exploring the dream

04 December 2013 | Barra De la Navidad
19 November 2013 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
18 November 2013 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
05 November 2013 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
03 November 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
01 November 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
30 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
30 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
28 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
27 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
26 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
24 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
22 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
19 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
17 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
15 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
14 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
12 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
10 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
09 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea

Moving our Way up the Gold Coast

04 December 2013 | Barra De la Navidad
Gene and Gloria
Punta Cabeza Negra 18 36.2N 103 42W North Anchorage We got up early for the 30+nm motoring trip. We had some repairs, part of owning a yacht. We reworked the starboad jib winch which wasn't sticking, replacing 2 pauls and springs. Overall, this is a very nice anchorage. The swell is moderate; we got the dinghy down and deployed the stern anchor. It's smooth and comfortable; we will stay a couple days. Here, Gene worked over the bottom of the boat again; the boys in Zihua missed the prop and under the keel. On shore, the playa is lined with very nice habacions and dotted with expensive fishing boats. A tractor hauls them in and out of the water. First, we took the dingy to shore and almost got wiped out with the surf. It was a n exclusive community of very expensive houses. Next day, we tried going out to the rocks for a snorkel but the surge was too much, so gave it up. We departed early one morning for Manzanillo about 45 nm away. We're finding that by leaving say 4 am, we get to use the 9-10 kt land breeze for motorsailing till mid morning. It was an uneventful trip except for watching out for the many fishing vessels and freighters.

Manzanillo Arriving late morning at the Las Hadras, we anchored in 30' sand. This is the Mexican Riviera where massive all white hotels and condo developments line the shore. We just hung out for the day; it was hot and it was cold beer time. Our entertainment was watching the workers and track shovel at a condo foundation being poured on shore. Next day, we stopped in at the marina and had a bit of a wander; it turns out the marina harbormaster doesn't work on Mon mornings. Eventually, someone showed up to tell us it would be 200($16 US) pesos per day to use their dinghy dock. No way. We just bought some ice and Gloria a top and returned to Pincoya for cold drinks. That evening, we went into shore to the Paradise restaurant for their 6-8pm happy hour for margaritas and a good dinner. They had a small landing where we could beach our dinghy. Next day, we departed for the old town Manzanillo anchorage and put the pick down in 30 ft of muck, amid the pangas and charter fishing fleet. We really enjoyed old town; there is a great local market, a nearby lavanderia (laundry) and water store. There was a religious shrine to pangeros that we used to lock our dinghy to and used an available float ball for a stern tie. The buses were cheap and readily available. We took the bus to Soriana, Home Depot, and nearby Santiago; returning via taxi with all our loot including two cases corona beer. From a taco stand, we got great pork tacos, and the best cracklins (deep fried pork skin) we have ever had. Later, we bought most of a kilo of the pork stir fry meat and froze it. We also bought Controy orange liquor to spice up our margarita mix and grenadine syrup for mixing with OJ to make tequila sunrises, yum! The harbor here was a bit disgusting with lots of dead fish and rolly due to the frequent nearby passage of pilot boats, tug boats, and simpsa work boats. All the boats here only knew one speed: fast and close. But we really enjoyed the 5 days we spent here. We then moved back to Las Hadras so Gene could work on the bottom of the boat a bit. Plus, we went in to the Paradise for breakfast then walked down to the Commercial Mexicana where Gloria got a toaster; we'll see how that goes! We were also able to get water at the Paradise landing and gave the boat a scrubbing topside; we did get soot on the decks of Pincoya at the old town anchorage. We could use a good rain but everyday more sun, 80-90 temps, and light breezes. Already, we have been in Mexico for a month, on Weds Dec 4, 4:30 am, up came the hook and we departed for Barra De La Navidad, 30 nm away.

Bahia de Maruata

19 November 2013 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Gene and Gloria
Ensa. De Pechilinquillo 18 12N 103 08W We anchored near the large rock island on the N side, in 40 feet, well away from shore. This is another open roadstead anchorage, unprotected from the W side, but with light winds for the last 2 weeks and anchor anywhere conditions it wasn't an issue. Arriving at 12:30pm, sashimi was on the lunch menu, along with fried noodles. Yum! This left plenty of time to vacuum pack the fish and work on this blog, so there! That evening, we renamed this playa del fuerte or beach of fire. It seems locals lit over 30 beach fires on the shore and kept them tended for hours. We couldn't help wondering at this, but no furtive ships arrived and the fires gradually died out. Interesting and very dramatic in the pre waning full moon darkness. After a very rolly night, we were up early and gradually got going. With no morning breeze, we motored our way NW ½ mile offshore along dramatic gold colored cliffs in the morning light. Canyons opening onto the ocean did provide 10 kt plus land breezes so out went the jib for those short lifts. We did see rays jumping, along with the usual birds and pangeros. It was 13 nm and about 3 hours to our next anchorage area, Bahia de Maruata.

