Saturday, May 19, 2007


Great Passage

What a great passage we had this time!! We had waited in Barra de Navidad for a weather window and when it came - off we went! The seas and wind were calm for the most part and the stars were outstanding. We buddy-boated with Jan & Dave on the sailing vessel Baraka who are very experienced cruisers having done a 4-year stint from Washington state all the way to Turkey.

First stop was Tenacatita Bay for a few days of rest. The resident dolphin named Chip by the cruisers was there to greet us and kept us company swimming by the boat continuously. Then northward to Chamela Bay while the weather forecast continued for lighter conditions. The picture above is Jonesy anchoring between the southern islands (Isla Colorado & Isla Pasavera) in Chamela Bay. The afternoon sea breezes were coming out of the south so the usual anchorage had windwaves & whitecaps - not a good anchorage - so we ducked between these two islands where it was much calmer. After Jonesy took a nap (and I knit) - we headed back out to sea for the overnight passage to Banderas Bay - around the notorious Cabo Corrientes (Cape Currents).

The forecast for light winds and low swells proved to be correct. At 2am, in the dead of night, Jonesy just happened to be looking at the engine temperature gauge when the temp suddenly started to rise. Crap! He throttled back the engine (which woke me up down below snuggled in the bunk), then shut it off. Now what???

Instantly he went into his auto racing "Unscheduled Pit Stop" mode. He leaped into the salon, the floor hatches flew off and he jumped down into the bilge where our big blue Perkins engine resides. Ah ha! The fan belt was broken!! And Yes! We had a spare!!! No problemo for this ex-mechanic. With much clatter, tools were produced and the belt changed. Go! Go! Go! I started up the engine and we continued on our trek. (I think Jonesy actually enjoyed the excitement and lightening fast repair - yes, I could hear him chuckling down in the berth as he fell asleep and I took the night watch.

We like to travel offshore by several miles, keeping plenty of "sea-space" between us and the hazards of the rocks and beaches. Engine failure is a good reason to take this precaution.

Ah...fine dining the Mexican street food way. Now that we're back in the Banderas Bay area, we've been riding the bus into Puerto Vallarta to shop. We discovered this great local market (mercado) and this dynamite little taco place about a block behind Sam's Club & WalMart. For less than $50 pesos (about $4.80US) we each get 2 tacos filled with chicken, marinated beef, or carnitas, a drink, and all the condiments we want.

These street tables are "family style" - other folks come and sit with you. Plus, we get the entertainment of all the foot traffic around this bustling market.

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