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What a trip!
Gabriellas grandapa
01/07/2009, Rancho-Guaymas-Barra

One heck of a long and tiring trip. I think an offshore trip of 20 days would be less taxing than the bus/car combo from Rancho Cordova to Barra de Navidad. It was worth it because of the wonderful visit I had with my Princess. I think we were inseparable the entire time I was there. Even when I was painting a cabin in Kyburz, she was helping me paint. What a contrast, from the tropics of Mexico to the freezing snow of the Sierras. Bottom line, it was a nice break but I doubt I will be doing that again. The bus trip north with all the Federales, customs, and Army stops and inspections was much longer than the southbound trip with NO stops for inspections. Riding a bus through the night full of passengers snoring and the accompaning smells is a lot like being in jail.................. I got back to the boat at 9pm and went about putting the boat back together for habitacion. It was nicely looked after by a few cruiser friends. The only mishap was my hard bottom dinghy flying off the bow of the boat when the winds exceeded 20 knots. I found that hard to believe, but it really happened. My boatsitters saw it happen and immediately took off after it and lashed it down on the bow so it wouldn't happen again. Now I'm in the process of installing my watermaker and moving along nicely. Today or tomorrow I will dive in the murky lagoon water to remove my old larger prop and put on the correct size prop. I'm trying to solve the problem of excess soot buildup caused by overpowerprop. I should leave Barra this Monday for Santiago after watching my Chargers play in the playoffs on Sunday.

01/07/2009 | Susan
Happy to see your blog back up and running. I trust the duct tape did its job all the way to Guaymas:)
01/08/2009 | Boomerang
Good to hear you made it back safely Phil. Wow did Santa bring you a new H2o maker? Mana Sea will be giving Phil longer showers now!!
Christmas with Gabriella
Gabriellas grandpa
12/22/2008, Rancho Cordova, Ca.

I knew well before I posted my last blog that I was going to spend Christmas with my Princess in Rancho Cordova. I did'nt want to write about it because Gabriella can read quite well. The Trip... I left Barra de Navidad at 9:15 am by bus to Puerto Vallarta and that took 4 1/2 hours. Then after a 2 hour wait in the bus terminal in PV I caught another bus line for the trip to Guaymas. This bus, supposedly 1st class, took 18 hours to get to Guaymas. We stopped at about 6 towns and the real stops were the Federales...7 in all. All night long the bus would be stopped by road blocks for inspection of luggage and personal carry-ons and on one occassion they came on board with automatic screwdrivers and tore the bathroom apart to look for drugs. The bathrooms were bare...no toilet paper..soap..towels,etc. Of course I've learned by now to always have a rooll of toilet paper handy no matter where you are in Mexico. I got into Guaymas at 11:30 am and went straightaway to Singlar to retrieve my car for the drive to Rancho Cordova. I was there for about 45 minutes and then off to the frozen northland. I drove through to Tucson and got a motel for the night then up early for the rest of the trip north. The car ran fine and it was quite a treat to pay and average of $1.65 a gallon...cheaper than Mexico. I knew that Gabriella and mom Karen would be at Grandma Pats' house for the evening so I drove there to surprise her. I rang the doorbell and Karen answered and called for Gabriella. She walk up to the door and gave that frozen look, how could this be? Of course that was about a 3 or 4 second look before she went berzerk and was screaming and kept saying "it is you" "I can't believe your here". I think after this surprise and the one at the end of last season, I don't know if I will be able to surprise her anymore. Needless to say, we have been inseperable since. I do the reverse drive/bus trip back to the boat at the end of the year. I have good cruising friends watching my boat at anchor in Barra de Navidad. Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

12/23/2008 | Susan
Well, Phil, there are little tears dripping into my mug of coffee as I read this. And I agree with you, she will be wise to you from now on:)
Merry Christmas!
12/23/2008 | Boomerang
What a good Grandpa!! Phil if you need a place to crash on the way back down, you know our door is allways open to you. We can lick our election wounds over a cold one.
C
Christmas sandbar
Gabriellas grandpa
12/16/2008, Barra de Navidad

This has got to be one of the most relaxing and laid back anchorages of all Mexico. Had a nice trip down from Puerto Vallarta. I left La Cruz with intentions of stopping for the night at Ipala about 15 miles down the coast from the notorious Cabo Corrientes. The weather rounding Corrientes was okay and as I got a little further down it was blowing out of the southeast which is straight into the anchorage at Ipala. I pulled in to check it out because I have never been in this anchorage and was curious. There were pangas everywhere and fish pens and the water was a little too lumpy for me. I left there and kept going for the night and pulled into Tenacatita to anchor. It was early morning so I thought I could do the mangrove river trip to the outer anchorage to have some of that delicious shrimp stuffed fish filet with almondine sauce. As I was about to enter the tide was rushing out so fast that I aborted because I was too wimpy to fight the shallows with the tide running so fast. This will be another place I will play around with longer on my way north. After a nights rest I pulled anchor to putt-putt the 12 miles to Barra. There is only about 10 boats here in the lagoon and of course more over iin the high priced marina. But it is nice to have a few of these boats to be friends I met last season. So I will hang out here until about the first week of the new year then mosey on to Santiago(Manzanillo). This place(Barra de Navidad) has a real mix of tourists and gringo residents here. It is like a miniature Santa Cruz. Just in case I don't post again until after CHRISTmas, I want to say to all.......Have a Merry Christmas......Feliz Navidad......Froh Weinach.
Oh yeah....The French Baker Lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12/16/2008 | Bryan
You've got it made now Phil. You'll have the baker coming by delivering you pastries every morning. You're going to be spoiled. I mean with all the good food and the weather. It's supposed to be in the 20's here tonight. Merry Christmas from Bryan & Ronda......
12/17/2008 | Susan
I'm curious about the fish pens in Ipala. What are they growing out?
Are you having your croissants delivered to the boat this time or are you dinghying into town to buy them there?
12/18/2008 | BOOMERANG
Hi Phil, boy you sure are moving fast. No seaweed growing under your feet. Have an Almond Croisant for us and Feliz Navidad to you too.
C and E
12/19/2008 | Heather
It was great seeing you in La Cruz and I am sure we will cross paths again sometime soon. I bet the french baker's got nothin' on my cookies!!! I'll save some for ya Phil! Enjoy the holidays.

H&D
12/20/2008 | JAN AND WOLF
MERRY CHRISTMAS Phil, have a good one and enjoy.

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