Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Matanchen Bay and San Blas The Second Time Around

Yep, we were here before.
Yep, the same damn no-see-ums have found me.
Those bugs must be so happy that I am back!!!
This time we spent a couple of nights anchored in Matanchen Bay and enjoyed 80 plus degree water.We enjoyed a lovely dessert wine from Chile.

We enjoyed finding cases of canned Pacifico for $150 pesos.
Jim enjoyed me helping him to carry the cases of Pacifico...

We enjoyed our meander around the beach and our view of a crocodile just to the side of the road.

We really enjoyed meeting new friends Gordon and Miriam of "Anwagomi" who knew / know so many of our friends from 10 years ago!

The most laughs?
Our attempt to boogie board in the 12" of water at the point in the 12" high waves.
They just looked SO BIG from the boats!
The waves had next to no power and no matter how hard John, Jim and I kicked with our fins we couldn't catch a wave...
At all.

So back to the marina in the estuary for their buy two nights get a third night deal.We led the way with "Lovely Reta" and "Anwagomi" following.
The scary part?
Seeing a breaking wave at the entrance in front of us.
No problems though and we read a minimum depth of 12' of water.

We enjoyed a second "Jungle Cruise" trip with Debby and John.
Saw lots of crocodiles again, lots of cool birds and lots of turtles this time!

This time we went to the crocodile farm.
Lots of big ones behind chain link fences staring at us.
Some with their mouths open.Showing their teeth.
Lots of teeth.
Lots of sharp, pointy teeth.

And lots of baby crocs.But they all looked well-fed.

Then to the fresh water fed swimming hole at La Tovara.
Mmmmmmm... fresh water!

We enjoyed a swim, a beer and a quesadilla.Well, John didn't quite get to enjoy all of his quesadilla...

The insurance agent in me was concerned about the lack of railing along the entire side of the restaurant.Basically you could, if you so desired just walk off the restaurant floor and fall about 8 feet into the swimming hole.
Which John didn't quite do...
He slid his chair back about 2 inches and there was a hole.
A hole where they had cut down a tree.
The back of his chair went into the hole and he went into the larger hole ~ the swimming hole.
Taking his chair and the red-clothed table with him.
I grabbed their backpack and Jim grabbed the table.
His hat, Debby's purse and his last quesadilla all went for a swim.
Luckily John did an incredible save and caught himself about half-way down.
A few scrapes, a shot of tequila and Debby drying out her driver's license, money and credit cards and all was back to normal.
His wet hat kept him cool on the panga ride back to San Blas.

A meander through town, a purchase of some fresh fruit and veggies, a hunt for fan belts and bolts and two bbq'd chickens later we were back at the boats.

Another fine day in no-see-um land San Blas!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Time Well Spent in Chacala

We spent several days in Chacala ~ a beautiful bay with warm clear water, surrounded by lush green hills and some construction workers...We anchored by the "X" and joked about being half way to Cabo San Lucas.Everyone else was way inside of us.

One day we were drug up a hill by Debby kicking and screaming and sweating did do a hike up to the volcanic crater, marked by the "V".
The walk up had beautiful views of the bay and surrounding coastline.
The crater had 300 little goats.

We enjoyed drinks on the beach and boogie boarding in the waves.
And lots of sand in our bathingsuits.

We saw a pyramid and a sphinx.We were boarded by freaks Wayne and Carol.We had "Capricorn Cat" and "Lovely Reta" over for dinner.

We swam, floated and boogie boarded some more.

We provisioned up and headed further North to Matanchen Bay.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Escape From The Bay!

