As we left the Marina La Cruz tonight at 830 pm (2030) the sounds of "Pink Floyd Night" at Ana Bananna's came waifting across marina as out exit papers were signed...figuratively speaking of course...Dad says, "kinda fitting for our departure don't you think?" We slipped out of the marina unnoticed other than the security guard who retrieved our dock keys only after my calling on ch. 09 on the VHF, "Securitidad para La Cruz Marina....Securitidad para La Cruz Marina....esta Wades Aweigh...numero thres-be-sietel (slip 3B7)...again my expert Spanish gets us out of a near miss breaking a rule and leaving the keys unattended in a dock box! We are now under way, it is 0345 in the morning and here I am holding the short stick again with no sleep and up all night...how does it always end up this way?!??...we should make San Blas around 0800 and I'll be woken up (if I even get to sleep in this rolling mess) only to anchor then probably grab a couple hours shut eye before exploring ashore.
It is a star filled night with only one smear of a cloud airbrushed across a nearly full moon. I love these nights. The moon washes just enough lumens against the inky black sea in order to make out that you are actually floating on water, and the shoreline is a perfect silhouette against small city lights as we glide by at 5 knots. Just me, the chartplotter, my book and this laptop. I check the engine room every hour or so, the instruments for temp, oil and RPM...the course..look for boats and make sure we change to the next programmed waypoints as they appear in front of us.
The autopilot is working much better now since Bruce fine tuned it on our sea trials the other day. It doesn't yaw back and forth as much...this is important not only for wear and tear, but precious amps aren't wasted oversteering the boat anymore...THANKS BUDDY!!
Today was a blast! Bruce picked us up in Lupe's beautiful new Ford pickup and shuttled us out to her complex for the weekly Sunday pool party. We had some incredible pasta made by her staff and were made welcome to hang out as long as we wanted. The only difference was we were allowed to chill out at her casa above on the plush outside furniture and have a little siesta unlike the others! Later, Bruce took us to the Mega for some shopping in order to beef up the ships stores for the last little leg of our journey. If feels different...heading back. This little romp through the Mexican Gold Coast is almost at its end. We said goodbye to all our friends: April at Huanacaxle restaurant, Russell and Lori, Bruce, Lupe, various others around the marina in the past couple days.
Yesterday was another story in itself. Back with the usual suspects, Bruce, Lori, Russ, Dad and I all went to the highest hill in town to a guy we call "Symbole" for a party. I made my "famous" salsa/quesadilla black bean thing (thanks Baby...love your recipe!) and brought the usual butter and flour tortillas. They allowed me to cook up a round of these babies on their 6 burner gas VIKING stove! (can you say HEAVEN?!??) let's just say that they were a hit and vanished in short order. We stayed till the wee hours, looking at the killer views from every window. Desert was served upstairs on level 4 under the massive palapa which was their master bedroom that included a huge deck, BBQ, fridge and sink...with enough seating for all 9 of us and all the others who never showed up....good thing for me as I digged eating THREE pieces of Lori's famous banana bread!!!
That's our night! We came home, Dad jammed up to the showers, I had a coldie with Bruce before he left the boat and then we left for San Blas....and here we are!!!
This place looks like a tropical paradise with palms lining the beach and palapas as far as you can see!
Tomorrow we are tagging along with some fellow cruisers we met tonight for the jungle tour, and lunch at the end, much like Tenacatita used to be. We will keep trudging north from here, finally landing at Mazatlan where the boats bunk will be for the next handful of months.
Sorry for no pics as my camera was dropped and the loaner Sunny gave me is now dead and I have no charger for it!
Promise an update tomorrow night.
P.S....Babes, I'm heading home!!!!
21 January 2011....day of days...good thing I had on my patient pants today...more on that later. Let's get back to yesterday and last night.
