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I own the last Wauquiez Centurion 42  (hull#55).

Friday, December 20, 2013

We left and now are back

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Here we are are pulling into Yelapa which is on the southern coast of Banderas Bay.  I think the saying goes "I rather be on Appa in Yelapa then have a condo in Redondo."  Yes I know, Appa looks like a gypsy wagon. 
The "town" of Yelapa. 
We left La Cruz around 10am or so and stopped at the fuel dock.  We took on 44 gallons of fuel.  We haven't filled since leaving San Jose del Cabo.  That means we traveled about 600 miles and ran the motor about 10 hours total to make amps for the battery bank and water. Not too bad. Gotta to love a good sailing boat. Maybe I explained this part but if not here goes, our boat has an engine driven reverse osmosis water maker that we use to make sparkling fresh water.  Some people don't like running their primary engine just to make water stating among other reasons that running a diesel motor while unloaded is not good for it. Diesels like to work hard.  I believe that to a point.  Truck stops across the US are filled with idling diesel trucks. We idled our ambulances in Chicago while waiting for 911 calls.  Thousands of hours on my old ambulance 218.  So while I don't discount that idling is bad, we are making water and charging the batteries whilst running the engine.  Our alternator takes about 2-3 horse power to run when it is in bulk mode.  Not sure what the high pressure pump for the water maker takes as far as horsepower is concerned.  I do know that when I engage the clutch for the water maker, the engine sounds like it is under a bit more load.  Nothing like spinning the prop against 30,000 pounds of boat, gear, piano, guitars, books (omg the books that this boat carries, we could be a branch of the public library system), and spare parts but you get the picture. 
Early morning on Appa. Sam is coloring and can color within the lines.  Here's proof...
Pure unadultered freaking GENIUS!!!  She gets it from Jen. She does have some Reichert qualities though.....bossy, strong willed, typical Reichert good looks, awesome hair, likes sailboats, I could go on and on.
Ben has been finally reading without being told.  I haven't seen him pick up that damn ipod of his for awhile now.  He has read the entire Charlie Bone series which is 8 books and now is on book 3 of the Percy Jackson series.  Who knew that you had to give something he wanted to read?  I kept pushing Black Hawk Down on him but he said it was overly violent and not to his taste.  He's 8!  He don't have no stinking taste yet!  Kids!  Btw I kid, I kid.  
Max has been reading World War Z about the coming zombie apocalypse.  He is suppose to be reading To Kill A Mockingbird. He doesn't like it he says.  Not to his taste he tells us.  See my statement above about taste and kids.  I remember liking the book when I read it in the sixth grade.  Jen recently read it and loved it.  
So schoolwork on Appa has been lacking lately. Max is done with algebra, biology, and geography.  He still has a ton of English to do and has to finish Spanish up.  Those two subjects are Jen's domain.  She learned English more then I.  Her Spanish is much better also.  We are figuring to have Max fly back to Seattle in February so he can visit with his friends while they are on break from school and also then he can go to a testing site and take his final exams for this part of his school year.  He'll still have another half year of school left then.  We were thinking about taking a bus to Guadalajara and staying a couple nights there while he meets with the proctor there and then takes his exams but I'll bet that it is more money for 5 bus tickets, lodging, food, and slip fees for the boat, then if we were to just fly him out of Ixtapa in mid February. That is the plan as it stands now.  Subject to change.  They say that plans in Mexico are written in the sand at low tide.  
Holy crap did I get off track!  Ok back to what I originally was going to write.  We made about 100 gallons of fresh water on the way to Yelapa.  Yelapa is a town on the southern side of Banderas Bay that only recently got electricity and telephone service.  Evidently they are also a collective of land owners and have been since the 1500s.  Google Yelapa if you want more info about the king of Spain granting this to them.
Anyway, If you look at Banderas Bay on google maps and then look for Puerto Vallarta, you will notice that PV is located in a totally flat area.  The mountains spring up just south and west of PV and continue upwards to about 2000 feet or so.  The anchorage in Yelapa is deep. Very deep.  To increase tourism the collective have placed a few mooring balls in the bay.  The deal is you come into the bay and a panga will come out and meet you and offer a mooring ball.  20 bucks a night.  We took a ball and it was about 50 yards from the beach in 150 feet of water.  The panga driver's name was Rafael and he was not overly friendly.  Not mean just not the usual Mexican friendliness that we are use to.  We grabbed the mooring buoy and settled in.  The plan was to go ashore and have a drink on the beach whilst reclined on a beach chair.  Yeah right.  Rafael picked us up with his 3 year old son and Jen ran down below to get the kid a hat.  Rafael stole it even though it was way to small for him.  Oh well.
