Boarding Ladder - stand offs

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

This angle makes it difficult to climb up the ladder.
This is the boarding ladder. We decided to add a 1 1\2" PCV pipe the inside of the life lines.

We tried to extend the stand offs much longer but the 1" PVC pipe on the stand offs would start to slide under the hull by the water line. They were gangly and would un-doubtedly break off if someone stood on the boarding ladder. So we decide to bring the top of the ladder in to the side of the boat and that way we could extend the stand offs on the bottom of the boarding ladder a short distance to make the ladder vertical. Other wise the ladder is too hard to climb.

This shows the PVC pipe on the out side of the life line stanchions.

How we wanted the boarding ladder to be, vertical.

Here I have cut and fit the PVC pipe and am bolting it to the aluminum stand offs.

Another adjustment.

Making the bolt holes.

The stern one is a bit longer than the bow end to fit the hull.

The small line was to pull the bottom step up so the sea water did not wash it constantly in the afternoon. 
The afternoon fetch gets going and we did not want sea growth on the ladder. This did not work well so we just move the ladder back to the stern rail so it is up and out of the water.

Debbie tried the boarding ladder out. She was able to climb down it and int her kayak. The after kayaking she was able to climb back up the boarding ladder and onto the deck. This givers her some great freedom.

So as we found out, a system to climb onto he boat from a kayak is really needed while cruising. Also a system to climb onto the boat while int the water. That we do not have yet. Another step, three instead of four would give us that. 

 The Islander Freeport stern steps are great and we  use them all the time. They do not work well though if you are not using the dinghy. Our dinghy is on the davits and that keeps the steps from being used at least when the engine is on the dinghy for sever reasons which w have blogged about before. So if you have a wind vane or davits hink about another means of getting in and out of the boat. A dinghy is easy because the tubes are big and a single step can be used, along with a paddle board. But not a kayak, you are sitting on the water and need to climb up t the boat.

Debbie in the Kayak

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Looking towards the La Cruz Marina and out towards the anchorage.

Looking towards the La Cruz Marina, Debbie giving the "I love you" sign :)

Such a nice sight!

La Cruz Anchorage location

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We took up a new anchoring spot close to the Vallarta Gardens’ break water. We are liking it as we are away from the 50 or so other boats at anchor here. It gets quite busy with dinghys coming and going and Honda generators a’blasting etc. Rarely do dinghy’s stop to say “hi” (unless you know them) to one another on the boats so what’s the point of being in the mix? Nice to be on the fringe and have a view of open space (no boats) on one side at least. Not that it is bad being here at anchor but it is nice to get some more peace. There are even boats with dogs a’barking so it is nice to get away but not really too far from the dinghy lading. A lot of boats will be leaving soon for the “Puddle Jump” and some more will be going south. There are still Snow Birds coming down from the Sea though and so the anchorage is staying busy. Not that we would want to be alone mind you J This spot S\V Cyclades likes and they have been around Banderas Bay for many years…they have guests coming so they went into the marina.

Looking out to La Cruz Marina.

Looking out towards the fleet.

Varnish started on mirror area

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We are doing the trim along the top to the port side along with the trim around the mirror and the trim from the headliner to the cushion. We chose not to do the long piece of trim from the headline to the bottom of the salon cushion because it is too disruptive as we live here and it would require removing the two cushions for a while. My favorite seating area :)

This varnishing is using up a lot of darn varnish!

Honda UE 2000i - testing hot water and hour gauge

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We started storing the Hond EU 2000i at the mast on the port side. With the cable lock it is held tight to the mast and gave us o problem while sailing.

Now though we have not been using it because we are getting plenty of solar. So we did our hot water test. We fired up the generator and turned on our hot water heater. Remember we have a split heater element. HAlf runs on 110 and the other half runs on 12v. With the PC and two kindles charging and the hot water heater on 110 the generator went just over eco mode. Not bad at all. Took about 45 min to get fairly hot water. Hort enough for us to take a shower. We shower together ad when yo get the water hot enough to mix it say 50-50 with cold then we have at least 12 gal of water to use.More than enough. Our solar shower holds 5 gal (see it on deck) and we do fine with that. our hot water heater holds 6 gal.

Honda EU 2000i
 We have been storing the Honda EU 2000i up on deck by the mast. Now that we ran the tests we will drain the gas and store it below till next year :)

We do want to see why our Tachometer/ Hour Meter does not work and never has. Hoping to get this figured out before storing it again.

Our hour\tack meter has not been working.
Inductive Tachometer/ Hour Meter


Davit sailing modifications

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We picked up a couple of ratcheting tie downs for the davits at Home Depot in  Puerto Vallarta. These are not stainless steel like the ones we use daily for securing the dinghy to the davits. However we will only use these for sailing with the dinghy is on the davits with the motor on the dinghy. We will be testing this out soon.

One end will be attached to the shackle at the end of the davit that holds the lifting block.The other to a place on the stern rail.

These two additional tie downs will hold the ends of the davits secure to the boat while healing in a rough bay. In winds of 20-25 knots and lumpy seas in Banderas Bay the weight of the dinghy and motor could be an issue. These tie downs will take care of any healing weight and save us from having to tow the dinghy behind us. Also removing the motor from the dinghy as removing the motor is a bit time consuming and seeing as we will be just sailing for the day and then back to anchor where we would need to then set the dinghy back up with the motor this saves all that. 

