Tuesday, February 27, 2007



Now that we're in a big city (Manzanillo) again, we rode the cheap mexican bus and went shopping today in the old central market downtown. The sights and smells were overwhelming. Delicious fruity guava aromas, then in the next aisle, warm and heavy raw meat odors. Here's a couple of pictures of Jonesy shopping. No, we didn't buy any of the meat hanging in this stall. Just too "real" for us. Tomorrow, we'll be coming back into the city to apply for our Temporary Import Permit for the boat. This is one of the few cities where we can do this transaction, and we understand that it will take 2 full days! I'll be sure to bring my knitting along...
And speaking of knitting...
What do YOU do with all of those little wads of leftover sock yarn? I'm knitting up a "Memories Vest" with the bits of yarn left after I knit up socks for my husband, sons, friends and of course myself! Now, I can look down and be reminded of not only the socks, but of the people who are wearing them.

These are just simple "Domino" knitting squares from the basic pattern in Vivian Hoxboro's book. So far I've almost completed the left front, then I'll just continue around the back and on to the right front. Add a little of EZ's applied I-cord, and voila! Got Memories Vest. Way too much fun.

Also on the knitting front, I completed the olive green socks for my older son Ryan. As he is a big guy with wide feet and high arches (just like his mommy) I had to increase the number of stitches. But, his ankles are narrow - so I used a snugger rib (3x3 versus 5x1 on the calf) to pull in the sock so it won't be baggie there. Here's the picture - note the black yarn on the toes. I figured that I would run out of the olive green yarn, so I put the toe stitches of the first sock on waste yarn, knit the second sock to the same spot using the other end of the yarn ball. Then I just knit both socks until I ran out of yarn switching to some leftover black & gray varigated stuff for the toes.

For my serious knitting, I'm working on Evelyn A. Clark's "Estonian Garden Wrap" in baby alpaca for my sister. I've decided to lengthen the center section to make it longer so she can throw one end (casually, of course) over her shoulder. So that I could determine how much more I should increase the center, I jumped ahead and knit one of the borders. Also, I couldn't wait to knit the nupps! I LOVE knitting nupps - they add a whole other dimension to lacework. This is a lousy picture, as the wind was blowing, the sun was setting, and the lace isn't blocked yet, but it's all I have right now.

And just so you don't think that all I do is laze about knitting all the time, here's a picture of me scrapping the nasty barnacles off of the bottom of our dinghy. This was a GROSS task! Those are live critters in those sharp shells and they "gooed" all over the place. We kept putting off this chore because we knew it would be unpleasant, but finally in Barra de Navidad, we took the dink ashore and went at it. Lesson learned. Don't leave the dink in the water so much.

WE'RE FAMOUS! Check out the February 2007 issue of Latitude 38 magazine for our TWO, yes, count them, 2 articles/letters about us! The first is in the "Letters" section and talks about our encounter with the Mexican Navy, and the 2nd is in the "Changes in Latitudes" section and is a synopsis of what we've been doing. Remember, you heard these stories here on the blog first!

Just a few more pictures from our first anchorage after leaving Banderas Bay - Ipala Bay and the darling little village of Tehuamixtle. This picture was taken from the dirt road up the hill that leads into town. See the fantastic dinghy landing ramp? Super easy to land your dink here. If you look closely you can see some fishermen in the plaza working on their nets. In the harbor, there are submerged cages where oysters are grown and stored, and bait fish are kept.

If you walk the other direction, you can take a trail down to a rocky beach that faces the Pacific Ocean, and be all alone listening to the pounding of the surf.

Along the beach we found some men working on tiny oysters under a thatched palapa. They were very carefully sorting, cutting, and stacking baby oysters. We wish we knew more about this form of aquaculture.

After spending a couple of days at this idyllic anchorage, we knew we had to move south. So we got up before the crack of dawn, and were sailing again down to the next stop - Chamela Bay.

Sunrise Adios Ipala Bay & Tehuanamixtle!!! We'll be back!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


At Anchor - Barra de Navidad Lagoon

We are at our 4th anchorage since leaving La Cruz Huanacaxtle, and we have finally connected to a (very marginally performing) internet service! We are now anchored in the lagoon of Barra Navidad.

