South Through Mexico

seaofcortez

We’re on our way south after quick visits to La Paz and Mazatlan. As winter arrives in the Sea of Cortez the northerly winds blow harder and the water gets cooler, so people head south to the mainland side where the air and water are still tropical. It being our first year of cruising, who are we to question this conventional wisdom? In the spring we’ll head back north again, making our way deep into the Sea of Cortez before hurricane season hits the southern region.

The trip to La Paz was nice, and that’s where we spent Thanksgiving with 200 other cruisers at a turkey dinner potluck. The cruising club in La Paz provided the turkeys and we all brought the side dishes. La Paz is a great little town that’s not a cruise ship destination, so it still feels like Mexico (unlike Cabo San Lucas, which is just Newport Beach south). There is a paved 3 mile walk along the beach that extends from one end of town to the other, and I found a friend who liked to get up early like I do and walk for exercise before the sun gets too hot.

Crossing the Sea of Cortez from La Paz to Mazatlan requires an overnight passage, and some strong northerly winds were coming into the Sea, so we decided to head south and then across. Unfortunately we ended up between weather fronts, only had 5 knots of wind, and had to motor across. But I think it may have been better than 25 knots with the seas on our beam, which is what happened the day after we got to Mazatlan.

Mazatlan is a pretty town with lots of different personalities. There is an old town district with buildings dating back to the 1800’s, and a tourist district with modern high rise hotels on beautiful white sandy beaches. The cruise ships do stop there (we saw three in port when we arrived), but the town is large and the passengers get absorbed into it without overwhelming it. There is a municipal harbor where you can anchor for free, but it’s downwind of the sewage treatment plant, and we decided after one stinky night that paying for the marina wouldn’t be so bad afterall! When we got to the marina we found boats we had met on the Haha and had lots of fun with some new friends. We also ran into the folks who owned the boat yard in Port Townsend where we had hauled our boat last year, which was quite a nice surprise.

Our next planned stop was Isla Isabella, which is a small island 17 miles off the coast of mainland Mexico and 90 miles south of Mazatlan. We left Mazatlan late in the afternoon, making an overnight passage so we could arrive at the island in daylight. The weather forecast on buoyweather.com called for winds of 0-0, meaning it would be a motor boat trip. Imagine our surprise when we got out of the harbor and found 25 knots of wind. We thought it was just an afternoon seabreeze, but after listening to the weather forecast on our SSB (single sideband, the ham radio), we found out it was going to persist through the night and all the next day. Good for the passage, but not good for the anchorage, since Isla Isabella does not have a protected harbor for a good blow.

chacala

By morning the wind had died and we turned the motor on. The seas were high and the passage had been very rolly, making the boat an incredibly noisy place to try and sleep while you’re off watch. As we motored past Isabella in the morning there was only 3 knots of wind. The anchorage looked very very tempting, and there were two other boats already there. The island is a National Wildlife Preserve, with over 500 nests for frigate birds and blue footed boobies. Definitely a must see on our list. But not today. We still maintain a pretty conservative approach to cruising, and didn’t want to get caught in a bad anchorage when the wind came back up in the afternoon. So we pushed on and figured we could stop on our way back north.

The bay we were anchored in yesterday is a lovely little fishing village with some palapas (restaurants) on a beach that’s lined with palm trees, some RVs and a couple of small hotels. We had a stern anchor set to keep us bow into the ocean rollers, and there were 5 other sailboats in there with us.

Now we’re north of Puerto Vallarta but we’ll only stop for a day or two in an anchorage on the north side of Banderas Bay, not in the city marinas. The coast between PV and Zihuatanejo has lots of beautiful stops and we’re anxious to be done with the big towns and spend time in small harbors. And we have only 19 days to get the last 350 miles to Zihuat before my sister shows up.

Tonight on Yohelah we’re going to enjoy a dinner of fresh wahoo caught this afternoon enroute to La Cruz………..

