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Living the Dream
San Blas Day 3
01/02/2010

We went back into town and checked out their Saturday flea market (pretty much like a swap meet at Ventura college but on a much smaller scale). It's raining on and off which feels pretty good (gets the bugs away and washes off some of the bug spray).

We tried to walk to the ruins today in the rain but we were getting too wet so we headed back to town and the Social Club and had a few beers. Poor Laura was hand tallying up sales from New Year's Eve.....had a tape malfunction! The said they have a page on FaceBook and we're on it! Have to check it out.

We head back to the boat and get to watch as a gentleman pulls a horse by panga to the opposite shore while his dogs are swimming across. Something new we haven't seen! And then he pulls out his saddle from the boat, saddles up and uses the horse to pull the panga up on shore! The dogs meanwhile are fighting a 4knot current and trying to swim ashore still. Cool! Jim gave me the Jeannine get up here....and the current sight to see is a fishing boat grounded itself pulling out. Jim said it was a hard one too. It took them a while, unloading water, switching weights and another ponga to push them off the bottom. Lots to watch here in the estuary.

San Blas Day 2
01/01/2010

We stayed aboard all day and just relaxed and read. Jim tried to fix the outboard again (how many times is that Jim?) and of course in testing it out he went to the Marina and met Pete on Delphis who he chatted for quite a while with before coming back to the boat. I never have to worry that we won't be meeting new people unless Jim's sick and can't talk!

It's a very grey day and the clouds are coming in. Looks like rain and the humidity is getting worse. There are a few boats here and hardly any in the marina. Now we know why! It is sooooo buggy here! Even with layers of bug repellent, screening and bug candles they are everywhere! Someone said it's because of the extreme high tides but geez we look like we have the measles!

I stayed up past midnight reading and got to enjoy a thunder and lightning show (but no rain yet).

Mantanchen Bay to San Blas
12/31/2009, N21 32.404 W105 17.607

We started our move to the estuary in San Blas early so we could maximize the high tides. Captn Norm on VHF 22 tried to make us wait until someone could lead us through but that just irritated Jim to no end. He got on the horn and said if it was that dangerous that we couldn't center up in the channel to get to the anchorage then we should just go back to the bay. Norm gave us new information and we were ok to enter (his kingdom?). We had a nice slack tide (not that we knew it ripped in here) to anchor in. We did anchor watch for a bit and then headed to town. We tied and locked down the dinghy to a rock near a fisherman name of Manuel who was repairing his net. What a job that is!

Town was very nice, small and not many people considering it is New Year's Eve day. We stopped by Third Day after coming back from town and chatted with them for a bit (we saw them in Mazatlan harbor). Then our power boat neighbor Moon Angel stopped by for a chat. Looks like most of the boaters are headed to town for the Eve and we'll be headed back out.

This time we parked our dinghy at Peppi's (the dinghy guy) so that he could watch it for the evening (for 40 pesos). We headed back to the plaza and sat down in the San Blas Social Club and had a few drinks. What a nice place.....owners are Americans and it feels like it's right out of a Bogey movie. It was black and white night and they all dressed up....looked sooo nice and very unexpected! Left there to get dinner (street tacos) and desert (chocolate cake) and then back for drinks. What time is it? We only had 5 more hours to go! Needless to say even with a few more walks around the plaza we headed back before the end of the year. Got back to the boat - yep it was only 11! Well we made it close enough and we were awake when the fireworks went off at midnight.

Mazatlan to Mantanchen Bay
12/29/2009

Jim is up early making coffee and putting dishes away. We tried to use the facilities one more time but the key cards don't work after it's rained (no back up metal key). So we turned in our exit form and keys and left nice and easy. The entrance sure does look a bit different at 20 ft vs. 12! Said bye and see ya later to WindRyder and Sea Oak, but could not reach Taisho.

The day was a nice one with a little bit of wind (after the rain) and lot of grey clouds. Got to see a rainbow off the coast and another whale spout and tale. We snagged a fish and when reeling it in the line snapped and came flying at us hook and all. Luckily we weren't impaled - just another fish lost. We're getting used to that! We did land us a 10 lb fish but released it (pretty sure it was a bonito).

It was a very nice night and the moon even came out from the clouds. The frigates on the overnight passage were a pain. It was like we were playing a video game - Defend the Mast, the Destruction of the Frigates! We had to keep using the big flashlight to shine and strobe them away from the wind point (which was damaged even more from a couple of them landing and holding on). The seas mellowed out and looked like a lake.

12/30/09

The morning was cloudy but bright and the water here is shallow and green. We saw a fish checking out our lure but he didn't go for it after a couple of nips at it. This morning we are in 30 ft of water and we're not even close to anchoring yet (last night it was 80 ft). We anchored in 17 ft off the north -east side of the point (after passing by the harbor entrance - too low tide ). This bay is huge and beautiful.

