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Barra Navidad-Engine Update

Well folks, Reg and Three Sheets are still in the Marina at Barra Navidad. Reg is busy working on the brightwork and working with the mechanic compiling the list of parts required to re-build the engine. The engine is now out of the boat and the mechanic basically has it torn apart to ascertain what is needed. We are going to rebuild the transmission as well. Many thanks to the sailors who used their dinghy's to push us into the marina so that this work could begin. In the Album of Barra Navidad I have included pictures to give you a flavour of Melaque and Barra Navidad which are close to each other but separated by a very long beach a couple of miles long. The area has been hard hit from the hurricane last year as well as the downturn in the economy. It is hard to see the Mexican people struggling so hard to try and put food on their table. An average wage for a waitress is 100 pesos a day (which is about $8.50 US) plus if they are lucky another 100 pesos in tips - they also usually work 6 days per week. I guess we should just count our lucky stars. Imagine trying to feed a family on that!! I am now in Ecuador and will do a separate blog to tell you about my stay there. Reg will be joining me on March the 8th and Alia flies in March 10th. We are really looking forward to our "vacation" in Ecuador.

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Update on Marooned
Phoebe - Beautiful
02/10/2012, Barra Navidad, Mexico

Hey all, well we have our diagnosis and we need to rebuild or replace the engine. We are waiting for quotes right now. Suffice to say we will not be sailing to Ecuador on Three Sheets. We do plan to still fly there to spend some time with Emma and Alia et al while we wait for the Puddle Jump boats to leave from Puerto Vallarta at the end of March, early April. Will keep you posted via the blog as it is much easier for us to access given our limited access to the internet at the moment.

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02/10/2012 | Peter
Well that its not the news I wanted tho hear! So sorry you won't be able tho make the trip to Ecuador. Hope it ask works out for the puddle jump! I am waiting anxiously to hear more.
Ask the best,
Love: Peter, Donna, Alysha and Ryan
02/10/2012 | Mike Saker
El Crapo - Thats Mexican for - Shhhiiiit
02/10/2012 | Mike Saker
Anything you need me to research for you on the net?
02/10/2012 | Mike Saker
I have found a motor for you and can be shipped to Barre Navidad for about $1800. This price includes the motor and transmission. You will have to contact him directly to see if it is a fit> His name is Mike let me know if you are interested
02/10/2012 | Mike Saker
Call me on gmail chat
02/10/2012 | Elaine Cashar
We sooo sympathize. How many hours do you have on the existing engine?
02/11/2012 | Bob and M.j.
So sorry to hear about your bad luck. We send good wishes from here and hope that the news about the rebuild is better than you could hope. Hugs to you both. Colder than hell here. We could always come and keep you company!!!
02/12/2012 | Mary Ann and Richard
Found your wonderful blog and will stay in touch on it and with your sailmail address. At least you will get to see Emma even if you can't get there by boat. Best wishes to you both and WE SYMPATHIZE!! Think of all the cribbage games you'll get in during the waiting game!
02/13/2012 | debbie
sorry guys for your luck.....keep positive!
02/15/2012 | Carol anne and Sid
Ola, We are glad to hear you are safe - just logging in to catch up and sorry we came in at a $#%# time - we wish you good success and will stay in touch and thinking positive for you! And good to hear you will not miss out joining up with Alia et al and a visit to Ecuador :)
02/15/2012 | Kelly Guichon
Hi guys,
Wow, so sorry for the news on your motor and having to fly to Equador instead of your planned trip. I know you probably don't want to hear this but better now then when you were going to be out in the seas where it could have been much more challenging. I do think about our recent adventure quite often and can't thank you both enough for a fantastic time. I think of you often and wish you much love and good wishes. Have a super time with the girls. LOL Kelly
Momentarily Marooned in Mexico
Phoebe - Beautiful
02/07/2012, Barre Navidad

Well, can't say we are too happy in Paradise right now. We have watched folks around us deal with problems on their boats and have considered ourselves lucky. Not so anymore, engine has broken down and we are looking at 10 to 12 days for repairs (if we are lucky). Messing up our plans to get to Ecuador in a reasonable time frame to meet with Alia who is flying in on the 10th of March.....Reg wants to know why they would put a turbo on a diesel engine for a sailboat in the first place!!! Hope you engine techies out there know what he means, ha ha.

