Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~  December, 2007 
Year’s end…. 
Where did that year go? How did we get to December already? Well….here we are. And December started out with The Cat’s Meow sitting high and dry in the Bercovich Boat Yard in La Paz. Still. As usually happens, while out of the water and in the yard, we did the “ long as we are here…” thing. There are always things to be done on a boat that cannot be done while it is in the water. Like putting a new strike plate on the bow. Like re-aligning the shaft and the engine. And more……  Aaaahhhh well……. it’s only time and money, right? And these are all good things to make our home, TCM, stronger and safer as well as even prettier. 
While those things were happening on TCM’s outside, she was getting a bit of a re-fit on the inside as well. Dani, an excellent canvas/sail worker, was able to get our carpeting installed! We needed to have it cut to fit (and fitting inside a boat is a difficult task!) and to have all the edges bound. We had been carrying the carpet around, on the top of the lanai room, for almost three years!! Now, it is where it belongs: inside and on the floor!!  
                                        Dani getting our carpet done - Yaahooo!               
Dario, of Ballena, offered his help and was able to install the flooring in our galley and the dining area. This flooring, too, had been carried around for the same length of time as the carpet. It is laminate flooring, almost indestructible and purrrty. After walking around on bare, unfinished-wood subflooring for all of this time, covered with a bunch of second-hand area rugs, it sure is GREAT to have carpet and “real” flooring underfoot!  
                                      Not a good photo of Dario, but he is putting the flooring down - what a huge help!            
Robin has been putting the rattan webbing in each of the (seemingly millions) cabinet doors that used to have louvers. Martin cuts the inside edges, removing the cuts in the teak where the louvers slid in. Then Robin does the rest. Besides all the other work he has been doing, Martin also found the time to make a new dining table for the dining area. This table does it all — it rotates, and it has two leaves, extending the full settee area, able to seat eight quite comfortably. Very nice! What a difference all of this interior work has made! The Cat’s Meow is lookin’ better than she ever did, we are sure! 
Martin worked on the injectors of the engine, since TCM had been smoking purrrrty badly during our season of cruising in the Sea. He also installed a cruising generator and alternators. He was a busy boy, as usual. 
In the yard,TCM was getting some caulking repairs, and of course new bottom paint, on her bottom, plus the fiberglassing on her bow (as seen in last month’s update).  
Thank the gods it was not ALL work and no play during December!  
The cruising community helps the general, local La Paz communities each year in many ways, and the annual Subasta is the largest fund-raiser of the year for the Fundacion de Los Ninos. Subasta is more or less equal with "auction" in English. All year long, Club Cruceros (the yacht club) collects any & all things from the cruisers, adds a bake-sale, some music along with some food and drinks, and raises money via the silent auction, immediate sales, and a regular auction. It is always fun and a big social event, mixing the locals with the gringos. 
                                                  Subasta free-for-al lat the clothes bin                                                              The silly auctioneers                                                                           Da' boys at the Subasta 
During all of this work and fun, Christmas was fast approaching. We had thought we would be spending the holidays in tropical climes, along the mainland side of Mexico, but here we are…..still in La Paz. Well, we decided to have a good time and celebrate right where we are! We prepared the whole turkey dinner, served it on our new big table, and enjoyed a great day with wonderful views from up so high in the yard, and most of all we enjoyed good friends Dario, Sue and Dennis during this special day.  
                                                        TCM's new big table ready for the Christmas feast                                                                                              And a feast it was! 
While we waited for more work to be completed on TCM — and it was the holiday season, so many of the yard workers were not around — New Year’s Eve snuck up on us. Well, we celebrated by being in bed and asleep by 9:30!! We have been so pooped…. It was quiet and calm, and a great night’s slumber. Abel Bercovich had invited us to visit his home during New Year’s day, so mid-day we did just that. Having great cruising friends, knowing so many people who have similar interests is always nice; but building friendships with the local folks, especially in different places, is extra-special. We entered a beautiful home that Abel had designed, and met many of his family. This was also his mother’s 70th birthday, so it was an even bigger day for that family. At this time of the day, the family was recuperating from the long NY eve, and relaxing. We found some of the adults in the palapa area, spinning some of the kids around on the rope that is used for the piñatas!   
                                                                               Swingin' like a pinata with the Bercovich family                                               Abel with his youngest and Martin leaving the family home 
After a few hours with the Bercovich’s, we met friends from Equity, Dave & Ann, as well as Susan & Dennis of Two Can Play. They were our dining partners for a luscious dinner at a local restaurant called Club Marlin. As usual, we ate, drank and we were merry!!   
                                                          Dave, Pam (owner of Club Marlin), Dennis & Susan, Annie...and Robin is taking the photo 
Believe it or not, we returned to the Bercovich family compound for more fun after dinner, as Abel insisted we come back and enjoy music and dancing and food. This was fun! A 13-piece ranchero band was tuning up in the palapa room, food was on the grill and tables, more family and friends arrived — and we were the only “gringos” in the crowd. As soon as the music started, people were on the floor dancing. It was really enjoyable to visit with this family and to have the opportunity to be a part of their celebrations! O yes….of course Robin got out there and mixed it up too!!  
                                                                        La Senora Bercovich dancing away her birthday, New Year's day  
What a grand way to end one year and begin another. We wish each of you a wonderful 2008, and we hope you will keep comin’ back to check on us, Cruising  ~  The Cat’s Meow Style.