Saturday, January 29, 2011

On to Zihuatanejo

After staying in the Tenacatita and Bahia De Navidad area for the better part of a month Rog and I decided it was time to head further south to join all our friends down in Zihuatanejo for Sail Fest which is a fund raiser to raise money "por los Ninos."  The boats Serenity, Dragon's Toy, Full Shell, Destiny and Miss Teak are just some of our friends who had already signed up for this wonderful event that as raised thousands of dollars for the local children over the last ten years.  The events include a pursuit race on Wednesday, chili cook off on Thursday and a parade of boats from Zihuatanejo to Ixtapa on Friday.  The boats participating in the events invite paying guests on board to enjoy the race or the parade. 

Our trip down from Las Hadas was very uneventful.  We fought a strong north bound current for the better part of the moring that would not let us make better than 4.9 knots.  By afternoon we knew we would Coleta de Campos before nightfall.  It is a very beautiful anchorage with just a few palapas on the beach and a lighthouse that lit the shore all night.  The sailboat Cirque had made the passage down with us and stayed at this anchorage previously.  I was so glad we decided to stop in this delightful harbor.

We left the anchorage before light the next morning to light winds and calm seas.  The water temperature is beginning to go back up the further south we travel.  Days are getting warmer too but still cooler than in previous years.    Inside the boat was a bit warm so Di decided to hang out in the kayaks on the deck, she found it quite comfortable and Rog had a hard time getting her back inside the cockpit!

Sunday is election day in Mexico so all liquor sales have stopped as of 2pm on Sat.  We had planned a big beach party for Sunday but dont know if it will happen.  The cruisers may just stay on their boats since there is no drinking!!  Hopefully Rog will take me into town so I can take some pictures to share.  Zihuatanejo has really cleaned up since we were here in 2002 and is quite fun

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dinner out on a Friday

I have mentioned before that I had put Rog on a power budget with an emphasis on reducing the hours that we run the genset.  We have been on a bit of a water budget too just because of the leaky water heater and the fact that when you don't run the genset you do not have very HOT water so showers are not as fun.  Well, I did not mention that Rog had put me on a dining out restriction  to get even!!! So I have been cooking all our meals on the boat since New Years eve and if I might say we have been eating very well.  BUT I AM TIRED OF COOKING

Thurs we left the Barra lagoon and made the short trip down to Santiago where we had planned to spend the better part of two weeks working on relaxing.  I took that to mean I would not have to cook dinner on Friday, made sense to me.  We remembered the Oasis Beach where we had a fabulous dinner two years ago so I lured Rog away from the boat with the promise of two for one killer margaritas during happy hour.  We we ordered our first round we each got just one drink, perfect.  When we ordered the second round we both got two very strong margaritas so there was never any discussion about heading back to the boat for dinner.  Marilyn and I both knew it would be a long time before the guys even figured out that they had been had!

More cruisers stopped by to join our table during happy hour and we had a wonderful time.  Tom and Cary from Dragon's Toy joined us for drinks but missed Happy Hour on their second round, no problem.  The table next to us was two couples who had left Chicago Friday morning where the temperature was zero to arrive in Manzanillo to blue skies and 80 degrees.

After a fabulous dinner we were thrilled to learn that we would be entertained by an Elvis impersonator as the DJ.  We got to dance to all our old favorite tunes into the wee hours.  Yes boys they played Sweet Caroline without dad even requesting it!!  We also got BaBaBaran just as we were ready to leave.

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful full moon when it was time to return to the boat.  The guys had finally sobered up and could manuver the dingies without a problem.

As of our last discussion Rog and I have decided to head down to Zihuatanejo for the Sail Fest.  We should be leaving here on late Tues and will stop somewhere along the way for a bit of a rest before arriving in Ztown Thursday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Day

We finally left Tenacatita on Monday after two wonderful weeks of rest and relaxation.  We swam, we snorkled, we took digny rides and read many books.  Altogether a wonderful week meeting new friends and figuring out what to do next.

We did have one to do item that came up unexpectedly late one evening.  We were both just about asleep when we heard the bilge pump going, not a good thing at any time but especially bad when we had not heard it in months.  Knowing something was wrong we checked all possible sources and found that the hot water tank was empty!  That could only mean one thing, leaky fittings at the tank so Rog jumped right in and tried tightening everything, adding additional hose clamps and all the other usual to no avail.  This was going to require new fittings right at the tank and we had nothing that worked on the boat.  He went through his entire stash of pv parts so we knew what would be required.  So after a rather restless night waiting to hear the bilge go off again in case that was not the real source of our leak Rog headed over to La Manzanillo for the fourth time in a week.  Luckily we had scouted the village hard on previous trips so we knew he should be able to find some sort of parts that would work at least temporarily.  By noon the next morning everything had been put back together and we once again had pressure water.