La Cruz is here

A Visit With The Mexican Navy

Well we’re certainly overdue on logs. I didn’t realize it had been an entire month since I had last updated the site. When I last wrote we were on our way into Banderas Bay, which is where Puerto Vallarta is. We stayed in a town north of PV called La Cruz and rode the local bus into PV, which cost 14 pesos ($1.40 US) for an hour bus trip. After a few days of being tourists and doing chores we headed south again around Cabo Corrientes (corrientes is currents in Spanish), towards the Mexican “Gold Coast”. We didn’t have time for too many stops on the way south, as we were still hurrying to get to Zihua before my sister did, but we did manage a few days in Tenacatita (fabulous but buggy), and a few days in Manzanillo. On our way back north after Sail Fest we’ll linger and take our time in those great places and others along the coast.
One of the most interesting hours we’ve spent since we started cruising was our little visit with the Mexican Navy south of Manzanillo one day. Seems the new President is very interested in convincing the US that they’re getting tough on drugs and drug runners, so they’re boarding lots and lots of boats. Of course we didn’t know about the new President’s initiative when they found us, so it definitely caused me much anxiety during the boarding.

mexicannavy

We were motoring south in no wind about 11:00 am, having left Manzanillo at 4:30 am to time our arrival into Zihau during daylight the next day. A navy ship (about 150′) was headed north passing us on our port side, when suddenly they turned and started motoring parallel to us. We heard them give our lat/lon coordinates on the VHF, then they circled behind us close enough to see our boat name. Suddenly a high speed patrol boat approached from shore and came up behind us, hailing us on the VHF (of course in Spanish and very broken English). We understood that they wanted us to stop, but they wouldn’t come any closer until we shut off our engine. Then they asked us how many people on board and if we had any weapons (NO!). Then we waited. And waited. Finally they came back on the radio to apologize and say it wouldn’t be too much longer (at least that’s what we think they said). Then they moved up to board with four guys on the bow with machine guns, but then backed off. We were told later that was to see if we were going to panic or try to run. Then a guy with a clipboard came onboard and looked over all our paperwork and went on their way.

navyboarding

It all would have been a complete non-event, except that we had forgotten to check out of Manzanillo because we left at 4:30 am and were very tired. The rules for checking in and out of towns is very loose right now, since they just changed the laws last year and you’re no longer required to check in and pay a fee at every port. But you are expected to check in and out where there is a Port Capitan, and we had checked in at Manzanillo (although by radio, so we’re not even sure they knew who we really were). But sitting there adrift in the middle of the ocean and waiting for 30 minutes with four guys on the bow of their patrol boat holding machine guns can really make you find things to worry about. All was well with our paperwork, though, and they left waving goodbye.

We arrived mid day the next day into Zihuatanejo, and it is all we had hoped it would be. We think this is the perfect little Mexican town – not too small and not too big (<100,000 folks). The people are very friendly and the town has everything we need without the big city feel. The bay is beautiful and well protected, and has room for lots and lots of boats. The snorkeling is good over at Playa Las Gatas, and there is a nice sea breeze during the day to keep it somewhat comfortable and a decent land breeze at night. The town has all the shops you need, but as we’ve learned, buying things in Mexico is tough. The rule is “if you see it and you want it, buy it then” because it most likely won’t be there when you go back. True story, and it doesn’t take too many times to learn that lesson.

Leslie and Fred came down on the 27th and stayed a week, which went by way too quick. They brought lots and lots of stuff that we had shipped to their house before they left (THANKS), and we also had a nice little Christmas gift exchange with them. I got to spend some quality time with my sis hanging out in town and on a little dinghy tour of the bay. We had a nice day snorkeling at Las Gatas, and they even took a Scuba resort course and went on a dive with us. But all too soon they were off to the airport heading back home to one nasty Seattle winter. For us, truthfully, we’d love to see some rain and get the salt washed off the boat. We’ve seen about 10 minutes of rain total since we left Vancouver Island in August.

