Work-San Blas MX and Mantanchèn

Internet

No WiFi. No 4G in the bay. There was 4G in San Blas

Voice

Verizon via Telcel: Caroline called me several times on 3g. The calls were very clear.

Other

Depending on what tower your phone talks to you will be in Mountain Time or Central Time. India’s phone was on MST, everyone else’s was on CST. Confusing to say the least.

Airport and Airport Transport

2 choices: Guadalajara (GDL) or Puerto Vallarta (PVR). I think GDL is closer and it appears to be a hub of some sort for Volaris as many routes have a layover there.

Caroline arraigned a taxi at one of the restaurants in Mantanchèn to have me whisked to PVR. The cost was $1500MXN.

The morning of my departure out of PVR a man in a private car picked me up and started driving me to Guadalajara. He spoke no English. Using Google translate and my Sesame Street level Spanish I explained I was going to PVR.

The driver called his wife to tell her we were going to PVR. While listening to their discussion I could tell she was a bit upset about this and he was talking her down. We joked about this universal spousal conversation.

It is at LEAST a 3.5 hour drive to PVR. Remember that PVR is a different time zone from San Blas.

The PVR airport is very much like Cabo. Lots of tourism related hawking of wares.

Work-Mazatlan ElCid

Internet

$2/device/day. Use a rocket or other receiver to rebroadcast to the boat to save monies.

Reasonable speeds during the day, slow at night. Fairly consistent.

Skype for business worked well.

Voice

Verizon via Telcel: pretty bad. 4G until a call was made and then 3G took over for the call. The voice quality was like being underwater. *sigh*. No idea how well a telcel SIM would work.

Airport

Tiny. Make sure to give yourself at least 1 hour for the $320MXN cab ride to the airport.

Puerto Peñasco and Puerto Refugio

The past few months have been a blur of travel and boat work. We hauled out at the end of July in Puerto Peñasco at Astilleros Cabrales SA boatyard. Waponi Woo stayed on the hard for the next two months while we traveled to the States for work, family, friends and to avoid the worst of the summer heat.

India the night before the haul out.

Ryan sitting on the bimini watching the sunset from the Fonatur Marina in Puerto Peñasco.

We returned to Puerto Peñasco mid-September. We rented a small house through VRBO.com for a week while we had new bottom paint applied and we put in a new thru-hull so we could move the watermaker inlet closer to the high-pressure pump. During this week we also made several trips between Puerto Peñasco and Pheonix, AZ to make some last minute large purchases. Overall, I would recommend Puerto Peñasco as a place for summer storage, and restocking spares, etc… from the states before heading further south for the season.

Waponi Woo after being lifted out of the water. We didn’t get to be on board during the lift out but were on board when we splashed back in.

Pros of Hauling Out/Boat Work in Puerto Peñasco

  1. The Price. The cost for the haul-out, storage and labor here was almost 50% less than other places in the Sea we contacted.
  2. Out of the hurricane zone. Puerto Peñasco placed Waponi Woo out of the hurricane zone for most of the summer.
  3. Proximity to the US. It is 60 miles to the Arizona border from Puerto Peñasco. Ryan was able to take a bus to Yuma, AZ, rent a car and drive back to Puerto Peñasco in the same day. We drove this vehicle to Idaho and returned it there. We drove our truck south from Seattle so we could use it to haul parts and luggage. It is currently stored in Phoenix where vehicle storage is cheap and readily available.
  4. The facility is very secure. It is staffed 24/7 with a person and a dog staying in the yard each night.

Cons of Hauling Out/Boat Work in Puerto Peñasco

  1. Border Town. This is a border town. We felt like we were being seen as walking dollar signs. Panhandling was prevalent and there were a lot of strung out people wandering around.
  2. The boat yard has been around for a very long time. It is the oldest boat yard in the Sea of Cortez. They have a lot of experience… with shrimp and tuna boats. They are just starting to cater to cruising boats. Last year, they had less than ten. This year, they had more than twenty. When we arrived in September ready to have the bottom work done, we had to press (and drive up to Phoenix to purchase paint) in order to be in the water on our originally planned date. They are learning to scale, so the right balance of patience and persistence is needed if you have a schedule you are trying to keep.
  3. Everything you own will get covered in dust and dirt. You won’t be able to clean your boat until you are back in the water.
  4. Wet Storage is almost non-existent. You pretty much have to time your arrival departure with a minimum amount of time in the water before and after your haul out. There are a three marinas but very few available slips and the facilities are sketchy at best.

Waponi Woo from the street before we prepped her for two months in dry dock.

We are happy with our new red bottom paint. India and Ryan picked out the color. There was some discussion about red hiding any potential roadkill. I wanted green. No, I am not bitter.

After splashing back in the water towards the end of September we spent one day at the dock to wash off most of the dust and get enough things put away to head south.

