Posted by: Sailing Camelot | December 4, 2011

November 15th to 28th -The last long days in San Carlos

We’re killing time in San Carlos, waiting for the solar panels arch to be completed. There’s a little progress every day, but it’s slow moving. I’m trying to learn patience and not succeeding. We can’t leave the boat, because Tom wants to observe every detail of the process and I’m getting bored out of my wits.

We get a steady stream of visitors, mostly the security guards and dock workers, all coming to see the progress. Camelot becomes Café Camelot. We provide coffee, tea, water, lemonade and Diet Cokes to whomever shows up, in exchange for some company and conversation. Thank God for those visits! They ease the boredom and provide entertainment and information. We learn for instance that a proper Mariachi Band is composed by 16 elements; that Pancho Villa is considered by most Mexicans au pair with Saddam Hussein; that the Indians in the mountains nearby defy aging, diabetes and cancer with their diet of roots and cactus leaves.

May I point out that our conversations are conducted mostly in Spanish… Even Tom is improving leaps and bounds! He used to say “Lori, come up here and translate!” Now all I occasionally get is “Lori, what’s that word …” So maybe this forced prolonged stay is good for something after all.

One whole day is spent learning to make Tamales, a traditional Mexican delicacy. Sara, the wife of one the security guards, shows up early one morning with two huge bags. One contains all the ingredients necessary to make Tamales, the other contains the biggest pot I have ever seen in my life! I wonder if it’ll even fit on my stove…

Tamales Expert Sara and her inept but eager apprentice (me!)

The last few Tamales getting made! Notice the lack of smiles by now... I am SO tired!

Anyway, energetic and mildly bossy Sara proceeds to bark orders and instructions. I’m more than slightly intimidated but follow her directions like a good little soldier. The process takes 7 hours and yields a total of 74 very tasty Tamales. I only wish it didn’t take 3 pounds of lard to make these things taste so good… My arteries are screaming for mercy already!

At the end of the ordeal my back is killing me and all I want to do is shower and go to bed. Sara is unfazed and very satisfied. She even pays me a backhanded compliment as she leaves: “You did pretty good for a Gringa!” But I’m too tired to even appreciate that.

Gama adjusting some details...


... And generating SPARKS!

Meanwhile, in the cockpit of Camelot a whole different war is being fought. Gama the Stainless God is laboriously fitting and adjusting pieces of the Arch among a flurry of sparks. Pretty dramatic show, especially as it gets dark. We have our own fireworks display on Camelot! By the way, Gama’s name means “Him Who Brings Light”. How appropriate!

End of a long day. Result: A Man and His Arch!

Next Step: get those Solar Panels up there.

Completion Day finally comes. The solar panels are mounted, connected and tested; everything works. Furthermore, we now also have kayak holders on the side of the boat. Tom is thrilled beyond description. We’re finally plotting our departure!

Arch finally completed, Panels are up. The guys take a well deserved break.

Gama and his assistant Sergio mounting the Kayak Holders

Kayak One in Place!

But due to a pesky cold that hits Tom and me in rapid succession, and unfavorable weather conditions, we have to delay yet a few more days. These beautiful surroundings are starting to look like a golden prison! I just want to GO!

Our Last Sunset in San Carlos

So long, Tetakawi Mountains!


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