After a leisurely morning of coffee, internet etc....Bruce stopped by the boat for a visit...we decided to walk down the beach to the nearest Palapa for a nice lunch and a 2 fer margarita special. Then back to the boat for a few chores and some research on the net for better weather sites for my next leg to Mazatlan. As the hours melted away and I had my long hot shower and shave....we decided to walk up to Philo's place for a jazz jam night that ended up more like an open mike night. The best part was their pizza and the invite to tag along to some dude's b-day party at some unknown "house" up the hill.....well...Jen & Mikes place was more like a "Hacienda" than a house....all yellow stucco with tile roof, arched windows and doors, 3 stories with a large palapa roof, an inner courtyard with a pool to die for and many, many friends of which we knew nobody!..we quickly mingled into the crowd and took positions close to the stage for my FAVORITE 3 young Mexicans who play just KILLER guitar! I was in heaven. I bought these guys CD last year at Ana Bananna's place and listen to it often. It was surreal.
The night wore on, the owner took me on a private tour of the house and we talked for an hour or more about the important things in life....funny we never talked for a second about work....just the fruits it creates and not spending too many years worrying about the things out of our control.
Dad and I left around midnight. The place was abuzz still...but we were done.
Today, I hired a diver to change out my prop only after pounding the pavement for days finding a prop puller...I borrowed it from a fellow cruiser I never met, who loaned it in total confidence I'd be careful with it....the first thing they did was drop a very important part into the drink, buried in 12" of muck below the boat never to be found again! Sooooo, I still have the same damned prop on, lost a part, hired a shop to fabricate a replacement and am now stuck here until it's done!!! SMALL STUFF?!??
Finally, we left the dock with Bruce and company for my sea trials to fine tune all the navigation aids which he installed in Anacortes....3 hours later and a few tuna sammies we were done and back at the slip. Everyone left so I hosed down the decks and took another shower. Now it's time for dinner....we finally made our way up to Ernesto's great grub....our favorite place from last year. They all remembered us, it was a blast!
So here I am, plunking out this dribble as salsa music fills my cabin from the yacht club event.
Hope you are all well and hanging on for the next update!
Ok, so second time through..last time I tried to download the wifi here at the dock went down and so did my long blog! Here's the 411.
It's now 1/19 and the end is drawing near. We need to be in Mazatlan no later than the 28th in order to get everything done to store the boat. In La Cruz Marina where the surge makes the boat swing heavily at the dock and makes the lines creak all night...can you say ear plugs?!??
The day we got here I broke out my hose and scrubbing tools while dad ran a load of laundry up to get done. 3 hours later I had 50 days of salt and grime removed and the decks looked white again! No more dirty footprints all over my seat cushions! During my indentured servitude, 4 different amigos came by pimping their services for bottom cleaning, waxing etc...I finally settled on "Ernesto" who agreed to polish all my stainless (and there is a ton of it!) for a mere $100 bucks. He did it today with his 2 boys...and did an above average job....I think he got tired of my pointing out missed spots, but I was persistent.
Last night after we cleaned up, my friend Bruce from Anacortes and his hosts Russell and Lori invited us up to their house for a cerveza and to plan our attack on town. We ended up at the "Britannia" club which is an open air bar with a stage. It was open stage night and a total blast. The band was awesome and allowed Bruce and his soprano sax (HOT!) and me and lori with our air instruments to entertain the crowd...I think we won Gringo's got talent that night!! We all had a blast.
Today I searched for a diver, walked the outskirts of town, met dad and Bruce at a cool place for lunch (handheld VHF radios rock!) then came back to the boat for some afternoon reading and a shower. Met up with Bruce for dinner and now here I am....sitting below in shorts and bare feet....another successful day of cruising! At 64 degrees it actually feels cold tonight!! Gosh, maybe I'll actually have to get under the covers for the first time??
All for now, maybe I can come up with some more creative stuff for tomorrow-
It's 1225am, my watch again....after zero sleep in the rough sea state, I 'm now on me second watch. Noon to 6pm then midnight to 6am. Dad of course doesn't have any problem sawing logs in weather....the Butthead!
