Monday, December 2, 2013


Life in La Cruz becomes routine after a while except for cruiser social events.  One works on the boat, shops for groceries, and tries to stay cool.  The temperature is only in the 80’s, but the humidity never dips below 90%.  It gets oppressive.  Our shade structure keeps the cockpit fairly cool, but it gets sweltering below decks.  There hasn’t been much of a breeze.  There are a lot of pelicans here in the marina and every time one of them dives in after a fish, it sounds like someone has done a cannonball off the dock.

Wednesday, Scott was notified that someone was using his credit card in Seattle, so he had to cancel it.  In order for him to get a new one, he had to send them a request in writing.  They would not accept an email, so we had to go in search of a fax.  The marina office no longer uses faxes, so we had to go to a stationery store in town.  Poor Scott had to make three calls to his bank at $1.00/minute before they gave him the right fax number, but sending the fax only cost 15 pesos.   Now, we will have to wait here for four U.S. business days before they send him a new one.  With the holiday, I figure we will be here at least another week.  Hopefully, that will give Carlos a chance to straighten out his passport issue and return to La Cruz.  Unfortunately, he has been delayed by problems on “Freya”, the boat he helped to deliver to Barra de Navidad.

Thursday night, we went to the Gecko Rojo for Thanksgiving dinner.  They served prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, baked potatoes, cauliflower, and apple pie a la mode.  We were the only Americans there.  The owners and the rest of the guests were all Canadian.  I guess all the Americans were eating turkey at Philo’s, but we had been there the night before and I wasn’t impressed.  Their shindig was a potluck and I wasn’t feeling moved to try to cook traditional Thanksgiving food with the materials on hand.

Solar Panel on the Cabin Top
We had intended to go to Punta de Mita early Saturday afternoon so that we could run the water maker in clean water and empty our holding tanks along the way.  There was a cruiser swap meet Saturday morning, however, and Scott wanted to go.  We ended up buying a couple of 200 watt solar panels and a wind scoop for ventilation.  While Scott went back to the boat to get money, I went in search of an ATM that dispenses pesos.   The one in the marina only dispenses dollars.  I had to walk a couple of miles to a convenience store on the outskirts of town to find one.  On the way back, I stopped and got chilaquiles to go for lunch.  As I was walking back, I had to cross a small creek.  A pickup came along and I stopped to let him go by so I wouldn’t get splashed.  He then stopped and motioned for me to get in.  I thought he was just going to carry me over the creek, but he ended up driving me all the way back to the boat.  With the exception of the grouch lady who sent our fax, people here are very nice.

Looking Towards the Tres Marietas
Scott wanted to buy some MC4 connectors for the panels before we left, so we set off on a mission.  First, we went to the marine electronics store, but the technician wasn’t in and the woman there didn’t know much.  She told us that people usually just hard wire them.  When Scott pressed her, she sent us to a solar store two towns over in Mezcales.  We took a collectivo over there, but they didn’t sell pieces, just solar systems.  He sent us further down the highway to another solar store in Las Juntas.  They didn’t sell parts, either, but the girl there called around and tried to find them for us.  She found a place that could order them on Monday and maybe have them by Tuesday, but that wasn’t helping Scott get those panels up and running immediately.  We then walked over to Home Depot, but they didn’t have anything, either.  I did get some foam squares to insulate the top of the refrigerator.  We then took a very crowded bus back to La Cruz, stowed all our loose gear and finally left the marina at 5:00.

Despite our intentions of arriving at Punta de Mita in daylight, we got there just at dusk.  It was hard to see the anchorage until we were right on top of it.  We are anchored in 30’ of water in front of some big hotels.  It is kind of rolly.  I wanted to make latkes for Chanukah, but I didn’t have a grater or matzo meal.  I shaved the potatoes with a peeler, mixed them with onions, eggs and spices and made some pretty fair latkes.  At least I had thought to buy sour cream and applesauce to eat with them.
Panga Harbor in Punta de Mita

Punta de Mita Sunrise
It was pretty hard to sleep our first night at anchor in Punta de Mita, but at least I was awake for a beautiful sunrise. 
We had heard there was a French baker that comes around in a boat to sell his wares.  Scott was really disappointed when he didn’t appear.  I was just glad not to be tempted, since I am still trying to avoid grain products.  It has been harder here in Mexico, but I have lost weight even with frequent cheating because it is just too hot to eat most of the time.  At home, I got a lot of my calories from nuts and they are expensive and hard to find here.  It seems all the nuts in Mexico come from California.  Enjoy, Californians!  You live in nut heaven.  I had lost five or ten pounds in the weeks before we left because we were out at the boat all day instead of grazing at home.  I have lost about that much more since we left.  I actually spent all day, yesterday, in a bikini.  While I still don’t have a perfect body, I’m no longer embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit.  I can’t believe I’ve lost almost 90 pounds.

Air Scoop
I spent most of our day at Punta de Mita reading and dozing.  I rigged the air scoop we bought at the swap meet over the forward cabin and it actually felt cool in there.  The air scoop not only channels air in, it also keeps the sun out, which gives us a hatch cover to use elsewhere.  Scott spent the day rigging one of the solar panels we bought.  With just one solar panel working, we were able to go all day without running the engine and still keep the refrigerator, freezer and water maker running.  Two solar panels will be awesome!  We made a tank of water while we were there.  We hadn’t wanted to use the water maker while we were in the dirty water of the marina.

Sunset over Punta de Mita
Our second night at Punta de Mita was much smoother than the first one.  I made coq au vin and there was a gorgeous sunset.  We got a good night’s sleep and didn’t get up until 8:00.  The baker still didn’t show his face, but I made bacon and eggs and we finished a cantaloupe and drank cold (we were out of ice) coffee.  We pulled out of the anchorage at 10 am.

I tested my theory that, if I downsized the PVC frame, we could use the shade structure underway.  It worked OK, although with the sun low in the sky in the direction we were sailing, I had to hang the curtain in front of the wheel.  We could see through it OK, although it was hard to see the compass and get in and out of the companionway.  If we had been heading south instead of east, it would have been better.  We will try that on the way to Manzanillo.

We are back in the same slip in La Cruz.  Scott determined that the rings on the generator are not frozen, so he thinks that he can fix it.  We will spend a few days here for that purpose.  That will also give me a chance to get our clothes washed again and make another trip to the grocery store (NOT Walmart!) before we head south.  We hope to rendezvous with Carlos and leave here Thursday night so as to round Cabo Corrientes in the middle of the night when the wind is quietest.  That will also allow us to arrive at the next anchorage, Chamela, during the late afternoon.

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