Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mega Provision

 La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico

March 22-26, 2010

There is a big grocery store close by (a 20 minute bus ride away) called “MEGA”.  When I shopped there on Monday, the real start of my final provisioning push, my irrational mind kept saying, “this is truly a Mega provisioning run”.  My rational mind was countering with, “There are people in French Polynesia and they have to eat, so it follows that there must be food available!”  Hopefully, I am getting close to a balance between the stocking-up-when-I-know-I-can mentality and keeping the boat’s waterline above water.  My tactic has been to break the daunting task down into smaller chunks. I have had the good fortune to have some people in my corner providing major assistance that has made each task a little easier in one way or another.

For example, our neighbor here at the dock has rented a car for the month and offered it up for my use.  This meant that I did not have to load and unload my big old grocery purchase into a taxi (could not have really managed this one with a return bus trip unless I took my whole family with me and that in itself adds a whole other level of complexity that is just not necessary).  I also tried to share my good fortune with a couple of other cruisers   (I try to keep my balance as high as possible in the karma bank – you never know when you might need to make a withdrawal). 

I took a good portion of said groceries bought at Mega to Casa Champagne and was so lucky to be able to use the Anderson’s beautiful kitchen (the one with a fabulous view overlooking the infinity pool out to Banderas Bay!) to make several big quantities of meals for our crossing.  The meals are now being frozen solidly said kitchen’s conventional freezer and will be transferred to my freezer aboard CAPAZ the day we leave.  The advantage here being that while CAPAZ has a functioning, very adequate freezer, the reality is that when I freeze something, it has to be turned several times so the cold plate can do its job more effectively and actually freeze the item all the way through.  Once frozen, our little freeze keeps things in that state pretty darn well!!!  So, this was like getting a head start.

View from the kitchen where I “toiled” over a six burner stove


Casa Champagne from the road


COSTCO on Friday.  I won’t say anymore about this except that I have the use of a t-r-u-c-k!

The last run will be for fresh fruits and vegetables and any last minute items that our friend who is joining us as crew for the crossing might need . . . . . . . that’s what I am going to tell him anyway.  I really just want a hand carrying groceries!

BEFOREPV Costco Before

PV Costco AfterAFTER

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Twist on Boat School

Well, it’s not a completely new twist on “boat school” as we tried a co-op boat school session in Barra de Navidad (see “Same Bat Time” entry).  On Friday, we got a group of about 12 boat kids together and ran a “kid seminar” on the upcoming trip that most of them will be making to the Marquesas. 

We went over the map and the kids drew in the equator (on the rare Pacific centered map – hard to find).  Our old dock neighbors from Seattle, Brian and Erin on Delos did some research and did a quick role playing demo of what a King Neptune Ceremony might be like as we all cross the equator and go from being pollywog sailors to mighty shellbacks.  I showed how volcanic islands form and then become atolls (Marquesas are newer volcanic islands and the Tuamotos are atolls).  Annie from Oso Blanco used the map to show the kids how the island groups were settled and she had a great time which used an additional 15 feet of dock line to illustrate just how long Polynesia has been populated.  She couldn’t fit the dinosaurs on her time line as they would have shown up somewhere twenty some odd miles from where we were!!!  Courtesy of Behan on Totem, we also learned a few words in Marquesan because even though French is the official language, we found out that it might not be some of the islanders favorite way to communicate – they are rumored to prefer their own languages to French. 


Brian as King Neptune IMG_1110IMG_1104  WPC 005 WPC 007

All in all, no matter what form the kids’ boat school programs take, it seems like they enjoy getting together and doing some group learning.  Next Topic:  BOAT SAFETY

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Expanding Artistic Endeavors

la Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico

March 17, 2010

Many of our friends and family have been following Bryce and Austin’s progress in the realm of writing through the Capaz Chronicle.  This life style has actually opened up the freedom to expand their horizons in other creative areas.  The areas in question might just surprise you.

