Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Sea Beckons

Touchdown into the bay!

Bottom painting in bunny suit
Another coat of teak oil on companionway doors

Engine Room project

Rebuilding aft head
Head #2 rebuild

Enjoying the scenery

Nice reward after a journey

Wind in our sails

Navy ships crossing paths - changing of the guard

We splashed Pura Vida on January 30th.  As occurs each time we have the fortune to put our beloved boat into the water, we all experience a glorious moment when her keel safely touches the shallow water of the bay. It’s like, yes, you are home now. Andres and Alejandro, the guys running the travel lift, give us high fives and we set loose our mooring lines and float toward the little white building across the bay. It’s the landmark that must be tracked to avoid going aground. In fact, one of the other boaters in the yard recently donated two buoys to help mark the narrow passage out around the peninsula and into the harbor.

It’s so magical to be afloat, meandering to the harbor buoys as we breathed in the fresh sea air, welcomed by harbor seals and diving birds as we head out to sea. There is nothing like a warm breeze on your face as you ponder your new water world and the possibilities ahead.

After an extended time working on various projects, our boat was ready for some action. We’d grown used to living in the dirt yard that is Marina Seca, and as you can imagine, the sea beckoned and we were itching to put up a couple of sails. Marina Seca means ‘dry yard’ but in a desert environment, that means dust, dirt and when it rains, mud. Dirt camp it’s often referred to. But, it’s all part of the boat prep experience here, made tolerable by commiserating with others, each with stories of their own. I guess that all makes it seem OK.

We’ve enjoyed three weeks on the water wandering about this area of the Sea of Cortez with another 8 grand days before us.

Life requires a return to Portland by March 10th, so we will haul out on the first. A mad dash of 4 days to prep the boat for another long summer on the hard. Then we begin our journey north toward Portland and a whole new chapter in our lives. We are so thankful to be coming back to our new to us home on the Columbia River, safe after a very cold couple of winter months in the chilly northwest.  

Bird watching is always a highlight and this year’s bounty includes:
  • Pelican
  • Heron – great blue, night crowned, green
  • Egret – great, snowy
  • Grebes – pied bill, eared
  • Oystercatchers
  • Sandpipers, dowitchers and other little bouncy butt shorebirds
  • Boobies
  • Cormorant
  • Arctic tern
  • Roseate Spoonbill (yea!)
  • Kingfisher
  • Vermillion flycatcher
  • Lots of other land and waterfowl 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rock 'n' roll into 2017!

Puerto Vallarta photo op
We took a break from our projects to meet up with Michelle & Tony in Puerto Vallarta.  We couldn't get there in time on Pura Vida, so the extensive bus services carried us south to Banderas Bay. This entailed a 2 day bus trip each way - can you say sore bum? We stopped in Mazatlan to visit Kirsty and Patrick and their baby, Perla, British cruising friends we'd met in Guaymas over the years. Then an overnight trip that brought us to the bustling Puerto Vallarta bus station at 7AM.

The fantastic pool & hot tub
We enjoyed 10 days at a condo in La Cruz, one of our favorite cruising areas. It was odd to be there on land and see the boats in the anchorage. We enjoyed the pool, the vistas, the fabulous kitchen and the hot tub. Walked a ton, took the bus to downtown PV, to Punta Mita and all points in between. Twice we walked the beach from La Cruz to Bucerias, about 6 miles along the rocky and sandy beaches.
New shoes
Shoe repair shop in Bucerias
On the first trip, my sandal totally blew out so I bought some shoes, thankfully found a pair my size at the market that didn't have 4 inch heels and covered in bling. Michelle and I walked through the barrio above the highway to the shoe repair guy. 30 pesos ($1.50) and a half hour later, I had a "new" Chaco which served me well. If I could have found the place again, I wanted to take him a Christmas Rosca de Reyes to say thank you.
Rosca de Reyes cake

We went ziplining in the mountains beyond Puerto Vallarta above the River Cuale, where we dipped into the river on the last zipline. We rode mules to get back up the canyon, followed by tequila tasting and fabulous nachos.

We headed back north via different bus lines, stopping in San Blas to visit our wonderful cruising friends there, then on to Tepic and an 18 hour ride to Guaymas.

And now we are back on board on the hard, Mike finishing the installation of our new non-leaking port on New Year's Day, and he continues working on the genset project in the engine room. I've finished polishing our stainless, sanding the bottom of the boat and will do the bottom paint project. First, cleaning the teak toe rail and all teak up top.
We are optimistic for a great 2017 and wish you and yours the best for this new year!

I got the stubborn mule, of course. Mike's kept bumping into mine to get him to MOVE. Andale, vamonos - my Spanish didn't help.

