Posted by: Sailing Camelot | November 14, 2011

November 5th to 14th – Sitting Ducks, still in San Carlos

We’re still in San Carlos and we’re getting antsy. The weather is cooling considerably and Tom, Summer Boy that he is, is itching to go south where the sun always shines and the water is warmer … But we’re tied up here waiting for our stainless steel Monster Arch to be built.

We decided a while ago that we could use more solar power and that the best position to put the additional panels would require an arch. Luckily, here in San Carlos is easy to find workers skilled in any kind of marine specialty. We are quickly introduced to the biggest Mexican man I’ve ever seen. His name is Gama, stainless steel specialist.

Gama speaks no English whatsoever, so it’s really interesting to communicate with him. Thankfully, the guy understands perfectly what we need and knows what he’s doing.

Gama and his assistant Sergio building the Monster Arch

Gama welding while Sergio tries to block the wind

It’s an exercise in patience for us; Gama needs some money upfront to buy the material, which will take a few days to get. Then the Manana Game starts. Manana literally means tomorrow, but it’s a figurative way of speaking. Could be tomorrow, next week, whenever. Hey, we’re in Mexico, do as the Mexicans do!

Gama is a busy man; he’s juggling other projects and lately the weather is either too windy or too rainy for him to be welding, so he prepares most of the stuff in his workshop. When the sun peeks thru the clouds, we wonder if Gama is going to show up. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. But when he does, oh Lord, it’s a pleasure to see him work. It’s like
he performs a delicate dance when he’s welding. But I have to leave the boat when he starts banging metal around: I can’t stand my boat taking abuse…

Monster Arch in construction

That's going to be a huge bunch of metal on Camelot!

On Veteran’s Day we go to Puerto Penasco, to Craig and Linda’s house. Ever the good helpful friends, they drove our two big solar panels down from Arizona and we’re going up there to get them.

It’s a long road trip. Our rented car, a Volkswagen Jetta, eats mile after mile. The round trip is 1,200 kilometers, and takes us 15 hours. We leave at 4 in the morning, get there at 11, gratefully eat the lunch Linda and Craig have prepared for us (those guys are ANGELS!), grab our panels and start the return trip. It’s 7:30 pm by the time we’re back to the boat: a long, tiring day. But, once more thanks to our friends, we now have two more solar panels. Mission accomplished!

Craig and Linda, we owe you BIG time and hope you can join us at some point for a long stay on Camelot. Perhaps in the Caribbean?

Now it’s a matter of the weather cooperating for Gama to finish his masterpiece. Then it’ll be Tom’s turn to mount and connect them. Then and only then will we be able to leave San Carlos and start our trip south.

We are really hoping to leave by end of this week. Or one of these Mananas…



  1. MORE PANELS I hope there will be enough energy left in the sun for the rest of us, lol Yup my Sunday morning read its great keeping up with what your up too. Everything here is about the same, been a better year for business. Kawika quit port supply and went to work for Protector boats in Oakland, but still will be a very part time stock boy at the West marine in Oakland store. Just wanted to say hi and love reading your adventures


  2. I’m interested in seeing your arch when completed.
    Could you post photos when you have the solar panels in place?

    Jim Seemann
    PipeDream – #143

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