Sunday, February 19, 2012

UPDATE . . . Finally!!!

Okay, we've been on land too long . . . time to get back to Sea(ing) the World! On Tuesday, February 28 we'll set sail from Fort Lauderdale on the Coral Princess, headed for the Panama Canal; visiting, Aruba, Cartagena, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico and then into Long Beach! Really looking foward to it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Boat House

We call it the "Boat House" because we used the money from the sale of our sailboat, Summer Wind, to purchase this home in Oro Valley, AZ which will be used as our winter place.  We still have the "House in the pines" in Show Low, but this will now become our primary address.

The view of the Catalina Mountains from our back patio.

Life after selling Summer Wind

After completing the sale with Kevan Draper, the new owner of Summer Wind (now renamed Alex II), we decided to remain in Mexico for the winter.  We drove on south to the Puerto Vallarta area to the little town of La Cruz.  This is also the location of a very nice marina that many of our cruising friends stay in for a few weeks going and coming from points further south.

We rented a nice second floor condo from a fellow sailboat owner for two months in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.  Living in a small Mexican village had some very interesting experiences.  Many of the services are delivered to your door daily by the various vendors driving trucks, some with horns, some play music or jingles to let you know they are passing by.

Here is a photo of Larry buying a 5 gallon water bottle from the water truck.  Price about US$1.60.  We used the bottled water for drinking and coffee.  Local water was good for doing dishes and showers.

In March we drove back north to El Fuerte, near Los Mochis, to take the passenger train, El Chepe, into Copper Canyon.  Two nights at Creel, then back west to El Fuerte for one night before we continued back to San Carlos and home to Arizona.

The hotel we stayed in was Posada del Hidalgo.  It was built in 1890 in the village of El Fuerte.  A section of the hotel was originally known as Casa Vieja the birthplace of Zorro (AKA Don Diego de la Vega)!

A few more days to complete the trip back north to Tucson and finally home to Show Low in April.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Completed the Sale of Summer Wind

It was mostly clear when we left the marina to go out with Kevan for the sea trial testing of Summer Wind.  But the fog bank came back and we had to use the radar to find our way back to the entrance.

January 24, 2011 we handed over the keys to Summer Wind to the new owner, Kevan Draper.  Kevan is from New Zealand where he will register the boat with a new name, Alex II, in honor of his 10 year old daughter.  He will continue to sail the west coast of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez for about a year before he takes the boat southwest to Australia and New Zealand.

Presently we are renting a condo in La Cruz for a couple of months and hanging out with our cruising friends who are still on boats.  La Cruz is a small town north of Puerto Vallarta where the boating community gathers each winter to enjoy the great food and music of this area.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Signed the Sales Contract

We have accepted an offer to buy our beloved Summer Wind from a nice New Zealand gentleman.  We have a couple of weeks to clean out all the storage lockers and pack our junk before the deal is completed.  Our winter plans are now to find a rental condo for a couple of months in La Cruz (near Puerto Vallarta).  Then in the spring we will drive up to Los Mochis and take the train tour of Copper Canyon before returning to Arizona.

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to our home on water for the past six years.  This boat has taken us to many beautiful places and allowed us to meet our wonderful cruising buddies.  We have made friendships that will last forever and have wonderful memories that will never fade.

Larry & Diana Clark
s/v Summer Wind

Friday, December 10, 2010

La Paz - Mazatlan

View from our cockpit at Marina Palmira!

We spent three great weeks in La Paz.   Enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with 250 of our cruising friends!  Finally a weather window opened up and we departed the marina on December 2 and headed for Bonanza Beach on Isla Esprito Santos.    We anchored there for the night and headed out before daylight the next morning for Mazatlan, 228 miles.    We expected it to take 28 hours but because of the rough seas it took 30+ hours.     The sea did not settle down until about 40 miles from Mazatlan; arriving at Marina Mazatlan on Saturday afternoon.

