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Saturday, January 19, 2008


Arrived here on Thursday from Chamela. Started out sailing and had the spinnaker up for about an hour. We were poking along with the jib poled out when John realized that we weren't keeping up the average speed we needed to get in before dark. So we motored until we were outside of the entrance to Tenacatita bay where the winds typically pick up a bit. Sailed in the rest of the way, including a tour through the anchorage, before dropping sail to set the hook. Nice to be in warm temps again, in a relatively calm anchorage. Night time lows are high 60's, daytime highs are mid to high 80's, water temp is in the high 70's, and the humidity has only been 40-60% - woo hoo!

Friday morning we did a few chores and got settled in. Then John went to the beach to play bocci ball while I swam and cleaned the grass mustache we accumulated in Nuevo Vallarta off of Nakia's boot stripe. Then John made foccacia bread sticks to share at the 5:00 dinghy raft-up where everyone brings an appetizer (or in this case several dessert items) to pass around from dinghy to dinghy. We ate so much there that we came home and each had a pear to complete our "dinner."

Today was the big "jungle river" trip through the mangroves with Ceilidh since they'd never done it before. We went slow against the ebb tide spotting herons, egrets, pelicans, and crabs. I searched the big tree limbs for the leopard that Sweet Lorraine and Sail Soon swear they saw going in on Thursday, but we were pretty late in the morning for anything like that. Walked the "town" (really just a row of palapa restaurants) and were pleased to see that it's doing well. All the beach restaurants had new signs, courtesy of Corona beer, and the tienda (new two years ago) appeared well stocked and thriving. A new and well manicured RV park is probably helping the local economy.

We were surprised to see that the new construction at the far west end of the strip hadn't been completed and the small swimming pool is now filled with dirt and has a palm tree planted in it. We were never sure if it was going to be a private home, a restaurant, or a small hotel, but now it's housing a tractor and a couple of workmen. After a long wait for food (if that's to get you to buy more beers, it worked) we had an okay lunch at Chely's. The local specialty of fish rolls are up to 95 pesos but John splurged anyway. The dinghy landing has been improved with landscaping, a raked yard, a small building selling cocos helados, and "security." Used to be you just landed your dinghy and walked into town, but now there's someone there to greet you and help you with your dinghy. So now you have to pay for that "service" on the way out. Of course we never had problems landing our dinghy by ourselves or with security before, but that's mainland entrepeneurship for you.

Took the E-ticket ride out of the mangroves on a plane, which is really pretty stupid (sorry M&D) since there's always the chance of meeting a panga coming up the tunnel. Which we did. But he was going slow and I saw him soon enough for us to stop and pull over into the mangrove roots to let him pass. Once back on the anchorage side of the trip John played bocci ball and I took a beach walk. There was just enough time for a post bocci ball beer for John before he had to take his sewing machine over to Sweet Lorraine for a sail repair to Dave's main.

Just another day in Paradise as we say around here!

Linda and John

{GMST}19|17.836|N|104|50.284|W|January 2008|Tenacatita{GEND}

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Free at last

Well we had sat on our butts long enough in PV that it didn't make sense to stick around for something as trivial as my birthday. So we hit the road yesterday and managed to make it around the Cabo Corrientes to one of our favorite winter hang outs: Isla Passavera in Chamela Bay. I can't think of a better birthday really; 1) we sailed 17 of the 23 hours it took to get here including two spinnaker reaches and 2) the six hours that we spent under power went just as we'd hoped and the motor ran like a top. So I guess you could say I had a stupendous birthday, right down to the hump back whale that leapt from the water not 50 feet from the boat as we sailed along at 6 knots.
Other highlights of the trip include:
1) a huge hump back whale show with a dozen or more animals breaching and fluking
2) sighting about 10 sea turtles
3) dozens of Jack Cravalle (a big, hard hitting game fish) swimming along in NAKIA's wake
4) the Southern Cross peeking out from behind the clouds just before sunrise
5) being the only boat at the Chamela bay islands, even though there are 20 boats at the town anchorage

