Saturday, March 31, 2012

Last Race

Who knows where we will be this time next year, maybe right here in Banderas Bay getting ready for one more race or more likely in an anchorage south of here.  At least that is on the table for further discussion over our summer at home.  I have heard so many wonderful stories about locations south of here that I want to explore that next year just may be the year to do it, or not.  We will just have to see what unfolds. But just like the theme from this years parade, "Don't worry, Be happy" we are putting no pressure on ourselves to commit to anything just yet.  No matter where we are you are sure to find us wearing the new hats provided by our friends Chip and Katie who crewed with us this year.

Our shirts were provided by our son Joe who found time in his very busy day to come up with the design and the artwork that met with our approval.  It is so hard to please a fussy mother but I love what he did for us!  Rog has enough T shirts to keep him in style for the rest of the season.

This picture was taken by one of our fellow racers and I just love it.  Although we look like we are out there on our own I don't think that was ever the case with ten boats in our fleet.  There was lots of shouting for sea room at every mark as we were so closely packed together.  The starts were even crazier and we even came within feet of hitting the committee boat when another boat headed up on us and tried to pinch us out.  We had nowhere to go and were on starboard so they finally gave us just a bit of room.

It took a bit of doing but Rog and I did kiss at the completion of the race.  It had been crazy for three days with boats coming at us from all angles and I learned that I am unhappy sailing under that kind of pressure.  Those other boats could have hit us but Rog did keep Di's Dream safe.

The committee boat was rocking and rolling all day, I do not know how they were able to sit out there in all that chop.  Banderas Bay is usually has very calm water that allows you to spot the whales when they breach, not on race day.  The final day saw winds over 22 knots and sea chop to match.

Our crew joined us for a final dinner before everyone had to head back to California.  Chip and Katie plan to bring their boat down this fall while Paula and Bruce "want" to work a bit longer before they find themselves down here a bit more regularly.  Everyone knows how much we love it down here.

The guys just could not let the evening end without a bit of Tequila, they were in Mexico right!

                The evening ended with a beautiful sunset and we have wonderful memories from
                                                             Banderas Bay Regatta XX

Friday, March 23, 2012


This wasn't quite what it looked like, Rog had just finished the last leg of the race hen he handed the helm over to Paula.  She had been very patient throughout the race, taking incredible photographs for my blog.  It was only fair that she got to do something else for a bit, right?  Just as he stepped way from the helm a wave hit us broadside and down went Rog!  If you look closely at the first picture it certainly startled Paula as he almost took he down too!  All ended well and we had a great laugh.

The theme for the race had been "don't worry, be happy" so we did out very best to show our happiness for being out on the water in such wonderful conditions.

We did need rail meat as the winds were blowing between 17 and 24 most afternoons.  We only flew the spinnaker on Friday, I have an aversion to it when the wind is close to 20 knots.  Just do not want to see it explode as it did on several other racers.

There was plenty of wind this day and white caps that go along with the wind.  No one minded getting splashed though when the air temperature was 80 and the water above 75.  This morning I was reading the new Latitude 38 online and saw pictures of racers all bundled up in heave foul weather gear and life jackets.  We should have been wearing the life jackets but no foul weather gear down here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

no pictures tonight

OK, I am going to be very honest with everyone.  I am just exhausted!! This racing around the bay in 20 to 24 knots of wind can be very be very hard work even with all the extras we have on Di's Dream.  Our crew has been fabulous, doing everything Roger is throwing their way, even telling some of our competition that we have voice activated winches.  This story was getting so much publicity that we finally had to come clean and explain that when Roger says " in a bit" we just push buttons.  Thus voice activated winces, Roger speaks and we do!

We had a fabulous race today, fabulous as far as I was concerned because it was way too windy to fly our spinnaker.  Ours stay nicely packed inside the bag on the foredeck.  Another boat had hers deploy right out of the bad and it was not pretty what happened next.  They did recover to finish the race but their hearts were definitely beating way too fast.  There were many spinnaker wraps and even one that appeared to fail completely.  We made the right decision and may get to fly ours tomorrow.

Roger has promised that race two will find us in a better position at the start, way better.  Today we were just seconds late and were barely able to squeeze out enough room between the committee boat and another one in our fleet.  He was trying to force us up right into the side of the committee boat and we had no where to go.  T bone a boat or sideswipe another, we took our chances on the later and just managed to get by much to the relief of all.  No chance of being pinched that tight tomorrow.