Well, we did it.
We escaped from La Cruz.
We escaped from Banderas Bay.
We escaped from Marina Riveria Nayarit.
Escaping from the marina was the easy part.
Since they charge everyone different rates, it was easy to leave.
They pissed me off.
Let's see, they charged one friend 40 cents a foot, charged two others 50 cents a foot, charged another 58 cents, us 65 cents, another friend 68 cents and one last friend 72 cents.
At least we were sort of in the middle.
Kind of.
Needless to say there are a few pissed off cruisers.
My plan is to do a whole huge post typing the words Marina Riveria Nayarit about a gazillion times and type how they can't seem to charge everyone the same rate and then hope people do google searches and are fairwarned.
Marina Riveria Nayarit (skip it)!
Marina Riveria Nayarit (anchor out)!
Marina Riveria Nayarit (plays favorites)!
Marina Riveria Nayarit (sucks)!
Marina Riveria Nayarit charges everyone different rates!!!!
Oh nevermind - the marina and their lousy management aren't worth it.

So out of the bay and north!
No whales this time, just a few turtles and lots of rays.
We are anchored in the beautiful, green, lush bay of Chacala.
Where the water is warm again.
Where the water is clean.
Where we can swim at 7 pm.
Where Debby and I boogie boarded yesterday afternoon.
Oh yeah ~ this is where we are supposed to be!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cruising Kids ~ Everyone Should Have One

They meet and greet all the new boats.
They test the water temperature.
They go up the mast.

The Cause of It All and Us

Yep, there is it to the left of us, "The Cause of It All" or as it is known locally, "Capricorn Cat".

Amazingly enough, the day before there was another cat to the right of us and another one to the stern of "Capricorn Cat".

The monohullers really want that spay and neuter clinic open!

Banderas Bay Regatta From Far, Far and Away

From the La Cruz Marina Breakwall.
That's where I watched it from.
Quite different from the old days.
The old days when we raced three years in a row, including one year on "Thistle"!Ignore the scribbles in the corner...
Had to remove some writing on the photo.
Wow, "Thistle" looked good!
But so much less stress on me NOT racing my home...
And watching it from far, far and away on the breakwall.

For some incredible pictures (obviously not taken by me) check out the Regatta website.

Friday, March 20, 2009

No, It's Not Always All Fun and Games

I know my siblings (especially my brother) think all we do is drink fruity cocktails and listen to Jimmy Buffett while watching the sun go down.
Not so.
Cruising is actually a lot of work.
We have to be entirely self-sufficient.
We have to make our own water.
Change our own oil.
Clean the slime and growth off of the bottom of the boat.
Fix anything and everything that breaks on the boat.
Do constant upkeep.
Do preventative maintenance.
Everything takes twice or three times as long on a boat.
The needed part is always buried under 47 other un-needed at the moment but still necessary parts.
We have to be inventive.
Figure out ways to do things in tiny spaces or without the proper tools or spare parts.

For example:
Our washing machine drain got plugged with that crappy rubber backing from our small rugs.
The machine is in our main salon and we really didn't want 12 gallons of dirty water to spill out on the floor.
How to drain the water out of the machine?
So Jim thought about it overnight and came up with the perfect cruiser solution.
Use my big flat skillet to drain the water onto and then have the overflow from the skillet drain into a plastic box.Success!
We have always said that everything on a boat should have two uses.
So now after I use my skillet to make pancakes or cook bacon, I can drain my washer water.

Going to the grocery store is an all day project.
If at anchor, we first have to drop the dinghy, load ourselves and canvas bags into the dinghy.
Motor in to the beach, or if near a marina to the dinghy dock.
Walk through town.
Catch a bus.
Check our canvas bags at the front of the store.
Un-check our canvas bags.
Neatly so as to not squish the bread or break the eggs pack our purchases in the canvas bags.
Either get back on the bus or find a taxi.
Back to the dinghy.
Load canvas bags, again neatly so as to not squish the now slightly squished bread and still not broken eggs, into the dinghy.
If at a beach, watch the waves and time it perfectly to take the packed dinghy past the surf, attempt to flop our bodies into the dinghy and not on top of the prized slightly squished bread and still not broken eggs.
Motor to the boat.
Hand all the heavy bags up onto the deck, into the cockpit, into the main salon and then put it all away.
All while sweating profusely.
Don't forget to wash all veggies and fruits in the anti-bacterial rinse and dry before putting away!
By this time it is 5 pm and it is time for that fruity cocktail and some Jimmy Buffett.

