Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mexican Circus

Sent by Suzi Saturday morning:
David and I went to the circus with Stacy, Juan, Ian, and Diego last night and it was a riot. The cats were awesome and the show was, as Stacy put it, a bit of "Chip 'n Dale Circus Ol' Mexicano." The cast of performers were all guys in tight fitting costumes along with girls whose basic talents were their tits. The tiger tamer in tight t-shirt and tight jeans was a very popular singer, and the 15 yr. old trampoline artist rode the horses around the ring as well and also sang to all the young muchchachas listening, singing and screaming. They were both were obviously the stars of the show and the reason many in the audience were female.

We had a wonderful Mexican meal before we took in the circus and so enjoyed the new young family who has adopted us this week. David was successfully able to pay for the dinner, which is the least we could do! We hope to take Sidewinder out today to test the transmission and clean out the holding tank. We will then come into the marina, Med tie (tie up to the dock from our stern), refuel the little tanks with gasoline for the dinghy, wash her down with fresh water, load up the bikes, and, when Tim arrives, bring his stuff aboard from the dock. We will then go back out and anchor: a lot to do! Tomorrow we want to take Stacy, Juan, Ian and Diego out for a little putt-putt around Bahia Manzanillo. We plan to leave for Z-town early Monday morning.

Leaving Las Hadas

If all proceeds as expected, Suzi and David, having repaired Sidewinder's transmission, will retrieve Tim McKay (friend from Jackson Hole who's been wintering in Florida) from the airport in Manzanillo today and head south once again. Tim will accompany them as far as Zijuatanejo. Marc and I will arrive in Z on April 7, the day Tim is departing. - Kris

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life in Las Hadas

Suzi and David are "stuck" in Las Hadas waiting for a boat part. Here's a snippet from an email that Suzi sent today:

Yesterday we got lost in the engine stuff, along with replacing watermaker filters and cleaning the raw water filter. YOW! This boat stuff is soooo fun! I did get my exercise and water time cleaning the bottom of the boat part way and am paying for it today. My muscles inside my ribcage hurt so much and my right hip was screeching at me all night cause I used my right leg with my right arm too much. Que lastima!!!

I brought the dinghy back into the marina late afternoon to take a fresh water shower at the resort (on the beach) and to find Stacy, who bought us some cheese and turkey when she went to Walmart. I don't think I should complain at all about life, being "stuck" in Las Hadas; we have been so fortunate to find so many awesome people. I'm not sure if I already talked about Stacy and Juan Valdez (yes, that's his real name!). They are wonderful young couple whom we met about a week ago here in this little cyber room. They have moved from Mexico City because it has become so violent. She is from Indiana and he is from Mexico City. I'm not sure how they met, but he spent many summers here in Manzanillo visiting his grandmother. Their two sons are so cute. Stacy has found me every day to ask what we need cause she is continually doing errands and has so much energy to burn. She speaks fluent Spanish and has been so helpful. I will send you a picture of them in the next few days.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Notes from David on the pictures above:
The top picture is Suzi at the helm of Worm on the Tenacatita River trip, which winds through the mangroves and at times is only as wide as Worm. Suzi can start and run Worm now like an old pro, which gives her more freedom and less dependency on me.

John, Sharon and Deisel of Sundation at anchor in Parisimo.

The Mexican castle was on the coast between Tenacatita and Las Hadas and must be owned by a Narcomafioso who gave his designer a free hand to come up with anything he wanted. Wonder if he is still alive after creating this ??

The whales got a lot closer, but this is the only one I got a good shot of. He was in Bandaras Bay along with a few hundred of his bros. & sisters. Every time we went out for a sail we saw them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Mechanical Madness

Here's David's update on the transmission problem:

It was a power plate that sheared off all the bolts (5 of the little suckers) and left us with no connection between the flywheel and the drive shaft. I have removed everything and will start trying to extract the bolts from the flywheel tomorrow. I have already called Jim at Bown's Engineering in Costa Mesa, and he is getting me another power plate shipped down to where Sharon of "Sunsation" will be, so she can bring it back down to us here.