Bahia De Maruata 18 16.1N 103 20.7W After arriving at 10:30, we anchored near two rock islands. It is very scenic here; the rocks and cliffs to the N very dramatic. A small village lines the shore beach; palapas have tents set up under them; perhaps a backpacker resort. Pelicans and terns circle and dive near shore in a continual effort to stoke their tummies and reduce the minnow population. They also cover many of the rocks on the two islands. So far (mid afternoon) it is less rolly here with the SW roll taken out by the islands and we are being held into the SE swell by the light SE breeze. It looks like you could land a dinghy in the very N corner of the bahia, but we decided since we need an early start manana, not to complicate things and stay on board. Another long lazy day; reading, eating, drinking cold cerveza frio, and refreshments with ice cubes. It will be grilled Mahi for dinner and here is hoping the breeze keeps up!

The Gold Coast

18 November 2013 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Gene and Gloria
Zihuatanejo We spent 12 days in Ztown. You can only get so much done in a day as after 1 pm, you have to sit in the shade with a cerveza frio (cold beer) or iced drink as temps went into the 90's. It took 2 days to get checked in including hiring an agent, another 3 days and a trip to Ixtapa to determine they wanted too much money for a haulout and bottom paint, 2 days of laundry, and another couple days to get Mexican on the water 3rd party insurance and a fishing license. Ixtapa turned out to be a high rise beach resort development; a Mexican Riviera, which we didn't need to visit further. We really liked Zihuatanejo, a somewhat touristy authentic Mexican town. We took advantage of being back to civilization with several trips to local restaurants for Mexican food and Margaritas, which was great! Over this time, several more boats arrived, including a trimaran which had come thru the Panama canal and up. Since we came, there has been less than 10 knots wind from a variety of directions and we ended up with the foredeck cover on, breeze booster up, and using a computer fan with battery over the stateroom hatch each night. Temps at night were at least 80, sometimes 85; bit of a sweater. Outside, just enough biting bugs to keep you from sleeping on deck, although we did that a few times for a while. While here we met a local named Bernie, who, in the hopes of drumming up paying business, escorted us to several locations including Ixtapa helping us to get our permits and info, etc. anVery nice of him and we hired him to clean Pincoya's bottom and also gave him 400 pesos for his daughters needed medical visit. Finally, we decided it was time to move on and spent a day getting our Zarpe filled out, approved, and copied. The Zarpe form was mostly a crew list with sailing intentions in Mexico, with a port captains signature; hopefully the last of our Mexican necessary paperwork.

Isla Ixtapa Grande 17 40.1N 101 39.4W Not rushing things, we motored 7 nm NW to I. I. G. and anchored in an isthmus on the N side with a bunch of restaurants on the beach. A panga from one of them, Indio, was recruiting customers as we came in and offered to pick us up at 5 to come in for dinner, which we accepted. This was a nice protected anchorage but had rental jetskis, banana boats, etc so we decided to only stay one night. Lots of big motorboats from Ixtapa came here also making it a pretty busy place. We went in for dinner and had a tasty langusto, lobster, for two, at 450 pesos, plus margaritas. They took us back to Pincoya, and all was well till Gloria fell ill. Welcome to Mexico! We had both caught colds before leaving Zihau, so were in pretty rough shape next morning and had a lazy day till time to leave. Since the next anchorage for us was 70 nm NW, we decided to leave late afternoon, for an overnighter. We departed, having to close haul into 15 kt NW breeze for the first 3 hours, till it reduced to 5 kts and we started motoring. We passed the city of Lazaro Cardenas, under lit up smog filled skies. We had been warned not to go here as there had been recent drug related gang violence. The gangs were shipping drugs in through this commercial port and with the crack down, the gangs retaliated by blowing up the government Pemax gas stations and electrical plants. Thus the Mexican army was called in to take control of the port and town. Hence, we did an all nighter to Caleto de Campos. Next morning, after watching out all night for numerous ships in the area, we did get a little breeze more NNE and could at least motorsail into our anchorage. That morning, we caught and released 7 Skipjack Tuna, so if you like them, this is the place to be!

