Saturday, March 27, 2010


We do enjoy Mazatlan. This time we started out by anchoring in the old harbor on the south side of town. There's room for 15-20 boats there and there's easy access to buses from the dinghy dock that only costs 30 p a day. There's also a lot of entertainment with the traffic in and out of the port (cruise ships, ferries, fishing boats and every other kind of boat you can think of). The only downside to the anchorage is that right across the street is the city sewage treatment plant and when the wind is out of the north it does stink! Unfortunately for the 4 days we were there the wind blew out of the north. It stunk so bad that it would wake you up at night. So we moved in Marina Mazatlan into the same slip we had when we were here before.

Our mail that was sent to PV is still MIA but we got lucky and the mail sent to Mazatlan arrived the day after we did. Wow! It didn't contain our boat documentation apparently because the mail packet was sent before the copy of the documentation that we ordered from the Coast Guard arrived in Anacortes. So we had our mail FexEx'd from Anacortes to our daughter in Nampa and she scanned the boat documentation and emailed it to us in Maz. Now we have all of our important mail so no more waiting around for the never arriving mail. We also got the last financial document we needed so we could complete our taxes and file them electronically while we had wifi here in the marina.

As we talk to family back home and hear of their challenges and heartaches in dealing with the economic downturn and other issues of regular life we are very thankful that we can live the life we do. While family members struggle with health, family, and financial issues our biggest daily problems are trying to catch the right bus to get downtown and to pick the right weather window to move on. We are truly lucky to be able to live our care free life in Mexico although we wish there was more we could do to help family back home. And that's not to mention the political sh*t that is going on in the states. What's with all the hate and anger? People should just turn off cable news and talk radio and take a breath, life is too short for all this crap.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Heading North

After visiting Tenacateta and Barra Navidad, we decided to return north and spend a couple of months in the Sea of Cortes before continuing up to Ensenada for the summer. The Mexican mainland has some beautiful cities but few good anchorages where you can swim and snorkel, so it's north we go.

This time when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta we decided to stay closer to town in the Vallarta Marina. We called beforehand and were assured that they would have room for us and when we arrived at 8 AM we tried to call them on the VHF radio with no luck so we just went in and tied up at the first easy spot we could find and walked up to the office. The office staff are not particularly friendly or helpful but we did get a slip and settled in. There were 2 things we needed to do in PV; 1) get mail from the states and 2) renew our Mexican tourist visas which expired in March.

We immediately sent an email to our mail forwarding outfit in Anacorts to send our accumulated mail to the marina office here. Our past experience is that it takes 10-14 days to receive mail in MX so we were optimistic. Next was a trip to the PV immigrations office to try to get our visas renewed or a new visa issued. No deal! We had to leave the country to get a new visa, no exceptions even though we had renewed our visa in Guaymas last summer with no problem. Our only option was to fly to the states and re-enter the country. Some searching on the internet found that the cheapest way to do this was to take a Mexican airline, Volaris, to Tijuana and walk across the boarder. The airfare was half the cost of flying directly into San Diego or any other city in the states. So that's what we did. We flew to TJ, took a taxi to the boarder, walked across and took the trolley to San Diego and checked into a motel in Chula Vista. We spent a couple of days shopping and walking around and then came back into Mexico, got our new 180 day visas and flew back to PV. Not cheap but necessary.

When we returned we were disappointed that our mail had still not arrived. We had hoped to come back, get our mail and leave but now it looked like we would be stuck here until the mail arrived. After another week of waiting we started making plans to leave and have a very nice lady that we met check for our mail and forward it to wherever we are when it came in. Some people are just nice and it's great when you meet them in a time of need.

PV is a great town for cruisers, and others. It has a terrific bus system, more stores than you could hope for and restaurants on every corner. We had a great time here but after a month it's time to move on.

Clouseau RIP -
Our beloved cat and family member Clouseau passed while in PV from aliments brought on from old age. He was a member of our family for 18 years and will be dearly missed.