Whales in Tenacatita

In the middle of March 2013 – Anchored in Tenacatita anchorage

At the Tenacatita anchorage we heard the VHF radio crackle with "whales in the anchorage"! We went up on deck to sit and watch "the show" and sure enough there were two whales swimming through the boats at anchor.

One large one and one smaller one. They were playing around. The small one would jump out of the water.

The large one would smash it’s tail onto the water making a thunderous sound. At one point as they swam a bit further out into the bay the large one smashed it’s tail onto the water twelve times in a row. It then came up for air. It was a loud sound like thunder each time.

 Quite impressive. We were so into it we did not think to take a video until they were farther out of the bay. We are thinking a mother and her calf?

Debbie Raising Dinghy

End of March 2013 - Sitting at anchor in Punta De Mita in Banderas Bay -
Pg 69 of the Pacific Mexico Guide book

Because we have decided we will put the dinghy on the fore deck for any half day or more passages (at least for now) we wanted an easier way to get the dinghy there on deck and to deploy it afterwards. We were using our 4.1 block and tackle attached to the spinnaker halyard but it was a pain and then all by hand. We also used a bridle to pick it up.
Now we tried the forward anchor windless. It is a Lamar H3 windless with a rope drum and chain 3/8 gypsy. It could be used to pull some one up the mast or of course an anchor rode which we have it set up for. Now we decided to try it for raising the dinghy.

We attached a short bridle to the bow of the dinghy.
Debbie takes wraps on the windless.

Uses the windless to pull up the dinghy to the life lines where the stern is hitting the life lines. We stop.

Then with a tether we hold the dingy steady because it wants to fly to the center of the boat and into a shroud.

Debbie lowers the dinghy and we tether it to the stern resting place by the mast and then lower it to the deck.
The same goes for raising it but in reverse order. We walk the dinghy once it is off the deck to the life lines and then Debbie lowers it.

We lower by hand as it is easier and you have more control but we could use the windless to do that also.
We use our three flat fenders to place the dinghy on. If it is to sit in the sun at anchor for a day we cover it.

Bahia de Chamela to Punta Mita in Banderas Bay

End of March 2013 - Sitting in Bahia de Chamela by the fishing village of Perula in Mexico
Pg 110 of the Pacific Mexico Guide book
It’s time to move on. The weather window has been moved up so we are leaving Bahia de Chamela Tuesday afternoon at 2 PM in order to round Cabo Corrientes (Cape of Currents) at about 2 AM. This cape is compared to Point Conception and can be very difficult if the weather is not right. This passage will be an over nighter and take about 20 hours. With no auto pilot it is a stretch. We originally were hoping to stay here another week or so but there is a south swell here and this anchorage does not protect from a south swell. The dinghy landings can be a crap shoot and the rolling swells can make it uncomfortable. We put out a flopper stopper which helps a lot. If we stayed longer, we would also probably put out a stern anchor also. The south swells are predicted to be here for a while.

 Now that we are using the drum on the windless to pull up the dinghy to store on the fore deck for passages we can also use it to bring up the dinghy alongside the boat for overnight storage. Lift and lock as we do. That way the stern anchor rode is not a problem being in the way of bringing the dinghy up on the davits.

It is festive here as it is part of the Easter holidays. Usually two weeks of celebrations here. Today there was a band on the beach with a tuba and clarinet, trumpet, and drums - a quite festive sounding band!! Oomp pa pa,  oomp pa pa  - kind of like that. Sounds like a carnival.

We rowed around the anchorage a bit today saying hi to our neighbors. There were two boats close by.
One, an Islander 36  with a single hander on it - Graham on S\V Avi.

The other was a single hander Jack on S\V Waterdog.
Both very nice men with lots of stories!
We actually traded our Nicholas Cage DVD that we bought here
 for about six old movies :) to Jack.

Look close to see the floats, also there were about a half dozen life guards.

