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.

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.