Bryce has always loved to draw.  Writing and drawing comics for the newspaper seems like a natural step for him, but what he really loves is to create new animals for a mythical planet that his friend Niall started populating before we arrived in Mexico.  Most of the creatures are sea animals so far, but a new notebook of graph paper at Christmas really got the creative juices flowing for Bryce.  He has transferred all of his previous drawings to his notebook and added some text about their habits and habitat, as well as adding new creatures to the ever growing menagerie.  The notebook and “pink box” (which is kept as full as possible of colored pencils) often come ashore or out to dinner with us, so that when he gets “bored” with adult chatter, he can pull out his book and work on the next creation.  This sounds like anti-social behavior, but actually all the kids will participate and they chat as they draw giving each other additional ideas for the newest animal at the table.  Bryce is very proud of his work and really wanted some of it posted here on the website, so he came up with a plan of posting the four most popular pages.  He has been surveying our cruising friends over the last few weeks and we got the top five animals scanned for your viewing pleasure.

Green Tip Sailfin Tunascan0001

Forest Drakemen

scan0002 Mako Thresher


Patricia’s Clownfishscan0004Sailfin Marlin


Austin, on the other hand, has been sewing.  He must take after me . . . . . and his dad, too (Brad was a sailmaker for 12 years so he knows what a sewing machine is and isn’t afraid to use it).  At first, Austin tried his hand at embroidering his name.  We really didn’t have the right supplies and the end product was not exactly what he wanted.  Things changed when I decided to pursue a quilt on which I have dreamed of working during our crossing for almost as long as I have dreamed of going cruising.  I brought most of what I would need, but for the first 6 months of our cruise didn’t even give it a second thought.  Between reading a book about a crazy knitter and realizing how incredibly inexpensive fabric and notions are here in Mexico,I got the bug and started prepping the quilt project for our crossing.  Austin may also have been influenced by Brad taking a couple of days to help another boat with some sail repair when we were in Tenacatita.  Whatever the reason, Austin has been making forms out of pipe cleaners and then when he covers the forms with fleece and stuffs them, they magically transform into the cutest little stuffed animals.  So far, he has created a rabbit, a golden eagle and a snake.  The golden eagle was sent back to the states for his almost four year old twin friends, Duncan and Cedrick to share (it should be interesting to see how that scenario plays out, but there just wasn’t enough time to make two creatures!).  There is a fish that is en process and on our last trip into the city, we stocked up so that there is a distinct possibility that we may have a small zoo of his animals in the aft cabin by the time we reach the Marquesas.   At least I don’t have to worry about provisioning for them!

The Artiste


Bunny Rabbit 



Golden EagleIMG_1082



Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Boat Show

Marina Nayarit Riviera, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico

March 11, 2010


Things have been very busy around and aboard CAPAZ.  We have been seeing friends from Seattle, one of whom actually stayed on the boat with us and not only survived, but she seemed to have a pretty good time.  We have shared two birthday dinners with other Northwest friends in the last week and played Academy Awards Bingo at one of the Gringo bars here in La Cruz.  The kids have been very busy re-connecting with many of the other kid boats as families head north into the Sea of Cortez or prepare for the Puddle Jump.

Brad has been busily marking items off his list and getting the work that he is not going to do himself going and then keeping it on track.  We are in Mexico after all.   We had a quick little test run out into Banderas Bay yesterday in which both the rebuilt high output alternator and auto motor ran successfully!!!!!

Around us, there was the Mex-ORC regatta in which Brad got to pinch hit on the winning boat Alchemy.  They lost their main trimmer/spinnaker trimmer on the last day and Brad was able to jump aboard and be a part of their sail to victory.  As that regatta wrapped up, a J-24 regatta got started and has enjoyed nice winds on the bay all week.  During all this the marina has been in high gear getting ready for the big Boat Show of Latin America that started today.  Since I ran out to the airport today, I have yet to check it out, but will do so tomorrow.

About a week ago, I BREIFLY entertained the idea that maybe we should see about what it would take to have booth in the show.  I am so glad that I quickly banished that idea as it would have made our lives unbearably crazy.  Much better to watch a spectator for this one rather than as a participant.  Besides, those back at the home office would have relished the opportunity to tease us about doing a boat show after we sent them daily weather reports from the Gold Coast while they worked Seattle’s infinitely long Boat Show early last month.

The Banderas Bay Regatta starts next week and there are more people flying in from Seattle.  Major provisioning has started but will really pick up speed as the end of the month and our departure date approach at the end of the month.  After a couple more weeks of the hustle and bustle, I am thinking that three weeks of sailing is going to be a welcome change!