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Swan Song for PV

March 2002

One part of the adventure is coming to an end, and we’re about to start on the next. It’s a bit sad to know that this stay in Puerto Vallarta is our last visit for at least a few years. With our end-of-March departure for the South Pacific, we’re here for our second Banderas Bay International Regatta, and then all the vast preparations for the Big Passage to the little islands.


We made only two stops on the way north from Zihuatanejo, the first in our other favorite cruiser spot, Bahia Tenacatita. It was a mellow week, with Signe working on her provisioning plan for our Pacific Passage, and Jan completing some long-overdue boat jobs like rehabbing the corroded hatch hardware. This warm, salt-laden atmosphere in the tropics wreaks havoc on aluminum and even stainless steel. But at least we don’t have teak to varnish!

The restaurant ashore had a nice barbecue for the cruisers on Valentines Day, and the crowd was big and happy. We became engaged on Valentines Day several centuries ago, so it was fun when Ferdy of ‘Pipe Dream’ gave a shout and called attention to his girlfriend Jutta, who was sitting on a chair on top of a table. As the cheers rang out, he proposed to her, she accepted, and he placed a ring (a little strange looking . . . black) on her finger. A little later, Ferdy had to confess that if the marine head (toilet) started leaking again, he’d have to ask Jutta to give the rubber O-ring back!

Thrashing North

Working our way north from Tenacatita was no picnic. We started with a short upwind leg to the little cove at Careyes for a couple nights’ rest. There’s a beautiful hotel there, with a restaurant that has the best Mexican cuisine we’ve ever had. So we spent two nights, of course.

The next day, with a single reef in the mainsail, we motorsailed north toward the dreaded Cabo Corrientes. But a low-pressure area over the Mexican highlands reinforced the regular northwest thermal winds along the coast, and we spent several hours that afternoon in 25 knots on the nose (sailing jargon for ‘lots of wind blowing from directly ahead of us’). The waves built up to six to eight feet, and with Raven’s fast motorsailing speed we were really pounding and banging uphill. We were glad to get snugged into Ipala, a cove that’s a ‘vestibule’ for the cape, and rest for a night. By leaving at zero-dark-thirty the next morning, we avoided the worst of the afternoon winds, and managed to sneak around Cabo Corrientes before it knew we were there. What a pleasure to round the corner into balmy Banderas Bay.

Puerto Vallarta

The Puddle Jump fleet that’s the name Latitude 38, the cruisers’ magazine, has given to the bunch of sailboats heading across to the South Pacific islands was already well-organized and waiting for us, having had weekly meetings for the previous month. We jumped right into the fray, and Jan led the next meeting, entitled ‘Charts & Cruising Guides’, and compiled the fleet roster.

Practically the first thing we did in PV was to take Raven to the boatyard for a haulout. Watching our beloved home suspended in nylon slings over the concrete is still a very strange feeling, but Jan was less nervous this time because we had a good experience at the same yard last year. Our good friend and crewman, Mark Lindeman, flew down and supervised the work, especially some important and complex maintenance on the rudder. All went well, so Raven now has a smoothly working rudder, a well-greased propeller, and a clean, sleek bottom, so we’ll be fast for the upcoming regatta and the ocean passage.

We will stay here in Paradise Village Marina, the center of just about everything related to sailing, until the end of March, including the Banderas Bay Regatta. We had such a good time last year in the regatta that we’re going to do it again, even in the middle of our preparations for our Pacific crossing.

This is the last Raven Log for Mexico 2001-2002. Our next log will be the first in the next series . . . South Pacific Logs 2002.

Love . . . Jan & Signe


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This page was last updated on 04/13/04.


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