What a journey it has been! No problems and lots of sunny days in warm sea breezes with plenty of time to knit and explore. All of our sailing trips, hopping (gunk-holing) south from one anchorage to the next, were less than one day, the seas & winds were calm, actually too calm. We had to motor most of the way. Oh well, that's what our big engine is for anyway.

The photos are from our first stop after leaving La Cruz and rounding the notoriously windy and rough seas of Cabo Corrientes. Ah, the lovely Ipala Bay was a welcome sight. We anchored in the cove facing the tiny town of Tehuamixtle (pronounced simply "Tay-wah") with only one other vessel - a large motor yacht with a herd of noisy, rich Mexican teenagers aboard. Ya had to love 'em - being served meals and drinks by three crewmen, playing loud music, and using the giant screen TV to play video games that somehow involved chugging beers to a raucous countdown. They left the following day so we then had the place all to ourselves.

As we strolled along the single cobblestone lane that led up the hill from the little harbor's boat ramp, two dogs, some sort of golden retriever mix, joined us and were our constant companions for the day. We walked the length of the beach and those dogs played in the sand and surf without a care in the world.
Here's the Niki Wiki at anchor with a view of the ENTIRE little village. Yep, that's it: 3 bayfront restaurants, 3 small tiendas (markets), a primary school and 27 families in residence (according to Adriana who sat with us at breakfast one morning in one of the restaurants). The older kids have to take the school bus up the dirt road from the village into a nearby town each day.

More later...this internet connection is really lousy and just won't stay connected. Manana..
Knitting on...

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Going, going...

GONE! We are going to be outa here tomorrow morning before dawn! Got our Mexican resident (FM3) Visas! Got food, water, diesel, gasoline, laundry, and the amibition to get sailing south again. It's kinda sad to leave the tiny town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle that we got to know so well, but wanderlust kicks us in the butt and with our new Mexican resident visas now in hand, we're hoisting the anchor again.

"Goodbye" to the construction in the harbor, the smelly pelicans, and the working fishing boats. We moved the boat out of the harbor yesterday and back to the open anchorage so that our buddy, Danny on sailing vessel Cyclades)can clean the grass skirt and barnacle forest that we've grown on the bottom of Niki Wiki in the last few weeks again.
The dinghy landing beach has disappeared into the bowels of a huge backhoe/shovel digger, so we have been trying to land where the pangas tie up. Eeew - the little ramp is littered with fish entrails, blood, oil, diesel, and whatever you can imagine. Wading thru the stuff in the dark is quite un-nerving. Our attempts to park the dinghy at the stationary piers was disasterous. We had a passenger (a little tipsy, yes) fall off of the dinghy into the black water while trying to climb up to the pier - and it wasn't even low tide. There is no way to get to the pier except at high tide.

Enough. Now, some photos from the Bucerias Festival of their patron saint: We'll start with the decorated pangas (fishing boats) that come in from La Cruz to be blessed up at the church. Thousands of people flood into Bucerias for a whole week of festivities, culminated by this floatella and parade with horses and kids in costume. There are carnival rides for the kids, many food booths, candy, drinks, toys, and all sorts of interesting things to see and buy. The prices were temporarily inflated for the influx of tourists so we didn't buy anything.
On the knitting front, I've finished the GIANT pair of socks for my nephew, Jon (size 13). Both these socks and the boring gray pair were shipped via UPS Global "Overnight Service" from Puerto Vallarta to California. Overnight? Well, it was the only service available. Overnight? Well, in Mexico, that means you should expect it to arrive in about a week (keeping my fingers crossed). The shipping cost more than the yarn! But, it makes me happy to keep my boys' toes warm. While we were in town checking out our Mexican visas and mailing packages, we grabbed a shot of Jonesy next to a banana tree. The large red blob at the end of the stalk of baby bananas is the flower.

And last, before we sail off into the rising sun, a photo of three of us cruising ladies enjoying a morning on the (now quiet) beach in Bucerias and doing some shopping.

Debrah (sailing vessel Cyclades), me, and Cindy (sailing vessel Mal de Mer III).

It may be a few weeks before we can blog again as we are heading down to some remote anchorages. Stay tuned!

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