Now we’re going to start focusing our energy on Sail Fest. I’ll write more in the next log about that.

Today on Yohelah we’re resting for a few days before it’s time to begin the philanthropic portion of the cruise……

Zihuatanejo is here

Sailfest

Now we’re very involved in a local fund raising event called Sail Fest . This the sixth year of Sail Fest, which is a five day event in early February that raises money to help the poorest kids get an education. In years past it has provided funds to build an entire school for the children (many indigenous and most whose families are living as squatters on the outskirts of town) when the government wouldn’t help, and that school is now supported by the local school system. This year we’re raising money to build a satellite school to replace another one currently housed in shacks in a similar neighborhood. The state has donated the land which the parents helped clear and prepare, the city is donating the materials, and money earned at Sail Fest will pay for the labor to build the school. They hope to raise enough this year to complete three buildings.
nuevocreacion The school is currently in temporary structures on a hillside, and today we got a tour by the head of the foundation Por Los Ninos who are the administrators of the funds raised by Sail Fest. Quite honestly, it was an amazing experience, and very emotional for me. Not because the kids were so poor, but because they were so happy and so enthusiastic about getting to go to school. Seeing them learn in an environment that we would consider hideous was so inspiring. We’re so excited to get to be a part of helping these kids.

We’ve both volunteered to be committee chairs for the festival. I’m in charge of the Chili Cook-Off / Bake Sale / Street Fair on Saturday, February 3rd. And Rob’s in charge of collecting donations. The community has become very involved and most merchants donate something that raises funds in one of three events; a live auction, a silent auction and a raffle drawing. Rob’s job is to organize the volunteers who collect the donations from the merchants. We’re looking forward to the event, and have gotten very plugged into the cruising community here by becoming a part of this.

zihuachild

Today on Yohelah we’re very inspired by the beautiful children of Zihuatanejo……

Zihuatanejo is here

$940,000 Mexican Pesos

$940,000MN (Pesos). That’s how much money was raised by SailFest this year. It’s an astounding amount; approximately $88,000 US dollars. They only needed an additional $40,000US to build the new school (except the city didn’t come up with their portion for the building materials, which will cost an extra $20,000US). The volunteers and organizers all worked hard to make it happen, and approximately 100 boats showed up ready to play. We attended all the events including the auctions, CD release party, beach potluck, beach games day for the kids, pursuit race (we crewed on another boat), dinghy treasure hunt (we were one of the clue boats the dinghies had to find), and sail parade (more on that later). By the end of the week we were pooped, and about $500 lighter in the wallet. But I got a beautiful freshwater pearl neclace in the live auction, and all the money goes to the kids education, so it’s all good.
The part that hurt was the $100 we spent paying off the Mexican fishing panga we smacked into during the sail parade. We were near the end of the parade of about 42 boats, which went through Zihua Bay and out to Ixtapa. There was a Mexican panga they passed, which kept “drifting” closer and closer to the parade. By the time we got there it was so close to the parade we couldn’t see it when the boat in front of us passed and it went right up under our bow. Of course they didn’t speak English and our Spanish is still horrid, but they just kept saying “problema” and pointing to the engine, which started just fine. We didn’t want to just leave, not knowing how much trouble we might be in with the Port Capitain if we did. Finally they said $2,000 pesos ($200 US), and Rob countered with $1,000 pesos. They said ok, and got a heck of a bonus for their day of “fishing”. When we checked later with the local Expat and owner of the cruiser’s bar, he assured us we did the right thing by negotiating and paying them off.

Another painful moment was when we realized that the bottom paint that works so womderfully in Seattle waters has no effect on the growth in Zihuatanejo Bay. After about three weeks the bottom of our boat was completely encrusted with barnacles. Rob dove on it with scuba gear and literally scraped the entire hull. When we were getting ready to leave last week we had to dive again. This time I did half of the boat, and that’s a job that truly sucks. The barnacles were still coming out of my hair when I combed it after my shower.

