Wednesday, April 18, 2018

La Cruz

We are in the anchorage at La Cruz which is just north of Puerto Vallarta. There is a nice little town here with restaurants and shops so we can get what we need. Our larders were getting pretty empty so we have done three shopping trips. Today we took the bus around Banderas Bay to Bucerias and wondered around the upscale streets where there are lots of art galleries.
We have become fish taco aficionados, trying them wherever we stop for lunch. Today Barry pronounced that we had found the best place yet. You could have fish, sharp, marlin or octopus tacos, empanadas, or burritos for 25 pesos a piece, that is about $1.50. I had 2 and Barry had 3 and we both found that amount was just right for lunch.

In my worldwide collection of pictures with animal crossing signs, this one rates right up there with the best. We have Ted and Barbara from Vermont with us, the four of us seemed to really hit it off. Too bad they are hauling their boat out in PV so we will not be seeing them anymore. We were walking down the road to the marina today and an iguana ran across in front of us, so there was a need for the sign.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Barra we Navidad

The French Baker was alive and well in Barra. I had my almond croissants and they were as good as I remember them.  There were only twelve other boats in the anchorage so he was only making baguettes once a week so we missed them. 
One day we decided to go Melacque which is a town just around the bay. When we started walking we went down to the water to have a look and decided to walk all the way around. 

Barra is all the way around the other side of the bay. We left the next day and are currently at some islands just south of Chamela. Next stop after a 20 hour sail will be La Cruz, just north of Puerto Vallarta. It is getting cooler as we head north and we have gotten out a blanket for the night. We had to put on jackets yesterday morning as we headed out just a fee per sunrise. I am enjoying these past few days more as we are anchoring each night and are able to get an uninterrupted sleep. Hopefully the hops won't be all overnighters after PV so we can get some decent rest.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Tropical Fruits

We are in Zihuatenajo and are enjoying the tropical fruits that we can get at the market. The bowl contains mangoes, limes, bananas, guavas, avocados and tomatoes, missing are pineapples, papayas and watermelon. The bananas are unlike any you have ever eaten in Canada, they are so sweet, it is unbelievable.

Here is a guy up on a fence harvesting mangoes. They are fresh off the tree when we buy them and ripe, dripping with goodness when we cut them open. Often breakfast underway is half a papaya each, we just scoop the seeds overboard and then dig out the fruit with a spoon. 

Besides fruit there are beautiful flowers in abundance. We arrived on Easter Sumday and there were gorgeous bouquets in all the flower stalls.  
The winds look good for heading further north tomorrow, there may be some following flow, if not at least it will not blowing on our nose. I think our next stop will be Barra dear Navidad where we are hoping "ze French bakuer" is still plying his trade. He has a boat and comes around every morning selling fresh baked goodies. After 10 years my mouth still waters when I think of his baguettes and his almond croissants

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Turtles, turtles turtles, yeah yeah yeah, mmmmm I love turtles

We must be on the turtle super highway, they are everywhere. I have had fun trying to capture them on film. They kind of look like helmets when you first see them. We are slowly sailing at the moment so we can sneak up on them. Once they figure out there is danger, they dive. It is the most uncoordinated thing I have ever seen. Their flippers flap about in the air as they try to head down. Eventually they make it and swim away. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Fisherman Extraordinaire

