Tuesday, 1 April 2008

March 30th to April 25th, 2008 LA CRUZ

We spent four weeks at anchor in La Cruz. This is the longest we have spent on the boat , at anchor, in one place. On April 25th we took up the anchor, engaged the transmission and went ... nowhere! We tried reverse ... nothing! Oh no, we were drifting toward other boats. Down anchor. Checked the shaft, it turned OK, so the transmission was working (Thanked God). Had we lost the prop??? Water too murky to see the prop from the boat. Man in dingy called over, but too murky for him to see either. Strip to bathing suit (sounds sexier then "took off T-shirt"). Donned mask and snorkel. Jumped into murky water (yuk!). Got face 18" from prop. Saw problem. Prop was covered by a solid ball of barnacles. Got knife and thick glove. Removed most of barnacles. Still managed to cut hand. Tested. We had power. Up anchor. Finally, underway to Paradise Village Marina in PV. Note to self, check prop before raising anchor.

Beasts on the beach. Sting ray and friend.

At anchor we became members of "Watt Watchers". The vast majority of our power comes from the solar panels (30 to 40 amp hours per day) and the wind generator (60 to 100 amp hours per day). When we got hooked on the first season of the TV show "24", on DVD, we had to drag out the Honda generator to keep up with the flow of amps to the computer playing back to back episodes (24 hours in about 3 days).

We awoke every morning to the sound of fish balls in panic. The fish were trying to avoid the feeding porpoises. One fish tried to hide in a plastic beer cup for a short period. Just as I was getting in the dingy to free him/her he/she got out by him/her self. (Being politically correct sure gets long winded.)

We attended Captain Ron's 88th birthday. A retired Canadian deep sea tug captain living in PV. He went to sea on a banana boat at 16, joined the RAF at the start of WWII, then transferred to the RCAF. Worked tugs from the Canadian West Coast down to South America and back. A great guy! He is on the morning boater's radio net each day seeking clothing donations and funds for single moms and veterans.

All play and no work makes Jack a ??? Boat chores take up a portion of the time at anchor. With no rain to keep the salt off the boat stainless steel ... isn't. I clean the radio antenna connections, Sandra cleans the stanchions and lifelines.

Red sky at night, yet again, with a promise that tomorrow will be another "sailors delight".


The Puerto Vallarta pirate ship greets "Passat II" at the entrance to Nuevo Vallarta.

Why do Canadians love Mexico??? The "before" pictures. Taken by our guests Margaret and Catherine at their home in Prince George as they left.

Margaret and Sandra at the dock in Paradise Village Marina, part of a 5 star resort. The resort orientation includes a lecture by a trained seal.

Happy hour on the beach.

Dining out, happy hour at the yacht club and dining in.

Sandra in the surf and pools.

"Dangerous Curves Ahead?" Having four sons we were a bit worried about having a female teen aboard. Also, it is one of the few times in Barrie's life the females have outnumbered the males in residence. It turned out to be a great experience, with both Margaret and Catherine providing great company.

Some of the non-human neighbours.

March 11th to 14th, 2008 CHAMALA, (ISLA PASAVERA) & LA CRUZ

In Bahia Chamela, we started out anchoring in a tiny bay behind Isla Pasavera. Very picturesque, but subject to the unusually high swell. In the late afternoon we moved to the main anchorage, behind the large reef pictured above. We were pleasantly surprised to find SV "Last Mango" and MV "Misty Michael" in the anchorage. They were on their way south to Costa Rica for the summer. We spent the next day in the village with Mike and Gladys off SV "Last Mango". The village does not have much to offer. A picture of the reef shows the unusual high swell. A palapa on a plateau stands guard over the entrance.

We listened to the Don Anderson weather report and determined it was best to leave in the early evening to round Cabo Corrientes at dawn. We were very surprised to see a number of boats leave at 1 pm, as they would have to face the strong afternoon north west winds and seas. One of these boats returned before we left and the others arrived in La Curz just two hours ahead of us, in spite of a six hour head start. Some days you get it right.

We are welcomed into La Cruz by the Puerto Vallarta sky line. SV "Passat II" shown with both sets of "Flopper Stoppers" out, as the swell is still bad. They really help to dampen the rocking motion.

We joined fellow Bluewater Cruisers Pam and John abourd SV "Passages" for an adult beverage before they headed south toward South America.