 Mazatlan at daylight!

We've spent the last week getting Summer Wind cleaned and polished.  There are several people coming to see the boat over the next few weeks.   It sort of like getting your house ready for a showing . . . we're asking ourselves . . . "she looks so good, why are we selling her?".

s/v Summer Wind

 Main Salon

 Settee in Main Salon

The Galley Wench's Galley

Master Suite!
Sunday night we're taking a bus back to San Carlos to pick up our car.    Plan to spend Christmas in Tucson with family!     We'll be back down here in early January for more fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Season 6 Begins . . .

Departing San Carlos

We finally left the dock . . .  left San Carlos on November 5 a 8 a.m.!     It was a beautiful crossing, calm seas but not enough wind to turn off the engine! 

The sun is setting over the Baja, only 35 miles off shore

We took advantage of the wind angle and headed directly for San Evaristo.   We arrived at our destination in record time . . . 26.5 hours!

The little fishing village of San Evaristo!

Right after leaving San Carlos we discovered that our telephone had decided to take a 'siesta' . . . flashing the error code 'Check Sim Card'.   We also realized that we had not loaded the Winlink software on the new hard drive so we were not able to send position reports.    Since we had no way to let our family know that all was well, decided to move closer to  La Paz where the 3G card would work . .  we spent two night in Puerto Balandra, which had a cell phone tower on the hill.

Puerto Balandra at Sunset

On Wednesday, December 10 we went the last 10 miles to Marina Palmira in La Paz.    The weather has been beautiful here; low 80's during the day and upper 60's at night!  We're looking forward to the Thanksgiving celebration with our fellow cruisers!

This ultra-light landed in front of us just before we entered the La Paz channel!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MIA for 6 Months!

Wow, where did the time go?   We're back in San Carlos getting Summer Wind ready for another season.   We have listed her for sale with Mazatlan Yachts so will be sailing her south and be there in time for the Christmas holiday!     Our plan is to leave San Carlos on November 6 or 7 and be in La Paz for Thanksgiving and then cross The Sea to Mazatlan.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

May 2010

Photo Above Taken by Linda on Tanque de Tiburon

We left Escondido about noon on Tuesday, May 5th; it looked like a perfect weather window to cross The Sea. Just after leaving the harbor we heard from our buddy boat, Yemaya and was advised that it was blowing big time near Loreto and that they had decided to wait it out on the south side of Coronado Island. We decided to continue on, and about an hour and half out, the wind picked up to 30+ knots from the north so we decided to join the growing group of boats and wait out the weather. About three hours later the wind began to subside . . . so just before dusk 'the fleet' started out again! We did a little rock'n and roll'n for the first couple hours, but The Sea finally settled down. Unfortunately no good wind for sailing, so we had ANOTHER motorboat ride across.

We arrived in San Carlos the next morning with only two and half days to prepare the boat for haul-0ut! By Friday night we were ready, pooped but the boat was stripped down to the deck and ready for summer storage. We drove from San Carlos on Saturday, arriving about 5pm. Really enjoyed the shower and big bed!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

April 2010

Geez, are we behind on posting or what! April is a bit of blur . . . spent most of it in Escondido for LoretoFest.

Diana Entered the LoretoFest Chili Cook-Off and took second place. As promised a link to the recipe is on the left side of this page!

Dinner with friends in Loreto!

Friends of "Betty" Meeting at LoretoFest . . . Note the Betty Ford Outpatient Clinic hats on all!

Sunsets in The Sea are hard to beat!

Monday, March 01, 2010

March 2010 -- Mazatlan to La Paz

We spent the first week in Mazatlan finishing up some projects on the boat and waiting for a weather window to cross The Sea of Cortez. On Saturday, March 13 we left Mazatlan . . . 29 hours later we arrived in Bahia Muertos (Bay of the Dead). The weather was closing in again so decided to not tackle the Cerralvo Channel until the storm had passed. Tuesday it looked like the weather had cleared so we headed out to make the last 55 miles to La Paz. Unfortunately the weather forecast was wrong (again) and we forged through 8 - 10 foot seas and winds in excess of 25 knots, on our nose of course! What a great sight to see our crusing friends waiting at the dock when we arrived in Marina Palmira. Took us two days to clean up all the salt water, inside and out!