Sharon will be in SoCal until Friday, March 27, so Suzi and David will be hanging around Manzanillo for the next week and a half or so.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Transmission Trouble in Manzanillo

Just wanted to let you know that we made it to Las Hadas, Manzanillo but with a huge problemo! Yesterday morning when we left the next harbor over, Bahia Santiago, as we were motoring out of the bay to go around the corner, Sidewinder's transmission quit. YIKES! Luckily a little Easterly wind kicked in and we were able to sail out of the bay into the greater bay of Manzanillo and radio Sharon and John on Sunsation, who were already anchored in Las Hadas. Once we made it around the corner, the wind mostly died, and we drifted for quite a while. David, the knight in shining dinghy, began to propel us forward to our destination by tying Worm to the port side of the hull and using the Yamaha at 1.5 knots. We slowly made our way to Las Hadas and were met by a flotilla of helpful cruisers in dinghies ready to help us anchor properly without an engine. I was reminded that there are many cruisers out there who do not have engines and make a practice of this, without any help from friends! We did fine and would not have needed the help, but it certainly was great having all the support!

So, here we are, getting ready to trek over the hill so that we can transmit by VHF a message to a well known local who knows everyone to go to for mechanical help. Wish us luck. Guess we might not be making the trip to Colima, but if we find someone to work on the transmission today, maybe we can still adventure out. I feel quite uneasy about not having an engine which goes into gear, but, as I say, many purist sailors choose to be in that situation. I don't know what the email internet connection is here yet; I will investigate that when we motor into land. Around this bay are three huge resorts, so I know we must be able to connect. I will contact you later today when I can take the computer in with me and I know more.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Barra de Navidad 2

We just got back from a bike ride with Sharon and John down to Maleque, the next little Canadian hangout on the beach. It was a very fun ride and good exercise. We are back in Barra and will go for a swim before grabbing a water taxi back to Sidewinder with the bikes.

We had dinner last night with Richard and Virginia on Mandy, and it was nice catching up on our last few months and taking in the news from the U.S. Sounds like life is pretty difficult for many people there right now. We will probably be around here tomorrow and then maybe anchor off of Maleque a couple of days before heading down to Las Hadas, Manzanillo. It is beautiful in the lagoon but very difficult being on the boat without being able to dive in the water. By the way, the water must be 80 degrees here in the bay. Nice! There is a nice breeze today, and life is good. Yes, we are blessed. Bye for now. Love, Suzi

Later in the day: This is a colonial town which the people take pride in, and we have already met some wonderfully friendly families who own local tiendas. We are having breakfast with Sharon and John this morning at a wonderful little restaurant called Fortina's, and there is WiFi. We will then go back to Sidewinder, pick up the boards, and go surfing by the harbor entrance. We are talking with them about leaving tomorrow for Las Hadas and next week taking an inland trip up to the colonial town of Colima, where there are several museums and a universidad. We will then go on to the base of the volcano (14,000 ft.) where there is a little town named Colama to explore, with a guide, part of the mountain that is trying to go off right now. Sounds very exciting and beautiful.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Barra de Navidad

What a cool town this is! We are anchored in a large lagoon full of sand bars at different tides and there are lots of restaurants along the edges which look great. This little town is well established and is the largest town accessible since San Blas. Sunsation is here with us, as well as Mandy. How fun!! After anchoring, David and I found a little tienda to buy ice and limones and dinghied back to the boat. We invited Virginia (Richard is in San Diego), Sharon, and John over for a barbecue and had a wonderful time enjoying the rise of the full moon on the shimmering lagoon. We will be here for a while and will find the best place to hook up. Maybe I can even find a place to Skype.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tenacatita to Bahia de Navidad

From David: We are leaving Tenacatita today heading for Bahia de Navidad to check it out and maybe get some waves there, as there is a south swell heading our way. We may come back here for the swell, as there is a perfect little right hand reef break here in the bay, but it needs to wrap around the bay to work, and I don't know if it will still have the perfect shape when it gets bigger. We took a great trip up the river a few days ago with John and Sharon of Sunsation. It winds through the mangroves, and at times is only as wide as our dingies, not a place to have engine trouble or foul a prop, so going with someone else is prudent. It took about 45 minutes and ended at another beach with a series of palapas where we dined on fish rolls that were to die for. They were deep fried with a great cream sauce smothering them, and one could have fed both of us, but I finished it off by myself.

A nap afterward would have been nice, but we instead headed off to snorkel at "The Aquarium" where there were living coral reefs and tons of tropical fish. But the place that Suzi and I found the following day was even better, and it was just the two of us there: very romantic. I still haven't shot a fish with my new gun, but things are getting bigger and more plentiful, so the time is near; I can feel it. We should be in Bahia Navidad by noon today so I better get this off.

