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Living the Dream
Chacala northbound
03/04/2010

Hi everyone! We're in Chacala again this time heading north. We're over 2 months behind in blogs due to site malfunctions and unavailable internet service. Don't know I'll get it updated. We are having a good time, lots to report to everyone when we get home.

We are heading north hoping to hook up with former Ventura West neighbors -SouthTrail, Sea Oak, Passage II, Wind Ryder with visitors Slow Ride and Andanzas - before going into the Sea of Cortez. Then to find a home for the boat for the summer while we go back home to NY.

Here's a picture of the last fish we caught and threw back. Anyone know what it is? It's tuna family I figure except it has teeth. Maybe Sierra?

Til then, everyone take care.

Punta de Mita
03/01/2010, 20 44.431 N 105 32.306W

Just a quick hop from La Cruz to the edge of Banderas Bay. Had a nice day sailing with lots of whales to watch. As we left La Cruz we actually sailed against one of the racer boats (couldn't keep up with them too long but we did race against them for just a bit -- as you can see in the pic)

Just enjoyed the day and the one night anchorage (music provided by the palapas on shore and the waves provided by the pangas and excursion boats going by).

La Cruz(ing with buddies)
02/28/2010

Once again in La Cruz with old neighbors and lots of boaters we've met along the way. Lots of interesting things happened while we were here.....tsunami, San Diego to Puerto Vallarta racers arrived, another race day with lots of million dollar boats and supposedly El Presidente showed up for the race (though we never got to see him just all the protection).

We spent lots of time with Don & Judy, especially once we moved into the marina for a few service day. We hit the dance floor once again at Philo's, shared some movies (couldn't get ABBA out of my head for days after watching Momma Mia - thanks Jud), shared a fabulous pie and ice cubes (not together, just from the same source)! Lots of changes in La Cruz since we've been gone. Lots of painting, paving and such getting the town ready for the president's visit.

So many pictures to chose from, how do I pick? Should I put the one of the racing boat stuck in the channel? You can probably see that in Cruisers World or Latitude 38 so I think all the guns should get a showing since I've not displayed any of the armaments here in Mexico. It's an every day sight, especially near banks.

We said our final good byes to WindRyder as they are continuing their prep for the big water crossing in April.......hope to see you guys again (but near the coast). Looks like we'll just miss Mike & Julie from WindRyder's visit (neighbors from Ventura).

Paraiso
02/19/2010, 19 28.359N 105 03.674W

What a fabulous place! The water is the clearest we've seen to date....just as blue as a pool. It's the first time we've been able to see the pattern our anchor chain makes along the bottom (and in 20 feet).

We did lots of snorkeling and kayaking, the best anywhere so far. We tried to fish but the damn puffer/porcupinefish are just a menace. They would chase every lure.....all the way back to the surface. And not just one, half a dozen or more. Sure kept the real fish away from the lure. So of course we teased them (which is the picture).

We heard some chatter on the radio and it sounded like boats were having problems heading to La Cruz. A squall had dropped on them, 40 knot winds and lots of rain. We could hear thunder and then it started coming our way. Not again! We kept in contact with boaters in Chamela Bay and they let us know when it hit them so we knew it wasn't far from us. Thank god the winds only got up to 20 knots and didn't last but maybe half an hour....not even long enough for us to open our water fills and get the tanks full.

The next day after kayaking and snorkeling all day and having decided to stay another day we get hailed for Hitaki that winds are on the way and there's only a one day window to get around Cabo Corrientes. So shoot! We're cleaning up everything quick and we're tired and not physically prepared for an overnighter but out we go!

We get to Chamela and keep going (Hitaki starts out after us). The winds are a little rough but not too bad. Unfortunately we have some issues....like the oil pressure dropping to zero! Crap.......oil cooler has a crack! Until the engine can cool down, we're under sail (and losing Hitaki as they motor past us). We get past Ipala and keep going. Winds keep us going but are dropping. We are just nearing Cabo Corrientes and the winds are almost dead on our nose so we're not getting any closer to La Cruz but we are sailing. Jim is able to switch the oil cooler around (it's a double thank god) and hook it back up. It's got a slow leak from a crack as well....darn it! But we baby it and get us into the bay where the winds are finally where we need them to be and can shut the motor off.

We end up having a fabulous sail/race with Victoria Rose on the way into La Cruz and make the anchorage just after the sun has set (thank god we've been to this anchorage before). There's a crap load of boats in the anchorage (over 30 --at least the ones we can count because their lights are on). So we anchored near some boats (a bit too close) until we can see better in the morning.

Tenacatita
02/17/2010, 19 16.987N 104 52.319W

Return to the place of fabulous Camarones Tropical (coconut shrimp with tropical sauce) at El Cato restaurant. We just had to come back here for one night just to get the shrimp.....yummy! And this time there was still flan available. We can see why they were out the last time. A local lady makes it and delivers it to the restaurants and campground. She has the biggest slices (like a pie) of flan I've ever seen and it's only 15p at the restaurant. What a steal!

We walked town and went over to the campground. Jim talked to a lot of the campers there and found out that their beautiful campground area is FREE! Talk about a deal. They have a fabulous view, snorkeling area and can walk to town for a meal or to the store for a few groceries. While he visited I was beachcombing (even though I don't think I was supposed to take stuff from the beach--- I'm a really bad girl!)

Cuestacomantes
02/14/2010, 19 13.018N 104 44.656W

We had to check out the famous and no longer secret "secret anchorage". For trying to zoom north, we're not getting very far, very fast. But what a great anchorage. The water the first day we were here was just crystal clear. Jim watched the anchor drop all the way to the bottom in 25 feet of water!

We spent a few days working here. With the water so clear, it was easy to tell that we'd let the bottom go too long without a cleaning. We had BARNACLES! So I spent two days with an extendable pole and the back of a brush knocking the damn things off. Thank god they came off fairly easy but we couldn't get the shaft and prop done (Jim used up his air time trying to dive on the rudder). This is definitely a harder job without dive gear!

As I was cleaning the bottom, a damn jack crevalle scared the crap out of me! I thought he was a freaking shark (just saw him out of the corner of my eye). Then he brought friends and kept circling around me. They were all 2 to 3 feet long. Jim got to see them the second day of bottom cleaning.

Jim & I got to do some nice snorkeling along the rocks. Nice fish and a few we hadn't seen before. We also had a nice dinner with Gary & Cindy on Distant Shores. Cindy is another crafter and makes lovely quilts and is quite the cook. I shared my secret jello desert -- jello in jelly jars! Perfect for us cruisers with small refrigerators and easy servings to bring for a dinner.

Sadly we had to say a final goodbye to Denny & Oriol on Dolce Vita who left and are headed south to El Salvador and points south.

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Who: Jim & Jeannine
Port: Newport, NY
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