We pulled up the hook for a short trip to the outer islands in Chamela Bay and dumped it back down in 15' of the clearest water this boat has ever seen in it's life! Pure sandy bottom and great holding. You could see the chain run all the way to the anchor which was dug in like a flounder waiting for its first meal. I had to finish the bottom scrape so Pops plopped in and snorkeled to the shoreline about 100 yds away. It was freaky looking down to the ripples sea floor...watching my shadow bouncing off that of Wades Aweigh's larger blanket of light....which the fish immediately took advantage of to get out of the sun.
I finished the job, came back topsides, broke out the stainless polish for the first time this season and went to town on my BBQ, the stern reel and some of the arch. When Dad got back, we switched guards, I jumped in with my spear gun and went hunting. The fish were too darn pretty in this pristine environment to waste any of them so I just looked. Man, I mean there were fish EVERYWHERE!! It was a perverbial aquarium!
After kicking back to the mother ship, I quickly showered in nice warm water and proceeded to ramp up the BBQ (new shine and all) for some Mexican hot dogs and beans....mistake L! I've had a stomach ache ever since and Dad just admitted to some acid reflex...rest are getting chummed in the morning! Was a good idea at the time we were shopping.
We headed out about 130pm to the big blue in light winds as predicted on the weather net. I'll tell you, it's now hours into a bash that was reaching 14 kts on our nose...in the ocean that makes it just a little uncomfortable, nothing stays put. So be life on the ocean for us nomads on this leg. Call a "Wambulance"!!
A few hours passed and I'm playing duck and dodge with 5 fishing boats in a fleet. Each time I adjust my course they start crowding me out more and more...give em an inch....only problem is I'm trying to make my next waypoint and it's a big ol rock. At our blistering 2 knot pace here, it's taking FOREVER to make headway and pinch off these guys. Then....of course....BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! FISH ON!! Dads oblivious to the world around him until I stomp on the deck right above his head and yell out...."Hey Pops!..wanna nutha TUNA?!?? He comes running up laughing at the multitasking I'm involved in but does offer a quick photo and advises we let it go as there is still some in the fridge...lucky fish. Off he went with his tail between his legs.
It's now just before dusk and I'm really starting to think about my first nap for the shift. Dads getting ready to come up and ....yeah no kidding.....BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, then....BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....no s#*t!! both rods at the same time!!!! These buggers were really spooling out fast! I'm yelling at Dad to get up on deck! "Dad, CUT THE POWER!"..WHAT??? "I SAID CUT THE POWER....HOLY CRAP THIS ONES HUGE!!!" So I begin to tighten the drag on the reel and BURN my finger the damn reel is so hot! This fish is SO big I can barely hold on to the reel...and yet have brought any line in....the drag is bottomed out and this behemoth is still ripping line off! Finally he tires a little and I get some strokes in on him just to have him take off again.....all the while Dad's reeling his in too and we are both just laughing our asses off....my back is burning....biceps screaming then the trickster decides to DIVE!!!! Beep beep beep...dive dive dive.....and down he went to Davy Jones's Locker....NO YOU DON'T!! up I reeled again now I'm really irritated! I just want to see this thing at this point and not lose it! Seems like an hour passed, then I get a glimpse...HOLY SHIT! It's a dolphin!, wait, now...is it a whale??...a shark? A monster tuna? Reel reel reel.....then like a ghost in the night, I get it up.....A 50 POUND RED SNAPPER!!! (I still maintain it was bigger, bud Dad disagrees). If you can believe this, as there are 2 monster whales breaching in front of us, 5 fishing boats....autopilot alarms screeching to notify us off course, we are pitching and rolling all over the place, dad's got his up (another red snapper only his was 30#) MAYHEM!...I reach down with one fell swoop, hook him with my right hand in the gills with the gaff while holding the rod with my left....and it's up on the side of the boat...sort of. Dad runs down for a picture and some video while I'm whimpering for his help to get the damned hooks out so I can let him go! Mission accomplished, both were set free and I have proof....hope you enjoy the story as much as I'm gonna enjoy a good nights sleep at the dock in La Cruz tonight.
