Its been so long since I updated the blog I have forgotten much of what has happened over the last three months however I will try to piece together the bits that I can remember. Most of the places where we went this season were repeats so there didn't seem like much to add..however it has been a very different season. At the moment we are back in Mazatlan getting ready to leave the boat for another hurricane season and fly home for the summer. Here goes my pieced together blog as I remember it now.
We had a great time with Rick and Julie getting out to the anchorages but too soon it was time to say farewell so we returned to the Grand Bay once again finding ourselves not managing to get back out to the anchorages due to uncooperative weather. Thank-you Rick & Julie for a great time and bringing with you “Standing By”s much needed new dinghy oars! Our friends on Tarry a Bit and Dodger Too were also still at the Grand Bay so we continued to enjoy ourselves, relaxing there in spite of the weather…hot muggy buggy and cloudy…very usual for this time of year here.
Early March and it was time to think about heading north as the weather forecasts were not improving and anchoring out was problematic with strong southerly winds and squally conditions.…no fun in Mexico’s open roadstead anchorages. Also this time of year, on the the pacific side of Mexico the ocean water looses its’ clarity, cools a bit into the 70’s, and often this change marks the beginning of jelly fish season. Snorkelling is no longer worth while and playing in the water becomes less desirable as you must be forever be alert to the stinging jelly fish. I can always wear my jellyfish suit but usually don’t think about it until after I have been stung! This happens every year but this year the change seemed to come sooner and more abruptly than normal.
Another good sailing friend of ours Bob flew down to PV and then travelled by bus to join us At the Grand Bay before helping us with the trip north back to Puerto Vallarta. It was great to have an extra hand aboard and someone to share the night watch.. The timing was right for a passage north so Tarry a bit and Dodger Too headed north as well. We all stopped at Custacomte, and then Chacala but only for an overnight as we knew bad weather would soon follow. The swell at Chamela was big so I and the other girls opted to stay on our respective boats rather than get completely soaked by the surf however the boys all headed into the beach for lunch and a bit of exercise before it was time to haul up the anchor and head north around the corner into Banderas Bay. Sure enough wet they got! Maureen on Tarry a Bit captured it all on film!!! Otherwise the trip north was a quiet motor boat ride all they way with very little wind.....and what little there was, was on the nose of course.
Back in La Cruz the cloudy weather continued and turned into a tropical deluge…we had 5 inches of rain overnight! The other side of the bay had 8 inches and Manzanillo where we had just left from had 10” The the rain caused flooding....much of tropical forest/jungle debris washed into the ocean which turned a muddy brown from all the runoff. Trees and islands of trees & palm frons floated out into the sea everywhere...Even the main bridge linking the north side of Banderas Bay to PV had been undermined and was briefly closed while they assessed the possible damage. Watching out for logs we are used to but not here! In hind sight all the rain allowed us to discover leaks we didn’t know we had and it sure made for beautiful sunsets....
Our friends decided to take a inland trip to Mexico City for 5 days while we in La Cruz. By the time they got back they were anxious to head north as they had planned to back in Canda by the end of April. We decided to join them as we had hoped Mazatlan would be drier, it would be cooler at night, there would be fewer bugs and we could at least spend afternoons in the pool! We also still held out a possibility of crossing over to the sea to enjoy the islands for a bit. The swell was big 10-12 feet from the south but the interval was long and the seas were relatively flat with light wind so we let the magic carpet ocean carry us all the way back to Mazaltan without stopping. Any anchorages we may have stopped at would have been very rolly due to the large ocean swell! Fortunately the port openned for the first time in three days upon morning of our arrival. El Cid Mazatlan has a very narrow shallow entrance and it can be treacherous if the surf is up!
As it has turned out Mazatlan has been great! We have stayed here rather than adventuring any further as the weather on the Baja has also been strange….lots of cloudiness, rain and much cooler water so it was an easy decision. Mazatlan is a good place for boat projects of which we have many, we have had much improved weather… cool nights, great choices for eating out, and most all of our friends here ..what more could one ask. Here we are with Jane & John Chris & JoAnn celebrating "Salish Sequel"s arrival in Mazatlan.
We removed the water maker membrane and pump…to be repaired an upgraded for next season. We have worked very hard replacing all the screening on the inside of our hatches…redoing all the wood wood on the outside and inside of the same hatches. We recaulked the forward hatch plexiglass and jib track bolts which required removal of the headliner. We replaced our cockpit cushion covers, made a new mast boot cover, as well as covers for the life raft and running lights. We have also repaired and completed maintenance varnish coats on all our wood including redoing the eyebrow from scratch.. so we have been busy!! Our fridge has been acting up ..not sure why but will check it out before heading home in case parts are needed. We miss anchoring out …but that will something to look forward to next season. Paradise isn’t always perfect but there is still much to enjoy and appreciate in being here!
Soon it will be time to head home for the summer …so we are now working on our putting the boat to bed list. We haul out of the water June 2nd …this year we will leave the boat out of the water in the yard for hurricane season. They have finally declared it to be a strong El Nino which explains our fluky usual weather. Lets hope for a good one with not too many storms ...at least not ones close to the coast or here although given an El Nino year who knows!