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San Diego sailingSteve
07/31/2012, Bahia de San Diego
Yesterday I took my oldest daughter Amber and her "little" brother Ben, and a group of Amber's friends sailing. We rented a 27 foot Catalina and headed out for a four hour tour of San Diego Bay. It was a beautiful San Diego day with the sunny skies and light winds making it perfect for a relaxing sail. It was the first time sailing for 4 out of our group of 7, so the light winds gave them a nice mellow look at the world of sailing. In keeping with the "never a dull moment" theme of sailing, as we were coming back in the boats engine wouldn't start. The rental company had to jump start it before we left and now it was dead again. We called the company and told them to get ready to catch us, as we were going to be sailing into the slip. Sailing into a slip is not the most favorite thing on most skippers lists....no matter what the size of boat. So after one failed attempt at the end tie, I told the guy I was just going to take it into the slip and in we went without much fanfare.
Back in the USA...day 1Steve
07/28/2012, San Diego
After a slight immigration problem leaving Mexico, which caused me to miss my flight, I am back in the "good old US of A". I don't think of myself as a dumb man, I've actually traveled to several foreign countries and never had any kind of immigration issues. Now don't get me wrong, as long as you board a plane in the US or Canada, fly to Mexico for your one week of overindulging in sun, food and alcohol, then board your plane and go home, Mexico immigration is spot on. However if you throw in anything different, like taking a bus or car to Mexico, or sailing a boat one way then taking a plane or bus back for a visit, they just don't seem to be very efficient. I mean really, how the hell do you get a boarding pass, pass through security, proceed to your gate and then as you are walking onto the plane are told by a flight attendant that you need a stamp from immigration?
Preparing to go homeSteve
07/25/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
Tomorrow I will be returning to San Diego for the first time in 10 months. I am REALLY excited to be seeing my kids and all of my friends that I haven't seen for so long. I've been extremely busy here getting Si Bon prepared to weather it alone for a couple of weeks and also set up for the rest of the hot summer and the upcoming cruising season.
Pangas and PangerosSteve
07/16/2012, everywhere in Mexico
From the minute you start planning a cruise to Mexico you start hearing the term "Panga". At first I didn't really pay much attention to this new (to me) term. Then I started hearing horror stories about these "rinky dink" mexican fishing boats that drive or drift around at night with no lights, sometimes harassing poor gringo cruisers, and I became somewhat concerned. A panga is a small (18-30 feet) boat which is primarily designed as an inexpensive, durable fishing boat. Most pangas have an outboard engine of between 45-200 HP, and not much else in the form of technology. Many of the ports and the Mexican Navy now require that the Pangas have some sort of light...although it is usually only a very small white light...if that. When cruising in non tourist areas you get very use to seeing beat up pangas, often with one of the pangeros (fisherman) bailing out water with a cut down plastic container of some sort as they head out to sea for a night of fishing. The Pangeros are tough men who live a tough life. I've never been threatened by one or seen one drifting around at night in my way. Sharon and I were warned away with flashlights one night by several pangeros as we approached an anchorage after dark. Seems they didn't want us to run over their nets...and we didn't want to either. In fact the biggest threat I've ever felt from the pangeros is that they put out nets or long lines with no visible marking, if we are to wrap one around the prop it can be serious trouble.
Excitement in ParadiseSteve
07/13/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
OK...so there isn't really much excitement in paradise right now, it fact a better title would have been "boredom in paradise", but who would read the blog with that title? Yes, I am beginning to see why all of my fellow gringos have bailed out and gone back to their native countries for the summer. We have definitely fallen into a weather routine here in paradise. Beginning sometime in the evening or during the night the clouds roll in, the thunder shakes the ground and the sky lights up. Oh, and the rain comes down...usually very hard. Not to be negative, there are some advantages to this, it does keep the temperature down, it washes off the boat nicely, and trying to figure out which one of my ports (windows) is leaking tonight, gives me something to do.
07/06/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
Well, the BIG news this week is that Sharon landed herself what seems to be a great job with a place called The World Learning Center. While this a perfect opportunity for her, it will mean that she will be staying in the US for at least the foreseeable future. I am hoping that she'll be able to sneak in a vacation or two this winter, and come down for some warm weather and sailing.
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