Tylenol PM didn't help my back or help me to sleep....maybe a cerveza will, but not till we get off the rolling heap of an ocean later today....much later.
So....where'd I leave ya? Feel like you've been hanging??....sorry fellow blog followers...just sort of fell into, well, I guess the cruising life! It's been one warm sunny day after another. We are currently swinging on anchor in 25' of clear tropical water, anchor nestled sweetly in a bed of sand....just me and about 20 other cruising boats here in Chamela. We had a wild ride up here from Tenacatita this morning with about 15-18 kts of wind on our nose....the climb uphill was slow but hell....who's in a hurry?!?? I had the good fortune of the wind gods slapping me with a breeze backing to the NW, so was able to reel out my headsail for added stability and an extra knot of hull speed! THANKYOU ODEN!!!! We saw many LARGE whales, some turtles and a dead this or that floating on the surface.....it's the cycle of life. I was really enjoying the windward side of the boat in pure unadulterated sun while Pops was below reading and snoring in intervals that only made sense to him.
It was too rough to cook anything, so only a couple cups of coffee and a food bar had to hold me over until 3pm when we landed here....then it was a giant cold "SOL" cerveza and some chips. After we settled in, I headed to the bow with my big cushion for some much needed R & R with my book....the scene was incredible....let me try to paint it for you....remember paint by numbers as a kid?
The warm breeze bounced off my sweaty body only to cool me internally from the sensory overload I was trying to accept as my reality. With my tanned bare feet braced against my shiny anchor windlass, I braced myself to accept gods swells and surge that Wades Aweigh so gently accepts as her reality and has learned to live with. As her hull (recently scraped free of all freeloading worms, barnacles and ocean critters) lazily rolls with all the ocean has to offer paired with the brisk 15 knot breeze, she accepts me as her master. I have brought the vessel and its crew many thousands of miles to enjoy this moment. I cannot read for more than a minute or two without looking around me at the spectacle of my world. Palm trees swaying in the breeze like listless sea grasses in an ebb tide. Sea birds dive bombing unsuspecting feeder fish at the surface, inflatable boats buzzing by, waving at me.....yee haw's and whoooo hooooo's on the beach, a tuba resonating low notes carried turbo charged across my ocean landscape.....my god!....I can even smell someone cooking garlic on another boat!! My wind generator spinning away leaving only the whirring sounds of an airplane propeller sans any carbon footprint whatsoever....me stealing for free without restitution free amps for my batteries.....how COOL is my life?!?? As I pinch myself and see that there are no goosebumps from the cold northwest winter (and...OUCH! That hurt!!) this is my life! The pages keep getting turned but in reality I am writing my own novel for others to read. As I frame this life for you in my corny way of writing....it is my hope you can visualize what I am seeing and feeling.....harmony. If My friend Terry hadn't name his boat that....I may just change mine to that....HEY! Wait a minute! Maybe I should just buy another boat!.....god forbid!
Tonight me and Poppie kinda went over the next handful of days until it was obvious that this little adventure is culminating into a rapidly narrow schedule...only 15 days left before we fly home....and 3 of those (I gave up selling him on 4) will be in Marina Mazatlan pickling the boat for the next 10 months or so....may even bring it home for some much needed repairs....more on that later.
We will stay here for a glorious couple of days, then pound north to La Cruz for a couple days. Weather report says lighter winds on Tuesday and Wednesday....may be our window for making Banderos Bay.