You will notice that Rog has gone to metal reinforced hose and red pvc fittings.  Never saw the likes of the red pvc in the states.

Next to do--have some fun

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roger is on a budget

Ok, it is not a budget that most people adhere to but it is a budget never the less. The new inverter got a little hot and shut down the other day, not good. We have had to run the generator almost everyday just to keep the batteries nicely charged even though we have 1200 amp hours. Rog had thought that would be enough to supply the boat with all the power necessary to run the stereo, refrigerator, inverter, anchor light and general boat lighting for at least two days before recharging. Wrong, we are having to charge daily!

Now, however, we turn off the inverter except to make coffee, stereo only plays during dinner, and all the various iPad and iPhones only charge occasionally. Good thing the washer dryer is still out of service! Hot water? Better plan to shower right after the generator runs which isn't as often as Rog would like.

There has been one other interesting outcome to this new budget. I can have all the friends over to the boat to watch DVDs in the cockpit because that means the generator can be turned on! Just an extra bit of charge makes sure the evening go smoothly.

Away from the dock, away from power cords, it takes a bit more planning.  The solar panels do help replace what we use to run the refigeration but not much more.

Friday, January 7, 2011


We left Banderas Bay on Jan 3rd not knowing where we would drop anchor next but knew we wanted to be on the hook.. We made a decision around 6pm to continue past Ipala, it had been a bit of a rocky trip so far but the wind was good so sailing sounded great.  Of course just a short time later the seas flattened out and the wind dropped to nothing so the motor went on.  We had seen several whales breach and rays jumping so the sea life was great.  Around 2am we were off Chamela and Di does not like to go into anchorages at night so it was going to be Tenacatita which we would reach around dawn.  Rog had not gotten much rest on the passage as Di decided conditions were perfect for sailing and turned off the engine, of course that woke him up and then Di decided there was no longer enough wind to sail so she turned on the engine, woke him up once again!!  So as dawn approached Rog was once again sleeping so Di circled off the entrance to the bay until she could see well enough to bring the boat in.  Of course changing directions also woke Rog up so in we headed right at dawn.
Center Rock is an important navigation point and must be taken to port.  Notice how beautiful and clear it was on Tues morning, by Friday morning we could not see the other side of the bay due to overcast and haze.

When we last visited Tenacatita in 2009 there had been one particular dolphin that came into the anchorage every day.  Di fondly named him Notch because there was a notch missing from his dorsal fin.  We no sooner dropped anchor around 8am and Notch showed up and began rubbing against our anchor chain. Unbelievable, two years later and he is still coming by twice a day to entertain all the boaters.  Unfortunately the bay has had its share of jelly fish too which makes swimming iffy.

Rog did decide it was safe to dive the boat as long as he was wearing a wet suit to protect himself from the jelly fish.  Bottom was in great shape but the strut and propeller shaft were cover in barnacles which took a good bit of work to remove.  We now appreciate Ted Buhl even more.

Sea Diamond arrived shortly after we did and anchored just off our port side.  They had been up in Careyes the day before enjoying a polo match.  Just after this photo was taken the boat was attacked by thousands of bees that tried to make a hive on their pilot house windows.  After several hours and many gallons of water they were finally gone.  Notice the beautiful clear skies!!!

By Friday morning there has a very heavy haze and low clouds hanging over the entire anchorage and it was cooler!!!  In all our trips to Tenacatita we have never had anything but beautiful sunny days but this entire season has been a little cooler which does make the evenings very pleasant.   So we will not complain about 80 degree days and 75 degree water.  It is still unbelievable that we are here enjoying it all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Decadence is behind us

On Jan third we signed out with the port captain in Nuevo Vallarta, paid our bill at paradise Village and cast off the lines for more adventures south. Not sure where we will drop anchor first but think we will head to Tenacatita first. If the wind and swells permit we will drop anchor in Chemala for a few days but the swell forecast does not sound favorable.

We had a wonderful time and find it a bit hard to leave. More cruisers are arriving daily so we are getting caught up with friends. Tom jerimiason arrived on New Years, Voyager came in just before that. Keith and Susan Levy showed up with a dog, motorcycle, and Boston Whaler so I think they are planning to stay

We will post again as soon as we find a spot

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Richard Says it Best

We are always writing about the wonderful times we are having down here in Mexico but possibly Richard from Latitude 38 does it best on his most recent posting on Lectronic Latitude.  He always tells a great story and has prictures that I never manage to capture.  Richard often ends up in the same small towns or out on the water chasing the same good times we are.  We were on a great race to the finish during the Bandaras Bay Blast when he captured us on a very tight reach to the finish against Pico.

Happy New Years