Varnish done on doorway

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We finished off the doorway jam leading to the stateroom and the pieces of trim from the starboard side of the headliner to the mast collar. This turned out to be more work than anticipated but of course looks great. 
On with the trim!
 I must say that the Islander Freeport 36' has an enclosed mast. It is set inside the teak. This makes the salon much more homey looking than having a mast with the mast track running down through the boat. 

Medical Matters 2014 at the Marriott

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We went to a Medical Conference at the Marriott Hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

We bumped into Pamela Thompson who we have called to get 
medical appointments through AMERIMED.

We picked up a nice small pour-through thermos among other goodies that they usually have at conferences :)
There was also blazing WiFi free and free coffee and cookies and cake etc.
We downloaded about six movies while there!

This is Dr Marron. 

He works at AMERIMED.

(AMERIMED is the hospital network located at the main tourist destinations of Mexico, and the first organization specializing in medical tourism in the country.)

He gave us the quote for stem cell treatment of my hip of:
 5000 pesos or about $3700 USD for the stem cell implant.
Then about $150.00 USD every 6 months for three years or possibly only two years for follow up shots.
This has an 80 percent chance of working at my current condition.
I am a 2.5% from 1-4 in state of condition.
We are still thinking and weighing the options.

After doing this we decided why not go back to the Marriott Hotel in Puerto Vallarta to the coffee shop and get the same WiFi. So we did and that is where we are now. We had to run an errand to Vallarta UnderSea but that is another post. Anyway the WiFi this time is just as good. With free parking and a  we could like doing some computing here instead of a coffee shop.

Flopper Stopper out of water

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We have started raising our Magma Flopper Stopper.
This has been keeping the flopper stopper clean from sea groth. We raise each time we leave the boat, so far that has been enough, every three or four days for the day.

Sailed to the Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Middle of February 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

We had a nice sail across Banderas Bay to the pier in the “Romantic Zone” 

The Romantic Zone retains all of the charm and tradition of the original fishing village and is a great place to take photographs. This part of Puerto Vallarta has a laid-back atmosphere and casual pace that will make you feel like you have stepped back into a much simpler time. Donkeys clattering down the cobblestone streets offer once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities, and old-Mexico style homes with red tile roofs and bougainvillea spilling from the balconies provide the perfect backdrop for vacation pictures.

The systems worked good on our 1978 Islander Freeport and we were reminded of some of the reasons we love this boat. The boat sailed so sea kindly as it seems to do in all conditions. Our re-work of the furler line worked out nice as the 130 genoa went in and out nicely. We have one more issue or two to work on. We also tried the new technique (we learned from our friends John and Kelly on s/v EmeraldLady) of back-winding the genoa when tacking then pulling it around once the boat was coming around – before we did this when just in the first phase of being in irons which made the clew whip wildly around, sometime hitting our windows and/or dodger.  It was also nice to see that the genoa cleared the paddle board and kayak in their racks – something we hoped would work out when we got the racks!!  Our topping lift seems to be right. Also our reefing system could use some improvement if possible. The reefing works but makes more work raising and lowering the sail. 

Cap-i-tan Debbie at the helm.

The ocean-side of Paradise Village Resort (where we spent our Summer of 2013)

We came across our friends on s/v Sojourn - Bruce and Bridgett!!

Cap-i-tan Me

We were towing the Achilles 10.2 dinghy and it was more or less a test. We did find that it slowed us down. Our “drogue”, if you will J. We were wanting a way to just sail the bay that is simple, we are at anchor for the winter so there is really no place to leave the dinghy. OK, we could drop the dinghy anchor and sail away however when the wind picks up and the white caps roll through it may not be there when we get back! So no, it means too much to us to lose it by leaving it behind. So we thought just towing it while sailing Banderas Bay would be a good option. Not so, we think, because of all the drag it creates. It has a blow up floor not a hard bottom. Could be a rowing dinghy or hard bottom dinghy would not create so much drag but we do not know or really care as ours is not that. How much we were slowed is a guess. Could be a knot more or less? It just seems the drag is not good for the dinghy or our sailing fun. We did do a motor to Punta De Mita in Banderas Bay with the dinghy on the davits. All went very well so I am thinking our next sail (a week or so) will be with the dinghy up on the davits with the motor on the dinghy. We will see how this works. We think in the bay it should be fine. It would eliminate some work and after all we are retired! (Punta De Mita is in Banderas Bay – at the North end.)

Looking up the mast to our wind directional, our "friends" the birdies!!

Enjoying the free "ride"!

A cruise ship "in port". This is also where Marina Nuevo Vallarta Marina is, the "down town marina".

The genoa really does clear the paddleboard!

The "house" looks good while underway (with the t.v. put away behind the settee cushions)!!

On a starboard tack heading downtown.

Getting closer...

We sailed to the pier and looked around and then did a tack and sailed back. The sail was about 11 nm to the “Romantic Zone” and then back so a total of about 20 nm. We left at about 10:00 am and had to do some tacking for an hour or so as the wind was coming from, where else, the “Romantic Zone”! After a few tacks and an hour or so we got on one nice tack on a close-haul and sailed all the way there which took a few more hours. It was quite a nice, easy sail over. The day started at about 77 deg and ended about 80 deg and the winds were about 12 knots.

There is a real nice boardwalk along the “Romantic Zone” with a bridge over a river. There are lots of clubs and shops that make this a lively place at night…lots of lights and fun.