Monday, January 31, 2011

A hell of a day at sea, Sir...

And that it was!

We left Isla Isabela this morning and had all kinds of excitement. Caught a Dorado (beauty, too), but it stole our hook (and dinner) before we got it on board. We did get a picture though - our new catch and release program - hah! We ran into lots of fishing nets along the way including the one that Doug had to jump into the water to release (almost) - but all's good. We saw an amazing whale show with breaching, tail slapping, and other commotion. There were also turtles, dolphins, and lots of birds around to keep us entertained during the crossing.

Now, we are safely tucked into Ensenada de Matanchen with s/v Evergreen - just west of San Blas. Enjoyed a beautiful sunset (and happy hour) with Carol and Dennis. Tomorrow, we will explore San Blas - looking forward to seeing the old Spanish town.

Yesterday, we spent the day anchored at Isla Isabela and had an excellent time exploring the island - it was just amazing. Isla Isabela is a national park that is full of magnificent frigate birds, iguanas, and green, brown, and blue-footed boobie birds. The blue-footed boobies were just beautiful and our favorites for sure. All of the birds were nesting, so we were able to see them from eggs to fuzzy white hatchlings - adorable.

We are having a wonderful time (and adventure). Pictures to follow once we hit civilization again!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Time to head south - finally!

Bad Bottom
Living in a boat yard definitely has its challenges, but we survived and we are back in the water.

Good Bottom
We completed everything on our project list, plus a few additional and a few that weren't planned.

Prop and Shaft all shiny
The only major issue found was that our prop shaft was corroded and needed replaced.

Better finding that kind of thing out in a boatyard versus in the middle of the South Pacific!

As an additional precaution, we had Bob (Total Yacht Works) survey our boat. He pronounced Moondance sound and "Good to Go" - that's what we wanted to hear!

The Isla
Bob also complimented Doug on the work he had done on Moondance.  Doug was beaming!

Turtle Crossing
We will leave Maz today. We are happy that Evergreen will be buddy boating with us. They have been this route before, which always makes cruising a little easier.

Go Steelers!
Our plans, if the weather is settled, stop at Isla Isabela - the Galapagos of Mexico.  We are excited to see the Boobie Birds, iguanas, and other wildlife.

We hope to visit a few other sites along the way, but our goal is to be in La Cruz for the Pacific Puddle Jump Party on February 4th. Plus, the Superbowl Game!

We are so ready and so excited.  11 years of talking, planning, and working toward our dream of sailing to the South Pacific is finally here!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fun times in Maz

Sunset along the Olas Atlas
I know, we are supposed to be working on Moondance (and we are), but there is lots going on in Maz and we hate to miss it!

Carol and Dennis and the Red Truck
Plus, friends are cruising in daily and we have to show off Maz - something we love to do anyway.

Sunset at Puerto Viejo
Time for a bar crawl!  We hopped in a Red Truck and headed down to the Centro Historico district to watch the sunset.

Puerto Viejo Mariscos-Bar on the Olas Atlas is wonderful place to do that (and enjoy happy hour).  What an amazing sunset shared with some amazing friends!

Hanging with Dot and Brian at Topolo
Then dinner at El Tunel (just off the Plaza Machado) for some excellent Mexican food.  Loved the guacamole and the huge bowls of Posole and the Sopa de Tortilla. Bring your own cervezas!

Next stop, Topolo for wonderful Spanish coffees (with wonderful presentation) and mas bebidas!

Girls taking a break...
Carol and Dot needed a rest before heading to our next watering hole - Ricardo's for $8 peso cervezas served ice cold!

Taxi ride from Gus y Gus
Definitely a dive bar, but they took excellent care of us gringos. 

That was the end of our bar crawl.  A good time was had by all!

Other adventures -

There are several bars and restaurants around the Boat Yard and we have been exploring them with our neighbors on Taya and Evergreen.

Gus y Gus was one stop - beware of the Margaritas! If not, you might have to take their taxi service home. Oh my!

Late night Flamenco
La Tertulia (Bull Bar) advertises Flamenco on Thursday nights after 11pm. That's late for us, but we finally made it.

Unfortunately, it is Flamenco "music" not Flamenco "dancing", but we had a good time anyway. It is definitely a late-night hot spot for the locals!

And, we still have time to enjoy our beautiful view from the Boat Yard!

Our schedule (as of now) - splash back into the water on Wednesday and start heading South on Saturday.

We are ready; Moondance is ready; it is time to get going!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Land Lubbers

Moondance on the Hard
Well, kind of!

We are still living aboard Moondance, but we are in the boat yard getting lots of work done. 

E-Ticket Ride
In cruising lingo - we are living on the "hard" at the Singlar Marina in Maz.

Just imagine... a 32,000+ lb sailboat backing into a small chute, having a sling placed around the hull, slowly lifted out of the water, and rolled across the yard.

Ride in the Travel Lift
That's what happened and Singlar did an excellent job of making it safe and stress free.

It is a very strange sensation riding on Moondance as it was lifted out of the water.  Kind of like an E-Ticket ride at Disneyland, but much more expensive!

Sunset from Singlar Marina
We love the Singlar Marina - small, quiet, clean, lots of hot water for the showers, and we are surrounded by other cruisers.  Plus, we have a beautiful view. Ah - just what we were looking for.

We have a big list of projects to finish up before we head south, but have complete faith that Bob, Rafa, and the crew of Total Yacht Works will take excellent care of us.

Doug relaxing...
Our project list:
  • having the bottom scraped and painted
  • replacing the shaft and rebuilding the cutlass bearing
  • removing our forward fuel tank (too heavy in the bow)
  • replacing a thru-hull
  • and lots of other exciting stuff that Doug is working on

The good news, as soon as we are back in the water, we start sailing South.  Yippee!  We are soooo ready to start the next phase of our adventure!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Movin' And Groovin'

Moondance has been docked at Marina El Cid in Mazatlan since June, so it feels absolutely wonderful to be back on the water and moving again.

We aren't sailing and we aren't going very far, but we love the feel of the ocean and are enjoying the beautiful views of Mazatlan.

Humpback Whales
We are breaking in our new engine and have to motor around for 50 hours - its harder than you think. We are meant to sail, plus we are anxious to start our next adventure.

It is amazing how many Humpback whales we have seen along the coast and so beautiful and BIG.

Manta Ray
We had a pod about 50 yards off our stern, but my photographer was a little slow!  We will get a better shot next time.

We have been fishing along the way, but the only thing we have caught is a big Manta Ray (very unusual).

No way we were able to bring it on board. It wore Doug out. So, it is sporting a brand new Rapala as bling!

Venados Baseball Stadium
There are lots of little projects we are finishing up, lots of shopping (which is always an adventure), and we still manage to find time for some fun - go figure.

We finally went to a Venados baseball game and had a great time.  The league is "almost" AAA and there are lots of wannabe MLB players on the team. Beautiful stadium, lots of action, and ice cold cerveza's. Couldn't go wrong.

Doug and the Ladies
And, as always, plenty of time to socialize and for Doug to dance with the Ladies. As you can see, he loves it.

There is a wonderful group of "yachties" here in Maz and we are going to miss them when we leave. Of course, most we will see again and again along the way.  Looking forward to it!

Good Eats!
We get hauled out of the water on Monday to have out bottom scraped (ouch), our propeller trimmed (yikes) and to complete some minor repairs (we hope).

After that, we set sail for Banderas Bay and Puerta Vallarta. Pacific Puddle Jump - here we come!