Nuevo Vallarta - Prepping in Paradise!

Category: Ships Log

Time period: Saturday 03/15/14 – Wednesday 04/02/14

For the last couple weeks it has been back to boat work for us!


We made it to Nuevo Vallarta (about 10 miles north of Puerto Vallarta), on Saturday, March 15th.  This is one of the main jumping off points for the Pacific Puddle Jump so the marina is full of cruisers prepping for the big trip. Both Nuevo and Puerto Vallarta sit along Banderas Bay, a large picturesque bay known for its great sailing.  Sailboat races always seem to be going on, and as we approached the river bar in Nuevo Vallarta Saturday afternoon, the final day of racing for the Banderas Bay Regatta was just starting. This is a sailboat race specifically for cruisers. Our friends Mala and Dean, whom we last saw in Cabo San Lucas, were racing and although we arrived too late to crew for them, we were able to congratulate them back at the marina on a well-sailed race.


Our view of the Banderas Bay Regatta as we sailed into Nueva Vallarta.


While we are in Nuevo Vallarta, we are staying in the Paradise Village Marina because we will need access to shore power, marine stores and wifi.  This marina is by far one of the nicest (and yuppiest) places we‘ve stayed. It is part of a five star resort and by staying at the marina we have access to all the hotel facilities. This includes wifi, two large swimming pools complete with water slides, and an awesome welcome ceremony on Sundays for new guests that include free food and drinks and an Incan dance performance (the back row is usually filled with cruisers :)).  The kicker is this is also one of the least expensive marinas in Banderas Bay. Go figure.  We hate to keep spending money on marinas, but it seems to be a necessity when we need to use power tools frequently and a certain Austrian on board keeps working at his regular job.


Sunrise over the marina.


You do need to look out for potential hitchhikers on your boat... although this green iguana is so cute he might be worth keeping! :)


This isn't the best place to clean your boat bottom though... there are crocodiles in the water!


One of the smaller and quiter pools at the hotel.


Anyway, now that we are in Nuevo Vallarta, we are madly trying to finish the last of our boat projects so we can leave for the Marquesas.  There is a lot of excitement in the air from other boats also finishing last minute projects and we feel like we are in good company.  The big projects we have left include: install our autopilot, install our Ham radio, find a used Pactor modem to install with our Ham radio, finish installing our watermaker, sew and install a lazy jack sail system, and add new reefing lines to our mainsail. In case anyone remembered us writing we wanted to leave April 1, I guess that was a bit of an April Fool’s. :)  Now we are aiming for April 10th, and 15th at the latest.


Over the last couple weeks, we have managed to make a pretty good dent in the boat project list. Christian managed to complete the wiring for the autopilot and Ham radio.  He also found a guy selling a used Pactor II modem in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (a town about 10 miles north of Nuevo Vallarta). After a bit of frustration, Chris managed to get both the Pactor modem and Ham radio working together with the help of the local Ham radio guy, “Radio Rob.”  We are very excited about this, because it means we should be able to update our blog (text only, no pics) while we are crossing the Pacific. We do still have a steep learning curve to figure out how to use the radio and modem effectively though.  Meanwhile, I flew back to Oregon for a brief visit with my family and picked up some extra boat parts that are hard to find or very expensive here. While I was in Oregon, besides shopping for boat parts, I also sewed most of our new sail cover for the lazy jack system (my mom’s sewing machine is much more cooperative than the one we have on our boat).  Once I returned, besides continuing work on the sail cover, I also inventoried all our food and purchased provisions for the crossing. We are lucky that the harbormaster at Paradise Village does a weekly shuttle trip to Costco for puddle jumpers, so that made it really easy! We think we have enough food to last us about 3-4 months now.  The only problem is figuring out where to store it all…


Provisions from Costco - hopefully we can find enough places to store it all (this doesn't show the other half of our provisions already stashed in a locker)!


Besides work, we have managed to take a couple days off to explore. The day we went to get our Pactor modem, we got to explore the town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.  It is a neat town with a great fish market, and lots of small local restaurants and shops.  We also spent a day in Puerto Vallarta with our friends Mala and Dean and their crewmate, John.  Mala and Dean are heading north with their boat Seaquester (everyone here is either heading south to the Marquesas or north before hurricane season starts) and it was great to spend some time with them before they left.


A pretty good sized yellowfin tuna at the fish market in La Cruz.


Checking out the Malecon (waterfront walkway) in downtown Puerto Vallarta. From left: Alena, Chris, John, Mala, and Dean.


Aerial view of the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. It is really beautiful!


Just as in La Paz, art sculptures line the Malecon. This was an interesting one... not sure a hat is the best article of clothing to wear if riding a seahorse.


Here is a scultpure Chris decided to join.


There are also lots of sand sculptures. This guy was cute!


There is also some live art entertainment. These are the "Flyers of Papantla" from the Totonic indian tribe. Every evening they re-create this ancient fertility ceremony so a new sun can be born the next day. They hang upside down and swing around the pole until they reach the ground while one person sits on top (representing the sun) and beats a drum.  


Anyway, we are continuing to plug away at the boat work in Paradise, and luckily when it gets too hot, all we have to do is choose which pool we want to jump into! Hopefully soon we’ll be able to post that we are almost on our way!


Hits: 4336


0 #3 David & Michelle 2014-04-11 16:09
Left a comment last week... will try again.

How you guys doing? Getting close? end of this week or will it be next week?

HOT here in La Paz!

David & Michelle
0 #2 David 2014-04-06 16:02
Hey guys, just checking in to see if comments work for us now. We just arrived "home" at Marina Palmira.
0 #1 Larry B 2014-04-04 20:14
Methinks that green iguana should be your new pirate outfit accessory!

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