Geared up for the jungle trip

 Zipping with glee through the jungle!
Mike in the tucked position
Guacamole after shopping and our walk to Bucerias

Jerry's taco stand across from the airport. Welcome!

View from the condo to Banderas Bay

The boys having a cigar at the Cuban bar

Tableside guacamole at Pipi's

Punta de Mita beach

Yep, having some fun now
Light in a restaurant bathroom - careful

Happy New Year to you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New dinghy davits
Having santa fun in the dirt yard
We've completed a month in Mexico and repairs are coming along nicely on Pura Vida. This year, we celebrate 6 years since our life changing experience of purchasing a boat! Who knew how drastically every aspect of our lives would be impacted by this transition. We love it with all of the trials and tribulations.

This year also celebrates 40 years since Pura Vida launched from the Islander Freeport factory to her life on the water. We are proud to be her owners and happily serve as her caregivers, as she is ours when we are on board.
Sanding and prepping the prop

This year's projects include refit the genset, replacing a leaky port, adding new davits to support our Walker Bay dinghy (see Christmas photo), repairing our dodger, and lots more you don't want to know about...
Potluck at sunset - great times, great food!

Mike's well worn shorts
cleaning and painting generator parts
The Christmas celebrations are underway in Mexico, including Our Lady of Guadalupe this past week. The stores are filled with music, food, gifts and Santa, colorful lights and so much more. Here's this year's lard display at Ley. Always one of my favorites.

bring on the lard!

ceviche en masse - delicioso

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from ... Guaymas, Sonora!

Mt Shasta - inspiring, great views 

Leaving Las Vegas, dinghy drag meant lower mileage
pile o' stuff before loading up the Ford
Janis & Greg - requesting we find their fave bags of enchilada sauce. We'll search!
Hiking with Jerid & Scott in Palm Springs

Thanks for the wine, Kelly & Jeff sipped with Cathy!
We arrived gleeful and ready to get out of the car after 10 days travelling south. The dirt yard at Marina Seca Guaymas beckoned, we were welcomed by the Jorge the guard and the 3 weed-eating sheep who keep the yard “mowed”, quickly followed by the yard workers, Andres, Alejandro and Roberto, all anxious to tell us in rapid fire Spanish how they’ve saved our boat on the night of Hurricane Newton! Turns out, they did save our bacon, as our 3 tight fitting covers which are intended for sun protection, couldn’t handle the windage of up to 140 KM / hr winds on that stormy night. They were at our boat at 3AM, cutting the strings and stopping the swaying of the boat on her stands. While I lost some of the Spanish, it sure sounded like she was close to a tip… and they held her and also had to move some stands as the mud didn’t provide good holding. Wow. We are thankful and provided gifts to acknowledge their fortitude of working through the night protecting us and many boats in our yard. That wasn’t the case with a few other boats whose stories weren’t so sweet.
Marion & Theo - our gracious San Carlos hosts
Pura Vida: a sight for sore eyes!
Deep muddy ruts required the yard workers to move our boat stands
Guard station at Fonatur yard - got a paint can?
Mike looking down!
We both went up the mast today. Me first, unsuccessfully, then Mike did the required repairs!
But I get ahead of myself. We had a superb trip south, just a lot of (slower) miles with the dinghy up top, meandering through CA, NV, AZ and CA again, finally arriving Sonora after visiting friends and swapping stories. A great time – thanks to all of our hosts! And now we celebrate good times and life in the dirt yard with many other cruising friends. It is a special place working on your boat in a arid desert environment, and not for everyone, this we know.
5 newly crafted ports - ready for installation
We’ve spent the last few days working our way through dust plus too much stuff brought with us, stowing and dispositioning items that seemed so important when we created our lists last spring! And now on to projects that will bring us safety and security on board. New set up for the generator, 5 new ports to be installed (leaking ports are never a welcome thing on a boat), redefined anchor locker config and well, the list is long and the hours will be long. It’s why we’re here and thankful for every day in the Mexican sun. Morning walks to the bay to count waterfowl, warm tortillas and fresh fish, butterflies, the sound of banda music and barking dogs, holiday displays of lard. Welcome to Guaymas!

We enjoyed the first of the parades on Independence day. Everyone’s included and the parades go on forever.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Enthralled parade goers

Cute little Mexican flag girls, dancing

Lots of marching in uniform 

Unusual musical instruments, 30 strong

Traditional Yaqui Indian dance
Check out the parade shoes!

Oh, and it's about 85 degrees. No sweat.

Tons of pick ups filled with giant speakers!

Waiting for the dancers in front of them