We're enjoying he warm sunshine and are looking foward to visiting the neighboring islands!

Sunday . . . February 28, 2010

We've had an 'eventful' couple of weeks. On Friday, February 19, the Mazatlan Salvation Army Children's Home put on a delightful song and dance presentation at the Marina Mazatlan Cruisers Lounge. The Director of the home invited us to come out and visit the facilities on Friday, February 26 for a Carne Asada dinner and another dance presentation. They even provided the transportation!

This little fellow was part of the welcoming committee!

We were free to tour the grounds . . . they have two dorms, one for the boys and one for the girls and kitchen. There are a total of 25 children between the ages of 3 and 17. None of them are orphans; they're in the home because their parents can't care for them. Can you imagine getting 25 kids off to four different schools each morning! There are only four adult employees at the home, the rest are volunteers!

The girls were having make-up applied for their performance. Before the performance the director shared with us the challenge they had getting them to practice. It took only one performance to see an immediate change in their attitude. They really love (and crave) the attention!

Here they are, all together for the final number!

We woke up on Saturday morning to the news of the earthquake in Chili. As result of the earthquake, a tsunami warnings were issued for the Pacific, which included the west coast of Mexico and the U.S. We watched the NOAA Tsunami Center bulletins closely and by 10 a.m. we felt pretty safe that it would be a non-event for us. At a little after 11 am the 'tsunami wave' came . . . well it was more like a strong current, the wave was less than two inches. That night we decided to go out for pizza but to our surprise, the local pizza parlor was closed! We found them open last night and inquired as to why they were closed on a Saturday night and to our surprise it was the tsunami! Apparently a tsunami warning was the perfect excuse to take Saturday night off!

Yesterday we watched the U.S. vs Canada Olympic Gold hockey game at the local pub. Well, we started out there, but with all the Canadians and U.S. fans trying to out cheer each other, we eventually retreated to the quiet restaurant at the head of the dock to finish the game. Too bad the U.S. didn't pull it off . . . we had plans to return to the pub with a parade of U.S. flags!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

February 2010 - Carnival in Mazatlan

SUNDAY . . . February 14, 2010

We spent Valentine's Day at the Mazatlan Carnival Parade. We'd heard horror stories about the crowds and crime so opted to enjoy the parade from bleacher seats at one of the local hotels. The ticket included a buffet dinner so all our bases were covered!

The first parade started at 4 p.m. and consisted of commercial floats, i.e., Coke, Bimbo Bread, Senor Frogs and Pacifico Beer.

At sundown the crowd began to grow . . . it was estimated at 250,000 attendees along the 5 mile ocean front.

At 6 pm the 'real' parade began. It was non stop music and noise! More than 40 floats with kings, queens and attendants including bright lights and music. In between the big floats there were horses, marching bands and performing groups.

Larger than anything Larry had seen before in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

THURSDAY. . . February 11, 2010

Carnival began today with the Coronation of the King of Joy ! The entire malacon is decorted with lights with vendors all along the way!

SATURDAY. . . February 13, 2010

Tonight there was ship-to-shore fireworks, re-enacting of a French - Mexican battle. Most of the fireworks came from shore, getting the point across that they over whelmed the French! It was wild scene with wall-to-wall people along the sea wall with street bands about every 100 feet!

We left about midnight and it looked like the party was just getting started!

We couldn't resist taking a picture of this sign . . . Clean Bathrooms for $5 pesos . . . about $.35 cents!

