House sitting gig is over at Nuevo Vallarta

End of November 2015 - At private slip in Nuevo Vallarta in Banderas Bay, Mexico
OK we have left the house and the dock!
Debbie farewells to the chickens :)
Across the canal there is a house being built. Debbie took this from atop our mast
House being built.
House being built.
Down the canal past our local bridge.
From atop our mast.
Still dug in.
From on top of the mast.
Local bridge.
65' Bertram sport fisher boat next door.
Looking down the canel from the top of our mast toward PV.
Looking towards the beach and Paradise Village Marina in Banderas Bay.
Looking towards the beach and Paradise Village Marina in Banderas Bay.

Dave took his daughters out paddle boarding..
Off they go.
Here they come.

Finished polishing port hull - 4 of 4 - 2015

End of November 2015 - At private slip in Nuevo Vallarta in Banderas Bay, Mexico
Looks good so far. Finishing up on the bow.
Starting to load up the boat for leaving the dock.
The stern we will do after the new year.
Lots of drooling rust!
Prepping to leave.

Debbie up the mast again

End of November 2015 - At private slip in Nuevo Vallarta in Banderas Bay, Mexico

Debbie is the mast climber of the family.  The mast steps help on the journey up! Debbie went up the mast this summer (while house sitting with a private dock for the boat) in Nuevo Vallarto, Mexico. Chip is on deck all the time, raising and lowering the halyard line used for safety.  This trip was to install a replacement wind vane as the last one was taken by the frigot birds.  This is the third vane to be replaced for this reason since coming to Mexico in 2012. Somewhere, there is a frigot bird yard with wind vane bird nests!!

Debbie in full up-the-mast-gear.

The gear.

Chip sending the wind vane up from deck.

Debbie reaching out and snapping in the wind sensor.

The line you see is the safety line attached to the wind vane 
so in case Debbie dropped it, it wouldn't fall all the way to the deck.

Looks like the wind vane snapped right in 
by the look on Debbie's smiling face!

We even attempted mounting a rake up there, something we saw 
on some local sailboats however it didn't quite fit up there. 

Debbie tried every which way to fit it up there!

Thinking we could even cut off some of the handle, 
the geometry just wasn't working out!

Down comes the ladder :(

While we had the new wind vane on land, we super-glued a spike directly on top of it...anything to prevent the frigot bird from landing on it and taking off with it.


Sailing South - The Winter of 2015

End of December 2015 - Anchored in Barra-Barra-Bahia de Navidad lagoon, Mexico

 We left La Cruz anchorage about 2 pm and sailed the afternoon thermal one tack for over three hours before the wind died. Then we motor sailed. The seas were a bit lumpy until we got to the light house about 3-5 km out. The seas picked up and were a bit gnarly at about 8-9 pm. We motor sailed with the main reefed and were surfing the waves at about 7 knots and the Garmin GHC 10 class A under deck autopilot was working hard. This was our first test of the Garmin autopilot repair we did this last summer. The Garmin GHC 10 class A under deck autopilot worked great! The wind picked up to over 20 knots and stayed that way past midnight. We were tired so we left the head sail furled and surfed the waves motor sailing. In the am then after we passed Ipala the waves laid down a bit and the wind died. The wind never picked up again all day for any sailing.

I think we will go back to doing the 2am rounding of CaboCorrientes as it is nicer sea state-wise. We had tried to leave when there were 20 knot winds predicted so we could get a good sail but we had technical difficulties with our Garmin GPSMAP 740 chart plotter. The chart plotter quit as we were leaving the La Cruz anchorage to sail south. So it took a couple days to get it sorted out after we returned and re anchored at La Cruz.. 

We bought charts for the “Transas iSailor” app for our android Samsung tablet. We had limited Wifi and the maps seemed the least expensive. That gave us the ability to make a route to Tenacatita. We also have an old Garmin hand-held gps which we can make routes on. Debbie also did that. We also practiced our plotting on our paper charts and were pleased with that. Still the Garmin autopilot could not follow a route predefined on the chart plotter because the chart plotter was not working. It was an intermediate problem. It would turn on then go off or not turn on just display GARMIN. We eventually think we found the problem being a breaker switch. We installed our electronics and wired them to a Blue Seas fuse block. The fuse block has it’s own fuse and then is also wired to a breaker at the nav station. These breakers are old. So Debbie noticed (as we were trouble shooting) that the breaker was a pretty warm. We took it out of the loop and wired the fuse block directly to the bus and so far so good! So far still no radar but we will try plugging that back in soon.

 We sailed direct to Tenacatita this time skipping Chamela (Perula Bay). The wind never picked up again so it was a motor sail.

I had thought of heaving-to and never running the motor (In my mind but never voiced this to Debbie). But why? Tenacatita and the other anchorages we are going to are beautiful places and a lot of fun so why hang out on the Pacific Ocean if there is no wind to sail?  Some places like Cabo Corrientes (Cape Currents) can be a dangerous place to hang out.

 So we arrived in Tenacatita and spent a couple days there before sailing to Barra-Bahia de Navida.  We could see our anchor chain on the bottom in 15-20 ft of water. We jumped right into the 80+ deg water to cool off!

Anchored in La Cruz - Trailer Park Boys

Middle of December 2015 - La Cruz anchorage in Banderas Bay , Mexico
Hugh and Barb on m/v Aussie Made came by on their Grand 
Banks 42' trawler and snapped a picture of us and we like-wise.
At anchor in La Cruz. We since moved the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two 
kayak and the Starboard Whopper SUP paddle board to amidships.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two kayak amidships. 
During our storm at anchor both Debbie and I got the stomach flu! So down and out we were and at times I would feel better than Debbie. At these times I would go to the “man cave” so to speak. No cave on a 36’ boat but I would grab the Samsung 8” tablet and watch some shows (that Debbie does not care for) with the head phones in. Debbie does the same thing when I am napping when we are not sick. She will watch such things as “Scandal” or “The Good Wife”.  I watched a couple episodes of  “The Trailer Park Boys ”. Previously I had watched a couple guitar videos and saw “Bubbles” who plays a role in “The Trailer Park Boys”. I do play the guitar and here and there try to pick up new things. So while doing this one day I discovered “Bubbles”. As you must know by now we are quite good at downloading TV and movies to watch as we have no TV for about 6 months at anchor but what we download when we have WiFi. The rest of the time it is not much good either so downloading is our game..

Birds rule out here!