Our Mission: To boldly go until we are no more!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cruising in to La Cruz

We are now berthed in Marina Riviera Nayarit La Cruz (20d44.96'N, 105d22.70W, 12 ft). We arrived yesterday afternoon with about 20 gallons to spare (out of 550) and went directly to the fuel dock in the marina ($4.08/gal).

Our friends Rich and Cathy Warner meet us on the dock. They are now retired and cruising Mexico on Bella Brisa, a Tayana 37PH ( http://sailingbellabrisa.blogspot.mx/ ). La Cruz looks like it will be very pleasant little town to hang out in for a while with a new marina, many small restaurant/bars, touring/hiking trips to Spanish Colonial and Indian sites, waterfalls, beaches, botanical gardens, etc. and of course PV nearby.

Last night we celebrated Katie's circumnavigation with the Warners at a place serving only steak tacos, beers and Mojitos. Although we passed Manzanillo on the way here, PV marks the official landfall where Katie closes the loop from ten years ago. PV is also where we set off for the South Pacific on her birthday in April of 2003. It will be interesting to see the changes in Mexico after ten years (there was no marina here back then).

Tomorrow our Canadian friends Rod and Dar (cruisers, met in the Pacific, now living in BC) arrive and will be staying with us for a couple weeks. We have already booked a tour for Friday to San Sebastian, a well preserved Spanish Colonial town from the 1600's with silver mines and and an old Hacienda.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Underway Day 4

Our rebuilt ISUZU engine has been running for over 80 hours now and if it were in a truck that works out to over 5000 miles. We did a fluids change before starting this leg and 24 hr checks show all levels OK.

There was some vessel traffic today with three sail and one powerboat heading down the coast. The Amigo SSB Net this morning gave us a chance to chat briefly with friends we haven't heard in a long time. On this trip we are bypassing some popular cruiser hangouts in favor of going where it is cooler and finding even more cruisers to hang with. Last night we passed Zihautanejo and Ixtapa and tonight we will be going by Manzanillo (Las Hadas), Navidad, Tenecatita and Chamela before the sun comes up. The last time we were anchored at Las Hadas (2003) we felt the boat vibrating from a big earthquake and immediately put to sea.

We are off the weather fax charts from NMG New Orleans, LA and are now getting charts from NMC Point Reyes, CA.

2300 UTC position: 18d17'N, 103d33'W (St. Elmo lighthouse abeam) about 24 hrs to go to La Cruz, Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta area). That puts us about half way from Panama to San Francisco.

Hope we have enough fuel...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Underway Day 3

Still motoring non-stop although we did have a headsail up this morning for a half knot boost to 9 kn.

As some of you may recall Interlude had a mosaic of orca jumping in the sunset behind the stove. That mosaic was falling apart and was replaced by some glass and stainless clad tiles in a subway pattern during the Fort Lauderdale refit last year. At sunset yesterday some spinner(?) dolphins re-created the scene out the galley portlight and stayed with us for quite a while (photo next week).

This afternoon we passed close by Acapulco admiring the cliffside architecture and looking for cliff divers. This legendary city no longer holds the appeal for cruisers it once did and so we gave it a miss. No cliff divers but the jumping manta rays along the beach to the west gave us a good show.

2300 UTC position: 16d54'N, 100d09W following the beach 2 nm off.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Underway Day 2

We have been motoring continuously for over 30 hours and are now out of the Gulf of Tehuantepec with no weather incidents. At some point last night we confirmed the forecast of no gap wind and cut a few dozen miles off our trip by leaving the beach and cutting across.

2100 UTC position: 15d41'N, 96d47'W motoring into light chop and headwinds at 8.3 kn along the beach just past Puerto Angel.

Still only catching skipjack (two more before giving up again) but have sighted two sea turtles and some dolphins.

Checked in to the Amigo Net this morning (1400 UTC, 8122 USB) for the first time and spoke with net control in La Cruz (near Puerto Vallarta) where we are headed next.

We have about 72 hrs to go if we don't stop.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Underway Day 1

We are indeed on the move again. We got inspected by the Navy and their dog just before casting off in Marina Chiapas at 0900 this morning.

With the help of the marina staff, Chiapas was a great place to check in to Mexico. The unfamiliarity with yacht clearance in this border town has all but been eliminated in the few months that the marina has been open and all paperwork went reasonably smoothly including obtaining a Temporary Import Permit from the customs checkpoint on the road at the border with Guatemala (original registration documents required).

We had some fun with the cruisers in the marina at a sundowner potluck appetizer music jam session. Present were five guitars, harmonica, fiddle and percussion.

We are now crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec, a potentially hazardous body of water with winds from the Caribbean funneling thru a gap in the Sierra Madres. Storm force wind and huge seas are not uncommon this time of year and breaks in this pattern are short and infrequent. We are hoping for reduced wind Wednesday and Thursday as we traverse the 250 mile Gulf. As a precaution we will hug the coast to eliminate the wave effects if the wind should pipe up.

Some friends are scheduled to fly into Puerto Vallarta on February 12 to spend time with us so we now have a schedule other than mother nature's. Also, we hope to make it 950 more nm to PV before fueling (we filled up just before leaving Costa Rica). Maybe we can use some of the coastal night breezes to sail a bit.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chiapas Chacha

We arrived Saturday at Marina Chiapas in Puerto Chiapas (ex Puerto Madero) at the civilized hour of 0800. We were greeted by a pilot panga who guided us up a curved channel to a basin dug into the landscape. The place is only a few months old and quite empty but there are some cruisers here including the El Salvador ralley organizers on Mitakuuluu http://elsalvadorrally.blogspot.mx/

Like the ralley boats, most are headed south, which at this time of year means they are going to stay in Central America or get an early start on the South Pacific with Galapagos, Easter Island and Pitcairn. The rest of Polynesia will be in cyclone season until April. Ecuador just issued a piracy warning so we wish the best for our friends who headed there.

The marina staff has been very helpful with clearance procedures and when it is all done (finishing up on Monday) we'll let you know the details. Katie again had some staff help with washing the boat while Kurt changed oil on the ME and AUX as well as fuel filters and ATF. We change oil and filters every 200 hours. 'Memo' the assistant marina manager after driving us to the airport to see immigration, dropped us off at a huge shopping mall in Tapachula (the big town nearby) where we did some provisioning at Walmart. The town also has a Sam's Club, Home Depot, Office Depot, Auto Zone, as well as a naval air station and cruise ship dock.

A weather window is opening up for us to cross the dreaded Gulf of Tehuantepec (250 miles) mid week so we will be on the move again.

This afternoon we are going on a bus with some American cruisers to a Superbowl Party (Go Niners!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Underway Day 3

We are having quite a time dealing with all the land effects on the wind and are not used to changing sails/motoring every few hours. We'll take mid ocean tradewinds any day over these 'gap' winds and 'thermal drainage'.

We are now off the coast of Guatemala (1430 UTC position 13d37'N, 90d35'W) and decided not to burn a bunch of diesel getting in to Marina Chiapas by sunset and instead come in Saturday morning. The 'owner' wants to be somewhere we an watch the Superbowl so we're still OK there.

Just started the engine again and have more spotted dolphins playing on the bow.