P.S. And for those of you cruising and now hate me because I have a washing machine...
When we cruised those three years on "Thistle", I did ALL of our laundry (except two loads) in a bucket with a plunger ~ sheets, towels, all of it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Speed bumps on cobblestone streets.Yep, that ought to slow 'em down!
Oh wait, they weren't driving fast in the first place!
Oh well, too late, already built...

St. Patrick's Day in Banderas Bay

Well what better way to spend a holiday ~ boogie boarding with John and Debby!
And dressing up Russell and Lori's dog...Alice joined us too.The adventure started when John, Debby, Jim and I walked through town and up the hill to the bus stop carrying three boogie boards, backpacks and bags full of necessary beach paraphernalia.
John and Debby's necessary beach paraphernalia included a small bottle of vodka to mix with juice.
Only when John was getting his bus money out of his pocket, the backpack carrying the necessary beach paraphernalia of vodka fell.
So Debby starts up the bus stairs and down the aisle and the backpack is now leaking vodka.
So we get off the bus to deal with the leaking backpack and tell the bus driver to go ahead, but he insisted we get on.
Now the steps and aisle are all wet and slippery.
Not good.
Thankfully the Mexicans tolerated us once again...
Ok to the beach where we met up with Russell and Lori.
And this guy...Well, we didn't really meet up with him, but we Debby, Lori and I are going shopping to buy our hubbys similar outfits...
Oh! I hope I can find Jim this exact bathingsuit!

We boogie boarded our brains out.
Debby and I had so much salt water up our noses, so I am sure when it leaked out it took some of our brains with it.And entertained people on the beach with our decorations...
We took Russell and Lori up on a ride back to the marina in the back of their truck.
After all, it was time to clean up and get ready for the evening!
A night out with Wayne and Carol of "Capricorn Cat".
First stop, Brittania in La Cruz, where Jim was so very happy to have a non-Mexican beer!

Reminded us of Davey-boy (Dave Holien).

Well prepared bars...

Then to a few places in the next town ~ Bucerias!
A stop here, a stop there.
Music coming from several restaurants.
We had some street tacos.

Found my dream car.
Listened to a Mexican rock band that was awesome!
The played everything from The Beatles, Guns & Roses to Santana and Mana!
A look at Jim's watch told us it was time to head back ~ it was midnight after all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Puerto Vallarta Old Town Isn't So Old Anymore

Time to see how things have changed!
And wow, have they changed!
"Grey Max", "Pacific Jade", "Lovely Reta" and the Meerkats all hopped on the chicken bus in La Cruz, then the other chicken bus mid-town and about an hour and a half later we were in Old Town Puerto Vallarta.
Not that anyone in the old gang would recognize it...
A whole new malecon!New tall buildings!
New restaurants!
New shops!
It was actually still nice though...
Long bus ride so time for some mango margaritas!And breakfast.
In that order too.
Then posing with some burros we picked up.

John and Debby of "Lovely Reta".


And Deb of "Pacific Jade" getting very friendly with the little guy.At least we hope it was a guy.

Found some interesting shops and rides.

The hanging bridges over the rio are still the same!

In fact, I think exactly the same.
No upkeep.
No new boards.
No new fasteners.

Then we got sucked in to a small restaurant on the island in the rio for another beverage...That waiter was quite the salesman!

Then shopping in the rio shops.

Deb is now Rasta Deb.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Jambo" Night Party

Well Evan and Flossie pulled out their finest.
Their finest wine they had in the bilge.
Their finest wine they had in the bilge since California.
Which has been years.
Years and summers.
And it was "Two Buck Chuck".

So we did a little celebratory toast.Then poured it overboard.
And then opened a better bottle.

Then went to dinner at Philo's.
And listened to the band...
The band that includes Edward Thimblehands!