Monday, November 28, 2011

Barra de Navidad

We arrive in Barra de Navidad midmorning on Saturday November 26th. As it is early in the season we are one of only three boats in the lagoon anchorage and the marina looked fairly deserted also.
This is our second time in Barra, a small tourist beach community. Where there are a fair number of expat gringos who live and vacation here. We are anxious to see how it weathered the recent Hurricane, Jovan that passed through here in October. We had seen some pictures posted on the web but were not really sure if they were a good representation of the destruction.
What we found was mostly the destruction was to the beach front businesses/restaurants. It seemed that what happened was the surf eroded the foundations, and as nearly all construction in Mexico is concrete and concrete block the buildings just tumbled. Some of the restaurants were open with just half of their original decks or building. We had drinks in one such restaurant and when I asked to use the bathrooms I was escorted through the owner’s home (attached) through his bedroom and into his bathroom. If you wanted to walk on the beach from here, there was a convenient ladder at the ready. I love the Mexicans, nothing keeps them down.
As we are here early in the season some of our favorite restaurants were not yet open. But we had a nice dinner out anyway, and found some good music and drinks after.
I am not sure if I describe the water taxi service here. It is great, especially if you are planning on being our after dark as it is a long way back into the lagoon where you anchor. Anyway, the panga is 25 pesos round trip each (about $2.30). You hail them on the VHF radio and they are at your boat in no time. These guys are experts on getting their pangas alongside of your boat so it is an easy step aboard. They then drop you and the dock (use the term loosely) at the towns waterfront. Here you pay and get a colored square of paper that is your return ticket.
You do not need to be in a hurry to return. When it is time to go back to the boat and the cashier has closed all you do is flick the lights switch on the dock. A panga driver is watching for it and will be along to get you. For the night panga drivers I also give them a nice tip.
Only two days here in Barra as we need to hurry down to Zihuatanejo to have time there before we leave.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in Tenacatita, Mexico

We left La Paz on Sunday November 20th. We had a good weather window for several days so this was our chance to go. It is a 3 day crossing, and we made it in 74 hours. It was the longest passage Mel and I have done on our own, so it was a bit of a test for us. Everything went well. We fell easily into our watch routines, and while some of the meal prep. was challenging we ate very well. We arrived in Bahia Tenacatita (a popular anchorage south of Puerto Vallarta) at about 11:30 on Wednesday. We were very suprised that there was now cell phone service in the bay. There is a small town near by so I guess they finally got a cell tower. We are happy to have access to the phone and internet to let our family know we are safe and sound and we were able to wish our family a happy Thanksgiving.

Here is how we spent Thanksgiving:
There is an all inclusive resort located here,called Blue Bay Hotel. Mel and I decided to call and found that we could come in for the evening,.

So to get there we need to do a beach landing in our dingy. We have done that here last year so we know where the best place is to go with the least surf. Not so worried about getting in, I am more worried for our return as it will be dark.

We know that we most likely will get wet during the landing process so we pack "dress" clothes in our drybag and wear swimsuits. The landing is very successful. We pull the dingy up on the beach and put on our good clothes and walk the half mile to the resort, good thing I remember a flashlight as it is getting dark fast.

We have an enjoyable buffet dinner and to our surprise they have turkey (we had hoped so, as we knew that gringos stay here too). Turkey they have, side dishes... not so much. One pan was labeled cranberry sauce, and it was, a sauce, warm and thin, placed right next to the gravy! Some things get lost in translation. But they did have a version of pumpkin pie that tasted very good. All in all it was a good meal.

As part of the cost for the evening we also go a show. A local group of young men and women doing various dance routines. The lady EM could talk so fast in Spanish and English that you had a hard time understanding her no matter what language it was.

Well soon enough it was time to go and attempt our return to the boat through the surf. Oh, did I mention we had no moon last night? The degree of difficulty is going up on this surf launching. We return to the dingy, change clothes and drag it back in to the water.

The trick to launching is to watch the wave sets and predict the calm period. Much easier in the light of day. But we make it out with just a bit of excitement as we get over a big swell just before it crested. Yes we got wet, but did not get pitched over.

All of this fun and excitement for a bite of turkey?... worth it, as it brought us a little closer to all of you and thinking of everyone around the table enjoying your families.

On Saturday we will leave and continue our trip south to Ixtapa/Zihuatanajo where we will leave Mazu and fly home for the holidays.

Friday, November 18, 2011

La Paz and Sea of Cortez. October 2011

We arrived to La Paz in 100 degree heat. Luckly our new A/C unit was just getting the final touches and was working with in 2 hours of our arrival. Everyone here says don't come before Oct. 15th as it is still very hot, and right they are.

We get busy putting the boat back togther as our plan is to go north up into the Sea of Cortez.

As always with boats there are lots of things to do and you can be sure something unexpected will come up. For us it was discoverying our bilge had a bunch of oil in it. Luckly it was not from the engine, it was some stored oil. What a mess to clean up, taking the better part of 3 days. Oh, and not to mention the freezer going bonkers... got that fixed too

Finally the cuboards and freezer are full and we are ready to go.

We have a fab time, visiting our favorite anchorages, and of course visiting Loreto. We caught up with several of our boat friends and had a great time getting caught up with them and finding our what everyones plans are for the "season".

The fishing was fantastic! I caught 3 good size dorados, also called mahi mahi. They are very yummy. I made my first bach of ceviche, it came out very good if I do say so myself.

This year we have purchased 2 inflatable kayaks. We really enjoyed using them to explore the anchorages and nearby reefs. I am very glad we bought them.

One of the most incredible things to happen to us was having a full blown rain storm. I lasted all night, unheard of. In fact we were told that in one night they got more rain than in the last 2 years combined! It has been the only rain we expirenced here.

We are snug in a marina in La Paz getting ready to make a 3 day crossing on our way to Zhuatanao. We will leave Mazu there while we fly home to Oregon for the holidays.

I am also trying out a new blog site, it will allow me to make posts along the way via my SSB radio.
that new address is:
check it out I will try an post during our crossing.