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R/V Tender Spirit: Now Land Cruising
Join us as we discover new cruising grounds with our "boat" the RV Tender Spirit. Swallowing the Anchor doesn't mean giving up cruising!
03/25/2008, Mazatlan-nearby village of Copala

Boy and Burro

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
Basket maker
03/25/2008, Mazatlan-outlying village

The man making the basket is at a furniture factory.

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
Rural Life in nearby villages
03/25/2008, Mazatlan-out of town villages


2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
Happy Easter
03/22/2008, Mazatlan

Happy Easter Everyone! It's very crowded here in Mazatlan. Thousands of Mexican people have a tradition of spending Holy Week at the beaches. The city is a sea of humanity. Traffic is so congested that one should walk because it is much quicker. Or better yet, decide if the outing is worth the trouble. What normally takes just a few minutes, now takes several hours. El Cid is also at overflowing capacity. So, we've been hanging low at the dock puttering away on projects.

I've been going through all of our running rigging. We pulled off all the halyards and sheets. They sure were filthy and needed a good washing. They were coated with sand. We also greased and went through the roller furlings. Other than some minor repairs, so far everything is looking good. We've got a sluggish shive for the jib halyard so I'll go aloft on the next calm day and investigate. I expect that a good cleaning and lubricating will take care of it. Next I'll tackle the main's running rigging. I'll be getting some help from some trusted cruiser friends to help me unravel some of the reefing, mainsheet, and boom vang chaff issues we've been plagued with since last summer.

Meanwhile, Chuck has taken on the task of upgrading our power issues. In April he'll be getting the wind generator installed along with new house batteries. Then he'll be putting in the solar panels. That will hopefully take care of our power needs.

It's been difficult lately watching other cruiser friends untie and head out to new adventures. One good thing though, is even when we sadly wave adios, eventually they will show up at an anchorage or dock sometime in the future. And, we are only an email or blog away!

I am still glad that we decided to stay. This sure will give us the time we need to work on projects without feeling rushed. I'm also beginning to do research on our fall cruising possibilities. Who knows where we'll be for Christmas. Really, a year in Mexico is definitely worth the time! The country is fascinating and the people are absolutely wonderful. I am going to be very sad when the time comes to leave!

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
03/24/2008 | Carolyn
Happy Easter Joan and Chuck. I'm glad to see Mexico is treating you well! :-)
03/25/2008 | Mike O.
Happy easter!!! Tried e-mail guess it did not go thru. Hope all is well. Mike O
Whirlwind Trip to Washington

My trip to Washington was quite successful. All of the parts we ordered were there ready and waiting for us! I stayed with a cruising couple in Poulsbo who we met at Baronof Warm Springs a number of years ago. They are building their cruising kitty and working on projects with the anticipation of heading south in about a year. I can't wait to see them in a warmer climate!

I made a trip into Port Townsend to pick up our new sail. It is always a delight to visit with Hasse's team. Unfortunately she was out of town at the time, but everyone there was keen to know how the other sail fared on its voyage south. It naturally did great! I can't wait to try out the new lapper.

While I was there I also paid a visit to the gentleman that did the work on our cutlass bearing and the dripless stuffing. He is very keen on helping us get reimbursed for the engine work. I am so impressed with his professionalism. Even with the troubles we had, I wouldn't hesitate to have him work on our boat in the future. I wish I could say the same about the rigger.

The rigging we had done has turned out to be one of our biggest headaches. The new add-ons interfere with existing systems and caused immediate chaff with not only the main sheet, but with his newly installed systems as well. For example, within hours of reefing using his new system, the reef line chaffed through because is was led over existing eye pads. There were also a number of other concerns. When we were in California, I was able to speak with them. He offered me some replacement line, but we had no address and were at a location where we couldn't receive mail. So, I paid them a visit while at Port Townsend. I was shocked at the response I received. I brought with me a reefing cheek block that they had installed. It broke after the second time we reefed. We were about 60 miles off-shore heading down the Baja Peninsula at the time. It was a small block, now in pieces. The winds were only in the 25 knot range. He stated that I obviously did not know what I was doing and that because he's written a book and has made videos that he did. He also stated that his systems never fail. I told him that other cruisers in Mexico had had similar problems that I had. He stated that people are gossiping about him because he is famous. Instead of helping me, it turned into a very unprofessional exchange of insults. Seeing that nothing good would come of this, I walked out of the meeting in total disgust. All I can say is that maybe his systems work great in the applications on other boats in the protected waters of Puget Sound, but we had difficulties with his rigging in off-shore situations as did other cruisers. In my opinion, I think that instead of exchanging insults, if I were in his shoes, I would do some research and testing to really see how the systems hold up on a variety of boats in different situations. It may be some simple incompatibility issues similar to that of computer software-hardware in that there is nothing wrong with either, but together it's not working out. I did learn something important here. That just because someone has written a book, doesn't mean that he/she will be the right person for our needs. It was a $8,000 mistake that we will hopefully not have to learn twice! By the way, I did not go to seek a refund or any compensation. I went to try to solve our rigging problems!!!!!
Well, enough said on that subject.

I did try my luck at the casino penny slots and bought a lottery ticket. No luck, so we will continue our cruise on a budget! I expect it will be more adventurous this way!

I enjoyed the remainder of my trip and my return to Mexico went uneventful. I did manage to get the red light in the customs line, but having all the paperwork in order, there were no problems. I think that speaking Spanish however poor, also helps. The harbor ladies in Mazatlan helped me immensely to prepare all the papers. It definitely made all the difference!

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
03/11/2008 | John Stone
Sorry to hear about your rigging problems. If you make it to San Diego, go see Ray at Rigworks. He is one of the best riggers I have run across. BTW, we used to see your boat in Juneau. We owned a Hans Christian 39 Pilothouse a few years back. We love Hans Christians. Fair winds.
03/13/2008 | Kohilo
Joan & Chuck,
Bob VanBlaricom reminded us on our trip from Kauai to not forget the simplest things; we used candle wax on line in some problem chafe areas & it can really help in a pinch until you can solve the problem more permanently.
Marina El Cid
03/10/2008, Mazatlan

Bar stools in the pool!

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
Marina El Cid
03/10/2008, Mazatlan

The shuttle to the beach and other dock.

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure
Marina El Cid
03/10/2008, Mazatlan

El Cid photo.

2008 & 2009 Mexico Adventure

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Adventures of Tender Spirit
Who: Joan & Chuck
Port: Sitka, Alaska
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