But all in all Zihuatanejo was a marvelous place to hang out for seven weeks. We didn’t get to see much besides the immediate town because the SailFest work kept us so busy. But we’ll be back next year as participants and enjoy it then.

Now we’re enroute back to Manzanillo and the Gold Coast (Tenacatita and Barra de Navidad). Some friends from Seattle are in Santiago Bay, which we should arrive at today around 3:00. We’ll hang out in the area for five weeks, then Brittney will come down for Spring Break. We should hopefully have some time to get caught up on boat chores before she gets here, since we didn’t get many done in Zihua.

Today on Yohelah we’re pretty proud of the accomplishments of SailFest and ready for some rest time………

Zihuatanejo is here

Mexican Gold Coast

We’ve been two weeks in Tenicatita Bay now and are getting ready to move into Barra de Navidad tomorrow morning. Our two weeks here have been marvelous. We’ve been resting, playing bocci ball and dominoes at the beach, snorkeling, and generally hanging out with lots of new and even some old friends. Best news is we’re getting caught up on “the list”, and feel like the boat projects are nearly under control.

revilcito

There is no real town here, just a beautiful beach with one palapa that’s open until about 5:00 at night. There is a small town across the bay we haven’t been to yet, and a beach area in the bay around the corner from us called Revelcito with restaurants and one small mercado (market). To get to that settlement you go up the “jungle river tour”, which is a small freshwater stream with great mangroves and a canopy – and allegedly boas and crocks. It’s about 45 minutes from the boat to the beach at the other end and definitely a fun trip, made even more interesting by the fact that it’s one boat width wide at most points and the pangas haul tourists up and down it all day at a speed much faster that we travel in the winding passage.

jungletour

When we came in here there were 54 boats but still plenty of room for more. Today there are 30 boats in here, but I’d guess 10 of them are heading north tomorrow during a good weather window. But there are still lots of boats down in Zihua and Manzanillo that will likely move up north here while the winter northerlies aren’t howling down the Sea of Cortez during the next four days. For our friends who read “Lattitudes and Attitudes” (a sailing magazine – what else) yesterday afternoon Lost Soul anchored behind us. The guy who owns Lost Soul and Latts & Atts is also the same guy who wrote the biker magaine Easy Rider in the 70’s.

The lagoon at Barra where we’ll go tomorrow is totally different than Tenicatita. It’s completely enclosed with just a small channel in and is very shallow. There is sufficient depth in an area that will hold about 30 boats if you stack them in tight. There are three small towns nearby and lots of good restaurants and places to explore. There’s even a French Baker who delivers fresh croissants and baguettes to your boat in the morning! We’ll hang out there for a couple of weeks and do more boat chores and wait for Brittney to get here on the 17th.

We’ve had an awesome time hanging out with some great new freinds and are starting to learn what cruising is really like. The best parts are the amazing places you get to visit and the people you meet. But soon enough you’re moving on to somewhere new and your friends are moving on somewhere else. Saying goodbye so soon to friends you’d like to spend more time with gets tough sometimes, but you always just hope and plan to see them “down the road” somewhere again. But we already know what good plans are when you’re cruising, because the best plans are always written in the sand.

Today on Yohelah we’re resting up for our big 13 mile trek tomorrow into Barra……

Tenicatita is here

Home For The Summer

Well here we are back in the big city for the summer. When we were in Alaska last summer in the cold and rain we were getting emails from our friends in the Sea of Cortez where it was 96 – degrees, water temp and humidity. I didn’t think after 45 years north of 48 degrees latitude that I’d be acclimated well enough in one season to enjoy that. We started exploring options early into our winter cruise and remembered that our friends Steve & Elsie would be cruising Alaska in their sailboat and looking for a house sitter in Seattle for the summer. This became a perfect opportunity for us to avoid the heat and put some money in the bank.

marquesas

So we left the Gold Coast in March and headed for La Paz to put Yohelah away for the summer. Enroute we got email from Spectra (the watermaker company Rob does sales and service for) that there was a customer in the Marquesas needing a technician to fly down and repair his watermaker. Long story short – Rob was flown to French Polynesia for 2 days and earned a nice bonus for working on a beautiful Swan 56 owned by a very wealthy European. He’s gotten a little taste of things to come after we make the big “puddle jump” and is ready to headsouth. There are some pretty pictures of that trip in the photo gallery.

