Hanging out at the Marina in the Summertime

Hi all. We are in Mexico City now but I wanted to update our blog in chronological order so I need to start with our time back at the marina before describing our inland tour.

Cool Change is in the water at a dock at Paradise Marina in Nuevo Vallarta for the summer but we promised our insurance company we wouldn’t take her sailing during the hurricane season. So she sits safely up a canal in the hot, humid summer of Puerto Vallarta, with us inside her. Fortunately we bought a window air conditioner that works like a dream, but it takes less than 5 minutes in the summer sun outside of Cool Change for your body to be covered in a thick layer of sweat, starting with your undergarments soaked to the last thread.

Hurricanes are developing offshore, but so far Puerto Vallarta has been true to its  promise of never getting a direct hit.  We have had lots of lightening and torrential rains, though

Hurricanes are developing offshore, but so far Puerto Vallarta has been true to its promise of never getting a direct hit. We have had lots of lightening and torrential rains, though

Five minutes in the sun at 10 am in the morning

Five minutes in the sun at 10 am in the morning

Our normal day starts out with a breakfast of fresh papaya or mango mixed in with yogurt and a sprinkle of granola, plus coffee. After the morning cruisers’ radio net at 8:30, we try to work on maintenance items for Cool Change for 3 to 4 hours, if we can tolerate the heat. Then we take advantage of a free hour of kayak rental and paddle out of the marina onto the bay and back, followed by some laps and exercise in a pool. The late afternoon is spent updating email and Facebook, and taking care of any business we have to attend to, whether it be U.S. correspondence or food/supplies shopping. The evening is spent with a cocktail at sunset followed by cooking dinner once the sun has set and it cools off, and maybe a movie inside our cabin on our large roll-down screen with a small projector we bought during our U.S. visit, connected to a computer.

As far as socializing goes, about once per week, one of the dozen or so boats in the marina with full time live-aboards, reserves a communal BBQ spot in the resort near the marina and invites everyone else to join them. We have met some nice folks that way. We also met a few nice couples who own boats in the area through the cruisers net or just hanging out in the marina. One of them is taking our bicycles to La Paz for us and the other is house sitting for a mansion upstream – we hope to connect with them more in the future. Also, we have a few single guys in sailboats near ours who we have befriended, and we try to watch over each other since we are neighbors. Also, our afternoon swimming has introduced us to some Mexican families visiting the resort, including Mario, Norma and their children Jean-Pablo and Sophie, who we hope to visit in Guadelajara soon.

A family from Guadelajara we befriended

A family from Guadelajara we befriended

We find it challenging to cook during the day in the boat because it is just so darn hot, so we basically just eat breakfast, have a cold snack for lunch if anything, and then dinner after the sun sets. We have also been experimenting with salads for dinner. One such Mexican salad is called Salpicón, which I learned how to make 30 years ago when I lived in Mexico. It is basically a skirt steak salad seasoned with lemon and chile. Delicious!

Salpicón

Salpicón

Rick is very proud of the work he has done on what is called the “bright work,” which is in this case the teak cap rail that surrounds the junction of the side of the boat with the deck of the boat. He stripped off all 11 layers of varnish I put on before we left Sausalito, which was peeling and cracking due to the intense heat, and then replaced it with a new version of Cetol, a varnish-like coating that breathes so it doesn’t bubble, and is much easier to maintain. Here are some pictures of his work:

The caprail, taped on the edges and covered in Cetol on starboard, and sanded and ready to be taped for Cetol application on port.

The caprail, taped on the edges and covered in Cetol on starboard, and sanded and ready to be taped for Cetol application on port.


A larger view of Rick's Cetol coating.  By the way, this product is manufactured by AKZO-Nobel, the company that Pete, Our brother in law, is an executive for.  Way to go, Pete!

A larger view of Rick’s Cetol coating. By the way, this product is manufactured by AKZO-Nobel, the company that Pete, Our brother in law, is an executive for. Way to go, Pete!

Meanwhile, I was busy trying to keep up with him so the canvas covers for the caprail would be sewn by the time he finished, to protect his work:

Cindy sewing on a borrowed Sailrite sewing machine on a the landing of the companionway.

Cindy sewing on a borrowed Sailrite sewing machine on a the landing of the companionway.


The finished caprail cover

The finished caprail cover

I also have been working on a sun cover that attaches by zippers to the Bimini, aft, and the dodger, forward. I ran out of screen material before I finished the sides, but just having the “roof” has made it possible for us to sit out in the cockpit on the rain, which has been quite a pleasure.

The sun/rain cover Cindy is making

The sun/rain cover Cindy is making

Watching the fishermen cast their nets in the canal as we sit out in our cockpit once the sun has dipped below the horizon

Watching the fishermen cast their nets in the canal as we sit out in our cockpit once the sun has dipped below the horizon

We have also been learning the ropes of how to get things done here in the Puerto Vallarta area – who is reliable to hire should we need to, where to get supplies, etc. One big find was a store that just sells screws! Every kind you could possibly imagine!

The screw store

The screw store

Every once in a while we get ourselves to downtown Puerto Vallarta, although it is nearly an hour’s trip by bus with a change of buses. One of our favorite discoveries was a Cuban restaurant on the Malecón (seashore walkway) that has live salsa music and is known for their famous mojitos.

La Boguidita del Medio, a Cuban restaurant on the Puerto Vallarta Malecón

La Bodeguita del Medio, a Cuban restaurant on the Puerto Vallarta Malecón

We have enjoyed strolling along the Malecón. Here are some of the many interesting sculptures that adorn the walkway, and a picture of part of the walkway.

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Up next, Cuernavaca, Taxco, Las Grutas, Ixtapan de la Sal, Valle de Bravo, and Mexico City!

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