Caleta de Campos 18 04N 102 45W Sun, Nov 17 This small cove has a minor breakwater on the N side, a rock point on the S, with a curving playa between. The playa was covered with palapas, and many people were swimming in the very large breaking waves. These came from the very large swells going under us where we anchored near the breakwater. We were completely exposed to the ocean swells and as yet being unwilling to break out our packed dinghy to do a stern anchor, so we did a fair amount of rolling. Especially since the slight N breeze kept us sideways to the SW swell. Shortly after arriving, some fishermen came by and we were able to buy a snapper of about 1kg for 20 pesos. This we immediately put on the BBQ whole, scales and all, and had a delicious Sunday dinner. Gloria made a great salad with fresh stuff we had bought at the market in Zihua just before leaving there. The village had palapas on shore and nice houses surrounding it. With the breaking waves on the beach, we decided not to go to shore. Getting up early the next morning, we made some coffee, and got under way, 23 nm to our next cove, in a nice NE breeze. This lasted about 30 minutes, but gave us a nice lift off doing 7-8 knots. Almost forgot what that was like! Turned out it was from a canyon on shore and once past, the winds died and be were back to the 5-6 kts and motor sailing. Then just plain motoring, as the sails were flogging. About this time, one of the handlines went off and lo, a nice mahi mahi, dorado, was jumping behind the boat. Yes! It had been a long time since we caught a mahi. It was maybe a 7-8 kg; a nice fish. I'm working on remembering how to skin and fillet it; not my best job, but we do already have fish in the freezer. At least the seas were relatively calm for this. I finish up just in time to anchor at Ensanata de Pechilinquillo, a real mouthful to say.

It's Margarita Time!

05 November 2013 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Gene and Gloria
Ta Daa! Trumpet blaring, Drum roll, Arrival at Zihuatanejo, 8 am Nov 4; 27 days voyage. Welcome to Mexico! A sailboat we went by in the bay said he might be able to find us a mooring so we took an empty one for a short time. He called Yogi and Alejandro, who came out, and dived up a chain for us to tie our snubber rope to. Supposedly it is connected to a 2 ton+ weight-hopefully we won't be here long enough to find out. We paid for a week, and a good thing since the check in procedure turned out to be difficult. The port capitan told us to stay aboard till the officials could come and before we could finish breakfast here were a boat full. So they inspected the boat, took papers, filled out forms, and in the end their MAF person took only 11 eggs they said couldn't be brought in. We thought all was well. Then we realized our passports hadn't been stamped and we didn't have our visas. So we took a taxi to immigration, and waited for three hours for them to tell us our visas were at the port capitans office and stamp our passports. We did meet a couple of US expats while waiting. Returning, the port capitan caught us getting into our dinghy; Gloria went and got our visas, and on her return, told me I had to go to his office at 9am to pay port fees. The dinghy was a separate story. We pull up to the dock, some boys told us they would watch our dinghy for 100 pesos. We agreed, then figured out that was probably about $8 US, which we thought a bit stiff. We got back and because it was more than 2 hours, they wanted 250 peso. (The price of a good bottle of Tequila here). So we had a scene with them, and only paid the original 100 pesos, which we thought was too much anyway. They had put the dinghy on a nearby mooring ball, which required their cooperation. Anyway, since then, I have been using a different dock and we make sure the motor is locked on. Returning to the port capitan next morning, I found out more papers were required, including the French exit clearance which Immigration had kept. Eventually he was able to get it sent to us by fax. But then, I was unable to fill out the necessary form as I did not know the Spanish abbreviations and terms. So he forced me to hire a ships agent, and 800 pesos and several hours later, we were clear. We hope. This has been the most difficult country to enter we have come to and we would advise all coming to Mexico to hire an agent first or on arrival. Tomorrow, we travel by bus to Ixtapa to inquire at the Marina about haulouts, etc as our bottom paint has been replace by thousands of goose neck barnacles and miscellanous other types of growths. We have met a Mexican who tells us his group can do all the labor involved, including polishing Pincoya, for $2800 US. We pay for the haulout, pressure wash, all materials and paints. We will ask at Ixtapa about costs for this work there. We had a delicious welcome here dinner at the Restarant Any, including two large Margaritas each-Yes!! This is the last frequent blog since we are here; we will do a weekly update. For a while, it will be all work and little play. Then we will get to start hopping our way up the coast to Puerto Vallarta and beyond. Gloria will be leaving there to fly back and be with her daughter Cara having twins in May and I will be looking for crew to help me get Pincoya from Puerto Vallerta to Guaymas-San Carlos for storage. I have a 6 month visa and have to be out of the country before May 4, 2014. So those are our plans; we'll see if we stick to it! Bye for now and thanks for patiently reading all our stuff. Gene and Gloria

Dances with Lightning!