Also in a previous post we told of rescuing a local boy on a swim toy here on the way down the Gold Coast. This time on this major holiday the locals have spread a string of swim bouys to mark off the beach. It is not a net and a good idea we think. The wind and tidal flow can sweep you away if lounging too long. The beach is great for swimming as it is a gradual slope and the water is nice and clean an worm.
Had to take a swim

DVD Movies!

End of March 2013 - Sitting in Bahia de Chamela by the fishing village of Perula in Mexico

DVD’s! Yep and we thought we were on the moon! We may still be on the moon as things go but we did find DVD’s. We were talking about swapping DVD’s to another cruiser and how we did not have any because they are al digitized and they said cruisers take movies on USB sticks as well and you can buy them at local stands. Hmm in English, yep. So when we got to the fishing village of Perula in Bahia de Chamela we went to the square and there happened to be a carnival. We shopped at a stand with DVD’s of about a dozen or more English movies and bought two action adventure J . This was a test so to speak. They are copies so who knows. We got them back to the boat and slid one into the PC DVD drive and wala it worked great. So did the other. At 66 pesos (about 3 bucks each) this is a great new thing to have. Now we can freshen up our movie collection!

We got to work on our Mermaid 12000 btu HVAC

In the middle of March 2013 – When we were sitting in the Bahia Tenacatita anchorage we did this work
Pg 122 of the Pacific Mexico Guide book

The first thing we did was secure the through hull valve on the out through hull.

 That went through the bleeder valve and into the unit from the March pump then the strainer and then the through hull valve in the intake through hull.
Then we connected all the incoming raw water to the Mermaid 12000 btu HVAC.

Next we used up our supply of ½ inch hose to connect the out to the condenser and then ran out of hose. To finish off we just need a four foot pice from the condenser to the out through hull valve. We, in a pinch, could use almost any ½ hose as there is no pressure on it.
Then we mapped out our next return vent by the galley. This is all that is required by  Mermaid 12000 btu HVAC. Two 4” and one 6x8.

We then drilled it out and placed it in.

It will take a bit of teak oiling to make it blend in more.
Next will be the holes for the hose to go through two cabinets. Also installing the transition box for two vents.

Daredevil Debbie and her Death-Defying Dinghy Ride

End of March 2013 – We were sitting in Chamela Bay anchorage by the fishing village of Perula

Arriving in Chacala we anchored and then deployed our flopper stopper. The swells were rolling in and pounding on the beach. Each “kaboom” creates spray and makes the sand go flying. Our 36’ sailboat rises up and over the swells as they pass by.

 We raised the dingy off the coach roof where we had stowed it for the six – seven hour passage with the anchor windless drum. It went up and over effortlessly. We did struggle with the block and tackle we used to connect to the spinnaker halyard. Next time we will just use the spinnaker halyard as the windless does not need the block and tackle.

With the dinghy in the water, we are pooped from the passage and all the getting settled and then the after anchor setup. We decide that going into the beach was a suicide mission and hoisted the dinghy on the davits.

The next day the waves were still bad but there seemed to be some lulls in the sets. The waves were 5-6 footers. If we got caught in one of them it would be a disastrous day. We may get hurt or worse. The dinghy is like a big balloon and the waves toss it around like a big balloon. We have experienced the wrath of the waves tossing us over in the dinghy in much smaller surf and hitting the sand with a dinghy on top of you is, well it is hard to explain. The waves are a lot more powerful than you can even imagine.

So we are sitting in the cockpit debating our strategy.

 Wait a day to see if the waves get smaller?

Row in and wait off shore for a chance to bonsai it?

Watching the waves crash on shore was almost enough to say - no, this is crazy!

But Debbie decides, let’s go for it!

There are lots of locals in the water running, dodging the waves, screaming and having fun.

We talk about if we get caught in one of the monster waves we will could get a broken nose or real worse and possibly discourage us from ever being comfortable going into the beach in the dinghy again. But on the other had we do not want to live in fear.

