have started greeting me like an old friend when I pass. By the time I got back, Bryan was almost done sanding and the girls and I were ready to jump in and help. The plywood and the fiberglass we could source here are both a little thinner than we’d like. So we decided to go ahead and spend a few extra hours (a good percentage of this sprint-build!) to add fiberglass tape to the exterior seams. It didn’t take us very long to measure and cut the fiberglass tape. The girls spread it out on a board and coated it with epoxy and then transferred it to the seams.
  We smoothed it down and then left for an early lunch while it cured.

We walked a few blocks up from the harbor until we heard more Spanish spoken than English. Several locals had recommended Pollo de Oro as an inexpensive, but authentic restaurant. It lived up to its reputation beautifully we may have to go back. Without a convenient grocery store around and limited time to find and cook healthy food, it’s nice to have found a place that can feed all 4 of us for cheaper than I can (and the drinks are enormous!)


In the afternoon we went back to the build site but the epoxy wasn’t quite ready to work. So we took a little break on the boat to give it a few more minutes to cure. It doesn’t look like it here, but Meira and I have both come down with a cold and we were glad for a few minutes to rest.

While we were on the boat, I sent a message to a sailing friend of ours up in La Paz. He’d heard about our plight and did a lot of searching for a new dinghy for us. After he heard we were building one, he let us know he’d be in the area on Sunday and could bring down any equipment we couldn’t find from sailing-centric La Paz. So, on the off chance he had time to find oars and the space in this rental car to carry them, we shot him a note. Turns out, he was getting rid of some oars and was happy to bring them to us. We are so excited to catch up with him tomorrow and so grateful to have a pair of oars—delivered!
After our siesta, and after a little more sanding, we started wetting the fiberglass cloth with epoxy. We finished one half in pretty good time, but when we rolled out the second half of the glass…we were a yard short! Bryan had asked for 6 meters, but the shop had only cut 5.  I had been expecting a setback of some sort, so I wasn’t too surprised. We quickly did some figuring and Bryan left the girls and me to finish up what we had while he ran to the fiberglass store to see if they were still open. He got back too soon with bad news. Not only were they closed, but they would likely not be open again until Monday. Just a minute or 2 after he got back, we ran out of epoxy.

It was 5:15 by this time, but the marine shop was just on the other side of the harbor. So Bryan and I took off racewalking through the tourist zone, in our grungy clothes and sticky shoes, on the hope that they were open until 6. (I’m running a casual social experiment to see how the hawker’s patterns change depending on what I’m wearing and which family members I’m with. It’s fascinating…but you may not want to walk around as filthy as it takes to avoid the annoyance.) We got to the shop about 5:32 and, you guessed it, they closed at 5:30. We stood around outside the door looking pitiful for a minute or 2 and finally tried the door. It was still unlocked, so we told our sob story. They proprietor kindly responded, “I’ll sell you some epoxy, but I’ve shut my computer down for the day and can only take cash.” He agreed to wait 5 minutes while we rounded up the pesos. Almost all the ATMs on the waterfront give out US Dollars, though, at high ATM rates and ridiculous exchange fees (like $25-35!) We ran from one ATM to another and finally asked at an information booth. We ended up inside a glamorous hotel lobby and almost got 30,000 pesos instead of 3,000 in our rush. We ran—ran!—back to the store, sure he’d given up on us. But he was still there…and we had just enough pesos. I think he owed us 3 or so in change (he couldn’t get his change out either, apparently.) and we happily donated it back as a tip for helping us out.


Working without sawhorses is hard on the hamstrings. At one point, Meira and I held the boat up while Bryan finished the edge. Good thing it’s not too heavy!
On the right, you can see the missing fiberglass section

It was important to get the last of the glass epoxied down tonight, not only because we don’t want to take the time to do it later, but if we left one corner half finished, it would dry crooked and never straighten out. On the way back, we refigured our plan for tomorrow. Instead of whatever we’d planned (I honestly don’t know…Bryan’s the master boatbuilder), we can flip the boat and work on the interior and finish up the fiberglass after the store opens on Monday. We have plenty of fiberglass tape for the interior work, but if we hadn’t gotten the epoxy, we would have lost a whole day (an expensive day, at the marina prices!) We finished wetting the last glass before dark and walked back to the boat for dinner. The new epoxy is fast hardening instead of the slow cure we needed for the first steps. So a few minutes after dinner, Bryan and I headed back to the site again to put on the second coat of epoxy in the dark. The first coat is the hardest, as you have to keep the cloth straight as you wet it. But the second coat was done in just a few minutes and we called it a night.
More and more locals are finding out about our project. Several have come by to take a look and today, Bryan even encouraged an aspiring boatbuilder to give it a shot. It’s been such a fun way to interact with security guards, information booth attendants, etc., those we might have overlooked on a regular visit to Cabo.

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