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Thursday, November 30, 2006


This leg would best be described as a 22 hour wild ride. We had winds from 20-25 knots most of the way and with a double reefed main and about 1/4 of the genoa out we surfed and rolled our way down the coast at 5 to 6 knots. The waves were pretty big, but nothing was coming on board the boat so it was a dry ride.

Our main reason for spending the day here is the snorkeling in Chamela is fantastic. In fact the first thing I saw when I dove down to the rocks was a 4 foot long eel just sitting there looking at me. There's coral, lots of fish and the visibility is about 15 feet.

We arrived at 8:30 am, slept until 2pm and now we are getting ready to depart to Barra in the morning where we'll meet Sherrell's mom. I wish my underwater camera's battery was working, if it was I might try to squeeze in another day here.

By the way the google map you're seeing at the top of this page is much more accurate than our nautical charts, which show us anchored about 1 mile inside land.

{GMST}19|35.006|N|105|07.910|W|You can't go wrong snorkeling here.|Chamela{GEND}

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanks Giving

That stupid hurricane Sergio finally burnt itself out without doing anyone any damage. Hurricane season is officially over in a week, but everything seems to finally be changing back to the normal winter patterns. The late season hurricane was pretty unusual and it kept our friends from meeting us at Punta de Mita for Thanks Giving, so we're having it today! Five boats worth of people! After sitting alone for almost a week it's nice to have some friends nearby. We plan to head further south in about 4 or 5 days, assuming the weather permits. We have to get to Barra de Navidad to meet Sherrell's mom whose going to stay on the boat for about 10 days.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Stopping Entropy

We’re finally getting ahead of the game.  After stripping the carburetor for the 11th time on the beach, cleaning the fuel tank and using some nasty chemical called Power-Tune, our outboard runs better than it EVER did even when it was new.  We also found the source of our low battery bank problem – a loose cable. Phew!  The final problem that’s been plaguing us is the new in-line water filter we installed on our fresh water tanks.  While it was supposed to be a low-pressure charcoal filter, it has slowly stopped working and only allowing a dribble of water when we pump it with the foot pump.  After a lot of experimenting we decided just to swap the filter out even though it was almost new.  Surprise!  The new filter works 10x better than the previous on ever did.  Weird, but hopefully fixed.


The real problem facing us now is Hurricane Sergio, which recently was down graded to a Storm.  It was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded this late in the season and there hasn’t been 2 named storm in Nov. since 1961.  We made reservations at the local marina in case we need to seek shelter.  But now that entropy is decreased on Sarana, it has to increase for Sergio, right?  I don’t know, I never liked thermodynamics.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

La Cruz de Huanaxtle

We’re anchored off the larger town where they’re scurrying to build another fancy marina for the gringos.  It’s quite a construction with a large breakwater.  There’s lots of live music here and some good places to eat and we have some shore-side friends here from last year.


I got the outboard running only to have the sheer pin break or fall out or something.  It’s a mystery because we haven’t hit anything.  And in truth the engine only runs with the choke 2/3rds of the way on.  So I need to find some powerful chemicals to try to show this Honda who’s the boss.


{GMST}20|44.892|N|105|22.522|W|Soon to be a large marina.|La Cruz{GEND}

Monday, November 13, 2006

Punta de Mita

Oh yeah the surf's here!  The bad side is we've been stuck trying to fix things and find parts.  We spent the whole day looking for a spark plug which included 2 hours on the bus.


We really like the anchorage here and there's only a couple of other boats nearby so it feels pretty peaceful.  But my arms are going to look like popeye's from all the rowing if we can't get this stupid outboard going.  I guess stripping down the carburetor 7 times, changing the plug and cussing a lot isn't going to do the trick.  We're going to have to consult someone else for some help on this one.  It seems to have fuel, spark, compression and air, it's only lacking mojo.


{GMST}20|45.955|N|105|31.100|W|Surf, sun and clear agua baby.|Punta de Mita{GEND}



Thursday, November 09, 2006


"All of us are travelers lost
our tickets arranged at a cost
unknown but beyond our means.
This odd itinerary of scenes
--enigmatic, strange, unreal--
leaves us unsure how to feel.
No postmortem journey is rife
with more mystery than life."
--The book of Counted Sorrows

I read that passage and it just seems to fit the strange journey we've had this past year. At least the scenery in Chacala is superficially beautiful and the anchorage is calm today. We're heading to Punta de Mita early tomorrow morning. Our little plastic boat is anchored in a beautiful little cove and we're overjoyed to be free again.

{GMST}21|09.844|N|105|13.674|W|Clear water and a great beach!|Chacala{GEND}

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

In Matanchen Bay

After 30 hours (10 sailed) we arrived ready to surf and the swell god's have provided a nice southerly swell. The bay is empty and we got everything ready, but the outboard wouldn't start. We tore down the carburetor twice, checked and regapped the spark plug but no go. It wore us out so we took a quick swim and we'll save fixing that for tomorrow and we'll probably row into the surf line if we have to.

It feels great to finally be back out on the boat. Even Jordan didn't mind the passage, although it was a bit of a rough introduction with 4 foot rolling swells tossing us around!

{GMST}21|31.05|N|105|14.526|W|Good surf and a nice anchorage!|Matanchen{GEND}

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Casting off

We’ve spent a lot of time wondering if we would even see the day we were able to set sail again.  There were times when things seemed very bleak and our sailing future seemed impossible.  But despite all the setbacks, Sherrell has really bounced back strong and there seems to be no stopping her.  We recently had a full checkup with the oncologist and he was happy to see all the progress Sherrell made over the summer and gave her a clean bill of health.


Now that we’re wrapping up the last of our projects:  sewing a rain-catcher, a waterproof cover for the towed generator, a new hatch cover, mending some clothes.  We put the sails back on the boat, provisioned our dry goods, loaded up on diesel, cleaned the decks and ordered some parts for Sherrell’s mom to carry down in Dec.  We’re itching to go.  Just some more laundry, some more provisioning, a few errands and we’re off this Saturday.


Depending on the swells we’ll try to stop at Isla Isabela and we’ll probably go to Manachen Bay again to do some warm up surfing in the southerly swells so I’ll have a chance to get back in shape before Punta de Mita where the other surfers are congregating for Thanksgiving Day.  With our new HF setup, we’ll be able to post our position and what’s going on from anywhere!  Stay tuned!


By the way, I did some web work for which is a sport fishing charter company that has a good environmental policy and I really liked the owner.  If you like sport fishing, check them out.  Also, I did an overhaul of adding some new features to their site.  Too bad the marina was recently sold to a new owner who is probably going to replace our beloved harbor master Antonio.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed for him and the staff!