Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wrapping things up...

I know, we don't look stressed, but we got lots going on!  Besides working on boat projects and provisioning, we are saying lots of Goodbyes.
Taking a break in Bucerias
Most of the Pacific Puddle Jump fleet has left us behind, including our good friends on Evergreen.

Saying Goodbye to Evergreen..

Based on their radio transmission tonight, they are doing just fine.

We are looking forward to seeing them again in French Polynesia!

Doug Scott - PPJ Net Controller

It has been very interesting listening to all of the Puddle Jumpers checking in each night.

All boats are reporting in as A-OK and 3 boats have all ready made to the Marquesas. Amazing!

High Wire Act

We had a few "unplanned" projects like pieces of our jib furler breaking off.

Doug is amazing though - he was able to fix it, plus do some general maintenance while he was hanging around up there.

My job - don't let him fall.  No stress there!

San Pancho Beach

We splurged and rented a car for our final provisioning runs.

A luxury, but so much easier than bus rides and paying for cabs. One Costco run fills the whole car - oh my!

San Pancho colors

So, we decided to play tourists for a day and drove up to San Pancho (or San Francisco). Two names; no idea why!

A beautiful surfing town off the beaten path. We thoroughly enjoyed wandering around.

Our crew, Brian, arrives Monday.  After that, once our weather window arrives, we are out of here.  What an adventure!

PS:  Sounds like the Puddle Jumpers are catching tuna out there - hope we get that lucky - yum!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crazy, just plain crazy...

Racers that is - fun but crazy!

We spent 3 days with Captain Patsy on Talion preparing and racing in the 19th annual Banderas Bay Regatta.

Talion overtaking Vagabundo

Every year Patsy invites her Portland friends to fly down and race on Talion. We were very lucky and got invited to join them.

I know it wasn't for our racing skills, but we do make great Rail Meat!
Rail Meat

There were ~60 boats racing in 7 classes - all different shapes and sizes.

Our class had 11 participants and they were tough!

Race Day!

We were scheduled to race for 3 days, but the second day was canceled due to the Tsunami alert.

Flying the shoot
It is something to see - all of these boats racing around the marks trying to out maneuver the other guy.

Sometimes, we were so close to other boats I felt like we could reach out and touch them.

We were definitely close enough to holler at each other and quote rules of racing - get out of our way!

Start of the BIG Boats
We know that we could never race Moondance, we would be nervous wrecks.

Just visualizing our home crashing into another boat and sinking to the bottom of the bay - oh my!

I don't know how Patsy does it, but she has nerves of steel and loves to race.

Cirque starting the show
The Regatta is a also a big social event where racers converge. 

You would be amazed how many people we knew from all over - including lots of folks from Alameda - who knew?

We had a wonderful time catching up with everyone!

Kick-off Festivities
The Vallarta Yacht Club sponsors the regatta and opens up the yacht club to the racers. 

They also scheduled some wonderful local entertainment for the kick-off event.  Mariachis and a local dance group performing traditional music and dances from several States of Mexico.

We enjoyed it all!

Did I mention that we placed a respectable 3rd in our class?  Will we did.  Thanks Patsy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami warnings - Banderas Bay

sv Blue - sailing on Banderas Bay
It was an awful start to the day - just hearing about the death and destruction in Japan caused by the earthquake and the tsunami.  So sad, words just can't express...

But, I didn't realize the affects that this would have on our day, but all sorts of news started coming through the VHF.  The Pacific coast of USA and Mexico were going to be affected and the boating community needed to take action.

In a tsunami, the safest place to be is at sea.  All of the damage that occurs is along the shore due to the surges and currents. 

Here in Banderas Bay, there was LOTS of radio traffic and LOTS of confusion that lasted all day:
  • Ports were closed and all boats in the marina were NOT allowed to leave.
  • Ports were still closed, but pleasure boats were allowed to leave the marinas.
  • The Banderas Bay Regatta was delayed and then canceled.
  • Water levels along the shore and in the marinas were dropping and rising rapidly and randomly.
  • Damage to marinas, bizarre current patterns, sand bars developing, etc.
  • Ports were re-opened; Ports were re-closed
  • Etc.
Okay, you got the picture.  We felt like we had joined the circus!

We decided to play it safe.  Even though we were anchored out in the Bay, we decided to sail out to deeper waters - along with everyone else.  It was an amazing site to see all of the boats sailing around and enjoying the beautiful day.  You would never know that it was all caused by a natural disaster.

Some boats were able to get back to the marinas during the short time the entrances were open.  The rest of them are anchored out in the Bay with us - safe and sound and enjoying a lovely evening.

You never know what the day is going to bring - so be prepared for anything!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Confucius says...

They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom - Confucius.

Well, I don't know about the wisdom part, but we are happy.  Moondance is shipshape, fully stocked, and ready to go - we just aren't going - at least not yet and we are changing plans (again)!
Sayulita beach bar

For almost two years, we have been focused on sailing to the Galapagos, French Polynesia, and on to Hawaii.

It just wasn't meant to be.

This week, we discovered two things that made us change our route:

Relaxing at the beach
1) We have to be in Tahiti in June to meet the French High Commissioner in order to receive our long-term visas.

--This wasn't planned and has forced us to change our timeline and, unfortunately, cross the Galapagos off our route.

Sayulita Beach
2)  It is a long, tough sail from Zihautenjo, Mexico to the Gambiers Islands.

--Instead we will be sailing from Banderas Bay with the rest of the Puddle Jumpers at the end of March.

They are all headed to the Marquesas; our route will take us further south.  The Gambiers are supposed to beautiful, remote, and unspoiled  and that's just what we are looking for.

We both feel much better after making these decisions. Good thing cruisers are flexible!

Our new route - Gambiers,Tuamotus, Australs, and Tahiti - just in time for the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous (sponsored by Latitude 38).  I wanted to attend this amazing event anyway, so I am happy!  We still plan to be in Hawaii from November through April, 2012.

La Cruz Cemetery
Now, we just have to figure out what to do between now and the end of March.  We are all waiting for a weather window - the jet stream has to move north (where it belongs).  So, please keep the cold weather to yourselves!

We are thinking of joining in on some of the festivities of the Banderas Bay Regatta (not racing Moondance for sure!).

We have friends participating, plus there are lots of social activities.
Doug - stressed!

We might do some inland travel...
We will probably do some sailing...
We have a few minor projects to work on...
And definitely more provisioning...

Plus, more seminars and Puddle Jump activities - there is always something going on, people to meet, and lots and lots of discussions.

We think our New Plan looks pretty darn good!