His brother came down for a week and we got a little preview of how beautiful the Sea of Cortez is with a seven day cruise north of La Paz. We hung out with some friends we’d met earlier in the season, and met some new ones we hope to see again next year. But soon enough it was time to get the boat ready for hurricane season. That means stripping everything off the outside (sails, halyards, covers, etc) that will be wind blown or UV damaged during hurricane season and the hot summer. It also meant putting some new finish on some exterior teak, waxing and polishing the topsides, and stowing everything below. Rob also stayed after I came home and installed our autopilot (yippee) and took the refrigerator apart (boohoo). He needs to do some rework on the installation of the fridge, which we’ll do when we get back next winter.

For now we’re in a beautiful house on Sunset Hill in Ballard. I’m contracting at Real Networks building Oracle databases and Rob’s closing in on another contract position doing Project Management. When we wrap up our contract commitments we’ll head back to La Paz and rescue Yohelah from the dock. Hopefully it’ll be early enough in the winter to head north and see the Sea of Cortez. Then it’s south through Central American and into Ecuador. Luckily we have friends here in Seattle with boats to help us get our sailing time in this summer. And T2 and I are going to Alaska to see my good friend Debby and ride horses at her guide camp in the Alaska Range. I’ll post some pix of that when we get back in late August.

costabaja

Today Yohelah is baking in the La Paz heat and we’re ejoying a beautiful summer in Seattle……

Still In Seattle

Yup we’re still in Seattle, and unfortunately here to stay for another three months. Rob’s boss is a very persuasive man and now that Rob is getting some traction on his project they really don’t want him to leave. My boss at Real Networks agreed to keep me working through January so we’re settled into a little furnished rent by the month apartment in Magnolia through January. It’s been nice to be home, see friends and family and put money in the retirment account, but we definitely would be going back to the boat if it weren’t for Rob’s boss.

thetwots

Rob went to La Paz and checked on Yohelah before he started work, and she weathered her first hurricane (Henriette) no problem at all. I did get to make the wonderful trip up to Alaska with T2 to see Debs and we had an incredible 5 days riding horses and having some excellent “girl time” in the mountains. There are some pix of that trip here . I’ll finish up the video soon and post a link for that. And Rob has had some extra time and access to a slide scanner this summer and digitized some of his photos shot underwater when we was diving in the Red Sea in the 80’s and some Caribbean diving shots. These are excellent photos and some of the reason we have scuba gear, a dive compressor and underwater photo gear on Yohelah that we’re anxious to get to the South Pacific to get some use out of. You’ll definitely want to slow down the slideshow speed and look closely at the detail in these photos.

softcoral

But we’ve already learned that making cruising “plans” is totally a waste of time. As we were preparing to go cruising I used to tell friends and family things like “Oh yeah – see you in Greece in 2010”. Yeah, no. This summer we’ve had to explain a dozen times why we’re back in Seattle already. And we’ve found this summer that “plans” we’ve had for the last five years to go to Ecuador on our way south aren’t going to happen now. The new president of Ecuador (and many other Central and South American leaders) are swinging way far left and definitely on the anti-capitalism bandwagon. But in Ecuador they’re making some very unfavorable decisions that affect cruising yachts like refusing to sell fuel to them and retroactively imposing a 10% tax on the boat for stays over 180 days. Long story short – we’ll spend the year in a hot and wet Central America (at least that’s the “plan” for now).

