Season Three, Episode One
28 December 2015
Photo above compliments of Mike McKendry
December 28, 2015
We had only been in Mexico for two weeks, but it seemed like forever until we took Cadenza out of the slip. We knew we had to have her ready for our friends' visit. Last spring, Cindy and Dann from Channel Islands decided to join us here in Nuevo Vallarta for a week during the Christmas season. They put the word out that they were coming to visit us and four other couples signed up for the trip. We were anxious to share this beautiful bay and worked hard to put the boat back together in time for their visit.
So many things to fix. The head, well, you know that story. Then we were having trouble with the batteries holding power. Ultimately, Jay discovered that, over the summer, one of the workers had changed the battery switch to the Number 2 setting instead of Both, as he had left it. Unbeknownst to us at the time, this meant that we were only drawing from two batteries, instead of four. We were concerned that we would have to get new batteries which would not only be a hassle to take out and replace, but would be particularly costly here in Mexico. Once Jay switched it back to the Both setting, the batteries charged up and held a 12.6 voltage. All good there.
Then, there was an issue with the Ray Marine electronics. They weren't picking up a GPS signal. Jay diagnosed the problem as a faulty cable. Moisture and corrosion had destroyed it and with the help of a local electrician they finally got that fixed, but not before we took her out the first time. For GPS on that excursion, we used our trusty old Garmin. We do love our Garmin.
And then there was the propeller on our outboard. Some people foul the prop with the painter. I fouled our prop with my leg. When we got back to Mexico and put the dinghy in the water, we found that, due to my accident, the hub had slipped. (The good news - the fact that this propeller had a rubber insert hub instead of a shear pin, probably saved my leg. When the prop hit my leg, it spun on its rubber hub instead of continuing to chop through my leg.) To get that fixed we asked a dozen people, tried about a half dozen stores, took two buses and walked three miles before we found Greg, at Opequimar Boat Yard. He was able and willing to send it to Mazatlan to get it fixed. But not before we took Cadenza out for the first time. We didn't need the dinghy for our sail anyway, so that didn't stop us.
So on Tuesday, December 15th, with some things working and other's not, we took Cadenza out for her maiden voyage of the season. On board were our CI friends; Cindy, Dann, Donna, Mike, Stephanie and Mark, as well as two new friends from Arizona; Jo and Kelly. (Mike & Cherri hitched a ride on a race boat that day. Always the racers. Gotta love them.) It was a bright, sunny day. We could have had a little more wind, but there was enough to sail. And, as usual on Banderas Bay, the seas were calm. We coasted along at an easy five knots.
“Do you realize that we have never sailed on Cadenza before?” Cindy asked as we headed out of the harbor.
“Actually, none of you have. I can't believe you all had to fly down to Puerto Vallarta just to take a sail with us!” I said as we laughed at the irony of it. I guess that is just the way it is when we all have our own boats – we take them out together, but don't often sail on each other's boats.
We had a great time while they were here. Jay and I went over to their hotel for a day of swimming, then headed to La Cruz for a cruiser's party. Both Stephanie and Mark and Mike and Cherri met up with some people they knew from the Ventura area. The sailing community is really quite a small and tight community. It is hard to go anywhere on a boat and not meet someone you know or someone who knows someone you know. We finished off the night at the famous Philo's Bar. A must-do when in La Cruz.
During the week they were here, everyone separated to do their own thing and then came back together again. After the day sail and race we all ended up at The Vallarta Yacht Club for some dinner and dancing. (Including some more of our Channel Island friends, Mary and Curt, who had just arrived to Banderas Bay on their sailing vessel, Magic.) And then finally, we all went together to see The Rhythms of the Night. We took a tour boat out to a cove on the south shore and saw an amazing dance performance in the jungle, complete with a candle-lit dinner. A wonderful evening.
All that was fun, but I must say, I think Third season, Episode one; The Maiden Voyage was the highlight for us. We loved sharing Cadenza, Banderas Bay, and this incredibly special lifestyle. Maybe more of our friends from Channel Islands will bring their boats down here in the future, yes? Bobbi and Don on Sea Dancer are here. (Currently in Mazatlan) Mary and Curt on Magic are here. (Currently in La Cruz) Jay and I are here. (Currently in Nuevo Vallarta) Who's next?