So we “dinghy up” and Debbie paddles in by the breakers. We sit and wait and try to look for the right moment. We switch so I am the rower because I can power in better. We see the right moment and go for it. I row like hell hoping we do not see a swell coming. It is a big distance because the surf is breaking out from the beach aways.  Row, row like mad and Debbie sees the bottom. Debbie says I am jumping out! Our plan is Debbie gets out as soon as she can then I jump after and we walk the dinghy in.

Usually Debbie gets out in water waist high or less. Then I get out and we walk the dingy in the rest of the way as even a little wave can toss the dinghy. Only the bottom was much deeper than Debbie thought and she went to the bottom. I saw only the very top of her head out of the water - just some hair. I look at the ocean as I am still rowing like mad and see a wave coming. I bail out of the dingy like my life depends on it. The wave hits the dingy, picks it up, throws it in the air and tosses it on the beach, upside down.  Some items that I forgot to secure went flying into the air then surf. OK we made it alive. The kids on the beach are laughing and pick up our stuff out of the surf, running in and out as the waves come crashing in. We dump the water out of the dinghy and my heart is pounding. Hay, we went for it and made it and the end result is all is OK.

Only thing that got ruined is our nice hot shower we took on the boat the day before. We are both now drenched in salt water, but it is warm water.

Going back out was another cat and mouse game with the surf. We waited with the dingy in hand. The dinghy was not easy to hold onto and control even in the very small surf that comes up on the beach in these large swells. When we saw our window we ran like hell with one of us on each side of the dinghy. The distance to the first breaker is a bit far out because it was negative low tide so it was a lot of running. Debbie dives into the dinghy when it was getting too deep for to go any further. She gets onto the seat and starts rowing (like hell) immediately. I keep pushing the dinghy out, every second counts. I climb in as Debbie always keeps rowing - no matter what. She cannot see ahead if any killer waves are coming - she has to hope we got it right.  After I get in and kneel up I can then spot if a wave is going to flip us and say bail out!  As Debbie is rowing like mad a lady in the water and her kid ask us if they can hang on – “heck no” Debbie says. That would have ended our try with a smashing dingy hitting the beach. Every second and every foot of forward progress is of great consequence.

We made it past the surf and all the cookies we purchased in town are dry. Yes we pushed ourselves and our fear and came out winners. Needless to say, we needed another victory shower which we took at the boat.




Plastimo Dorads

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage

We are talking with JD at Downwind Marine in San Diego about ordering two of these red “B” dorads from Plastimo Dorads.
If you remember we lost one to bad weather crossing the sea of Cortez from Cobo to Mazatl├ín Mexico.

Plastimo Dorads
Model B
11.8" High

Dinghy into the Tenacatita beach

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage

Debbie and I dinghied into the Tenacatita beach and had really no problems. Debbie rowed in and I took over by the beach because I can power in better. On the way in we stopped and talked to a couple of other boaters. One stopped in their dinghy as we were rowing in and gave us a quick tow closer to where we wanted to be - saved Debbie the rowing. We got out of the dinghy waist or more deep and a wave did splash over the dinghy so we had to empty the water out on the beach but that was it. We like to row in for all the obvious reasons. Lots of good exercise, quiet, easy to stop and talk to fellow boaters etc.
Our boat is fourth one from the right.

Our boat is third in from right.
There was decent surf and one person out on a surf board. We then went to the palapa for Mexican Train Dominos. There were six of as the season is winding down.
 There were, at times last season, sixty boats here or so we have heard. Now there are about 16 boats.
We like the smaller number but it makes game participation a bit of a struggle. Usually they also have Botchy Ball.

 We then took showers at the public bath rooms which are nicer and cleaner than the beach ones in San Diego. One shower even had hot water! There is a camp ground by the palapa.


We left and dinghied back to the boat, Debbie rowing again.