Oh, picture today was of the flotilla of dinks in Tenacatita for drinks and finger foods....yeah....we were there for sure, in fact we got invited to continue on with Kevin and Felicia on their beautiful LARGE catamaran since we were the sole survivors of the outing......we stayed till way late as they had cold beer and vodka for dad! During the night, the subject of LED lights came up, she showed me her stash.....now COMMON!!!!! Like a kid in a stereo store I was HOOKED.... Man, I had all their cabin lights changed out to LED's in a matter of about 30 minutes......can you say, "HIGH FIVE?!??" they love me long time!!
All for now, gotta email my babe and see what's up in the real world.....hope you all are staying dry and warm!....what was that???? What did you just say to me???? OMG! Did you just give me the finger?!??
Love you too!! You're number one!!!
I caught the little bastard!!! The stowaway has been here since who knows how long????? Getting into chips, my coveted star bucks, pooping in my babes clothes, my shirts....munching on my fresh veggies and ....DAM! After a month and a half, and one night with the loaded traps.....SNAP! Bye bye freeloader!!
Now, if I was really hungry this little furry sum bitch would have been on the asado...(BBQ) but for now he was chummed for fish bait.
SO, what's been the MO for wades aweigh and the supposed...."GAY BOAT??? Ok, now I see why it is so misunderstood....two guys, one is 73 and one is 47......two dudes sailing and having fun.....why does society ASSUME??????.....last night I got word from a hetero couple that the word around the anchorage is that wades aweigh was the gay boat!!! Far from it, but not that it is a bad thing....bad wrap for sure, misunderstood frame of reference for the other cruisers but funny as heck all the same.
Dad and I did the jungle trip yesterday and then had a late lunch at the palapa ashore....fish and lobster and a couple of margaritas...YUMMY!!!!...then today....1/15 we sailed out to the aquarium for some snorkeling but got shut out due to heavy swells.....DAMMIT!!!! Pops had a major (you know what) for the aquarium....welcome to cruising my style....no wx...no fun....went back to the anchorage fishing all the while with no strikes, hook down, mask on, I had to scrape the bottom. Now, let me tell you guys....I am NOT spinning some kind of book endeavor or wanting to toot my own horn....(please excuse my Spanish)....shit grows REALLY fast here in the warm water. Last time I scraped the bottom was with sunny girl in Las Hadas....2 weeks later......I look like the unadulterated non caring part time boat owner who pumps his or hers crap overboard in a pristine cove with award winning shellfish. I mean, no kidding sports fans....my scraper literally would STOP with all I had to give it while slamming it down toward the keel.....at least 5" growth on the bottom!!! All the while the skipjacks and yellowfins I couldn't catch along the way freeloading on my floating jetsam coming off the hull....obviously the unemployed.
Last night we were invited to hook up to the inflatable dingy party floating about in the area.....it was the preverbal Friday night fights in our harbor.....bring drink and eats.....I brought Poppie and some olives (thanks honey for stocking me up) and some wine....we had a blast!!! We all hung out in a 12 boat floatilla in front of wades aweigh for a couple of hours.....since me and pops outlasted them all, the last dink was a couple from the catamaran I've been wanting to see....low and behold, they liked to party and the guy (Kevin) knew everyone my dad knew in the tow boating business....lets just say they had vodka and dad was happy....we left their boat late....only after Felicia (wife) hooked me up with all her LED bulbs and I tore off all the headliners to replace the lights for them.....keep in mind folks.....I'm a white tornado with a pair of needle nose and some bulbs.....I was a super hero as we looked at the gained lumens and lost amp hours with such an easy change out.....GOD I love to save watts!!!!!
As I limped the dingy back at about 11pm my only hope was to get one fulfilled poppie back safely to his bunk....up the ladder and down he went....has he done this before?!??
Tonight after the bottom scraping I made a killer spaghetti with onion, garlic. Artichoke hearts, olives. Tomatoe, olive oil, jalepeneos and stuff...it rocked!
Capt and dad ready for bed......
Have a 6 hour trudge uphill to chamela in the early am
Love to all....