Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Passage Update 23 Apr

We are still heading towards the Socorro Islands but as the wind has veered we are intending to pass to the south of them now. The close reach was turning into close hauled and beyond so we assessed it not worth trying to go around to the north. The gribs from last night show little difference in wind strength from the north side to the south side. Fluenta is bounding along on a beam reach although the beam seas are making things a tad rolly. Reading in the cockpit takes a bit caution as the occasional wave slap splashes across.

No fish on our lines today but a bit of wildlife to watch. Small porpoises came to play for awhile which is always appreciated. We also saw our first large schools of flying fish and collected a few suicidal squids from the deck.

The solar and wind generator combination continue to pay dividends as the batteries were topped off again today.



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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

On Passage - PPJ Day 1/2

We sailed off our anchor from Punta de Mita yesterday with air horns of encouragement from our friends on Heavy Metal and then a cannon salute later from Destiny. Winds have been a fairly consistent with the forecast: 9 to 14 kts from the NW meaning we have been on a close reach most of the time resulting in speeds from 5 to 8 kts. Everybody is getting used to the reefing system as the winds have been changing frequently.

Less wildlife than our departure from the bay last year since the Humpbacks have moved on in their migration. We have been spotting lots of formations of rays which amuse us with their jumping dolphin imitations. Destiny (heading into the bay) reported catching a 45lb yellow tail tuna and Windcutter (parallelling our course for the Marequesas) hailed us to say they caught a 25 lb yellow fin. So far we have one little Skipjack filet in the fridge. We even adjusted our course to pass close to the renowned fishing area of La Corebanea to no avail. Fingers crossed for some tasty tuna later.

The boat has been cooperating. The only problem so far was the fridge/freezer shutting down but that was a just a clogged filter on the water cooling. Suspicion was that running the fridge while I did my free dive spearfishing practice (i.e. breath hold hull cleaning) may have caused to suck up all the sludge. All good now. The new solar and the wind generator we installed last year are doing well. The conditions are ideal for both so the batteries are topped up again by 1700. This will likely change as we head downwind after the Socorros as we will most probably have more shading and will almost definitely have less apparent wind.

Everybody is doing well but all are looking forward to fully finding their sea legs and starting the downwind portion of the passage.



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Monday, 21 April 2014

Passage Preparations (Continued) and life in Mexico (Also Continued ...)

The intention is to weigh anchor today from Punta de Mita and head to the Marquesas.  The next series of blog updates will be done over our high frequency radio so no photos for awhile (The HF/Pactor combo gives us at best about 2 kbaud - for those that remember dialup that was at 56 kbaud).

We had intended to leave weeks ago but there just has not been a good weather window until now to get off the Mexican coast and get out to the trade winds.  It does look today so we will leave once the sea breeze picks up and sail on looks like it will be a close reach in 9 to 12 kts of wind to just north of the Socorro Islands (about 325 nm) and then head towards what is our best guess of an entry point for the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) at 5N 130W.

Provisioning is done and then redone as the delays mounted.  Diesel and gasoline topped up. We now sit a few inches deeper in the water.

Predeparture picture

Family Photo
We took the time to sort out some plumbing issues, get Tony at Morelli sails to modify our mainsail and we put in a new starter battery.  Also, we had a chance to be tourists for a change and went to the zoo, did some surfing and such.

Sailing with my Dad just before we had a humpback whale surfaces less than a boat length away.

Baby in a bucket

Johnathan and I heading out to do some surfing

Jump, jump, jump !

The continued adventures in Mexican bureaucracy  

Benjamin and I studying an old Heavy Weather book we found in the Cruisers Lounge.

Oh my says Benjamin, where are we going to put all this food

Immunization time with the nice ladies in Bucerias

Victoria helping us organise the ditch bags

Some snoozing and reading time too.

Back from the Mar y Sol market

Monkey Business 1

Monkey Business 2

More jumping around

Potatoes and Carrots will advance in review order, by the center, quick march !

Debugging our GFCI plug - turns out this is where our new bug friends had been living.

Apples, form up !

Packaged up and ready to stow.


Kids sleep over at Punta de Mita

Galley Duty

One of new shiny solar panels with La Cruz in the background.

Merle on the foredeck at sunrise in Punta de Mita

Surf Training for Benjamin

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Life in La Cruz and Visitors

We have been fortunate this season to have had many visitors.  My parents visited in February, Liz's parents came in January and then her dad, Wendall, came back again a few weeks ago to help me with completing a bunch of the boat projects.  My sister and her family came down in March and then they came back without the kids but with a collection of their friends for a Mexican holiday.  Liz's sister and brother came with their children at the some time for a mini family reunion.   Busy times but lots of fun.

They love fireworks in Mexico.  My sister's son spouting fire outside one of our favourite restaurants in town.

My sister and her husband Chris after a daysail.

Surfing at Punta de Mita with Sarah and Chris
While my parents were here we had a renaming ceremony for "Trickle" the sailing dingy.  Here the kids (Fluenta and Kenta Anae) are on the first row on the recently renamed vessel.

Granny and Grandpa Shaw visiting.

Can't have a sailing blog without a sunset picture (although it is actually a sunrise picture ...)

Johnathan successfully completing his yellow belt test in Karate (in Spanish of course)
A few extra crew:  A day sail with an extra 11 people - thanks to Shindig and all the others who lent us enough PFD's.

Fluenta at Paradise Village Marina where family was staying at the resort.


And more mandatory family photos

Captain Ron (aka Brother-in-law Ron) helping me set up the beautiful sextant my father-in-law has loaned us.

A daysail with two babies and lots of children.

Aerial Silks

Baby Benjamin was not lacking in attention.  Here Nancy from Shindig was holding him for us.

However, Benjamin has seemed reluctant to take on his fair share of the maintenance duties.

And more wonderful meals on Kenta Anae.  Thanks Merle and Allison.

Grammy with Benjamin

And meanwhile, I worked on the boat.  Note the big hammer !

Benjamin needed a bit of surgery so we drove up to Guadalajara.  A picture of our hotel.

The pyramids outside Guadalajara.

Lots of babies on boats ...Rebel Heart, Sea Raven, Adamaster, Betti and Fluenta mums.

Benjamin's amazing doctors.

Taking my little sister sailing.

Cousins !