Our first stop was Puerto Refugio. This was an overnight trip and Keely’s first night sail. The sky was clear and we had wind for a large portion of the trip. We stayed for a few nights at Refugio with S/V Shawnigan. The girls had a good time skurfing and having a sleepover with Nina from Shawnigan. It was intention to head to San Carlos next and take two weeks to make our way back to La Paz but, our first day at Refugio Ryan was called north for work.

This is what the stovepipe cacti look like up close. The colors are really amazing.

Refugio is at the northern tip of Isla Angel de la Guarda. This was taken from Isla Mejía. There is no natural water source here.

Waponi Woo and S/V Shawnigan.

We went from Refugio to Santa Rosalia for a night and then straight from Santa Rosalia to La Paz. We arrived back in our old slip in La Paz at 1:30AM.

…now traveling with two 14 year old girls

This spring the following conversation took place:

India: The worst part of being on a boat is I have no other teenagers around!

Me: We would be okay with Keely joining us for a year.

… a few minutes pass…

India: Mom, Keely’s parents said they might be okay with her staying with us for a year.

(We love and hate the Internet)

The last thing we acquired before we left Seattle was Keely, India’s friend since third grade. Keely was with us the day we took possession of Waponi Woo and traveled with us from Anacortes, WA to Tacoma, WA. She will be staying with us for the year as we head to Central America and through the Panama Canal.

India has always been an only child and is very competitive. Whenever she does something positive, we tell Keely she is our favorite. India quickly responds by doing something positive… like the dishes. So far, no one has been hurt.

India (left) and Keely (right) hanging out on the sugar scoop while on our way from Santa Rosalia to La Paz.

Back in Mexico

The Waponi Woo crew is back in Puerto Peñasco.

We have not seen her yet. Tomorrow we start putting things away, putting in the new alternators, drilling new through-hulls and getting ready for bottom paint.

We had a great time in the US. We saw some old friends in Phoenix and are glad to be back south.

Don’t forget your towel.

When I was in college I had the opportunity to hear Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, give a lecture on, of all things, environmentalism. At the end of the lecture there was a Q and A period with the audience.

“Why a towel?” was asked by a burly gentleman with thick glasses and a fluffy towel tossed casually over his shoulder.

Mr. Adams answered, his wife believed there were two types of people in this world, those who always know where their towel is and those who don’t. He is in the latter group. I am firmly in the first group.

Waponi Woo had a towel problem. My extensive collection of luxurious, terry cloth towels followed me from our house on land to our home on the water. In Washington, attached to a dock with cheap power and dehumidifier, they served us well. In Mexico, where we make our own power and water, they proved to be a little unwieldy.

It was with heavy heart I admitted a change was needed. Ryan’s college roommate, Ben, visited us in February and brought with him a microfiber thing he called a towel. Ryan thought this was the way to go. I told him I no, I don’t want to dry myself off with plastic; it is a textural thing, microfiber I am sure works great, I just don’t want to use it for a towel. So, I started looking for alternatives and found a plethora of people using Turkish towels on boats. I decided this was the way to go and ordered some from a variety of vendors.

I received my towels at the end of April.

  1. I love my Turkish towels.
  2. They dry very quickly. (either on the line or on the low setting in the dryer)
  3. They take up a lot less space.
  4. They are handy as a swim suit cover-up as well as a towel.
  5. I would recommend going the Turkish towel route for travel, camping, RVing, and boating.

Here are the towels I tried and what I recommend:

  1. Bersuse Ionia Turkish Towel: 100% Recommend… This is my towel. It is the thickest of the towels I tried. There are a variety of designs and colors to choose from. This was also the most expensive of the three.
  2. The Riveria Towel Company, Santa Barbara Collection: 100% Recommend… We have two of these; one in yellow/blue and one in red/mint. The red/mint one is India’s towel of choice. These are a little thinner and will need a wash before use. They were a little crunchy when they arrived but softened right up after a wash.
  3. The Riveria Towel Company, Essential Turkish Towel: 100% Recommend… These are a good basic towel. They come in a variety of colors and cost a little less than the previous two.
  4. The Riveria Towel Company, Cotton Diamond Print Turkish Towel: 50% Recommend… It is okay. This one has a really loose weave and long, stringy fringe which tends to catch on everything. It is the least expensive option and it seemed like this was a case of getting what I paid for.

My new towels on laundry day in Puerto Escondido.

A size comparison of my terry cloth towels next to the Turkish towels.

…if you haven’t read, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you should. Now. I mean it.

Life is good!

6.3knots dead down wind with the parasailor. 88F with 65%RH. 


Whales 15 feet off the beam have stinky breath. 
We are in route to Santa Rosalita after an expensive evening on a dock washing off salt, salt and more salt. We also turned on the AC because 95+.