We’re going to go back to La Paz during Thanksgiving week to get her ready for cruising south. She needs new bottom paint (thanks to Andiamo for taking bottom paint from Seattle to La Paz for us), and Rob’s rebuilding the fridge. I’ll get all the sails and halyards and canvas back up and get her back in ship-shape. Then at Christmas we’ll go down and cruise north for 10 days and get to see a little teeny bit of the Sea of Cortez. Like Alaska, there’s just not going to be time right now to see as much as we want of Mexico. But we’re anxious to move on and get to Central America while the weather’s still good in the winter, so when we return in January we’ll jet south (relatively).

Today Yohelah is warm and cozy at her dock in La Paz and we’re getting ready for a stormy winter in Seattle……

Back To Baja

We came to La Paz at Thanksgiving to start preparing Yohelah for a cruise south to Central America. She weathered her first hurricane season with few problems (the only issues were from excessive heat inside) and needed to be readied again for cruising by putting the sails back up and the gear back outside. When we went back to Seattle we were hoping Rob would get laid off and I could finish up my work for Real Networks from Mexico after Christmas. Of course just the opposite happened – I got laid off and Rob was asked to extend. So we’re back now at Christmas and I don’t have to return to the northwest but Rob does.

So as soon as he wraps up his project in January and we get our replacement vacuum panels for our refrigeration, we’ll be on our way out of La Paz and headed south. I know there’ll be little sympathy from anyone up north, but it’s been an unseasonably cold winter here. Yesterday morning at breakfast I had on long corduroy pants and a sweatshirt and I wasn’t too warm. The northerly winds have been howling down the Sea of Cortez since we got here over a week ago.

But the best news is that we got to catch up with Tim & Cindy again. They’re on their way south from the Sea of Cortez where they spent the hot summer. Unfortunately they’re not going to Central America this year, so we’re going to lose sight of them for a while again. We also got to spend time with John & Lisa from Andiamo who are old friends from our PSCC days in Seattle, and with Dorothy & Gary of Wandr’n Star who we met wintering over in Port Townsend what seems like so many many years ago.

This year’s cruise is going to be much less hectic than last year. We have friends coming down to Barra in early March, and Brittney will come down to Costa Rica at the end of her spring quarter. That will allow a nice pace for us, giving us three months to get from Mexico through Guatemala and El Salvador.

Today on Yohelah we’re finishing a repack of the boat and preparing her for a continuation of our voyage south….

La Paz is here

Still In La Paz

Well it’s February now and we’re still in La Paz. But the good news is we’re getting ready to head south soon. Last week Rob finished up at WaMu and flew into San Diego where our new vacuum panels for our refrigeration were waiting for us. I flew up and met him and we rented a car in Tijuana to drive across the border and down to La Paz. We have worried for months about how to get the new vacuum panels here without the customs folks wanting to “open” and inspect them. We had asked everyone we know for advice and finally had come up with what we thought was the best plan.

We had been told that the border crossing at Tecate, about 25 miles east of Tijuana, was the “easiest” to cross. We had also been told that if you use the “something to declare” line and go in and pay duty on a couple of cases of wine they won’t bother searching the car to see what else you had with you. Knowing that neither of those ideas were going to work 100% of the time, but believing they constituted a plan, we set off for Tecate with 2 cases of wine and our vacuum panels in the back seat of the Mexican rental car.

