Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving with the Family!

What a wonderful treat - having the Collins fly to Mazatlan to spend Thanksgiving with us!

Anessa, Eric, and Gavin were here a week and we had a wonderful time showing them all of our favorite haunts, plus found some new ones.

The weather was beautiful, so we spent a lot of time at the pools, the hot tub, and on the beach.

Gavin went from being a novice swimmer to showing no fear jumping off the high dive, exploring the caverns, body surfing, etc. Of course, the adults had to join in on the fun!

We decided to hike up to the El Faro Lighthouse. It is the 2nd highest operating lighthouse in the world and over 500 feet above sea level.

Quite a hike, but worth it - the scenery was amazing. Beautiful views no matter which way we looked.

The adults celebrated with cervezas at Puerto Viejo; Gavin celebrated with fresh coconut milk. As you can see, it was a big hit!

Mazatlan has miles and miles of beach and we explored most of it - using all kinds of transportation, plus hours of beach combing and dining at the beach bars.

Shrimp is in season and so tasty - we had to indulge daily with an assortment of yummy dishes.

What a treat for our family from the mountains of New Mexico!

We got a babysitter for Gavin one night and enjoyed a special dinner at Topolo - our favorite restaurant. We had a wonderful time (as you can see). Fernando and his team took excellent care of us, as usual.

Thanksgiving was celebrated with a day at the beach playing volleyball, body surfing, and flying kites.

Anessa and Doug cooked our "non-traditional dinner", which included a wonderful pork roast, sweet potatoes, rice and chocolate cake for dessert - all with the flavors of Mexico. Yummy!

We really enjoyed the Collins visit and were sorry (and sad) to see them leave today. We have all ready started to plan our next vacation together. Hawaii next year? Maybe...

Miss you guys all ready!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It works, it really works...

Yup, that's Doug and our brand new Yanmar engine. It doesn't look like much from here, but she's a beaut.

It is a Yanmar 3JH5E and it:
  • has 10 more horsepower
  • it is smaller, lighter, quieter
  • and faster than a speeding bullet (just kidding on this one)
Pulling out and old engine and putting in a new one - who knew it could be this complicated?

But it was interesting to watch. On the old engine, everything had to be disconnected and dismantled. Then, the engine had to yanked from the engine room, and pulled out of the cabin (using the boom).

I made it sound easy, but it wasn't!

We missed all of the excitement when the new engine went in (we were okay with that).

When we returned from our summer vacation, the new engine was installed and ready for Doug to do his stuff - all the re-connecting and re-configuring.

Good thing Doug knows what he is doing, plus Bob (Total Yacht Works) is very knowledgeable and would stop by to provide his expertise and recommendations. It took them about 10 days before we got to turn the key on - and it worked. No black smoke and lots of RPM's - how exciting!

Doug has a few more things to finish up, and then we can start breaking in the new engine - 50 hours of motoring. Maybe we will do some fishing...

We have been very impressed by the installation and service we received from Total Yacht Works here in Maz. Thanks to Bob, Rafa, Julie, and Jesus - we appreciate everything you did for us!

I hope you never have to, but if you need engine work check them out.

South Pacific - here we come!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good Times with our Amigos!

We were so fortunate, Fern and Brian (our amigos from La Paz) decided to pay us a visit over the weekend.

We had a wonderful time showing them Mazatlan!

There is a new Mexican airline that is very reasonable and that made the trip from La Paz affordable - Vivaerobus.

An hour flight across the Sea of Cortez and cheaper than an all night ferry ride.

Plus, finding a nice and reasonable place to stay - Bungalows Mar-Sol. We highly recommend both.

Fern and Brian weren't here long enough, but we were able to take them around to our favorite haunts - Topolos, El MontaLayo, Puerto Viejo, La Tertulia, Plaza Machado, and more.

They also loved Maz's transportation - quick, cheap, and exciting!

Plus, the girls got to do some shopping while the guys watched some football. What a weekend!

And the weather, just beautiful. No wonder they call it Paradise.

Thanks Fern and Brian for visiting us - we love you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back in Maz - finally

And just in time for a fiesta. How does that happen?

The Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration is to remember friends and family that have died. I know it doesn't sound like fun, but it was a hoot!

The celebration includes a callejoneada (parade) around the historic old town of Maz. Everyone gathers at the Plaza Machado waiting...

Then the bands start playing, fireworks explode, and dressed up donkeys are pulling wooden carts filled with kegs of beer. Now that is a party!

We all follow the donkey carts around the cobblestone streets jockeying to get our free cold beer. There is dancing and singing and dead people walking around.

The challenge: catching up with the beer cart and hanging on tight so you don't get run over!

Along the way, the parade stops at all of the shrines that families have created to celebrate their dead. They are all beautifully unique and colorful.

This shrine was created by some young travelers from the around the world and was in memory of John Lennon.

And amazing costumes - our pictures don't do it justice, but you get the idea.

So, if someone invites you to join in on the festivities, you gotta go!

Back on Moondance... well, it isn't near as much fun, but we are making progress. When we left in July, we had to prepare the boat for hurricane season - just in case.

So, the sails, the canvas, and everything on deck had to be stuffed below - mostly on our bunk - what a mess! But, we are getting things back in place.

While we were on our summer vacation, our new engine was installed - it isn't working yet, but it is installed.

Doug is wrapping up some projects associated with the new engine, modifying our charging system, and rebuilding our steering, and other fun stuff.

As soon as we get our alternators modified, I think we are going to fire up the engine - how exciting. Smaller and faster - we are going to be zooming to the South Pacific next Spring!

We really enjoyed our summer vacation and seeing all the friends and family, but it is sure nice to be back where it is warm!