Wednesday, 15 February 2017

New Crew

There are many of these big beautiful trees in La Cruz

I stayed in La Cruz until my new crew showed up.  My mom arrived on Jan 17th just in time for my birthday!  We had a fun night out with live music, sushi and good friends.
The next day we pulled up anchor and headed south, following in the tracks of Searover II.  If you have ever read their blog then you might get a sense that this is not the best idea!  Somehow when there is going to be a change from the nice weather predicted, it happens when they are at sea........and it was a nice 10 to 15 knots of wind predicted, which should have given us a nice downwind ride for the 100 nm overnight passage to Chamela.  Alas it was not to be.  Moms first ever overnight passage started out with some lovely sailing and we did continue with a downwind ride, however as the night progressed so did the wind speed.  The sails got smaller, the seas got lumpier, the night got darker.  Not a great introduction to sailing and not exactly what mom was hoping for when she got on Kialoa!  Luckily she was lying down below when I had a near miss with Searover II at midnight and did not see just how near it was....I say we followed in Searovers tracks but really we left La Cruz at the same time, and due to different courses and the fact that they tried to sail in the light air early in the day they were not leaving us behind yet, anyway eight hours into the trip we crossed paths, very closely.  The worst part is it was totally my fault we got so close, Searover was the stand on vessel, and I knew where he was but just did not get how close it was going to end up, lucky for me Gary is a quick thinker and was able to change course and we avoided a collision.  What are the odds in that great big sea that we would end up in the same part of it........anyway it happened and I am certain that I will very carefully make sure I am never in that situation again!
Mom at the helm
Bahia Chamela, Gary and his cousin Karen
on our very own beach, lucky us!

Alls well that ends well, so after a long lumpy but pretty fast sailing night we arrived at Bahia Chamela and anchored behind Searover, they did leave us behind after the near miss as they are generally a much faster boat.
We spent a few days hanging out on the beach, snorkeling and playing games. With a south wind predicted and no protection there it was time to go.  Once again we left at the same time as Searover II and what do you know, that south wind came in earlier and stronger than predicted so it was a rather brutal upwind slog to the next anchorage that was luckily only nine miles away.  Nine very long miles for Kialoa.  Mom was starting to wonder what the heck she was doing here, this sailing thing was not very fun so far!  The anchorage at Paraiso was pretty tight and we were the third boat to arrive, I don't think that it would have fit many more.  It also provided no protection from that south swell although when you looked at it on the charts it really looked like it would.  However it was a dramatically beautiful spot with amazing rock formations, crashing waves, blowholes and two small beaches.  We ended up enjoying our stay there in spite of the closeness of those rocks and crashing waves.  Mom and I stayed for two nights, one more night than Searover II, and we had a lovely downwind sail in 10 knots of wind to catch up with them at Tenacatita. But remember that cotter pin that fell on the deck in San Evaristo, 400 some odd nautical miles ago. I finally found where it came from!  As I was raising the main sail in preparation for leaving Paraiso I noticed that the large pin holding the boom to the mast was halfway out!  Yikes!  Luckily it was easy to get back into position and now has a new cotter pin to hold it there!

Here is the pin sticking out, the bottom part of the fitting had
been loose and was making a weird clunking sound that I
had been trying to track down.  Thank goodness we didn't lose
that pin!

The anchorage at Paraiso, the dramatic rocks and waves
did not photograph well but sunrise did. :)
A huge raft up potluck at Tenacatita

Mom kayaking in the mangroves at Tenacatita
We got to be a part of a leatherback turtle release in Tenacatita
they are just way too cute!

Just one of the beautiful beaches in the area
During our stay in Tenacatita we went to La Manzanilla, a nearby town, for
an Art Walk.  This boy band was playing terrible music on their homemade
instruments.  The horns are hoses and plastic water bottles.  I give them big
points for effort!
We had lots of fun in the Bay at Tenacatita so I think that kind of made up for some of the not so fun sailing!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

What happened in Dec and Jan

Tropical sunset Mantanchen Bay
Jay was running out of time, his flight was leaving from Puerto Vallarta on Dec 21st.  That was a real deadline, so we made tracks out of San Blas, we spent one night in Mantanchen bay and one slightly rolly night at Chacala on our way to the La Cruz anchorage in Banderas Bay.  Jay made his flight on time and I was alone on Kialoa.  That was a new experience and there were a few learning moments.......I ended up spending a month in La Cruz.  I had Christmas dinner with my lovely friends on Riki Tiki Tavi, I spent time with friends on Avant, Adios and Ultegra, started going to yoga in the mornings, got some projects completed on Kialoa, visited with Marshall (he is the one that helped get Kialoa to SanFransisco way back when) caught the bus to Sayulita, caught up with a high school friend, and bought a new spinnaker pole.  Yup that was one of my learning moments.....
Jay waiting for the bus to the airport and back to cold BC
see you later Jay.
flopper stopper in action
Oh, that spinnaker pole.  During the summer my friends on Searover II and Avant worked out how to make flopper stoppers (these are things that go in the water to help stop the boat from rolling too much in the swell when at anchor and are useful in the anchorages in this part of Mexico as there is often swell entering them) and had parts made as a group project that I was able to buy into. So one of my boat projects in La Cruz was to put my flopper stopper together, which I managed with help from Rob of Avant, and then of course I had to deploy it to test it.  The flopper stopper hangs in the water off the end of my spinnaker pole and does actually attenuate the rolling motion, yay, however during testing the wire to the outboard end of the pole failed and the end of the pole dropped in the water.  I got everything back on board and raised the inboard end of the pole up the mast, everything was going fine till it got kind of stuck and one extra tug on the line while I was looking up sent the pole right down at me and gave me a fat lip and a chipped tooth.  The cast aluminum fitting on the end of the pole had actually broken.  The end result was a visit to the dentist and a new spinnaker pole. Its better than the old pole anyway.

One of my projects was rebedding the starboard side cabin top
hardware.  There had been a leak over the summer so it was time.

rebedded and leak free

While I was at it I thought I would clean up the mess on the
under side.

Some paint added much more light to the head and
it is nice not to have a mess of wires any more.
It is a small world.  This is Lisa, who I knew in high school, she now lives and
owns a breakfast cafe in Sayulita, just slightly north of Puerto Vallarta.
In this picture she is standing outside my Aunties house in Sayulita.  As you
can see it is for sale in case you are interested in a lovely home in Sayulita.
It was fun to catch up with Lisa and I enjoyed the bus ride over the hill from La Cruz
Heres a horse picture just because.