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

Monday, March 3, 2014

Left La Cruz/Puerto Vallarta

Just before leaving La Cruz I was watching the sunset with Sam and strains of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb drifted to us from some open air restaurant. Unsure where the sound is coming from she turns to me and says, "Maybe the sky is singing."  Kids...

Ah La Cruz. What a great little town. I finally figured out the buses and the cool little vans called Com-bees. The Com-bees are minivans that can hold a ton of people. I counted 19 people in one once. Kids sat on laps of parents and such. It is like seeing a real life clown car. 
When taking your boat or car for that matter into Mexico you have to have a piece of paper from the Mexican government called a TIP or temporary import permit. I got mine online and mailed to us while in San Diego waiting for the trip down to Mexico. Evidently I pressed the wrong button and got the "car with boat on trailer" instead of "boat on water" permit. The car one is good for 6 months. The boat one is good for 10 years. They cost the same. So just prior to leaving La Cruz I took a Com-bee into PV which took about one hour after all the stops.  Got to the government bank that handles the forms and promptly got indoctrinated into the Mexican paperwork system. You need copies of everything. I knew this and came ready but unfortunately forgot a copy of my passport and visa. Had to walk down the street three blocks to an Internet cafe/copy place and get copies. Once done with that, I got back in line and waited. Having all the copies ready, the lady proceeded to go over all my paperwork and then brought out this impressive collection of stamps and proceeded to stamp the living hell out of everything. With whirling arms and the stamps a blur, she got me out of there in 15 minutes and $800 pesos lighter. Cost of doing business in Mexico. 
I caught the bus out of PV and and then transferred to the La Cruz bus without a misstep and was back at the boat after taking about 3 hours for the whole trip.
Our "sister ship" Sand Dollar was stuck in the Barre de Navidad area for about a week.  They got pummeled pretty good trying to round Cabo corrientes and had to turn back. Still haven't seen them so not really sure what is going on with them. I reckon we'll see them next week as we are here in Mazlatzan for 2 weeks.  
We left for Chacala with Sea Otter and Antipodes on Wednesday with a weather window that looked perfect.  40 miles there and we made it in 7 hours. Got to sail for 3 hours of it. Beautiful warm wind and weather. 
Putting Sammy's hat on for her.  I was trying to look serious and instead look constipated. 
One of our favorite stops! CHACALA!!  Even fun to say.
Our first day there we spent on the beach playing in the BIG surf. The kids were exhausted after hours of bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Some waves were 8 foot plus. I know this because Randy from Antipodes is 6'7" and with his arms up the wave would crash over him. Some of them went wayyyy over him. 
The following morning Sea Otter had to leave for Mazlatzan so they could meet up with family. We were sad to see them go. 
Ben on the top of a wave. That is Adam down in the surf. 
Just awful picture of Jen and Sam but I still love it. Just after this was taken a giant wave crushed them. Sam was all done after that. Well for a couple hours anyway. She came out with me later. Strong willed little beast. 
That's my Benny just getting it on those waves. He bit it on one of them. Up on top of the wave and fell 6 feet on his head and then washing machine in the dying remnants of the wave. 

We spent two days in Chacala just sitting on the beach. Nothing but swimming and surfing. Once I'm back slogging through the hell that is my job (I shudder to think of taking care of all those belligerent drunk asses in the ER), I will conjure up this day in my mind's eye. 
To quote Kramer from Seinfeld TV show "Up here, I'm already gone."

With the chain rumbling up the windlass at 6am, we started off for Isla Isabela which we visited on our way down the Mexican coast. Clear warm water waiting for us.  The wind never showed up for the trip north to Isabela. Never have I seen a more calm sea down here. No hint of a swell either. We motored the whole 50 miles and didn't even catch a fish. 
The anchor splashed into gin clear water and settled on the rocky bottom 15 feet under us. I could see it clearly. Max and I immediately jumped in the water and started to snorkel. I cleaned the bottom some more. Now we are traveling with Antipodes and I feel the need for more speed.  A clean bottom can help with that. They motor at 7 knots or so. If the wind is up we can go faster than them. I race everybody and everything. Can't help it. Once the bottom was cleaned we rowed over to Antipodes for dinner. Randy caught a nice size mahi mahi. Delicious. Jennifer made cucumber salad. Good food.  
The swell would run into our Isabela anchorage and smash into this reef with a tremendous crash. A little scary. That and the anchor was not really stuck to the bottom. More like resting on a rock.  The chain however was wrapped around a boulder. It held for the night. 
A picture taken from Antipodes. 

We spent the night at Isabela and in the morning Max, Ben, Adam and Randy went fishing in their cool little 20 hp tender.  We call it the Beetle because when the fishing poles are in the holders, they look like huge antennas. They didn't catch anything. They did run out of gas though and I had to drop our motor onto dinghy and give them some gogo juice. 
We spent the rest of the day snorkeling and having fun. At 3pm we pulled the anchor up and started to head for Mazlatzan. Upon rounding the island the wind was blowing from the west which was the perfect angle for us. We hoisted the main, rolled out the genoa and started sailing north. Wind was warm, seas were calm and we were doing 7 knots in the right direction. Had a sundowner with Jen and we just sat topsides chatting and listening to music while the boat gently rolled her way north. It was very nice. 
Here is Sam eating some pretzels while underway. We are heeling about 15 degrees here. 

After a very pleasant passage, we arrived in Mazlatzan at 0730.  90 mile passage and it took us 17 hours. About what I expected. 
Mazlatzan is really cool so far.  We are here for two weeks and staying at the El Cid marina and resort. Big pools, restaurants, etc.  
Jen's mother is visiting us and after she leaves we will be heading inshore to Copper Canyon.  Supposedly bigger in some respects than the Grand Canyon. They also have a train that took 90 years to complete. We will be riding on that to get to the canyon.  Google copper canyon Mexico train to see what I am talking about. 

More pictures 
Sam has a cough and I had to break out the stethoscope.  She of course wanted to practice on mama. She calls it the telescope. 
El Cid pool and hot tub. 
Those two openings go under a hill and into another pool. Like a grotto in there. People have been diving off those rocks there. 
Here is the other side of the hill. The kids really dig the pool. 
More pool. There is another whole set of pools but I haven't been there yet. 
The bar near the pool. Music is BLASTING out of this place. Elton John, Elvis, 70s music, all of it at volume set to 11.  The Mexicans love loud music. 
Fun with pancakes.