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Archive for December, 2012

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South to Banderas

South to Banderas Bay December 15 2012
I found crew, & we planned to head out Thursday morning Dec 6. They were a couple that were both involved with boats, Geri Sue works as a chef on a large fishing boat out of San Diego, Mike lives aboard their boat in San Diego when not on the water or sparing for Geri Sue. It was comforting to have experienced people aboard for a change. In any case we got under way Thursday about 0900, but not till after I had a big argument with the marina office. I was leaving 1 day before my 30 days was up so they wanted to charge me the daily rate which was 50% more, even though I had paid for the full month? After arguing with the gal she finally went to her manager & finally consented to let me pay the monthly rate. Oh well TIM. We had decided because Caesar couldn’t get off the boat at Isla Isabel & we would pass there early in the morning we weren’t going to stop. I will plan a little different next time because he is now accepting that he can potty on the foredeck when we are on a passage. It took some persuading & several carrots before he bought into that but now he is fine with it. He has the run of the boat now so when under way I must be careful that he wears his life jacket. He likes to look over the side & doesn’t think about the unexpected wave that would just toss him overboard. In the slip he runs where he wants on the boat, in fact 2-3 days ago when we got back to the boat after a walk he decided he had a new game, called chase me. Both cabin doors were open, so he wanted me to chase him around the deck, generally he would stop at each corner to make sure I had rounded the last because he is way faster, sometimes he would cut through the cabin, & now I need a drink Dad.
We arrived in Nuevo around 2 in the afternoon after spotting several humpback whales in the bay on our way in. They really like to play, we saw them in different pairs & they would spend around 10 minutes or so on the surface playing, fins up in the air, before they would dive for 10 minutes or so. What an unbelievable sight, it was awesome. We also caught several fish, only managed to land one, but it was a nice size, we had the restaurant here at the marina cook it up one evening, I am now just finishing the leftovers. It was a nice size skipjack at the bottom of the tuna family. In any case delicious. Wasn’t sure what to expect with the slip here as I had been given a lot of negative reports, but the marina manager had assured me it was very nice. It turns out a little of both, there are only 2 bathrooms, one for male & one female, but nice big showers with hot water, & I’ve never had to wait or been interrupted, there just aren’t that many people here. The rest of it is excellent, new docks, electric, water & dock boxes very friendly people in the office from the manager on down, and he has a huge very friendly German shepherd that Caesar was at first afraid of (he got bit twice in La Paz) but he is really warming up to, the shepherd must weigh 150+ pounds, he really likes Caesar though, not sure he is even a dog. A real plus is this is the first marina that has real internet access, both skype & facetime work, what a concept.
The boat is right beside the port captain’s office & he has an old cat that is very friendly as is the port captain. If we walk across the street there is public access to a huge beach, and access to the breakwater entrance to the harbor. The breakwater has sidewalk all the way to the end so Caesar loves to go for his walks there morning and evening. Perfect for sunsets or sunrises, his real preference is to chase the surf on the beach & he has really soaked himself a couple of times doing that, but then he must get a bath to clean off the salt water, which he prefers not to do.

This morning they are going to come & check my alternator, they were out working on Jim’s boat, Anne Marie, he is the one that does the puppet shows. In any case they came over looked at my alternator, looked at the regulator, had me start the engine, it wasn’t charging, then he got it to charge, was working fine. They suggested taking the alternator into their shop & checking it out, diodes etc. I asked why they would think the alternator, they were playing with the regulator, then is slipped that it could be poor connections also as a possible problem. Aha, I can fix poor connections, maybe at starter, alternator, batteries or regulator. This afternoon I started looking & found both the alternator book & the smart regulator book, now we are getting somewhere. To be continued.
Now a lesson, don’t do what I do! Wednesday afternoon Caesar & I went to Old town to meet with Jim & his girl friend from Anne Marie for lunch. We snooped for awhile, walked along the beach, always something going on with 2 cruise ships in. In any case we were hungry so we went into a beach restaurant they were shucking oysters at the entryway & Jim wanted some, 13 for 100 pesos. Ordered that up & some beer, then looked at the menu for lunch. When they brought the oysters Jim said he bought for us all to share. Sandy didn’t want any so Jim & I ate them. I commented they were the best I had eaten even though they weren’t large. We left, bought some beer & walked back to their hotel & laid by the pool, drank a few beers, then Caesar & I left. Thursday night when I went to bed I wasn’t feeling exactly perfect cause I didn’t finish my wine, so I know. Middle of the night it started, diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps etc. Friday morning I called Jim to see how he was feeling. He said terrible don’t eat at the Chinese restaurant where they had eaten later, when I told him how I was he was exactly the same, but Sandy was fine. I mentioned the only thing that she hadn’t eaten was the oysters. I spent Friday sleeping & visiting the throne, could barely move to take Caesar out, could put not even a teaspoon of water in me without terrible stomach cramps, so don’t do it in Mexico. Today the cramps and fever are gone, my stomach muscles hurt from the cramps, but am getting better. At least Caesar got his walk on the breakwater in.
After I upload this I am going to try a separate upload of some pics when Sue & Dave were in Mazatlan, I think maybe of the bird cruise or snorkel trip.
And everybody have a Merry Christmas from Caesar & I. We miss you all, will see you next year.