John, Linda and Ziggy

{GMST}19|33.537|N|105|06.647|W|Free at last|Isla Passavera{GEND}

Monday, January 14, 2008

La Cruz, Nayarit

Well, if it's not one thing it's another. We finally made it out of the marina with the engine put back together. Dropped the anchor here off of La Cruz (NW of PV, still in Banderas Bay), turned the SSB radio on to pull up some weather email, and the radio no longer automatically tunes to the chosen station. John checked everything and thinks it might be a bad cable, so now we have one more thing we need to try to get down to us in Mexico before we jump off from Huatulco for Ecuador.
But the good news is that we're out of the marina after three weeks - yay! We'll reaclimate to the rolly seas today (John's putting out the rocker stopper this very minute), take my Stugeron in the morning, and be on our way south tomorrow - double yay! We're not even taking the dinghy off the foredeck while we're here. Ziggy slept through the whole seven miles here and hasn't even been on deck yet to survey his new surroundings (it's just after 4 PM CST). This morning we lifted the dinghy onto the dock to scrub the barnacles off the bottom. Wish we could say the same for Nakia's bottom but the water temp is too darn cold. Still at only 68 degrees. Friends of ours did their bottom today and he said even after two coffees with Baileys, he was still freezing. Also before we left the marina we tied Nakia up to the dock, took on water, and washed the decks. So we may be very slow, but we'll look good when all the other boats pass us.
The plan is to sail around Cabo Corrientes tomorrow and arrive in Chamela sometime on Wednesday. Will stay there one or more nights depending on the water temp. Hopefully we can get in and scrub the prop and bottom there.
I'll let John write about the whole fuel injection pump repair if he ever feels like it. It was expensive (he ended up ordering Yanmar parts from the States to expedite the repair), but once we got it back he did a great job of reinstalling it and getting the engine running again. It still needs some tweaking but he thinks it's good to go.
Great to be back on our way again!
Linda and John

{GMST}20|44.614|N|105|22.58|W|Anchored in front of new marina|La Cruz{GEND}

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Marina Nuevo Vallarta (MNV)

We hope you've had as festive a holiday season as we've had, enjoying the company of new friends and old. We're still tied to the pilings here in MNV waiting for a repair on our fuel injection pump. In the meantime John is working on other minor projects, and we're taking advantage of great internet connectivity right from the boat thanks to the wireless service offered by an old Hans Christian friend, "Radio Rob."

The holidays started off with an invite to a Christmas Eve dessert party at one of the condos overlooking MNV. Friends of our neighbors on Sea Tern, also tied to the pilings, were gracious enough to invite us to join them in their home for brownies, mince meat pies, and the Seattle/Baltimore football game on TV. We had a quiet Christmas day and then shared a taxi to Marina Vallarta with Entropy for a fixed menu cruiser's dinner at one of the many restaurants lining the harbor.

As we took our seats and introductions were made, who should we find ourselves seated across from but Ken and Nancy Roper of Harrier. Ken is a sailing superstar from the pages of Latitude 38, well known for his many entries in the Singlehanded Sailing Society's Trans Pac (San Francisco to Kauai) race. It was an honor and a pleasure to spend the evening with them both.

Last night we took two buses and a dinghy ride with Sweet Lorraine to get out to Southern Belle, a catamaran anchored off the town of La Cruz. Ten of us were there for Texas Hold 'Em and Melinda's home made chili. I watched while John gave Dave a run for his money, but Dave took the pot for something like the fifth time in a row mostly due to his wild and unpredictable ("I know nothing about playing poker!") wagers (he especially likes saying, "All in!).

We skedaddled after 11 PM to grab a taxi back to MNV to see the NY's Eve fireworks at midnight. (Radio) Rob and Mary, formerly of Sweet Thing, had access to a friend's seventh floor condo overlooking the public and Paradise Village breakwaters. From there we had a view of the resort fireworks stretching around Banderas Bay all the way from Puerto Vallarta to La Cruz. Paradise Village banged theirs out so close together that it was all over in about 10 minutes, but we were right underneath them and it was a beautiful show. Thanks to Rob and Mary for including us and providing champagne for the midnight toast.

This morning we dragged ourselves out of bed early so that John could run the Amigo net, after which we attended the New Year's Day Bloody Mary, black-eyed peas, rice, and cabbage "brunch" hosted by Dick Markie, the Paradise Marina harbor master, and Radio Rob at the Vallarta Yacht Club. Dick cranked out the spicy Mary's and Rob was responsible for the peas. I know it sounds weird but the foods each have some significance having to do with luck and prosperity, and it was all delicious - and free, as a thank you to all the cruisers and YC members.

Nights are still too cold for resort wear, but the past few days have been sunny and clear with light breezes keeping daytime highs in the 70's. We went for a walk on the beach the other afternoon and were careful not to let the icy waves catch our bare feet. But the pale tourists were having fun in the surf, or at least their children were!

Feliz y prospero ano nuevo a todo!

Linda and John