The smile in that photo is what it’s all about. Many years, hours and dollars passed between build day 1, Jan 1, 2012 and Jeanne being aboard her boat in a beautiful tropical setting. Colin joined us for a lovely overnight to Yelapa, a big cove on the south shore of Banderas Bay. We snookered Brizo away from work and out of the marina for our first buddy boat trip. Damien, Beth and super boat dog Bella made steak and chicken tacos aboard their lovely Catana 431 and although it was a rolling anchorage, we all slept OK and really enjoyed the place. Later you guys will get GoPro videos of all this. But I don’t have the internet access needed to upload big stuff. So as the kids used to say a long time ago, “come on Dad, can we have another story from your mouth?”
Backing up, we’re writing in the midst of a two week stay in Marina Riviera Nayarit, La Cruz de Hunacaxtle. This is the north side of Banderas Bay, about a 30 minute ride to Puerto Vallarta. Carlos, Rick and I brought the boat here from Cabo, then we all flew home. Jeanne and I came back last weekend. Colin joined us for a week, but then corona virus first hit in the form of son Griffin not being able to fly in. We had way too much food here! Colin got home via flight delays but safely back into his Raleigh NC paramedic life. He’s probably telling stories about his hard round up at 9kts because he spotted a humpback whale on an intercept course just a few boat lengths out. We JUST MISSED that one! We were looking at the whale through our nets – that close. The three of us were in post adrenaline shock for the next 15 mins or so. (Tammy is not thrilled to read this :)
Hanging around LaCruz is our preferred pace of foreign travel. Light on the agenda and just absorb the local culture. Cobblestone and dirt streets. No banks or ATMs. Chickens and horses mixing with cars. A restaurant actually named Tacos on the Street, but they do have some inside tables and amazing BBQ.
Last time you met Yann’s family. Today was epic – Jeanne and I took Gaia (mom), and sons Inti & Keenan out to the start line of the MEXORC regatta day 4. Yann and eldest son Nahmki are crewing on Fleet B’s leading boat, Olas Lindas. 2nd son Sanka has a ride on a big J boat Double Time. So at this point we still haven’t officially raced Ravenswing, but shadowing just outside the start box today got my blood boiling! We saw the maneuvering up close. First the A fleet of multi million dollar big boats, then 8 Farr 40’s, and the B fleet of 35-45’ fast boats. After the B start, Inti (who doesn’t really speak English yet) and I got itchy, and hoisted the jib with our reefed main. We played catch up, outside of the racing lanes, and dang if the ol’ girl didn’t pull in the back part of B fleet! We were on a great lay line on starboard for the 2 mile upwind mark, but reluctantly and wisely tacked away for a port tacker who was actually in the Grand Prix regatta, unlike us. Way fun and we got great looks at Olas Lindas and all the other boats turning the mark and setting chutes. We hove-to and watched the second race from the top of the course. All of this happened just hours after learning next week’s Banderas Bay Regatta is cancelled due to Mexico’s rapidly evolving response to Corona threat. Jeanne is bummed the big Sunday market is gone, along with any other public gatherings and boat cruisers scheduled events.
So, “we” are a few hundred people in the three marinas and big anchorage struggling to comprehend what’s happening at home and how it’s changing peoples’ plans. Of course it’s also a very local story and painful to watch small businesses get hit with various closures.
Some of us are talking about informal boat racing next week in lieu of the regatta that drew many boats here. But that gets overshadowed by needs to change plans and get boats underway. We had booked Ravenswing for a marina slip here throughout April as we flew home to Bay Area life. New plan is Jeanne returns home early next week and I stay to sail back to the Sea of Cortez , and get Ravenswing situated to survive without us for many months if needed by travel restrictions. Otherwise it would be sailing back up the whole coast this spring, but I don’t want to leave Jeanne under our county’s Shelter In Place order that long. Weird shit, people!!!
So this week is a balance of hanging with good people, prepping the boat for a sea voyage, and trying to get some tropical vacation in.
Another of the flexible solar panels went bad (producing zero amperage). This time it was the five month old one, installed in LA before the HaHa, on a proper glue & screw down full mounting plate. Thankfully the good people (live aboard cruisers) on Carvannah gave us their used panel that had recently been pulled out of rotation. They’ve had enough of these fail that they keep a bunch of extras. This summer we’ll be switching to glass & metal frame rigid panels.
Bought a new-in-box fancy tube style radar reflector from a couple leaving from here across the pacific. He took whatever I could come up with in the wallet. And she was relieved to get more stuff off their crowded small boat. The bartering / selling vibe among cruisers is fun!
Ron on the daily VHF radio net gave a short lecture promoting use of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to completely fill all electrical and antenna connectors, to displace salt water and inhibit corrosion. This is a great tip for DIY mariners. Similar in spirit to the new devotion we have for butyl rubber hardware bedding gum, talked about here a few years ago.
Well, all this to say it’s rather surreal right now. Ravenswing is a good constant. I’ll repair her windlass, keep tweaking little rigging upgrades, and over-provision for an unknown duration “social isolation” endeavor. We’ll keep you posted on when I fork over the big bucks to Iridium to fire up the tracker upon leaving Banderas Bay. And we’ll post videos when I get home.