From Suzi: Hi there! As you can see, we were unable to send sailmail this morning; we just arrived in Barra de Navidad, inside the lagoon, with excellent navigation by David, avoiding all the sand bars. It is lovely here and lo and behold, whom do we find anchored here? Mandy. They do not appear to be around, but it will be fun to see them. It will be fun to explore a new place, although you can't swim here in the lagoon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Endless Summer

On Sunday David went fishing, without catching any, but came back to Sidewinder wanting to go out around the point to a small beach. We took Worm out there and found a beautiful secluded little beach in its own little incredibly clear bay full of colorful coral (green, orange, red, purple, and white) with exquisite, even more colorful fish. It was awesome. We stayed and snorkled for a couple of hours and finished our fun day with v-ball on the beach in the late afternoon. Today we took the dinghy over to the little town, La Manzanillo, picked up some supplies, and read and answered some emails briefly.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Life in the Bay Part 2

Tenacatita is a beautiful bay: serene, pristine, quiet yet full of boats, and relaxing. The friendly, generous people we have met from many boats have invited us to dinner, cocktails, v-ball, etc. Many have offered help and expertise with our mechanical woes, and David has benefited greatly from the fishing expertise of Dave from Juniata. What a terrific cook Marcia is as well!!! What a wonderful group of travelers and a terrific surprise to find! David is definitely the social butterfly, and his hips are happily helping to make him spry and mobile. I am busy trying to find my niche amongst this amazing group of cruisers who are welcoming and embracing to all. The adventure continues. We will make our way down to Bahia de Navidad in a few days and then onward south.

Life in the Bay

Yesterday David did nothing but try to figure out the battery fiasco with another guy from a boat close by. I swam over to Sharon's boat and got some training tips on using my stretch bands to keep my upper body strong. She used to be a personal trainer and is really a big help. I also hung out on Sidewinder trying to help with the battery troubleshooting. Luckily we had a "raft-up" with about 20 dinghies for sunset and we all had lots of fun drinking, sharing food, stories, books, information, and we all introduced ourselves. It was great; we keep meeting lots of very cool people. Today we did a bunch of work on the water maker with some help as well, and then we rode into the beach for some v-ball, a swim, lunch, and more socializing. We thought of you as we played jungleball. David's hips are fine, and he is having fun playing as well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More from Tenacatita

I can't believe we have been back on the water cruising for a week now; it's amazing how fast the days fly by. I tried to find internet access today at the hotel up the beach and it was down. It is weird not being able to effectively communicate; I got used to it while in the marina, so I feel quite frustrated. Hopefully I will find the internet in a few days and will be able to send you some pictures for the blog. The next bay up was a wonderful place to snorkle yesterday; the water was exceptionally clear and there were so many beautiful fish. The water is warmer here, and it is wonderful just diving in whenever I feel like it. A whole group of cruisers met at the beach this afternoon and set up bocce ball and a v-ball court. They didn't really know how to play v-ball but it was fun for David and me to bump the ball around. We had dinner on another boat this evening with six new cruiser "friends," two of whom we had met two and a half years ago in Emerald Bay on Catalina. We all brought something to share and Dave, the boat owner, barbecued the fish he caught this morning. Dave and Marsha are from the Pacific Northwest and have been cruising for a while, but used to live near where David lived in Northern California. They know many of the same people. Actually, that is true of many of the people we have met......


Brief sailmail from Tenacatita:
We took the dinghy through the mangroves up the river which connects this beach with Tenacatita, had lunch on the beach, went for a snorkel in the bay just north called the Aquarium, and then came back to the boat by way of the jungle cruise once more.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sad News from Tenacatita

Hi there buddies, We just got a sailmail that David's mom passed away on Sunday morning at 9:30. Although he was ready for it, one is never quite prepared for the reality. Luckily we are sitting in a beautiful, calm bay, Blue Bay just inside Punta Chubasco, in Tenacatita, and we look forward to enjoying whatever comes our way today. We arrived yesterday late afternoon after having a wonderful sail down the coast. After my last sailmail, we moved over to the island in Chamela and kicked back, snorkling and reading. John and Sharon came over for dinner and we enjoyed getting to know them more personally. Sunday we motored down to Paraiso, a beautiful private bay, and again, relaxed and basked in the peace and quiet. Yesterday we motored around the corner to Careyes, went into one of the very expensive picturesque resorts for a very pricey lunch, and then sailed down to Tenacatita. It is wonderful to be back on the ocean with the constant motion reminding me of life.