Thursday, February 13, 2014

Whale!

We have been seeing a lot of whales on our way to Banderas Bay, where Puerto Vallarta is located.  However, it is not that easy to get a photo of these amazing creatures.
How our whale pictures usually turn out

Occasionally we get one of these!
FINALLY! 



Chacala

Heading south from Mazatlan was a long overnighter to Chacala.  We buddy boated with Wastrel and had a fine time.
Wastrel flying all her sails

Chacala can be a rolly anchorage so most people anchor bow and stern.  Marcus putting out the stern anchor.

Raton
  The special was shrimp stuffed fish wrapped with bacon and covered with cheese.  I couldn't quite figure out what this was supposed to be, maybe a lobster with olive eyes and shrimp tail?  When the waiter cleared my plate he said, so you liked the "raton"  it was fashioned to look like a mouse.
This family sold crafts out of the back of Dad's truck and on the beach.

Rainbow Warrior

190 feet with an A frame mast design


Greenpeace came to Mazatlan for a few days.  We took a tour, amazing. Built specifically for Greenpeace at a cost of over $30 Million Dollars.
We were already had a pretty good grasp of solar usage and the many options available.

The Bridge

100 year old Mexican Casa

Newlyweds Dennis and June on Shamanes stayed at a friends place for a few days and invited us for dinner.  A beautiful 100 year old Mexican home, a very traditional home of the upper income Mexican family.
Plenty of room for multiple chefs!

Bedrooms are located directly off of this large living area.

Main bathroom, the oversized shower had a tile mosaic of a parrot.

Time in Mazatlan

 Mazatlan is one of our favorite cities here in Mexico.  There is something for every mood, traditional mexican shopping, gringo get togethers, parks, beaches, town squares, cultural events, and great bus system for getting around.

Fred and Kathy on Sonrisa took me to town with them to do a little shopping.
Shopping at the carneceria or butcher shop
Verduras-Vegetables
All these lovely vegetables for 53 pesos, about $4 



We finally met up with Bay Area Shamanes again.

Monday, January 6, 2014

So long San Carlos

12/28/13

Just up from the beach a lovely little apartment
Left San Carlos around 10am in the company of 3 other boats heading across the sea to Puerto Escondido, or La Paz. An uneventful 24hour motorboat ride to Puerto Escondido, stayed 2 days, then headed back across the sea to Mazatlan, 309 miles, should take 3 days. Took off around noon and started sailing right away, the sea was pretty lumpy/rolly, but the forecast said it should be smoothing out right about now. I thought I had my sea legs under me, but I was wrong. The sea did not smooth out, the boat would sail along for a bit with a little side to side roll, then suddenly it would veer wildly through the waves. Pretty quickly we had the few things not stowed properly tied down, but you could hear cans in the bilge sliding back and forth, never heard that before!!
I got sick. Not violently ill, but pretty much useless, sleeping on and off for 24 hours. Poor Marcus didn't get much in the way of relief at the helm. The good news was, we sailed for 24 hours, the bad news was I still wasn't up to being much help the second day either. In my already dark mood, this was just not good. If I could have gotten off the boat I would have. UG By the 3rd day I finally felt good again and started to enjoy the trip. I'm sure being less than a day away from land and one of my favorite cities may have had something to do with my improved mood.


About 6pm the last day, we realized we were going to arrive in Mazatlan around 2am, and we sure didn't want to negotiate the narrow channel going into the marina at that hour. We could anchor out at Isla Venados, or we could just drift for a few hours. The sea was flat and calm with a just a breath of wind, so we put up the gib (small sail in the front) and just ghosted along at 1 ½ knots for four hours. About 2am we fired up the motor and headed to Mazatlan, arriving as the sun came up. We pulled into a slip, and went below for an early morning nap.


Last days in San Carlos

12/20/13
Closing in on our departure date, we took Chuck and Judi out to a nice Italian place to show them how much we appreciated their hospitality. It was wonderful food, the owner was from Italy, so you know the food was authentic. Marcus chose the best dish, a garlic mushroom spinach pasta that was delicious!
Soon the work we needed to do while the boat was out of the water was complete and we put her back in the water and took a slip for a couple of days. We moved out of our friends house and onto the boat, it was good to be home.
Pretty sunrises and beautiful views from friends lovely home


Since it was so close to Christmas, I suggested we have Christmas in San Carlos. We went to a Saturday night Church service and sang Christmas carols. On Christmas day, we went to the church again for more music, then to a cruisers Christmas dinner. By then we had moved the boat to a mooring out in the Bahia which was pretty nice, and was much less expensive than a slip in a marina. The down side was that when the wind picked up in the afternoon, the ride back to the boat was slow, wet, and uncomfortable. We tried to always get back to the boat by 1pm! The cruisers Christmas dinner didn't end till around 3pm and by the time we got back to the boat we were both pretty wet puppies!
sewing sail cover


Wherever cruisers gather, there is a morning net on the radio. Boaters in the area tune in to the VHF radio at a specific time, in San Carlos it is 8am on channel 78. Emergencies, people looking for rides, people heading the the US or Canada that can mail letters for others, local information, happenings, weather, sea conditions, things people want to sell or buy, kind of a craigslist on the radio.


The wet dinghy ride inspired me anew to find a little bigger, therefore dryer, dingy. One morning, we heard of a dinghy for sale, and went over to look at it on our way to go hiking. The seller was working on his boat and didn't want to show it just then, so we continued our plan to go hiking, and would look at in on our return. When we returned, he had sold it, bummer! The next day, just before we were leaving San Carlos, Marcus announced on the net that he had a solar charger controller available, and we were looking for a dinghy. A guy named Mike, on Firefly (name of the boat) responded that he needed a solar charger controller and would trade a dinghy he had for it. That was a good deal for us!! It did need some gluing, which he would do, but it wouldn't be ready for maybe a week. Lucky us, another friend agreed to bring the dinghy down to us in Puerto Vallarta in about 2 weeks. You need to be pretty self reliant cruising on a boat, so other cruisers are always ready to lend a hand when one is needed. It is an awesome network of friends, some of whom you have yet to meet!