Upgrade Post: Anchor and Anchor Mount

We replaced the old 15kg OEM spade anchor on Waponi Woo with a 65lbs Mantus anchor. The Mantus has a large hoop that, when stored under our trampoline/bowsprit would thump against the bowsprit threatening to break it.

We hired Sergio Galindo of La Paz Welding & Fabrication to extend the factory mount out a few inches, add some chain guards around it and a pin so we could secure the anchor in rough passages. Sergio does crazy good work. He is the artist that created our arch and our paddle-board holders.

I get asked on a few Facebook groups for pictures so I am writing this post up to show them.

Mexico to Panama With a Dog

A little over a year ago India, Rover and I decided to go to Central America and the Caribbean (Ryan was on a four-week stint away for work at the time. India, Rover and I were in La Paz) I told India we could go west to the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia but we would have to find a new home for Rover; while it is possible to take a dog to the South Pacific and beyond, it can be prohibitively expensive and there are some lengthy quarantines involved. On the other hand, if we decided to head to Central America and the Caribbean we could keep Rover as those areas are much more welcoming to traveling pets. Much to Ryan’s dismay and Rover’s satisfaction, we chose to keep the dog and head east.

So far, we have entered Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama with Rover. To date, we have never been asked for his paperwork.

Mexico

Entry:

  • Our entry into Mexico by boat was with the 2016 Baja Ha-ha. One of the advantages of signing up for this rally is getting to clear into Mexico in Cabo with a lot of other boats. We anchored out, turned in our paperwork ourselves and were never asked about the dog.
  • A few days before we left San Diego, I took Rover to a vet and obtained a current Health Certificate and a year supply of flea and heartworm medication.

Veterinarian:

  • While in La Paz, I took Rover to Franzoni vet clinic for his annual vaccinations and to top off the medication supply.
  • In Tapachula, in preparation for exiting Mexico, Rover went to Veterinaria Animal’s where I obtained a current health certificate for entry into El Salvador and heartworm medication.

El Salvador

Entry:

  • We entered El Salvador at Bahia del Sol. The official who checked us into the country met us at the dock and saw the dog on the boat; we were not asked for any of Rover’s paperwork.

At this point I looked at noonsite for the pet requirements for Costa Rica and started asking around to see if anyone obtained a new health certificate while in El Salvador and notified the Costa Rican Department of Zoology for a permit prior to their arrival. The answer to both questions was a resounding, “No.” The advice I was given by those who had gone before me was, have a current vaccination record and be prepared to show officials the flea and heartworm treatment you are using. I decided to wing it.

Costa Rica

Entry:

  • We cleared in at Playas del Coco. Once again, we were not asked about the dog.

Veterinarian:

Panama

Entry:

  • Our first stop was Vista Mar Marina where we rented a car and drove to Flamenco to clear in. We were not asked about the dog.
  • A quick caveat, we cleared in with immigration at 4:00PM on a Friday and were being rushed out of the office. It was brought to our attention by another cruiser that immigration was supposed to direct us to agriculture (the desk next to the immigration officer) who would have asked us about pets, but that did not happen. We also checked that we entered Panama with a pet on our custom’s form but, were not asked for additional documentation. Other cruisers have been asked for a health certificate, vaccination records, and flea and worm treatments. Health certificates from the US up to six months old have passed muster.

The Panama Canal:

  • The Admeasurer, our Advisor and our Advisor’s Trainee all did not care about the dog. The Advisor’s Trainee fed Rover a feast of Vienna sausages.

Over the next few months I will be doing my Caribbean research. A rabies titer test will be in his future as there are some islands which require it. If you decide to cruise with your pet, I recommend joining the Sailing and Cruising with Pets Facebook group.

Ryan and Rover enjoying the sunset.

Cell Phone Protocol

I was responding to a thread on Facebook about a kid and her parent’s cell-phone. One of the parents mentioned they copy-cat-ed the protocol for their kids.

Here it is:

  • Call in every hour.
    • (No answer from parents? Come home.)
  • Call in before you go inside someones house.
    • (No answer from parents? Come home.)
      There is no calling from their phone. It happens from the radio.
  • Call in before your change the plans you told us about.
    • (No answer from parents? Come home.)
  • If the parents call you from the radio and we don’t hear a reply we’ll wait .00001 seconds before getting into the truck to find you. If this happens then you and the bike go into the truck and come home.

The above now works with radio being replaced by VHF and bike replaced with dinghy. (If I have to swim to find you I’ma gonna be pissed!)