As we approached the Tecate border crossing we discovered there was no “somthing to declare” lane. Only two lanes saying “nothing to declare” and the always present in Mexico pass or stop green-light/red-light. With no other choice we drove through and got the green light. OK good, but we also needed to get Visas. So we pulled into the inpsection lane where the customs officers were chatting and rolled down the window to ask about Visas. There we were with 2 cases of wine and us knowing we had intended to pay duty but no way to do it, and they couldn’t have cared less. After getting instructions from the officers we parked the car, got our visas, and were on our way!

beautifulbaja

We spent the next two and a half days driving down the beautiful Baja peninsula. The drive was both spectucular and terrifying at the same time. The speed limit is 50 mph but everyone, including the semis, go at least 70. For much of the highway they built the road exactly the width of the white lines, with not an inch of shoulder on either side. Where they had actually put in guard rails they were usually destroyed at the mid point of the curve. The Mexicans use topos (speed bumps) liberally to slow down traffic, and they are present at the outskirts of every little town along the way. Between the cows wandering in the roads and not knowing which vados were full of water from the rains, there was never a dull moment along the way.

But we’re home now safe and sound and ready to get on our way. Leslie was down for a visit the week before Rob got here and we had some most excellent sister time together. This weekend is our birthday weekend and Rob’s celebrating his big 50. Tomorrow we haul out and put a new bottom on the boat, then provision and head for the Gold Coast. Mike & Nita from Seattle are coming down to join us for a week there, then we’ll jet for Huatulco at the southern end of Mexico and wait for a weather window to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec into Central America (more on that later).

happybirthday

Today on Yohelah we’re celebrating Rob’s birthday and trying to find somewhere to store two cases of wine…..

Gold Coast Revisited

We’re on anchor in Las Hadas this morning getting ready to head south. Our trip from La Paz to Tenicatita was not as uneventful as we prefer and got interrupted by a stop in La Cruz (near Puerto Vallarta) to do some repairs to the boat. We’ve been fortunate that all the hard work we did in Seattle and Port Townsend has paid off and we’ve had few mechanical issues to deal with so far. But on the way out of La Paz we first discovered that our hydraulic vang had leaking seals when I found hydraulic fluid on the decks while dousing the sails at Las Frailes. Then on our second day of passage out of Frailes I was trying to unfurl the jib early in the morning while Rob was sleeping and discovered the spinnaker halyard wrapped around the swivel at the top. Rats. Later that day as dark was approaching and the wind had died we decided to speed up the engine and try to push for Tenicatita the next day and discovered low oil pressure in the engine. Double rats. No headsails and a questionable engine. Hmmm – time for a stopover.

Luckily with the help of our mechanic in Seattle Rob discovered the oil pressure was just a bent sender from his oil change before we left La Paz. One problem fixed. Then with a trip aloft we had the spin halyard back in place and second problem fixed. On our way again. Only to discover that the roller furling still didn’t roll out. In Barra we pulled down the sail and found a broken spring clip which with the help of our rigger in Port Townsend we discovered will get us to El Salvador and we can get fixed in April when I come home.

So then it was time for a big PSCC (Puget Sound Cruising Club) outstation meeting. Tim & Cindy were in Barra with us and hosted Steve & Elsie from Osprey (who we house sat for last summer). Rob & I hosted Mike & Nita from Odessa (another Baba 40 in Seattle). Also in Barra were Patty & Frosty from Angelfish for a couple of days, Roger & Karen from Meridien, and Jake & Sharon from Jake. Quite the gathering of Northwest sailors. We spent a week sharing the Gold Coast with our friends from the chilly Northwest, then put them all on a plane yesterday.

lashadas

Friday at 4:00 am we’ll leave for Zihuatanejo, where we should arrive mid day on Sunday. We’ll spend a couple of days, then make a passage down to Huatulco, which is our last stop in Mexico. We’ve had a lovely time in Mexico and the Mexican people couldn’t be nicer, but it’s time to move on. We’re sad to be saying goodbye to friends we likely won’t see again, but are both looking forward to some new adventures. I’m going to come back to Seattle in April to help my sis after some surgery, then Rob & I will go to Guatemala for some Spanish immersion and to explore Mayan ruins. After that we’ll cruise Central America and take an inland trip to Peru with our niece while it’s too hot to stay on the boat over the summer.

Today on Yohelah we’re relaxing and readying for a 1,000 mile jaunt south to El Salvador……

Las Hadas is here