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Dave & Sue’s visit

November 30 2012
Passage preparation,
Dave & Sue, my brother & his wife spent a week with us last week. They arrived the 17 early afternoon, & showed up at the pizza restaurant where Caesar & I were patiently waiting, me with a cold Pacifico, he with cold water. Well that started the week. Of course it was necessary that they have something to clear the dust from their throats as well, they had been in the air all day, & then a long dry taxi ride. We spent a quiet evening deciding on the weeks plans, Caesar found it important to show them the bridge deck, his favorite spot for sunset or sunrise or just people watching. Even when I come down, he loves to stay in his favorite spot. We made a plan for the next day, don’t go too far ahead the weather may change, HA! probably not, sunny & warm. We spent time at the Mercado in downtown Mazatlan, Centro as it’s known, in old town which is really very quaint, toured the old church, had lunch at one of the many outdoor eateries. Then I took them to every bodies favorite ice cream store. There are more than 20 different choices. You can have a taste if you would like before picking which one or ones you would like to eat. I think the cost was about 15 pesos, hard not to spend the afternoon there just tasting. Then it was off for a walk to Olas Altas beach, about 7 blocks away. After walking on the beach, & letting C play in the surf we decided it was time for a Marguarita at a local famous watering hole, the Shrimp Bucket I think. We ordered a pitcher but we had him hold the salt. (small consolation), after about 15 minutes the waiter is back, no marguarita’s? You kidding right, nope they are missing an important ingredient, the sweet liquour, well back to the drawing board, we can’t just leave, so after pondering what else would work we sent him back with the new order. 10 minutes later the bartender shows up with a pitcher of marguarita’s? Evidently the missing ingredient had arrived! By this time we had determined that our bus that would take us home was running about every 10 minutes. After finishing our drinks we thought we would catch the next bus (green bus has air conditioning), we ordered the “la cuenta” but TIM(this is mexico) we would see a few buses go by before getting our bill & paying. Then off to 10 peso bus with a/c. It would be a 45 minute ride taking us back downtown again before heading to the marina. Another day we decided to go snorkeling so into the dinghy with sandwiches that Sue had made on freshly bought bread from the veggy truck, cold beer, wine & out to the closest island, about a mile offshore. Caesar got to stay home & guard the boat which of course he was happy to do(not). While they were here, actually Sat & Sun, there was a huge fishing tournament, first prize new car, 2nd a boat, it was disguised as an antique car show. This was all in the marina lot, there were many different displays & promotions, one being high end tequila sampling, we tasted this one & determined by Sue that she had to buy one for the boat. It was 300 pesos, which is very expensive here for tequila, probably would have cost 3-4 times that it the states or Canada. It was just meant for sipping & its nice. When I went for my Spanish classes on T & F, Dave & Sue had C to themselves, I was concerned that he would leave with them but he didn’t even consider it, although he did become quite attached to them. One night they took us out for pizza at a restaurant in the marina, was delicious & I must eat there again b4 we leave. Another afternoon we went out to Stone island, you take a panga ferry to get there but its not even really an island but one of the best beaches in the area. We could have gone horseback riding on bilingual horses, but when they know more than us? Not. In any case we filled all our hours & had a great time. We even got to a puppet show! Too soon they were packing up to leave, the time flew by & they were gone. It took Caesar awhile to believe it.
Now I am preparing the boat to head further South. I started the engine yesterday, and of course had a fuel leak, which I knew, but also had a second one on a fuel return line. I took the secondary filter off only to find the gasket badly crimped, no wonder it leaked. It had been installed by the same mechanico that left a gasket out of one of the others. Not bad, 4 filters, 2 installed incorrectly & I had to pay him? The other leak I think is stopped or close to it, I will monitor it, if it continues but I think I have it fixed. Tomorrow I need to wash the boat, remount a vhf radio, hook up the inverter & go & watch the 10k marathon. If I get time I will go to Sam’s Club for wine. My plan is to leave on Thursday, depending on weather. Still no crew so I must stop at Isla Isabel for some needed rest, even though I will arrive after dark, there are no other options. Then the next day on to Nuevo Vallarta. Would like to spend a day or so but C is not allowed ashore because it is a sanctuary & no pets allowed. He was pissed when he found out. I have rebuilt the bracket that they did in La Paz for the outboard, hope this works now, will be loading the dink & outboard in the next day or so.

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