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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Last Major Provisioning Trip Completed
Bruce
03/24/2011, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We did our third, and last, major provisioning today. We purchased a gigantic amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as more canned veggies, and more meat for the freezer, only because we still have room. So we stocked up on some rib eye steaks and cornish hens. As small as it seems, it amazes us how much food we can fit into our little bitty freezer!!!!

Following Tommy's hint (on Phambili), we got 2 flats of Coke Light (for Rum and Cokes), plus about 12 liters of grapefruit juice (our favorite).

On the hardware side, we got a spare alternator yesterday. Very happy to have that, just in case.

It looks like a departure very soon. We got our Zarpe (exit visa from Mexico) today.

We saw the crew of Evergreen today....they're departing also. We'll be a day or two behind them but will probably catch up.

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03/24/2011 | Jan Koehler
Hi Calou crew - I will be following your blog posts throughout your journey. Aloha!
03/24/2011 | Lou & Marge on Seabird
We hope you have a great passage and thanks again for the bolt. It still is keeping our OB together. I will follow your blog when I finish this Bash to SD
Last Night In Mexico
John
03/24/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: 20.74809 Longitude: -105.38002

About 4:00pm today, the last of the produce was packed, the last of the boat projects completed, and we cast off our lines and headed out to the open ocean.

Almost... Tonight we are at Marina La Cruz, about 10 miles from our previous location. We came to this marina to fill our fuel tanks before our real departure, which we anticipate will be tomorrow morning.



Dinner at Philo's was great - a full rack of ribs as my final meal ashore. I even played violin, or fiddle, with the band for a few songs.

Improvising does not exactly come naturally to me, but with a bit more exposure to it I am sure I will get a bit better. It's nice to have had a little experience at the Club with the Mariachi band at least. I wonder how well a violin will fit into a Polynesian band. I guess I have a few weeks to get ready

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Getting Really Close
John
03/24/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: 20.68962 Longitude: -105.292955

We must be getting close now since we have officially checked out of Mexico.

This involved going to the Port Captain's office and getting our Zarpe, which is documentation for the boat. Next Immigration officials visited us on the boat and did a quick inspection and stamped our passports. We now have 48 hours to leave the country. Unless any last minute projects come up, we plan to leave Paradise Village marina today, and go to Marina La Cruz for fuel and our last night in Mexico. This puts us on schedule to depart on Friday.

The main focus of the week has continued to be provisioning. Yesterday was possibly our last big shopping spree. We made the rounds to most of our usual stops, plus a couple more. We picked up some last minute items at Zaragosas and Home Depot, topped off our propane can, and then it was out to Mega for buying our fresh produce. Mega has a great selection and we really stocked up. It will be very interesting to see how long everything lasts. We are planning on storing the produce in nets hung from the ceiling inside the cabin, plus one large net hung in the back of the boat between the dinghy davits.

Our friends on another boat, Phambili, are now only 220 miles from the Marquesas. They have been at sea for 21 days so far and have about 2 days left. Their trip was easy the first week or so, but then they hit some rougher weather just above the equator for about a week. We would be pretty happy if we can make as good of time as they have made. Another boat we have been seeing a lot of, Evergreen, checked out of Mexico at the same time as us and are leaving today. We will likely be in contact with them on the radio quite a bit as we will both be in semi-close proximity to each other as we make the crossing.

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Hitting the Party Circuit
John
03/20/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com Latitude: 20.673134 Longitude: -105.251403

Today was a great day for parties. My friend Jeff (who is one of my original Reservation Key users) often has Sunday afternoon dinners at his house. His friend Miguel, who among other things, is a professional cook, does the cooking and brings lots of his family over. Miguel cooked up a great dinner of salad and pasta. The kids enjoyed the swimming pool while the meal was being prepared. In addition to Jeff and his wife Bobbi and Miguel's relatives, we also had some other friends of Jeff who had just flown in today from Toronto and Florida.

Since Jeff lives really close to the airport I got off the bus at the airport. This gave me a great opportunity to go into the terminal and inspect the ATM machine from which my bank account details had been stolen in January. I was really surprised to see that the machine had been completely stripped down and just the shell remained. Obviously the fraud had been discovered and the machine had been disabled.

After Jeff's party, I took the bus back from the airport to Paradise Village, making it back just in time for a dinner party on Jack and Paula's motor yacht, Ventana.

The Powell's originally met them in Barra de Navidad and since we have been in PV, Ventana has been berthed nearby. We enjoyed some real Texas hospitality on their boat, having a great dinner of salad, pasta, and garlic bread.

It was also a lot of fun comparing the difference between their motor yacht and our sailboat. For example, their fuel tanks hold 300 gallons of diesel while we only hold 80 gallons.

Our departure date remains elusive. We still are shooting for the middle of this week, but realistically I could easily see us being here until Saturday or so. It seems the projects just never end. Although our major projects have mostly been completed, provisioning still continues, plus a lot of other little things

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03/24/2011 | Bruce
Just to clarify, we (Pascale and Bruce) have been working very long and hard hours 24/7 getting ready. We continue to do so. It has not been a party atmosphere for us in the slightest.
New Bowsprit
Bruce
03/19/2011, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Here's a photo of the very sturdy bowsprit that will support our asymmetrical spinnaker.

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Pascale Bakes Bread on board Calou
Bruce
03/19/2011

Pascale bakes bread on board Calou. During our 3-1/2 week passage to the Marquesas, when our bread runs out, if we want more, we plan to make our own.

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La Loupiotte
Bruce
03/19/2011, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A few weeks ago we enjoyed this acrobatic performance by the French crew of the sailboat La Loupiotte. They are acrobats and perform a beautiful show from the deck and rigging of their boat as they sail around the world.

We had Frank and Delphine and their two little girls on board Calou for dinner, and enjoyed speaking French and sharing our stories.

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Surfing Day
John
03/19/2011

John's Blog Updated. Original post with photos: http://travel.reservationkey.com/?a=1&p' Latitude: 20.870548 Longitude: -105.443274

Ever since I arrived back in Mexico almost a month ago I've been wanting to go back up to Sayulita. I first visited it in January and really enjoyed my short stay there. Today Francois and I took three different buses and made it to Sayulita in time for surfing at high tide.

We rented boards (about $4.50 and hour) and paddled out. This was my first time ever surfing and Francois' second (he went a few days ago). I caught some great beginner waves and was able to stand up and ride quite a few of them into the beach. Standing up was actually easier than expected. I think surfing is one of those must have water skills, so nice to add this skill set.

After riding the waves for a few hours we turned our boards back in and had a very nice late lunch on the beach. Sayulita is a really laid back town and has a great eclectic feel to it. It was a nice change compared to the fancy resort we have been staying at.

On the way out of town we surprised one of my clients by randomly showing up at his hotel and ice cream shop. I tried to meet him when I was there in January but missed him, so great to now get to meet him. He is planning some major expansions now so it was great to meet him and possibly work with him in selling my reservation system to other Sayulita businesses. What a great way to turn a surf day into a business trip! My client is also a surfer, so it was critical that I get into the surfer way of thinking so I could better relate to him.

Tonight at the boat, I went up on dock to photograph the supermoon. It rose huge and orange through the haze.

On the boat front, all the major projects are completed, plus our spinnaker and barometer arrived. Now we just have to re-mount the solar panels and finish up our provisioning and we should be good to go

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