Sunday, March 13, 2011

Granddaughter Natalie Modeling for local photographer

Natalie Elizabeth Cavanaugh
This is Jason and Jessica's little girl.  She is 4 years old.  I told Dad she is going to be lots of work in a few years.  He said he will need to get his interview questions ready for any young men.  LOL.

Sailing Merrily Along the Mexican Riveria

Sailing Merrily Along the Mexican Riveria- February 20, 2011

         Hello family and friends, 

We are currently in route to Manzanillo, I think that is in the state of Colima, MX. It is approximately 158 nautical miles South of Puerto Vallarta.  The water has gotten warmer and warmer and the air temperature too.  As you may know, this is a cooler year everywhere and it is the same in Mexico.   Of course, it is warmer than our home at this time of year.
We left PV just before Valentine’s Day. Stopping in Ipala which was a bit rolly on board but we only stayed one night, traveling on to Bahia Chamela.  Here we stayed 3 nights, and since I still was not able to leave the boat (due to my knee injury), we just spent our time reading, knitting and doing boat projects (that would be Don.  I was living the easy life, just elevating my leg and being waited on…..not a bad gig but over time gets tiresome to just sit or lie down.  We were able to watch a number of surf dingy landings…giving us some fun and helping us to plan our strategy when I would be able to get into the dingy and try a beach landing.  Not always an easy thing to do and most always a bit wet…..if not going then coming out and back to the boat.
      Next we arrived at Bahia Tenacatita, the place Don has most wanted to be..when he was planning to cruise in Mexico, 30 years ago this was where he planned to idle away his retirement day.  Unfortunately, things have changed and it is a bit built up from the days of his dreams.
This is where the ruckus was last fall where several Canadians and Mexicans were made to leave their homes and Palapa restaurants and were the houses were literally bull dozed.  Apparently, there is a dispute over who owns the land and it is currently in litigation.  I am not sure what that means in Mexico.   The first area to anchor is where this occurred. Now there is an armed guard or three but boaters can have beach access (because no on can own the beach). We anchored instead at the anchorage where the jungle dingy ride up into a narrow estuary has long been advertised in cruising guides as being remote and loaded with tropical birds and crocks. I don’t mean the ones we wear on our feet! 
While in the Tenacatita  anchorage, I got into the dingy…and we did several beach landings, some wet others very dry.  My knee is improving and I am being careful.  We saw the famous dolphin  who is friendly and has been named Chippy because of a chunk that is missing on his dorsal fin.
We did the dingy ride up the estuary and we saw some osprey, egrets, and maybe a kukaberra (not sure of the spelling) My friend Joy thought it was one but I will have to check that out when I have internet.  But it reminded us both of an Ol Girl Scout song that we sang at many campfires and outings.  Good Memories! It was 2.5 miles up to a lagoon which ended on the other side of the area with the armed guards and then  we came back and celebrated by have a cervesa and coconut shrimp at the one Palapa at this anchorage. We also celebrated with old friends from Blaine, WA; Dick and Anne from S/V Full and By and a large group of their Canadian friends from the Blue Water Sailing Club. We have met the nicest people down here on their boats.          

      Also, we were invited by the family on Neener 3 to travel on their boat over to a town “La Manzanilla” for a morning of getting some fresh veggies and seeing a bit of that town.  It is quite nice and we hope to be able to return  and see more of the town. And see Neener 3 some where again and spend time.
     All in all we stayed 5 nights in Tenacatita and just this morning up anchored and headed out to Bahia Manzanilla and Bahia Santiago. We are by passing Bahia Navidad, which is a wonderful area because it is a lagoon  anchorage and is rumored to be very crowded and someone knocked out their fuel dock making it difficult to get diesel and the captain says we need fuel before heading back North to put the boat up for the end of this season.  Banks get scarce down here too, and we need some cash before heading back up wind.
     We have enjoyed seeing lots of whales & larger dolphin in this area, along with some up close looks at beautiful colored sea turtles.  But we slow down and try to get close enough to take a photo and they dive down just deep enough for me not to get a good picture.  The green sea turtles are a gorgeous color of olivine to lime color,  with darker green  around the edges of their shell.  Just wonderful to pull our boat up and just stare at them in the water. 
     If you wonder why a sailboat needs are not alone.  It was a surprise to me how much we have to motor because there is no wind..and when it blows it really blows.. But we use the engine to charge batteries (the solar panels help) and when we make water at 20 gallons an hour we need to run the engine too.  Don is always cleaning water filters  or changing oil filter…or just checking things with his volt meter to keep things like out refrigeration  running. 
I see a wind generator in our future as well as an autopilot to help with steering.     
      We definitely earned respect when other boaters find that Don and I are sailing by sitting at the helm and hand steering…imagine too  old people being able to do that!!!!  Well it is very hard and we thing we should get the autopilot to make traveling easier.  Especially if we plan to go further South and through the Panama Canal.

PS. If  you wonder how I injured my left knee?? Well when getting off of s/v Happy Nest,  the step reach was too far for me…I did not realize I needed to get back up the step until it was too late.  So I had to drop in the water between the dock and their boat..when in route down I had to twist my left hip and knee in order to miss the dock, causing me excruciating pain and a trip to the emergency room. So I ended up in a Velcro cast, sleeping on the couch and was ordered to remain on the boat with little weight bearing for two weeks. The doctor was right on the 14th day, the swelling was gone and I was able to change into an ace bandage. I am continuing knee exercises to strengthen the ligaments and tendons that were traumatized!
All the time I worked in health care I would tell older women to work to maintain their upper arm strength and take care not to fall!  Now it is time for me to listen to my former message.   Where did the time go???

Love to you all,    Jacquie and Don aboard S/V Little Christian

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 2011

Hi again,  I admit we have been so busy here in PV, known now as Vallarta that I have not taken the time to write on my blog.  Plus I don't have internet unless I drag my computer ashore and risk getting "no see um" bites while sitting in a small cantina.

We are anchored out in La Cruz which is on the North end of Banderas Bay.  It is a 30 minute or more bus ride (close to a chicken bus) into PV and a 20 minutes ride to a fairly large grocery market called a Mercado.  There are small tiendas (stores with food) here in town and on Sunday's there is a large fresh market for nice vegies that are home grown and organic.  So I have been getting most things there. Until recently I have even found in the Mercado Tillamook butter but it seems to be gone now.  I think they stocked it for the Holiday's. 

We celebrated Christmas here and Don and I roasted the turkey!   Looks pretty good don't you think?  And it was, lots of the newer boats don't have a large enough oven to even do a big chicken. We were with cruiser friends and it was a great feast.  Then New Year's Eve we at out at an Italian restaurant with fantastic homemade pastas and a smaller group of us went to Phillo's restaurant and bar here in La Cruz for music and dancing.  Joy and Don managed a polka that ended with Joy getting dizzy and Don gracefully sitting her down on the floor, wish I had my camera ready for that but it will always have a memory for us.

Also we have toured the city, seeing lots of great sites downtown and on the Malecon or boardwalk along the edge of the Bay. We expecially loved the elaborate sand castles complete with Santa in sand and part of the ceiling oof the Sistene Chapel (hope the spelling is correct).  There was an amazing small guy lifting and balancing huge rocks too, we watched him and it was truly something I have never even though of doing let alone watched it being done.  Hope you enjoy these photos.
  Good bye for now...I will be writing about our trip to the Botanical Gardens next.