Barry caught a mahi-mahi the other day. It was just a small one but it was delicious. Today he caught a dorado, it only took about two minutes after he put the hook out. 
There were lots of birds around the boat, floating on the water and then you would see splashing and the birds would alight and go fishing. Barry took one look and decided he would try his luck. We had a very tasty fish stew for lunch. 
We are on a three day passage from Puerto Angel to Zihuatanejo. We sailed for about an hour just after we left when the engine overheated. As usual when something goes wrong with the engine I stay on deck and sail and Barry troubleshoots and try’s to figure out how to fix the engine. After checking all the normal culprits, the impeller, the raw water intake, the oil level, the coolant level, and not finding a problem, then the doomsday scenarios arise. “It has to be the water pump.” Me “Do we have a spare?” Barry “No and you have to take the engine apart to install a new water pump, it’s a huge job.”  I sit, staring, trying to figure out how we are going to order a new water pump, much less install one. Barry,” It can’t be a water pump they supposedly make a lot of noise when there is a problem.” Me, feeling relief that it might not be a water pump, in my ignorance asks, “Could it be a lift pump, we have a spare one of those don’t we?” (Apparently lift pumps lift fuel not water, and since we have an overheating problem fuel is not involved) Baffled, Barry starts the engine again but it is still overheated so we shut it off and raise the main, I have been sailing with the Genoa alone which I managed to unfurl by myself. We are not making much progress, the wind is directly on our nose and the current is against us so when we tack instead of our normal 100-110 degree tack, this one is about 160-170 degrees. We are slowly going back and forth making very little progress towards Zihuatanejo. 
Barry goes below and rechecks all the problem areas, after an hour of fiddling about he decides he should jump in the water to check the water intake valve to see if it is blocked. Before he dives in he decides that can’t be the problem because there is lots of water coming out of the engine when it is running, so it can’t be blocked. He decides to restart the engine again and lo and behold it has cooled off and seems to be running at peak operating temperature. He drives me to distraction for the next half hour demanding to be told the engine temp. every minute it seems. This results in me loosing it and screaming at the top of my lungs at him, it is all I can do to refrain from hitting him.
The problem seems to be resolved, we will not have to wait weeks for a part in some oddball little place and spend an arm and a leg having someone help us install it. The relief I feel at having the engine purring away again is tempered by the need to keep a very watchful eye on the temperature gauge, and not knowing what caused the problem in the first place. My only thought is some random piece of plastic got sucked in the intake valve and blocked the water, when we shut the engine off, the suction was lost and the piece of plastic floated away. That’s my theory and I am sticking too it. 

These two hitched a ride for most of one night. First there was one, then another joined. I put my foot down at three and flapped some clothing around until they departed. I was worried about spatter on my sails. Watching them land is a real lesson in aerodynamics. Barry said at one point one of them was hanging of the pulpit by his beak!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Random thoughts

I got bitten by something yesterday and have a whopping big itchy swelling around bite site. I took an antihistamine just at supper time and promptly fell asleep. It is now 0430 and I am wide awake!!
The other day I awoke at dawn and got up for my shift. I looked out and saw rough grey seas raging past the portal. I was warm and dry and still fuzzy from just waking up from a sound sleep. I actually marveled at the concept of a sailboat. We were in the middle of miles and miles of water, we were healed over, about 10 degrees, all around us the waves were pounding by, relentless, never stopping and we were safe and warm and dry, skimming along the top of the water, propelled by only the wind.  I can use the toilet, wash my hands, make myself something to eat, and then go out on deck and supervise the wind vane as it manages to steer the boat all by itself. 
The concept that man has made something that can harness nature is awesome. It is a thrill to be able to participate in that feeling and I suppose that is one of the reasons we have sailed todo el mundo. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Heading North

We are in Puerto Angel about 20 miles north of Huatulco, Mexico. We crossed the Gulf of Tuanapec when the wind was not blowing, sailing 80 nm in a 260 mile voyage. If you look at a map the narrowest point on Central America is here so if there is a nasty weather system in the Gulf of Mexico on the Atlantic side it blows a houlie across the peninsula and you have a Tuanapecker, a gale with nasty seas. The forecast was very benign so we motored straight across the Gulf, which is a no no, and made it with no problems. 
We are going to have a rest today and for the first time since we got here we felt like tourists. We went and had lunch, with a cerveasa and a margarita to accompany lunch we looked out at the boat and just relaxed.

This is Barry’a choice for lunch, sopa Moriscos, seafood soup!

I bought a new bathing suit, the first new one since 2011 as did Barry, after much nagging from me. A dress also caught my eye and for $12 it was a bargain. After a rest we went for an hour snorkel, we finally had a day like you all think we do. 
I am going for a dive tomorrow and then we may hop north to Zihuatanejo the next day. It is over 300 nautical miles north.