03 November 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
Gene and Gloria
Dances with Lightning Nov 3, 2013 16 46N 102 19W 65nm remaining Pincoya that is; we didn't do well mileage yesterday as we spent most of the night going WSW to avoid a continual lightning storm a few miles between us and Zihau. What a show; but scary! Lightning is my worst fear at sea as it can not only ruin all your electronics but blow out all your bronze thru hulls and sink the boat. So we putzed the night away going sideways till the storm went somewhere else. This was actually the ITCZ showing up and we have been dancing around lightning squalls all day today also. It was much easier during daylight hours and with the radar to safely negotiate this area. Happily the only squall we couldn't avoid was only heavy rain. We have had some wind today and are motorsailing. The motor has been off a couple hours, but the wind always fizzles and back on it goes. No luck with the fishing. Caught a couple of small skipjack tuna which we let go and had one mahi get away. No problem, Gloria says we still have 12 meals of fish in the freezer. Yesterday we did many of those boat jobs as we motored against current in the sunshine. So the freezer is defrosted, the small outboard back on the stern pulpit, and bow stateroom nearly ready for occupancy.

We were able to make contact with the Southbound net; it was fun to hear cruisers in Mexico. Looks like a tomorrow morning arrival unless more suprises come our way!

Sun at Last!

01 November 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
Gene and Gloria
Sun at Last! 13 55N 103 52W TGIF Nov.1, 2013 The low whose skirts we have been riding E and N has matured into a numbered tropical storm, #18, and is moving off NW. We are exiting "a la derecho" or stage right, steering 28T, pretty much toward Zihuatanejo. We have changed our arrival port from Acapulco to Zihua, 105 nm N of Acapulco. This is on the recommendation of John and Pat Rains, author of Cruising Guide to Mexico, who we have been in touch with via email thanks to arrangements by our friend Cindy in SLC. We hope that check in and yacht services are readily available there. We are about 250 nm SW of Zihua and hope for a Sun or Mon arrival. We had many squalls yesterday and last night, night squalls can be very excitingÂ... We are glad to see the sun for a while to air out the boat, dry the squabs, and charge up the batteries. Not to mention cheer us up! Arrival is starting to seem real as we contemplate arriving in Mx in 27-28 days for the trip, far better than we expected. Especial thanks to that wonderful Low that gave us our last 700+ miles of sailing with no motoring. We have only started the motor 3 times; we start it more regularly after that one night it did not start-that scared us a bit. We think it had something to do with fuel availability after all that rocking and rolling, plus not starting it for the previous 2 weeks. Starts good now, whew!!! We've only used the generator twice this trip, over 3000 nm so far, a record for us. We have today 20-25 kt winds, SW, with 3M seas, but the grib weather shows we will be motoring a lot in the last 200 nm with light and variable breezes most of that way. Ok with us, with flatter seas we can transform Pincoya from voyager to home: Defrost the freezer, get all the stuff out of the bow stateroom and reclaim our bed, mount the small outboard, do some cleaning, writing down our repair list, much more. We'll try for one more fish those last 2 days; maybe a mahi mahi (dorado in Mexico) or a nice tuna.
Vessel Name: Pincoya
Vessel Make/Model: Island packet 44, 1995, Cutter Rig
Hailing Port: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Crew: Gene Dennis, Gloria Watson
Pincoya's Photos - Tahiti
Photos 1 to 59 of 59 | Main
Wing on Wing from Fakarava to Tahiti
Tahiti at sunrise
Approach to Tahiti
Approach to Tahiti
approach to Tahiti
Almost there.
View of Moorea as we approach Tahiti
Roulettes at quay
Dinner at Roulettes, meals on wheels have a new meaning
Heiva i Tahiti
Heivi i Tahiti
The guys turn
Light house at Cook
Herb and Gene
Captain Cook
Memorialized in rock
part of boat
Missionary Plaque
First missionaires to arrive
Dates that the missionaries infiltrated islands
More dates
More dates
Waterfall in Tahiti
another view of waterfall
Drive around island
Rental car, took break at Magasin
view of isthmus from the belvedere, Plateu
Another view of isthmus
Isthmus east view of ocean
isthmus west view of ocean
curling waves
solar eclipse on July 11, 2010
another try at 8:00 am
another view
and another view of solar eclipse
Down town market during solar eclipse
soalr eclipse at quay
Athena. Why do the Brits always own these big ?yachts?
An other large yacht owned by Brits
Park on the quay, in Mexico it was called the Malecon, in the US it is called the board walk or wharf
View of park
Park on the quay
Faa Faite, old boat on our dock
Another view of Faa Faite
Highrise with shops across the street from the quay
A church in Papeete
Church of Notre Dame in Papeete
Leaving our doct at Papeete, Tahiti
View of as we travel inside the reef to get fuel before we leave
A canoer trying to ride our waves
Resort along the reef
Resort along the channel
curling wave as we leave the reef of Papeete
Good Bye Tahiti

Who: Gene Dennis, Gloria Watson
Port: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA