About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Saturday, March 26, 2011

La Cruz again, on way north

At our last post, we were anchored in Chamela following Japan's devastating earthquake and the subsequent tsunami which we felt over 7,000 miles away.
We spent nearly a week in Chamela.  Cindi signed up with a local dive shop to get her scuba open water certification.  The instructor was great, and she was the only student in the class!  They did the classroom sessions (and tests) on the front porch of the shop facing the dirt road.  Pool sessions were at a small local hotel.  The four dives were in the island group near the anchorage, reached by local panga.  Lots of wildlife were spotted, including rays, lobster, scorpion fish, nudibranchs, and the myriad of colorful reef fish.  And the best part....of course she passed, and is now a certified diver!!!  We're looking forward to diving as we continue our journey both in Mexico and beyond.
It was interesting anchoring in Chamela this time as compared to our previous visit a couple of months ago on our trip south.  Very few boats remained, with most already heading back north, or south to the South Pacific.  One night there was only one other boat in the large anchorage, whereas at times earlier there had been as many as 20.

"Fish on"!!!  Adam brought the 15 pounder aboard,  but it was just a jack crevalle, so it was "catch and release".
We watched the weather closely, and left Chamela one evening for the 100 mile passage past Cabo Corrientes to Banderas Bay / La Cruz.  We left with Ponderosa, a Valiant 47 from Seattle, and had a great sail/motor trip north through the night, arriving in Banderas Bay at dawn. 
As we settled into the last leg of the passage, from the Cape to La Cruz, we fired up the watermaker to fill our tanks, as the water in La Cruz is, well, let's just say we weren't wild about drinking it!  After it ran for a few minutes, we heard an engine alarm indicating water in the fuel filter.  Opening the engine compartment, we found that the prefilter intake manifold for the watermaker had sprung a bad leak, and was spraying saltwater all over the engine!!!  A bad thing indeed!!!  So, we shut everything down, cleaned up the mess, changed the fuel filter, and were underway again a couple of hours later, but without the watermaker.  Another project for "the list"!!!
Ah, "the list".....  We arrived in La Cruz to a very different atmosphere than when we were last here in January.  The docks at the marina are full, and an incredible bee hive of activity.  This is a major jumping off point for the "Puddle Jump"...boats leaving the west coast for the South Pacific, typically the Marquesas.  It's also a place where all of the boats who have been cruising Mexico for the past several months are ducking in to refurbish, refit, and repair...cruising full time is indeed hard on gear, and everyone, it seems, is up to their eyeballs in projects of all sorts.  Rigging, engine, bottom, running gear, systems, electronics.....it goes on and on.  It's kind of like a naval fleet coming into port and drydock for needed repairs.  That, coupled with the crossroads of boats with stories to share and old friends to meet up with makes for a great sense of comraderie at the bar....How many stories can start with: "So there we were...."  

One major project for Bravo was to fix the broken watermaker.  The prefilters are fairly standard items (so we thought).  A factory replacement of the broken manifold was over $400, and we figured we could make our own filter manifold for a few Home Depot water filters and a bunch of pipe fittings.  All good so far....Home Depot is about 1 hour by bus, so the trip somehow takes most of a day!!!  Back with the gear, the second day saw it nearly finished.  Day three, Adam goes to put in the old filters (remember, they're "standard", right???)  Wrong!  The cannisters at Home Depot hold a proprietary filter which is 3/8 inch too short!!!!!  The whole damn thing needed to be started over!  We ended up finding the right filter housings at a pool supply store, and another day, and whole Rube Goldberg contraption is working like a charm, complete with a new fresh water flush system!!!  Success...
What's that guy whispering in Steve's ear???

While here we had a surprise email from a former coworker of Cindi's, Steve and his wife Laura, vacationing here in Puerto Vallarta for a few days of sun.  They braved the busses to get out to La Cruz, and we had a nice evening together with them at Ana Banana's, listening to a good local blues band.
Adding our boat name to the legions who came before us at Ana Banana's
So here we are at La Cruz, a really great spot to spend time.  Bravo's been getting a thorough cleaning and waxing from the local "boat boys".  We've enjoyed spending time with friends both here and in P.V., and seeing others off on their journey across the Pacific.  A few boats are leaving daily.  Soon it will be our time to depart as well, as we make our way up into the Sea of Cortez for spring.  It looks like we'll have a good weather window to head north up to Mazatlan early next week.  We'll be sorry to leave La Cruz behind, but are really looking to exploring Baja....and know that we'll be back here in the fall as we turn our sights southward....

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