Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Work-Chamela

Internet

WiFi = There was NONE. Tiny town.

4G = Telcel: We saw 50mbps down and 50mbps up. Seriously. It was freaking awesome. It was smoother than my office.

Voice

I used Skype for Business as that is what my company uses. People thought I was state-side!

Airport and Airport Transport

I did not need to go out to the airport so I have no information.

Other

 

Avoid the beach-side restaurants here. They will impact your ability to work. Scuba-Jazz however.. whoa! Go every night!

Work-La Cruz

Internet

La Cruz: WiFi = the WORST – Used my KVH IN THE MARINA. No 4G
Paradise Village:  Pretty decent during the day. At night everyone is going crazy on Netflix so it slows down a bit. Cost is $25 for 2 weeks of unlimited 4mbps down and 2mbps up. We normally saw 1.5mbps. 

Voice

La Cruz: Calls barely worked on 3G. Used the KVH for phone calls.
Paradise Village: Reasonable service on 4G

 

Airport and Airport Transport

 

PVR airport is a tourist airport. When I landed I walked through customs and went to what looked like the taxi stand. The person at the stand asked where I was going and then proceeded to try to sell me a timeshare. WTF?! I walked away.

The cost from PVR to La Cruz was 750 Pesos. This 30 minute ride cost 1/2 the 3.5 hour ride from Mantachén!

Other

Uber is available in the Mexican state of Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta proper is at) but NOT in Nayarit (where La Cruz and Paradise Village are at). This results in expensive cab rides TO Puerto Vallarta. Once you are in Puerto Vallarta proper you can get Uber back.

Uber fares are generally 1/2 the cost of a cab. Most drivers speak english and are pretty savvy.

Your Uber driver will be nervous when taking you from Puerto Vallarta as it is not legal there and there have been reports of Uber drivers being surrounded and their cars being trashed.

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.