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Sound Effect does the big U
Whales Whales Whales
02/12/2011, Punta Mita

We left Jatelmba Saturday morning and motor sailed to Punta Mita. We are now inside Banderas Bay. As of yet we havent gone ashore because the surf is too high... maybe tomorrow.
Once again today we saw whales.... we have gotten pretty blase about whales, we seem to see them everyday, but today we had to slow down to avoid them and then in Banderas bay they were breeching... coming completely out of the water. I wish I had a spectacular picture to share of a whale breeching but I have been unable to capture this with a camera I'm still trying but it is very difficult so kudos to those who have succeeded. Stay tuned maybe tomorrow.
Misc...... I have added pictures to the gallery for the jungle cruise and bird sanctuary so take a look. I have tried to post the position without joy but I will try again. We are now east of El Paso Tx!

Bottom Cleaning
02/10/2011, Chacala

Thursday we decided to clean the bottom as did Denny on Kokomo. He looks like a yellow footed booby. The visibility was poor but I managed to clean the prop and remove most of the remaining fish lines as well as the worst barnacles. I used my new scuba tank and the BC (bouyancy compensator) that I bough at a swap meet. After 20yrs of not diving it all went together pretty well and the $25BC works like a champ.
I justified the new tank and getting my regulator repaired " in case we needed to dive on a lost anchor or something" And one day later (Friday) I was diving on Denny's stern anchor to retrieve the broken anchor line.
The visibility was so poor that I dove to the bottom and ran my hand along the bottom in a search grid that yielded the broken line. Kokomo was able retrieve it using winch and engine. The fortress anchor was so buried that all I found was chain going into the bottom sand and disapearing.
In the last post I gave the benefits of bow and stern anchor.. today we know first hand there are downsides as well. The surge back and forth actually snapped the "Quick line anchor strap on a reel" This has I believe a 4500lb breaking strength and the achor was so buried it snapped the line!
I have on my stern anchor traditional 3 strand nylon but I added a "tripline" attached to flukes so was able to retrieve with no difficulty.

One more lesson in the school of "hard knocks"

02/09/2011, Chacala

On Wednesday Feb9 we sailed down to Chacala bay and discovered a new side of Mexico. First of all it is tropical Mexico after months in the Baja desert
The beach is lined with coconut palms..... This has spawned a new adult beverage (which we have not yet sampled) called "Coco Loco" which is apparently a coconut filled with Tequila. We also anchored in a new fashion with the boat anchored facing away from the beach and held in position with a second anchor off the stern holding us into to the swell so the boat may "hobby horse" but not roll side to side. The added benefit is that we have a full time view of the beach and breakers. The happiest change has been that there are tourists here rather than empty beaches. Although we could do without the tourists it is so nice to see that the business's are making money As we have noted here Mexico has been empty but not Chacala (nor Jaltemba where I am actually writing this).
I imagine it has something to do with the weather because it has finally warmed up.

Safety in Mexico
clear and warmer
02/08/2011, San Blas

Once again at a potluck dinner last night, we were discussing safety in Mexico. Although I am a rookie in Mexico we had two multi year veterans in attendance and all agreed that in the usual cruising destinations in Mexico, there is little to worry about. I recently commented on the cruise ships pulling out of Mazatlan due to "violence". It is amazing the amount of violence in the states that is accepted as normal but when looking at Mexico through the eyes of the media we are ready to codemn them. I can't argue that there is drug cartel related violence in the border towns, but does someone in Peoria Il get worried when there is a shooting in Central Park New York? We are currently in San Blas Mexico which is a very small fishing village, and we have once again been amazed at the friendly smiling happy people. The other thing I noticed that I knew as a kid in America but is now gone, is that small children were running around in the square at the festival the other night with no parents in sight. Today in the States if your young child were out of your sight in a crowd you would begin worrying about abduction or child molestors. It is sad to live in fear.... they don't seem to have that problem here. Sorry for the "heavy" post....... today is moving day we are moving 4 miles to another beautiful anchorage. Matachen bay!

Kokomo at anchor
02/05/2011, San Blas

As most of you know we are "buddy" boating with Becky and Denny aboard Kokomo, and today was their 28th wedding anniversary. After the jungle cruise today (see Kokomo blog link) we came back to Sound Effect for a celebration dinner which included the favorites, Merlot and Chocolate dessert
There was of course grilled pork chops and rice and salad but they are unimportant in Becky world so we were sure to get the red wine out of the "cellar" and Connie made an interesting chocolate cake.
The picture is of Kokomo as seen from the back of my boat with a setting sun and Palm trees behind.... we're not in Tacoma any more baby. In fact we are no longer in the dessert of Mexico but rather more lush tropical landscape.
Cruising the world with friends..... Priceless!

02/07/2011 | Simon Holmes
Enjoying and savouring your posts.......
02/05/2011, San Blas

Friday, was repair the sail day. Connie got out her sewing machine and we repaired the sail. Finding the right needle to penetrate the sail cloth was a bit of trial and error but we got that done and then tackled the repairs at the mast.
Denny from Kokomo came over and between the two of us we repaired the halyard and the furling mechanism. However raising the sail was a problem as the the mechanism jammed near the top of the mast. I hauled Denny up the mast (his surgery wouldn't allow him to crank me up) and we managed to get the sail up. There is a splice on the interior of the mast that jammed the furler which we had to coax it past. Un like a conventional main we dont drop the halyard each time we sail so this repair should last some time.

Tommorow (Sat) is Jungle river cruise day an all day adventure ride into a bird sanctuary and crododile farm stay tuned.

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Who: Jim & Connie Merritt
Port: Tacoma WA
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