The following was written under way:
Sunrise over the Puerto Vallarta foothills.
Wednesday, November 16. Halfway from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallarta.
This should show up on Friday or Saturday. I have not had an internet connection since Sunday afternoon. After I posted on Sunday I had a very unpleasant experience. Sunday the thirteenth of November became a nightmare. I wrote that my boat had been arbitrarily moved further from shore. I missed the full moon sunrise by 15 minutes and when I attempted for the second time to launch my inflatable dinghy I was dumped by the incoming surf. Underneath the dinghy, trying to hold on to it to prevent it to be carried away. When I got out back on the beach there was a quart of saltwater in my backpack, sand in my ears and nose. I quickly removed the laptop, Nikon camera, etc. The Samsung tablet, the flip camera, headlamp, are toast, the brand new Solid drive laptop (about $1,000 with the MS Office) is probably toast. But possibly the hard drive might be recoverable. My exterior hard drive, with the October 31st last back up appears to have survived. I did not have the Go-Pro camera with me. The Nikon D-50 is working.
So, now I was soaking wet on the beach without a way to get to the boat. I had my portable VHF radio with me (survived) and managed to hail Tim on “Northwest Passage” from Gabriola Island. His boat was anchored next to mine. He came in his outboard dinghy to the Cabo San Lucas marina and brought me back to “Fleetwood”. Monday the swell and surf were exceptionally high and rough, due to the higher tides with the full moon. It was a very uncomfortable day in the anchorage. Yesterday morning the sea had calmed down. I swam to the beach, totally out of my former swim condition. The inflatable still has leaks and the hose to the pump had disappeared. I bundled the dinghy together and swam it back to the boat. A Texas couple was out for an early morning swim. They helped me the last part of the way and into the boat. I discovered that the sugar scoop this boat has, still needs some kind of boarding ladder to get from a swimming position back on board. From Sunday onward I had asked the marina in Cabo San Lucas for a mooring slip and figured that with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet leaving for the Sea of Cortez and other destination I’d be able to get a spot and not have to deal with the dinghy to the beach. But yesterday I realized that the marina was giving larger boats a slip instead of sacrificing the revenue for a smaller boat. I wished they would have told me that on my earlier requests. I asked if I could moor the boat at the fuel dock while I made my entry formalities. Negative. So, I got fuel and water and left yesterday at mid-afternoon. And, now, 24 hours later, I have covered about 120 nautical miles, as the Crow flies. The wind has dropped now and my speed has gone under four knots. Last night I was doing 6 plus knots in a very nice hard reach, hitting sevens at times. The fuel bill was for 7 gallons of Diesel. I wager that no one in the Baja Ha-Ha fleet used this little fuel to get to Cabo San Lucas.
For some strange reason my old Toshiba laptop can’t get onto the internet. I tried it at the Marina/fuel dock and earlier from my anchorage where I had been able to use my three day hot spot purchase on the (now toasted) Dell laptop.
I hope that I can get this fixed in P.V. and search for someone to check to see if the new Dell Inspiron laptop can be survived. Otherwise I will need to buy another main navigation laptop, with this Toshiba as the back-up. ( Fixed, turned out to be an incorrect IP address)
At dusk a Blue Footed Booby was circling the boat, obviously looking for the “Vacancy” sign. He kept me company all night, on the bow pulpit. Just wished he’d used the head. Just another poopy Booby.
I cleaned up the smelly mess after he took off at sun-up.
Here are a few pictures of the moon taken on Monay and Tuesday evening.
Friday evening, Puerto Vallarta
I am dying for a cold beer after all the hoops I have sprung through today and dragged my tired ass in the 100 degree heat back to the boat from the deadline at the Capitania. Now I am waiting for the immigration officer to clear me in on the boat. I have already had the customs, agriculture (who deprived me of my special elephant garlic that my son in law’s father specially raised for me in his garden on Bowen Island and the health/quarantine doctor here on board.
I had some more fine sailing on Thursday and Friday and some motoring when the wind went south.
No luck on the trap line. The details I have on the old Toshiba laptop of the charts for Mexico leaves a lot to be desired. I must have had a newer version on the wasted (?) new Dell Inspiron. And the $100 chart book I bought is also a disappointment. So, my mission is to try and get the Chart World charts to work on the Toshiba and another back up. There is a super Wall Mart store here and I have heard that their State side stores sell an inexpensive tablet that might work for me.
The fun started when I tried to find a moorage spot here in P.V. I sent a DeLorme e-mail to the Paradise Village Marina, never heard back. The only other one I was aware of is the Marina Vallarta. They did not respond to my VHF hails. But then I was able to get a spot via the VHF at the Paradise Village Marina. I got the o.k. from the Harbormaster’s office to bring my paperwork to their office in town. But then it turns out that once I was checking ion at the Paradise Village Marina that it has its own harbormaster,Hector, and he would not allow me to deal with the “uptown” harbormaster’s people. So, a couple more phone/VHF calls and I decided to try get back to the down town harbor. Fortunately the young lady at the downtown harbormaster office had finally been able to get through with the Marina Vallarta for me to obtain a slip.
I then jumped into a taxi and made it to the harbor master office just before they closed for the weekend. Otherwise I’d have to sit on the boat waiting for my cold beer until Tuesday, Monday is Mexico’s Independence day.
But then when back at the Marina office to register, I found out that I should have never left the boat until Customs, Health, Immigration, and agriculture had checked me in. Anyway I got away with a warning.
Now hurry up, I want my cold Pacifico. The moorage is reasonable 65 cents per foot per day. It is much closer to the old town of P.V. I can vaguely recollect having stayed here at a condo in the Vallarta Marina Village when it just opened in the eighties. Paradise Village out did it and parts of this project seemed to have fallen on lack of revenue/care.
I will try have a Mexican prepaid cell phone number by tomorrow. I plan to move to anchor at La Cruz Bay and then be with John and Jan Alskog at Sayulita for Thanksgiving. I am very much enjoying being back in this once favorite vacation spot of me and my family.
I am reading a book that I heartily recommend, particularly at those who spent time in Tacoma. A short novel “Streets of Tacoma” by Billy. William M. Hanson stopped by “Fleetwood” in San Diego. He lives on his sailboat “Carthaginian” in San Diego. The story plays in downtown Tacoma in the Second WW and in the fifties. You’ll recognize the characters and the places. Stores and bars and flophouses, a bit raunchy in places. I know who is going to read my copy next, John Alskog. From the stories he has told me about his early days in Tacoma, I think he’ll recognize the main character, the Kid. A “Swede” with a mean left punch.