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02/07/2012 | Mike Saker
I see you have broken down. I'm almost certain the problem must be electrical..... I'll be right there.
02/07/2012 | Peter
Somebody has tho hold the light and run for beers..... I'll be right there.
02/08/2012 | debbie
sorry for your luck............
we can come back down if you want!
02/08/2012 | mark
Are you trying to tell me that Ratchet Reg can't fix the engine himself? Didn't think I would see the day. Love from the Belhamas.
02/10/2012 | debbie
sorry family.........i can't believe such luck.
maybe better now than the pacific later.
not a good thing at any point.
keep positive!
love you both.
South Bound to Ecuador
Phoebe - Beautiful

Just finalizing a few things with the marina, the port captain and we hope to head out today to anchor off of La Cruz which is a bit north of Nuevo Vallarta where the boat is actually docked at the Paradise Village Marina. We plan to fuel up and head out either Wednesday or Thursday to begin our trek to Ecuador. We will be travelling along the coast of Mexico until Puerto Angel where we hope to push off into open water. We think it will take a about a month to get there, approx. two weeks along the coast of Mexico and then 10 to 12 days in the open ocean. I have been truly spoiled in Mexico and will have to learn how to cook all over again as the eateries are very cheap and easy to take advantage of. I have even had my laundry done by other people all during our stay in Mexico. Reg and I truly love the people of Mexico and would come back here in a minute. If you take the time to get out of the resorts a whole different world awaits you. As for the dangers that keep cropping up in the newspapers, we have seen none of it. I think Mexico is the same as anywhere else, you need to be careful, pay attention to your surroundings and stay out of unknown places after dark, especially in the big cities. Please send us emails via gmail or our sailmail account and keep us updated on your lives as well. It is great fun to receive a note at sea and it really helps to keep us connected. Take care all, we love you and will post again at every opportunity...cheers

Puerto Vallarta & Banderas Bay
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01/31/2012 | Peter Berkley
Hey guys...good luck on the long voyage...longest one of the trip so far! It'll be fun!
01/31/2012 | Randy and Terry
Enjoy your last few weeks in Mexico we hope you find the rest of your time there as great as what you have experienced so far. We will be on the other side of the country on Feb 13 - a week at a resort on the Rivera Maya, can't wait. Good luck with the long passage can't wait to hear all about it. Enjoy!
02/01/2012 | Merlin
Wow Phoebe! - enjoying not having to cook and your laundry being done by others for you ............. careful - you just might be turning into a man.

Have a great adventure!!
02/10/2012 | Tom Dawe
HIguys; What an amazing adventure. First time on the blog found it from facebook. Sounds like you have a good system going so enjoy and don,t sweat the small stuff.
Puerto Vallarta
01/31/2012, Around the Town and Banderas Bay

We arrived Dec 30 in the early morning and elected to stay at the Paradise Village Marina in Nuevo Vallarta with the expectation of staying a week then moving to an anchorage in La Cruz on the north side of Banderas bay for another week before the planned arrival of Phoebe's brother, wife and sister-in-law in the 3rd week of the month. Our plans were altered with the news of the unexpected death of Phoebe's sister's husband, Ron. We made hasty plane reservations and left the boat and returned to Canada for 10 days on Jan 1.

The area is notorious for abundant wildlife, including calving and breeding humpback whales from late November through to late February. Upon our return we had ample exposure to the whales, dolphins, rays, and tuna in the bay, in addition to iguana, various birds and saltwater crocodiles near our marina slip. However, this was intended to be a people contact month as well with boating friends joining us for New Years in the original town on the Malecon, a dinner with the owners of the coffee shop in Bayfield who winter in Puerto Vallarta, a rematch of a cribbage game with a couple we met in San Diego who recently moved to La Cruz, and of course the aforementioned week with Phoebe's family members. We had a great time New Years Eve, with renewed appreciation for the importance of family in Mexican culture. Dinner with Doug and Carlos of Bayfield was very pleasant in a beautiful authentic section of the old town of Puerto Vallarta. We handily won the cribbage match despite the influence of wine, and the event packed weeklong visit with family completed our month in Banderos Bay.

Puerto Vallarta & Banderas Bay
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Isla Isabela
01/31/2012, Island off the cost of Mainland Mexico

This destination would be our first test as a couple with a significant passage, and proved to be a very successful one. In all we sailed 252 miles (400km) in approximately 44 hours, and slowed down deliberately so we would arrive at daybreak rather than in the dark. We spent a full 24 hours in winds of 25-30 knots with higher gusts and 6'-8' seas and ran completely under the control of our wind vane steering system. All in all the success of the passage under the control of our wind vane steering encouraged me to be confident that the boat and its systems are capable of doing what we aspire to. It also gave us pause as the island is 1.5 miles north of its charted position, so we must take care to arrive in new destinations in daylight.

Isla Isabella is a small and beautiful island bird sanctuary, with researchers from Norway on site. It has been filmed by both Cousteau and National Geographic and is considered to be an ecological treasure. We arrived at daybreak and it did not disappoint. The harbor was small with two boats at anchor and so we chose to anchor off the southeast corner in the lee of two prominent rock towers called the Monas (Mannequins). As we finished anchoring we were treated to whales jumping out of the water, admittedly some distance away. Phoebe had two closer sightings but we got no photos of the whales. Birds, on the other hand, were readily available to photograph as evidenced by the accompanying album. Every tree on the island housed at least 2 or more frigate birds, the shores had boobies nesting on the ground, and other unique species in less numbers flew around the heights. After a short nap we took the dinghy to shore and explored, returning to the boat for a quiet evening and night. In the morning we rowed the dinghy around the Monas then departed for Puerto Vallarta early afternoon, with the intention to sail overnight and arrive in Banderas Bay in the early morning.

Isla Isabela
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