We also have the cell phone protocol:

  • The cell phone is for DAD’s convenience. Not yours.
  • If the cell phone does not work for some reason then I’ll just cancel the service, why pay for something that does not work?
  • The last 20% of the battery belongs to DAD, not you. 20% is the new zero. (India is REALLY fast at finding a charger/turning off apps at 21%)
  • We get your passcode.. (period)
  • We can, at any time ‘become you’ on your social media things.
    • (note: I only do this when India is there, usually while we are waiting for something and she is not being social with us. I assume the role of her and talk to her friends in the goofiest ways. I end the very confused conversation with a selfie of her and I. The selfie tells everyone that her account was not hacked and that, at any time, it might be her dad you are talking to.

Earning his kibble…

A few nights ago Keely exited to the boat to venture up to the ladies room. She left quickly, shutting the door behind her to keep the mosquitoes and no-see-ums at bay. Rover began barking in alarm. He was not pleased. I tried to reason with him. “Keely will be back soon to take you for your evening stroll,” I said soothingly. He wasn’t buying it.

I opened the door and stepped through the companionway and glanced around the cockpit. Under the cockpit table, staring up at me was a possum. It looked something like this:

The common possum. (Not the actual possum)

Its beady little eyes peered straight into my soul as we both froze, unsure what to do next. Rover made his move. He flew past me as I lunged for the safety of the door. Under the table he went, his terrier instincts driving him to flush the animal out of hiding. The possum bolted onto the deck, off the boat, across the dock and into the water with Rover on his tail.

Rover spent a good twenty minutes covering every inch of the deck, looking under every cushion, sniffing around the bikes, patrolling the fore-deck and the surrounding dock to make sure Mr. Beady Eyes didn’t return or leave behind any friends.

He was a good dog. Yesterday he celebrated.

Rover resting next to his new rawhide bone after a celebratory chew.

It has been awhile…

Ryan brought to my attention he was the only one posting anything new on the blog. I admit I taken to brief updates on Facebook and Instagram and have been largely ignoring this blog. There are several posts which I have started but get overwhelmed quickly when looking at all the events that have transpired and places we have been between now and my last post.

We left La Paz on December 1st and have since traveled to Bahia de Los Muertos, Mazatlan, Isla Isabela, Matanchen, San Blas, La Cruz, Nuevo Vallarta, Yelapa, Puerto Vallarta, Chamela, Tenacatita, Barra de Navidad, Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Huatulco and Puerto Madero. This equals approximately 1400 nautical miles of travel with a few stops of several weeks in between.

Between La Paz and Puerto Vallarta we were surrounded by friends. For Christmas, we had a potluck on the dock in Puerto Vallarta. One New Year’s Eve there was a spectacular firework’s display on the beach at Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta. Friends came to visit us from Seattle and Keely’s parents spent some time in Zihuatanejo. Ryan traveled for work when we were in Nuevo Vallarta, Barra de Navidad and Zihuatanejo. In Nuevo Vallarta we started having to say goodbye to friends as everyone started to head their separate ways.

Wednesday morning we made it to Puerto Madero and tied to the dock in Marina Chiapas. This is the last port in Mexico. We arrived at 1:30AM after an uneventful Tehuantepec crossing. In Mexico this is the most formal port we have entered. We had to hail the Port Captain to enter the port and were met at the marina for help to our slip. The marina called the Navy who showed up at 7:30AM to inspect the boat. For the first time, we were boarded. The check in went quickly. They asked for all of the usual paperwork and sent a drug dog around for a quick sniff.

Next week Ryan has to go north again. When he gets back we are planning on doing a brief land trip to Guatemala. There are many boats ahead of us in the Panama Posse and a few behind us. We are hoping some friends will catch up to us soon.

India and Keely standing in the ruins of the church made famous by Longfellow’s poem, The Bells of San Blas.

Mai Tai, Three Quarter Time and Waponi Woo on the dock in La Cruz for our Christmas potluck.

Ryan on the beach in Tenacatita.

The main street in Barra de Navidad. This is a pretty typical street in the smaller towns.

Work-Tenacatita

Internet

WiFi = There is a small bar or something with open wifi. This would be great but every other cruiser in the anchorage appears to know this secret. We witnessed 7mbps/768kbps. Standard DSL in the states.

3G = Telcel: It is pretty bad. We are able do do basic browsing. I’ll be using the KVH tomorrow for work.

Voice

Ugh. Pretty bad.

Airport and Airport Transport

I did not need to go out to the airport so I have no information. We will be going to Barra de Navidad next as I have to fly north from there. Funny thing, the airport is north of there so we have to pass by it going south. I was tempted, for just a minute, to have India land me on shore in the dinghy so I could run across the runway parallel to the ocean. That thought stopped as I considered Mexican prison.

Other

The town across the bay, La Manzanilla, is 15 minutes away by dinghy across the bay. 3G service, very few cafes or other places with wifi.