May 25, 2016

The Cost of Living on the Cutting Edge and Mañana

It's not because things are hard that we don't dare;
It’s because we don’t dare that they are hard. 
We installed eight brand new 50-watt thin-film flexible solar panels less than 6 months ago while refitting the boat in Puerto Peñasco.  We even re-designed the new dodger to best fit these new panels.  These new panels got us here to Mazatlán.
As part of our pre-departure check list (we were going to leave May 15th), Mike discovered anomalies in the electrical output of the panels.  Further examining showed that all panels were bad.  ALL!

He called the company where we purchased them and they instantly, without questions asked, offered to refund the full cost of the panels.  This led us to believe they have had many other issues with them.  Their 100-watt panels had been recalled due to fire hazard for example. 

This means yet another warranty/return type trip to the US for poor Mike.  I’m staying behind with Nikki to finish a few painting and sewing projects.  Thankfully we were able to find panels in Mexico, avoiding a lot of paperwork and hassle at the border coming back into Mexico.  We were able to work with the same company we got extra panels from about 4 years ago, Enesol.  They have been great to work with, and shipped our new panels very quickly.
So – Ladies and Gents, if you are thinking of installing flexible solar panels wait a little while longer until they get the bugs out.  The company we bought them from doesn’t expect any new ones until the summer of 2017!  Other types are made of aluminum instead of plastic and cost over four times more, they may be good but we do not have that kind of cash to spend on solar panels.  I’m sure the industry will get there sooner than later but not quite, not quite.
We will leave Mazatlán when the new panels are installed and tested, about a two week delay.
A little payback for all the times we said to people with motors or transmissions that refused to work that we never encountered such problems…  Well – we are kind of stuck in a similar situation, not able to travel without solar panels to replenish all of our batteries for water maker, instrumentation, radio, electric motor, computer, etc. 
But at least we are safe… and leaving tomorrow....

Thin film solar panels

Should've stayed with the old technology - - - works for him...
Back to solid panels
Mañana, Mañana

When working with Mexicans, you hear the above expression a lot.  I thought I’d do a little more research on its meaning for it seems to frustrate so many Norte-Americanos… when the person who said it doesn’t happen to show up the next morning, or the next day, etc…
What does that mean?  Of course the word mañana alone means morning or tomorrow.  Put together as in mañana, mañana is procrastination at its finest.  It means it is being put off another day but may or may not get done that day or even attempted. It is sometimes meant in a satirical sense as in “sometimes in the unspecified future, despite the fact that we were told tomorrow without fail”.  We like to say it means “not today”.  Mañana por la mañana should mean tomorrow morning but don’t count on that 100%.  People commit to times or deadlines, but it doesn’t seem to carry much importance.  It is not in the culture.  We are now accustomed to this pattern and never try to work with tight or strict deadlines.  It has helped lessen frustrations tied to these types of expectations.

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour Marie France
    Hi Mike

    Toujours en Mer de Cortez
    Todavia en el Mar de Cortez
    Still in the Sea of Cortez

    Petit coucou de Didier le pirate de Sabay Dii qui quitte la Nouvelle Calédonie pour le Vanuatu et la Papouasie ...


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