Here are some photos from the last few weeks...
Cabo San Lucas
So long Paradise Village
12/04/2012, Nuevo Vallarta
The last week and a half have been pretty cool. We made some new friends with the Valliant 40 'Beguine', oddly enough by running into them constantly at the Vallarta Yacht club! I also discovered, much to my chigrin, that I am not a cruiser as much as a yachtie... when did this happen?
I managed to finish up the bulk of one of my contracts, get the leak in the engine fixed, fix the windlass, remove the broken vang. Nicki repaired the spinnaker, made a bug net for the kitchen hatch, and managed to get a little school done. All this and we got some boogie boarding and swimming in! On Saturday we went with team Beguine to La Cruz via taxi to hit the cruisers swap meet. I got the find of our trip in a broken autopilot that had the part we needed for 200 pesos.
And it was the upgraded aluminum gear to boot, bonus! So we now have Tommy back! Out autopilot is named Tommy after the "deaf, dumb and blind kid in the song". Sunday and Monday became Croc hunting week for Team Beguine and Rubber Duckies. We pulled the dinghys out and went way upriver (thanks Dad!). We saw lots of fish, birds, birds fishing, fish fishing, fisheremen fishing, people drinking like fish... but the only reptiles we could find where Iguanas. So we tried for two days. We where so desparate on Monday that we went so far upriver that Paul ran his outboard into the mud.
Well today is getting ready to pull out and head to Yelapa for a day or two. I got the botched repair from 20 years ago on the surfboard faired and finish resin appplied today. I hope there is good surf in Yelapa. After Yelapa its out of Banderas Bay towards Bari Navidad for Christmas. We also need to be somewhere pretty cool for Marcus' Birthday on the 11'th.
We miss everyone, but have to admit the weather is awsome here and we don't want to be home ;-)
11/27/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta
So we chose to come to PV so I can finish up some stateside obligations and the family could be comfortable while doing so. As an arm chair cruiser I always thought it was a bit silly that so many cruisers make it to PV and then stay. Now that I am here I truly understand the temptation. This place is awesome! If your feeling a bit overwhelmed by being in another country you can get your Gringo Fix by staying in Paradise Village. If rural Mexico is your style then sail 1 hour north to La Cruz. If old world is calling you then sail 1 hour south to Jalapa and hang.
The local wild life is also spectacular. There are a variety of tropical birds, iguanas, chameleons and Crocodiles to keep you from feeling to domesticated. Curtis got the scare of his life yesterday as he jumped in the cockpit to be greeted by 3 foot Iguana sun bathing on a beach towl! And no photos :-(.
We are trying to find a replacement Kayak so we can zoom around the river here. I hear it's like the Disney Jungle Cruise, but the animals really bite!
Photo's and more to come.
Thanks Giving and life at 4 knots
11/21/2012, Sea of Cortez
Yesterday proved to be a beautiful, yet slow, day. The day calmed and we where able to make our course easier. The night provided a calm and slow 3.8-4.2 knots. This also allowed us to see the dolphins that have suddenly appeared. We had a parade of dolphin that lasted most of the night. In fact we had enough time to perform a highly sophisticated, yet controversial, study on Dolphin and their choice of music. They appear to like Scorpion, Lynard Skynard, Dean Martin and Image Dragons. On the other hand they seam to disapprove of Kid Rock, Ozzy Osborne and the Bloodhound Gang.
By 4 am we where down to .8 knots but decided to let the crew get some sleep. At 7 AM the motor came on for the first time in 2 days! We are not doing 5 knots and heading straight for Nuevo Vallarta. The flat water has been remarkable for sea life. We can see the dolphin now, and there are flying fish everywhere. I have never seen one actually 'fly' over 200ft, skimming over the water like a bird. No turtles today, but it's still young!
I hope all of our friends and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! We wish we could be with you, but then again we are in Mexico!
We made it out of Cabo!
11/21/2012, Sea of Cortez
We pulled off the dock at 8:30 am to cloudy and muggy conditions. The engine is running great and the forecast is calling for 20knts across the Sea of Cortez. Most of the fishing fleet had departed at 7 am so there was very little boat activity save the cruise ship that pulled in last night. We decided to go easy on the engine so we motored out of the harbor at 4 knots. As we reached the mystical 3 mile limit all was well so we decided we where committed to sailing to Puerto Vallarta at that moment. So of course at 7 miles out the engine acts up. The only gasket we did not change, and do not have a spare for, decided to start failing.
The header tank holds the excess coolant and is also where you fill the engine with anti-freeze. The cap's fitting has a gasket that started to weep coolant. Nothing serious at this point, but definitely watch worthy. We decided to shut the engine down at 11 am. We sailed at 3.5 knots for several hours being extremely bored. We also realized that this is truly the first time on this whole adventure that we have really treated Rubber Duckies like a sailboat. By 2pm we where making 5.5 knots, this is more like it. The wave conditions where, and are, less than favorable and are making a direct course nearly impossible.
By night we where moving along at 7.5 and surfing at 10. Sometimes too much information can be counterproductive. With winds in the 20's and seas over 10' it was probably better that we could not see anything. Times like this you just focus on compass heading, boat speed and keeping under control. It was really nice to once again be the only vessel in the area. We did see 2 cruise ships from about 12 miles away. They are about as inconspicuous as a Picasso in a Monet exhibit. Other than being tiring it was pretty much a non-event. We made great time though.
Well, I hope we reach PV for Thanks Giving!
We saw a Turtle!
11/21/2012, Sea of Cortez
Just passed a large, at least 3 feet across, Sea Turtle moseying along at 2.5 knots....