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"internet service included"Steve
Since arriving in Mexico over a year ago I have been dependent on using outside sources for internet access. Since about half the time we are in marinas, who all claim to have "internet service included", you would think we wouldn't have any issues. Well think again, the "internet service included" means that most of the time (almost all the time) you can't get on line from the boat. Even after dragging our computers all over the marina to try and figure out just where "internet service included" actually works, we still get that message "you are not connected to the internet". Over time we have become more patient with the lack of "internet service included", and we end up finding a restaurant or bar that really does have "internet service included". This has also given us a really good excuse to attend happy hours off the boat, but has also cost us plenty in extra meals/drinks.
Stuffing Box woesSteve
04/20/2012, Banderas Bay
A stuffing Box is a seal where the engine shaft exits the boat from the transmission and eventually connects to the prop (pic). The purpose of a stuffing box is to lubricate the shaft as it exists the hull, while keeping the sea water out of the boat. Si Bon has what is known as a dripless Stuffing Box...meaning that it it not supposed to drip. Shortly after leaving Manzanillo I discovered some water in the environmentally contained engine compartment. There is an old saying amongst sailors that you always need to keep the stick in the air (the mast) and keep the water on the outside...I knew we had a problem. It took me about a day to figure out that Si Bon's dripless stuffing box was now dripping. A failure of the stuffing box can, and does, sink boats. I had to make a decision of whether to return to Manzanillo....where there are no repair facilities for yachts, or to continue to Puerto Vallarta, where there are repair facilities and haul-out yards. Since the drip for the time being was slow, I decided to continue to PV. I rounded up all of our leak stopping plugs and compounds and our high output emergency bilge pump and we continued on....although under considerate more stress than normal. The worst part of the trip was having to round Cabo Corrientes...at night. needless to say that we did make it safely to Puerto Vallarta and I am now in process of obtaining estimates to replace the stuffing box, which appears will require another haul-out of Si Bon, and a fair chunk of change out of the cruising kitty. So did I make the right decision? Well we're here, in an area which can accommodate this type of repair. I made another decision not to worry our families while we limped home, which is why this is the first you're hearing about this. I also figured that me checking, and counting the time between drips every hour or so was enough worrying for all of us.
04/19/2012, Pacific coast of Mexico
Bahia Tenacatita is a favorite cruiser anchorage. On our way south we stopped in the well protected anchorage, wove our way through 30+ boats and dropped the hook. On our way north last week we pulled into Tenacatita and were somewhat surprised to see only two other boats anchored in the beautiful bay. The next day the other boats left and Sharon and I were all alone in this picturesque setting. Later that afternoon our friends Gabby and Verdo on S/V Larrikin rounded the point into the bay, and the party was on.
Still in BarraSteve
04/11/2012, Barra de Navidad
Yes, I know we were supposed to leave Barra yesterday...but I came down with a nasty cold and we have delayed our departure. Now you're probably thinking "how the hell can the guy get a cold in sunny Mexico?". Well I tell you it's not that warm here, this morning I even had to put on my flannel jammies and a sweat shirt before I could make coffee. It is very disappointing to us that we are barely getting past 75 during the day...and at night we actually have to close our hatches. I'm sure all (both) of my blog faithful are feeling pretty sorry for us right about now....but that's not the worst of it. The freaking water is colder than the air, we thought by now we would be jumping off the boat everyday to go snorkeling, diving, kayaking, boggie boarding or just splashing around. Instead we are constantly arguing about who has to dip their hands into to icy 68 degree water to put the lifting harness on the dinghy every night. If you go to www.passageweather.com and click on the ocean temp page you'll see that there is a VERY small area on the Pacific coast of Mexico where the water is colder than the rest of the area.....that's where we are. I have this funny feeling that within the next month we will be begging for this weather to return.
back in BarraSteve
04/09/2012, Barra de Navidad
We made the quick trip back from Manzanillo to Barra on Wednesday. We decided that since the Grand Bay Marina resort in Barra had a Wednesday and Thursday special rate, we would go ahead and get a slip for two nights. It had been 19 days since we were last tied to a marina dock....and Si Bon was in desperate need of a bath. as much as we love getting away from the marinas, we also love getting back to them after being on the hook for awhile. Lets face it, there's definitely a benefit to being able to wash off the boat, take a hot shower, throw away trash, re-provision or to simply just take a walk. All with out having to go through the dinghy routine. The marina also has a Thursday night Managers reception where you can eat and drink as much as you want from 6-7:00 (pic), which of course Sharon and I took full advantage off.
Ya can't love um allSteve
As you probably know, Sharon and I seem to fall in love with most of the places we have visited. I know that all of my blog followers are probably getting sick of hearing how much we love this town or that town. So just to mix things up we decided to stop at Manzanillo. One of our over optimistic cruising guides calls Manzanillo and the Las Hadas resort a "fairy tale setting". I have to admit that upon our arrival the Las Hadas resort and marina did appear to foot the bill (pic)...then we got off the boat. The marina charges 200 pesos (15 USD) per day to use their dinghy dock. The dinghy dock fee includes cold showers that work some of the time, the use of tienda which charges double for everything and unlimited access to the rundown resorts pools, what a deal.
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