San Carlos was fun, but now it was time to get to work. On Saturday, May 2, we hauled the anchor up one last time and motorsailed to Guaymas.
Rounding the point on our way in to Guaymas
We made slower progress to the marina in Guaymas than I anticipated and arrived 15 minutes before their scheduled closing time. Even though I spoke to someone in the office the day before who assured me they would be open until “Tres por la tarde” (3 in the afternoon), the door was shut and locked. We weren’t able to check in or get keys, but that wasn’t a big deal because the gate didn’t work. Or the lights in the bathrooms. Or the power to our slip at the dock. Or the grody swimming pool filter. On Friday the lady in the office also told us that they were closed Sundays.
To my surprise someone was in the office on Sunday (you just never know in Mexico). We checked in and paid 250 pesos for a non working gate key card. The only good part about the marina was it’s price. Dirt cheap, pay in Pesos, dirt cheap. Each day was under $20 for our 41′ boat.
We spent our time there getting Astraea ready to go over to the boatyard. There was lots of cleaning and scrubbing, but also a little hanging out with friends. Prism came in to the dock with us and we spent quality time drinking homemade hibiscus flower tea brew, box wine and ginger beer and eating tacos together.
Lots of other sites describe what to do to store your boat on the hard in Mexico, so I’m not going to get in to the nitty gritty, but wanted to share some of our specifics.
The nitty gritty lists. Some of the highlights include emptying the holding tank, eating all our perishable food and storing food in buckets
When storing your boat unattended you want to remove everything possible from on deck so it doesn’t get stolen. We chose to haul out at Gabriel’s yard and he has paid security that check in at stations around the boatyard all night long. Even though there’s security, an ounce of prevention (as we learned in Mazatlan) is worth a pound of cure. To store our anchor and keep pests out we disconnected the anchor, stored it below, tied a length of line to the end of the chain and dropped all the chain in to the chain locker, then put a nerf ball in the hole. The nerf ball expands to fill the hole and keep out water, pests and dirt.
Cleaning up in Guaymas
The bow with a 35 and 45 pound CQR anchors. We use the 45 pounder daily and have the 35 as a ready spare.
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
The bow before putting stuff away
The dryer at the marina wasn’t working when Natalie did laundry, so our boat turned into a big drying rack!
All that laundry made it so much easier to do all the projects we were working on…NOT!
The pilot boat was berthed next to us. The captain came aboard in the middle of the night and fired up the very noisy engine to transport a pilot out to a ship entering port.
Inspecting and fresh water rinsed the chain
45lb CQR anchor removed.
I tied a line to the cleat and the last link of chain
Put the chain in the locker
Stuffed a nerf ball in the hole to keep the creepy crawlies and water out
Simpson Lawrence 555 manual anchor windlass
The dinghy and kayak before they got cleaned up, the dinghy’s inflatable tube removed so the sun doesn’t melt it. We stowed both on the bow under a tarp.
Natalie cleaning off our bimini
Just chilling on the dock
The mizzen sheet setup
The outhaul on the mizzen
We spent Cinco de Mayo in Guaymas. The Navy decorated their ship with colorful up and over flags. We celebrated with Prism by eating tacos. Mexicans don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo. They were all eating hot dogs.
Mainsheet setup, just so I don’t forget how it all went together
The gazebo in the town square
Sully stirring up the pigeons on his motorcycle
The traditional town square outside the church
Riding Pancho’s sweet bus to our dental appointment
It’s tough being almost 3 and traveling. We’re glad this kid can sleep almost anywhere, including the dentist’s office.
There’s always time for cowboy sully to ride
Some of the fishing fleet at Guaymas. Shrimping is supposedly big business here.
The lighthouse at Marina fonatur in Guaymas
Astraea’s last underway for the spring cruising season
On our way to the yard
The travelift approached. I had to remove the forestay so we could fit in and get lifted
Slings in place and I gave the OK to lift
Whew! Out of the water and we didn’t run aground
On the way to the yard
Sully got to see Astraea below the waterline for the first time. We’re potty training so his potty came off the boat just in case he had to go while Astraea was in the slings.
Lots of growth. 3 years in the water without fresh paint followed by 6 months of warm water cruising have our ablative bottom paint nearly spent
View of the transom, ready to set down
Astraea on the way to her resting spot
We checked out the sheep pen while Astraea slowly made her way through the yard
Sheep hang out in the boat yard
In the slings about the be put on the blocks. Robert scraped off the barnacles before the jack stands went on.
Crud around the old rudder post zincs
Our prop has feathered wingtips to reduce cavitation
The old zinc is still in place so a new one doesn’t get stolen
Astraea, sitting high and dry on blocks and stands in the yard
Sheep grazing in the boatyard. This is Mexico.
Just sitting on stands
Astraea’s dirty bottom
The rows of boats and goats… err sheep
Sully and Tessa had a blast playing in the church courtyard
Tessa from S/V Bliss. They showed up at the marina right before we headed to the yard, so we went into town the next day so the kids could play.
Jumping. They had lots of fun after not seeing each other since La Cruz.
Hanging with our friends from S/V Bliss, Tod, Tessa, Jolanda, Natalie, Sully and Nate
Sails all removed and you can see Prism next to us
The main salon with quarter berth and master berth cushions. We moved them due to possible leaks and to store other stuff in those areas. Sully’s new favorite activity was jumping over EVERYTHING!
It was difficult to keep Sully entertained during the two days we were working on the hard.
We went to Burger King to play and get an ice cream snack. A girl’s princess birthday party included swatting at a piñata. There’s a special pole outside the BK for just such an occasion.
The master stateroom with our mattress removed and filled up with stuff
On our way out of Guaymas at the bus station Sully fell asleep so he crashed on our luggage while we waited to board our bus
On Saturday, May 9th, after two and a half days of working to get the boat ready at the yard, we hauled three duffel bags, three back packs and a small box to the bus station to catch our bus to Phoenix at 11:30pm. We decided to take the Executive bus since there were fewer stops and that meant it was a shorter ride. I was impressed with the comfort on the Tufesa bus. The seats were large, comfy and reclined. When we boarded we also got a snack pack with some chips, a sandwich and drink.
Halfway through the night the bus came to a military checkpoint where we had to disembark the bus. Sully slept through the stop while we waited outside and military personnel searched the bus. We were in the middle of the desert and it was very cold. After the inspection was complete we boarded the bus and continued the ride north to the border. We arrived at the U.S. Border after sunrise, went through customs and finally arrived at the bus station in Phoenix where Natalie’s Dad, Ted, greeted us. We went back to his house near Sedona for about a week before flying east to go to a family wedding. More on that later…
We were sad to put a close to our cruising season, but excited to head back to the States and visit with family and friends. If you made it to the bottom of the post, then you must be a dedicated Aboard Astraea follower! Our future plans are to travel America in a small RV. If you’re available for a visit and wouldn’t mind a tiny RV in your driveway or outside your house, let us know – we’d love to visit!