Got on the beach and were immediately set upon by Rafael's father who was hawking jewelry and another dude with a HUGE iguana that wanted 20 pesos for a photo. An old old woman also showed up crying while trying to sell us purses.  Ugh. Hated it.  The beach was beautiful with a fresh water stream running into the ocean which was perfect for rinsing off and quite refreshing after a dip in the warm ocean.  The waves break very close to shore so no surfing possible but it was fun.  There are two water falls within walking distance but we got in too late for the hike.  We planned on doing it the next morning.  
Had Rafael take us back to the boat at sundown and I made dinner.  Pulled pork sandwiches with a red cabbage salad. Pretty good.  We also had leftover chicken pot pies that I made from scratch the previous night.  Jen is just another pretty face on this boat now.  Max and I do everything. 😉.  Smiley face emoticon inserted here.
We watched Ratatouille and then hit the bunks.  I've been in more rolly anchorages but can't remember when.  The kids and Jen all slept well as did I for the most part.  I do lay awake listening to the boat creak as she turns her beam to the swell.  Seems the floor boards in the master stateroom creak and groan a bit when we really get a big swell.  Once the kids were up, I grabbed those squeaky suckers and sanded them down a bit.  No more creak-a-squeak.  
Woke up to another sunny day and after breakfast we got ready to go to shore.  Rafael showed up around 11 and told us we had to leave the mooring ball even though the night before we were told that we could stay another night.  Now that I think about it, Rafael was asking if we were going to stay and we were noncommittal. I think if we had said yes he would have said we couldn't. It's weird down here at times.  Not weird but different.  So we unpacked our hiking stuff and decided to immediately head for Punta de Mita.  
A brief touch of the starter button and the Perkin's roared to life.  Haven't had to use the glow plugs once since hitting Mexico.  Hell maybe even San Diego.  The alternator belt squealed also so we repaired that underway and all was well.  No wind so we motored the 14 miles to Mita but we also saw this!!!
Look at the tail on the sucker.  Humpback whales.  3 of them.  I reckon they were about 40 feet long or so.  Of course being male I have a hard time estimating length. We have a ton of pictures but really you had to be there.  Sam was yelling and jumping up and down.  Ok ok, we all were.  Amazing experience.  And yes we are towing our dinghy.  
Got to Punta Mita and immediately fell into the water.  Then we launched our invasion fleet of two kayaks. Max and Benny took the kayaks out in search of waves to surf.  Ben is becoming quite adept at making the kayak go.  Makes me proud. They found some surf.  Mita is kinda famous for it.  Evidently too much surf cause Ben came back and wanted to hang with us.  Max went back and ate some waves for lunch. 
We never did make onto the beach but also we had just been there couple days before.  I grilled some pork loin up and we had burritos. Rajas comes in a can and we were told that it is awesome.  Mixed vegetable marinated in vinegar and spices.  Peppers, carrots, onions,etc., awesome.  I think we are going to be looking for it once we are back in the states.
After dinner we watched The Incredibles and hit the rack.
Mita wasn't too rolly and we got up and headed for the Tres Mariates islands about 8 miles to the west.  This chain if three islands are desolate and beautiful. Poor poor anchorage though and only recommended as a day stop.  I was last here in 2008 and boy has it changed.  Mooring balls are littered throughout the small bay and they all have the names of tour operators on them.  Multiply boats with tons of pasty white foreigners aboard were already at the anchorage.  It was like a scene from a ship sinking.  The water was littered with bodies wearing bright orange life vests.  We anchored in about 35 feet of water just off the tourist area.  We swam for a bit but didn't venture toward the many caves and little beaches strewn about.  We will save that for later.    
Yanked the anchor out around 1400 or so and headed back to La Cruz but this time we are going to hit the anchorage.  
Saw more whales this time and got yet more photos.  Dropped the hook in the anchorage just outside of the marina proper and loaded up the dinghy to head in to the little swimming pool and showers.  
Currently it is the following morning and we are motoring toward Paradise Village in PV. 
I'll update the blog from there.