I will try to post pictures tomorrow.  I just have to recuperate tonight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Banderas Bay Crew

The Banderas Bay Regatta crew has been selected based on the years of sailing experiences. Roger wisely chose Di as his first mate and back up helmsman. This will allow him to have dinner and a place to lay his head for a few more days. Based on the start antics he may get to enjoy more favors in the future.

Bruce Tomlinson was chosen based on his ability to close the hatches whenever the first mate asked, major job on Di's Dream with her seven foot headroom. Roger also figured Bruce would know when to let go or the spinnaker sheet so he wouldn't go flying into the air. This has been know to happen during race week.

Bruces's wife Paula, Aka gimp was selected as social direcctor and primary souvenir shopper extroidenaire. She could be found in the sunnies spot on the boat even while we were racing.

Our last grinder selected was Chip Prather mainly because he could put out any fires if the boat got overheated while dueling with Destiny. His past life prepared him for this demanding position. His secondary assignment was jib trimmer.

For rail candy the nimble Katie Prather was the obvious choice. As the best looking rail candy we fully intend to win the parade of boats! She also was selected as the endurance coach for her long distance walks every morning to get us in shape to endure Roger's antics. Somehow the rest of the crew never got her training memo and may not be up to her standards.

A little about our skipper, well maybe not a little about Roger. He deserves an entire to himself but I won't bore you with that right now. He is our Master and Commander right down to the choosing that particular soundtrack as our battle song. With the music blasting and the rail buried in the water all we can see of Roger is a smile. Let's hope it is still there Saturday evening after the exhausted crew gathers for our celebratory dinner.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friends visit

As I mentioned in my last posting Jay and Laurie Ailworth drove down to Tenacatita to spend a few days away from their hectic schedule in PV. Laurie has finally finished her obligation to the Vallarta Yacht Club and was very deserving of a few days R and R. Jay will never be finished as the official photographer for the yacht club events but as there was a club race in Tenacatita Bay he just had to come down too! Someone had to record the event for future generations and I can guarantee that my photos are not worthy.

We did not mention the pelicans over in the Bara de Navidad area. There were so many that a few birds migrated over to Tenacatita. They were forever dive bombing boats in the hope of getting that one great fish. In the process they kept hitting the side of the boat, you would think they would eventually give up but they never did. This guy had caught a few fish and was taking a break right off the back of the boat.

While we were anchored in Tenacatita the race was held across the bay with the start in front of La Manzanillo. This is a very small beach town with any colorful palapas. Before the race there was a bit on confusion as some crew member were on shore with no way to get out to the participating boats but thanks to the heroic effort of our friend Sylvia Fox a ponga was enlisted to help. Just a $1000 pesos would take eight sailers to and from their respective boats. Such a bargin.

There were big and little boats in the race. Blue, the J160 and bright Star, the Jenneau 44 made the long trip down from PV just to find very mild sailing conditions. No problem on Di's Dream as we were out to have fun.

After we returned from the race we were entertained by a pair of dolphin that were sailing in perfect unison. They stayed with us until dusk which ended a perfect day on the water.

This should have been the first picture of this blog as it it a sunrise shot but I thought I would save the best for last. We had a wonderful time with Jay and Laurie and knew that as soon as they got off the boat on Sunday morning we would be heading back to Paradise. The weather called for very light wind out of the south, never happened, and a very small swell. Tuesday the weather would be changing so it was time to pull up and head home.

Catching up

I am way behind on the blog but that could only mean one thing, we have been out having too much fun! After our stay at the Grand Bay we returned to Tenacatita for another week of bocci ball and walks on the beach. There was actually more involved than just having fun but we will get to that later.

We finally were able to anchor next to our good friends Orlando and Linda on Cuba Libre 3. They began cruising a year before us and although we would often end up in the same anchorage it was usually at opposit ends of the bay. We had met Orlando and Linda back when we both owned Catalina 320s and they came up to a rondevous on the San Francisco Bay and as they say, the rest is history.

Linda introduced me to the daily swim to the beach from our boats in Tenacatita. We kept this up for the better part of a week until we realized that the water temp had dropped to below 70 degrees. That is our minimum acceptable temperature so we switched to the kayacks. If you can't be in the water at least you can be on top. Laurie Ailworth drove down to Tenacatita with her husband Jay who proceeded to chronicle the visit with some fabulous photos. Everything that follows was shot by Jay including the race pictures. You may remember the photographs we posted from last years Banderas Bay Regatta, Jay took all of those too. He has an amazing eye.

I have decided on a slight change of plans. I am going to do an entire blog of just Jay's photos taken during his stay on Di's Dream. So I am off to the beach for a bit of inspiration.