February 4, 2010 . . . Sunrise Arrival in Mazatlan

We spent four nights in the Singular Marina in San Blas. On Tuesday it started raining and that night we had winds in excess of 50 mph; it was literally raining sideways! Even though we were tied to the dock we still 'heeled' about 20 degrees. By Thursday morning the storm had finally moved on so we made a night passage to Mazatlan. Can't miss the Super Bowl plus the Mardi Gras festivities begins on Wednesday, February 11!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 2010

We've decided to start back north and be in Mazatlan for Mardi Gras. We left La Cruz on January 28 and headed up the coast 21 miles to Bahia Chacla. It's a beautiful bay, however it's open to the sea so we added a stearn anchor in hopes of keeping us from rocking too much. it helped a little, but still a little more motion then we like!

Sunday we pulled up anchor and buddy-boated with Yemaya to San Blas, a quaint little shrimp village that was made famous by Longfellow's poem, The Bells of San Blas.

We left Mazatlan on December 26 and made an overnight trip to Puerto Vallarta. We're actually in a marnia in a quaint fishing village about 20 miles from Puerto Vallarta. The name of the village is La Cruz and we love this place . . . gringo creature comforts, but the village has not yet lost it's Mexican heritage! Unfortunately they're building condos in front of the marina so it won't be long before the village will be changed forever!

December 2009

We returned to San Carlos on December 7 with a new outboard for 'the family car'. Larry finished up the installing the cutlas bearing and prop and we FINALLY splashed on December 9.

During our shake down cruise we found that there was a problem with the autopilot so we made a quick trip to Tucson to pick up parts. Also gave me a chance to pick up some last minute 'gringo' supplies! Here's a picturre of Larry in the aft hatch finishing up the actuator installation.

We left San Carlos on December 21 and made a straight shot to Mazatlan. It was a pretty uneventful trip and made it in little over 53 hours! Just before arriving in Mazatlan we did come across a 'herd' of dolphins . . . a mile long string of dolphins headed out to sea!

As you can see Santa found us down here too!

We enjoyed a traditional American Christmas dinner with other cruisers at Heather's place in Mazatlan.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What's wrong with this picture? The outboard motor is missing! Apparently someone needed it more than we did! We found the cover and lifting strap still attached to the hoist! Based on the amount of mud on the line, the motor was taken sometime after hurrican Jimena came through.

As you can see, Summer Wind has new bottom paint. While out of the water we decided to change out the cutlass bearing . . . well, that led to finding other things that needed replacing, so we left her in the maintenance yard and came home. Our plan is to return to San Carlos after December 7 with the necessary parts to complete the job.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Geez, it's a bit early for this, think it's time to pull up anchor, we're too far north!

Trick or Treat 2009

Note the downed tree . . . we had 45 and 55 mph winds!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cruising Schedule -- 2009-2010

Due to hurricane Jimena and problems she created in San Carlos, and Larry's flight schedule, we'll not be launching the boat until November 9. As noted below we're going to be coming back to Show Low on November 13 and stay for about three weeks. Plan to be in Tucson for Thanksgiving, but will have to return to Show Low so Larry can finish up test flying!

Update: November 15, 2009:
Things didn't go as planned on our trip to San Carlos! At the last minute decided to change out the cutlass bearing before putting in the water. Of course that led to finding other things that needed replacing, so we left Summer Wind in the maintenance yard and came home.

Call us for current schedule!

Attention family and friends . . . if you're planning to be in any of the above destinations please let us know we'd love to have you aboard!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Where Did It Go?

Wow where did the Summer go? Can't believe that in six weeks we'll be heading back down to Mexico.

We've had a busy Summer:

  • Larry spent three weeks in Vietnam flying helicopters.

  • Sailing buddies Jack and Lyndy (Gaitana) came for a visit.

  • We were in Anchorage for 12 days with Marla, Doug and Chase and then boarded a Princess cruise ship and sailed back south to Vancouver. Larry's daughter, Ava and grand daughter Kristin joined us! We had a great time!