We raised Norm on the radio, the norm mentioned in all the guides and Latitude. He is a very opinionated guy who has been here a really long time (40 some years) and has just about all the information you need for San Blas. Looks like we'll move into the estuary at high tide tomorrow.

Mazatlan Day 10
12/28/2009

Getting the last bits of projects done before we head out later today (we didn't get nearly enough done). Auto helm is reglued for hopefully the last time, decks and cockpit is scrubbed, anchor and chain all cleaned up. Have to do lights and other things but it will probably have to wait for another anchorage.

We went up to the veggie/fruit truck and bought a few more things, including tamales (dang it no pineapple, just beef and chicken).

Neill came over for breakfast. Right off he fixed our VHF (could not get the net - what the hell). It was on international (how it got there I don't know and nobody uses international) and showed us how to change it (learn something new every day!) The Mexican coffee klutch has officially begun! By the way, Deanna, how many pounds of coffee do you make every day, cuz we're going through a pound a week here! That's alot of beans man!

Jim Passage II came over and I was able to download pictures and movies we had of them from the southbound trip (for some reason I cannot get them to attach in email). Did the same thing for Blue Goose who we followed to Marina Mazatlan and WindRyder.

We visited with Joanna & Ralph on ensueno - another Newport 41! Theirs is unlike the others we have seen - totally different interior. Looks like we'll meet up again with both Newports down the road.....now wouldn't that be a cool picture!

Looks like we are heading to Isle Isabella or we may cut it short and go to Stone Island overnight then on to Isabella.

Update: the problem with real time blogging is that plans change and then I have to rewrite what I wrote! Newsflash! After I paid, got our checkout papers, boat's ready (well enough), I come back from the showers and find Jim is on WindRyder having a beer. Seems since I was up top, Jim got a tide report from Overheated and seems that we're only going to have a +2 tide this afternoon. Seems he ran aground in the entrance at a +2 tide! Well hell....looks like we're staying until the morning! So back up to the office to pay for another day and change paperwork.

Update to continue later.......

Went to Monday night football with G-dockers. Raining again as we head back to the boats. Said our goodbyes as we don't expect anyone to get up at 6 to send us off! Until next time g-dockers!

01/01/2010 | Pam Gauthier
Hi Neen & Phil: I just finally read your entire blog. Want to wish you a happy new year! Dad was at our house for dinner and is now taking a nap. Hope to continue to read your blog and enjoy your adventures. I have saved up books for you. Take care and talk to you soon. Be safe and we love you. Pam, Jeff and Dad
Mazatlan Day 8, 9
12/26/2009, N23 16 W106 28

Get up with the sun, start coffee and start pulling up anchor to head to Marina Mazatlan. Another nice day and we get there quickly. This harbor is quite interesting in that you think that you are in a river area that's all built up and it can't be deep enough (kept my eye glued to the depth gauge). There's hotels and building all along the canal and then the docks start (small then gradually larger).

We call Don & Judy so they can give us a hand. We are parking just a space away from Overheated, which should make them feel really good because we are looking rode hard and put away wet!

Nice as it is to see everyone and meet new people here, unfortunately the slip fee is actually 95c per foot (a bit more than we can afford) so our stay will be short (definitely not longer than 2 days). Another problem here is the water pressure is just a trickle so a major cleaning job we won't be doing. We went to where Neill on Sea Oak is staying and they are much cheaper 35c per foot but there aren't any openings! Oh well it's time to leave Mazatlan anyway!

Jim cleaned as much as he could (more tomorrow) and I did laundry (4 loads was 180 pesos roughly $15 but worth it to put all the clothes away and have somewhere to put dirty stuff). Neill came over for a visit for a few hours. Of course lots of people know him. Jim talked a lot to Darryl (& Rita) on Overheated who it turns out had been aboard CharAnn when she was Flame! Talk about a small world!

Sun has set and we get to enjoy some nice music at a wedding reception. Tomorrow is another day for more projects.

12/27/09

I went with Don & Judy and Rob to Mega to reprovision. It's a big store, nicer than Walmart but veggies and fruits are a bit more expensive than at the Mercado. Found out that the baggers are not paid much so you should tip them. Didn't know that! And on a Sunday, you can't buy alcohol after 2pm. Sounds like after church you'd want to be able to buy booze! Who knows!

Came back and unloaded groceries. Had to reorganize cabinets to get all of the food and stuff to fit. Jim was out with Neill for lunch and came back just raving on the burgers at this joint across from Holiday Inn (can't remember the name but it starts with a T). Then we met up with Don, Judy, Lucy and Jim (in respective dinks) and went cruising around the island inside the harbor. Really cool area, big mansions and lots of birds.

Went back up to the library here and found some more books so I am all restocked for the next month or maybe a little more (a book a day doesn't last too long!).

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Who: Jim & Jeannine
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