We have been thoroughly enjoying our stay at Marina El Cid, by doing a lot of nothing in particular - Bingo by the pool, hours in the hot tub, diving into the Tarzan pool, playing on the beach, and going into town. It truly is our vacation from cruising. We have not spent so many hours off of the boat for a year. It is a very nice change to be back on land.
Our Christmas was a very low key event, and a huge break from Christmases past. Jack slept in until 10:30! (oh the teenage years are coming!) before dragging himself out of bed to see what Santa had brought. We exchanged our few presents, and then went out for lunch and a bingo game by the pool. Then an enormous roast chicken and all the fixings dinner (well good food will always be part of our life) and a movie. We spent the whole day together just enjoying each other's company and having nothing to do.
But cruising also involves lots of boat projects and Patrick has created a long list of Things To Do in our down time. Our biggest project we are tackling during our time in Mazatlan is an upgrade of our alternators. The alternators recharge the boat's batteries as they get used up running all of our systems like refrigerator, lights, radio and water maker. Whenever the boat engine is turned on, the alternators pour power back into the batteries.
Our three solar panels allow us enough power to eek out up to two weeks on the hook without turning on the engines, but eventually we have to turn the engines on to power up the batteries to full. Unfortunately, the alternators on the boat did not put out much power and so it would take running the engines for up to 8 hours to fully charge up the batteries. Which meant that all summer long, we never sailed much because we always had to have the engines running so we could power up whenever we moved locations. Our solution was to put two new huge alternators in which would power up our batteries in an hour or two of the engine running. A big project but one with huge rewards. We won't have to put as many hours on the engines now, we will use less diesel, and we will have easily accessible power so we won't have to conserve energy as much (hot showers whenever we want!). All in all, an improvement that will really improve our comfort. Thankfully our good friend Dave from Juniata is close by in Marina Mazatlan, and totally willing to help. That man is a saint.
4 days ago