Debbie moderated the Southbound SSB Net

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage
Debbie moderated the Southbound SSB Net on Monday night. She said there were eight check-ins and one as far south as El Salvador and north up in the sea, Isla Coronado.
Debbie said it was fun!

Looks like Debbie will be the Monday night Southbound SSB Net Moderator for a while.
The net starts on 8.122 for long range traffic and then moves down to 4.054 roughly 15 to 30 minutes after the start of the net at 0055Z. This way both long range and short range cruisers get an opportunity to check in and participate.

Sailrite Zig Zag sewing machine oiled up

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage

The stern Shade tree was finished off by Debbie. It was about time to oil and grease up the Sailrite Zig Zag sewing machine.

 It has been on the boat now a couple years and we have used it from time to time. No rust yet as the case seems to keep it protected.


Shade Tree up for the stern section

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage

We got our Shade Tree up for the stern section of the boat here in Tenacatita. We have put some hardware on the zippers so they do not come un-zipped and take the stress off the zippers. We had added the zippers to get by the stays. It is working good and this is one less thing we need to do for the rest of our cruising. We have had to do a lot of “firsts”.
So of course it decides to blow 18-20 knots the day we put this Shade Tree up. We have had it up in more wind so we are confident about the setup and not dragging here at anchor. All is well.
Nice and shady hanging out in the cockpit breeze just flows right through.

danuu kayak cover for Trekker Inflatable Kayak

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage

We are thinking of purchasing the danuu kayak cover for our The Trekker Inflatable Kayak which measures 144” X 32” or 12’ X 32”.
This way next cruising season we could leave it blown up and on deck for when we want to use it and keep it out of the sun. Then deflate it when we want to store it. Last time we used the dinghy cover but it does not reach the whole length of the kayak,
It would be the:
kayak cover
12'6" l x 49" w


Barra - Puerto da la Navidad Marina to Tenacatita

Middle of March 2013 – Sitting in the Tenacatita anchorage

 Just before we left our whopping two days in the marina the boat next to us M\V Laura with Chip as the captain, that’s right another Chip gave us six NY steaks. Mighty nice of the fine man!

Marine in Puerto Vallarta at the Grand Isla Navidad Resort. Where is our boat?

See the big house type boat, well we are right next to it.
We did the half day passage to Tenacatita which is about 15 nautical miles but when it is all said and done then about a half day or more. We had checked the weather among other sources and it was not quite as nice as predicted, the seas were not anyway. But it was 15 kt winds and lumpy seas enough to be taking water over the bow. A slog part of the way.  Still all in all it was nice to be back out in the ocean.

 After we got anchored I jumped on the guitar and sang some songs. And on Fridays there is the mayor’s dinghy raft up which we attended.

Debbie made delived eggs, everyone's favorites!
You bring plates and a plate of food to share, swap DVD’s etc. Because it started to rain we all went on board the M\V Voyager and we sat up top. Quite nice.

We met some new friends and saw some old friends. Of course we are still:
Chip & Debbie Willis on S\V Elegant’sea

We swapped boat cards and here are a few.

M\V Voager (as seen out our window) which we had the raft up on.

S\V Sweet Dreams 
Jim & Gina Nle with two kids on board on S\V Sweet Dreams
54’ Erwin
This is the dad on the surf board being towed by the son (Sweet Dreams), a little slow.
The son on the surf board being towed by the dinghy (Sweet Dreams).  A lot faster and more tricks :)  (That is the S\V Rubber Duckey with the black hull in the foreground).
Linda Penwarden & Fran Osborne on M\V Discovery
1994 Nordhavan N46-37

Anne Woodson & Dick Towson on S/V Full & By 
Baba 35 #108

Chris & Heather Stockard on S\V Legacy
Our Spectra water maker rep.
 The next day Debbie sewed the Shade Trees for the shroud zippers while at anchor. The Sailrite sewing machine Ultra Feed Zig zag sewing machine used little power on the 2000 watt Xantrax inverter.
All in all, a beautiful new anchorage!!