Saturday, February 28, 2009

News from Suzi in Chamela

We finally made the break on Wed. around noon and had a great sail to Yelapa. We found Ned, a wonderful guy from Seattle, whom we had met before, and his dad was with him. He is 86 years old and has leased some land there; he has convinced Ned to help him build a house right on the river. WoW! How cool is that at such an age. We enjoyed "happy hour" with them at their apartment overlooking the awesome bay and then went to dinner at a great local cafe called Tacos y Mas. Ricardo, who is the kid who created the few moorings in the bay, picked us up from Sidewinder and took us back that evening. It was so awesome to be back there, and I know we will return some day. Maybe that's a place we could all meet sometime.

Anyway, yes, we safely made it around Cabo Corrientes the next morning without a hitch although we were expecting NorthWesterly winds to kick in and it was a south wind, on our nose, the entire day. We tacked our way down the coast and it took about 20 hours to make it to Bahia de Chamela. We arrived yesterday morning at dawn, anchored next to Sunsation, and had a lovely day of being back on the water. The South wind continued to blow most of the day, which is a bit strange for this time of the year. I swam (yippee!), read, napped and enjoyed the quiet one more time. The all nighter put us back into the sailing mode although we had to motor most of the night when the wind died. We had dinner with Sharon and John on their cat last night, and I think the plan is to motor over to the islands and do a little snorkling while it is glassy this morning. I think we will leave for the next anchorage, Careyes, tomorrow morning, and continue the Gold Coast adventure down to Tenacatita the following day. It is supposed to get more and more beautiful as we go south, and I am looking forward to our explorations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yay! Outta there!

If all went as planned, Suzi and David left LaCruz this morning and headed south for Yelapa. They will spend the night there in order to round the infamous Cabo Corrientes in the morning. (The waves there get big in the afternoon.) They are back at sea, headed south along the Gold Coast. Marc and I are meeting them in Zihuatanejo for Easter, taking along two new props and sundry batteries. Above are a couple of photos that arrived this morning: "David cleaning the rigging" and "Le Bistro in Old Town PV with Jerry and Jane." -Kris

Monday, February 23, 2009

Suzi: Still in LaCruz

We are not leaving until Tuesday; lots of stuff to still do, like fitting the bikes somewhere with the boards and the dinghy. David and I are so mystified by this battery stuff and all of the things we have tried have failed so far, except, when we test our battery banks, they are equally being used by the electrical system. But the monitor reads that we are drawing all of our energy from one battery bank. Sounds like the monitor, but we ( I'm just hovering and being head nurse) took that apart, reset it, and it still reacts the same way. Phew! Our VHF radio transmits but does not receive messages. David went up the mast yesterday, cleaned the top radio antenna and connection hoping that was the problem, but we tried again this morning and can hear nothing. We will check out today with the Port Captain but will not leave until these issues are resolved. We had a great evening last night and successfully took Jerry and Jane out to dinner. Sharon and John, from the cat Sunsation, also went with his to a restaurant called Xocolatl (Chocolate) which had fabulous food and a wonderful view overlooking La Cruz and Banderas Bay and we walked. Fun times in between this crazy boat work are a must. Our prop is getting fixed (temporary) today and our backup old prop does work, but we still need to buy a new prop.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Snippet from Suzi

I have been receiving only pieces of emails from Suzi and David this week. The internet at LaCruz is apparently not reliable, so this is all I have to offer for the moment. Neither the "sure signal" nor the Skype conversation alluded to below proved to be real: the email was chopped off mid-sentence, and the Skype call never came. All I can say is it sounds like they are stranded in PV until they resolve prop problems. -K.

We have been having a heck of a time picking up the internet signal downstairs in the yacht club lounge, so I am upstairs, sitting in the lobby of the restaurant just outside Rafael's office. It's not a good place to Skype from, but it is a sure signal; Rafael is in charge of the marina. Sooo, no conversation until this evening after people leave. Our dinghy engine seemed to be working really well since it was fixed last week until we took it down the coast a bit; now the prop is not working and it appears we may need a new one. Holy moly! Who knows if we will get out of here this week! We're having the bottom cleaned today and washing down the rigging. Tomorrow we make a Costco run with Jerry and Jane and we are taking them out to lunch in Old Town PV at a Bistro on the River Cual.
Reflection: The most precious part of being here in the marina for two weeks is that I realize just how sincerely friendly this cruising/boating community is. It's a pretty amazing community, educated, knowledgeable, interesting, talented, liberal, and fun to be with. Jane and Jerry, who live on their boat Dilly Dally half of the year here in La Cruz and the other half RVing around the states, are such a kick to be around. They are about 10 years older with a great sense of humor and lots of energy. He used to coach water polo at UC Davis. There are many other cruisers we've thoroughly enjoyed as well. I think, because you have the time to be open and friendly, and you take the time to talk and listen to others, you then have the opportunity to get to know people more quickly. It is hard saying goodbye, but there is always the likely possibility of seeing them somewhere else down the road. Pretty special moments in my life I am relishing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Synopsis of the Last Week

I, Kris, am taking the liberty of summarizing the craziness that has comprised the past ten or so days. Then we can get back to the usual news from the world travelers themselves.

David's Week: Casey drove David from Portland to a gut-wrenching three day visit with his mother in Coos Bay. (David stayed with his sister and bro-in-law.) After saying good-bye (clearly one of the hardest things he has ever had to do), David traveled to Sacramento via bus ("Never again") where he had breakfast with Cindy and Larry, who were coincidentally on their way home from skiing at Tahoe and were delighted to drive him to the airport. Marc picked David up in Long Beach and brought him to Laguna, where he spent four days picking up items required by Sidewinder and his lovely wife, Suzi (who phoned frequently to add to the list). He was able to see lots of his friends from Newport and Laguna and had lunch with Julie in San Clemente, so his trip can be best described as bittersweet. On Tuesday night Dave took the red-eye flight from LAX to Mexico City to Puerto Vallerta, where he was greeted by Suzi at the airport. He is happy to be basking in the warmth of Mexico.

Suzi's Week: Where did we leave off with Suzi? Ah, yes (see photo below): she was sampling tequilas with her friends from the yoga center. (Isn't there something oxymoronic about that?) She spent the rest of her time making new friends
(two of whom took her on a night sail under a full moon on their catamaran), exercising (including riding on the new collapsible bikes), taking bus trips to nearby villages, talking to David and the Degens for free via Skype (download it for free, and you too can talk to the Sobolewskis on your computer), and taking care of Sidewinder to the best of her ability (which sometimes did not seem adequate, one of the many reasons she was so happy to have David back).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Update from Kris

David is leaving Coos Bay tomorrow and going to Sacramento via bus, then flying from there into Long Beach. He will be staying at our house and can be reached on his cell phone.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meanwhile, Back in LaCruz . . .

Received from Suzi on Wed., Feb.4:
On Sunday afternoon my wonderful friend Gayatri (Margaret) from the yoga center and her husband, Michael, [photos above] picked me up and kidnapped me for two days. We drove first to Old Town Puerto Vallarta where Gayatri's mom is staying. She has a beautiful apartment up on a hill overlooking the old part of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas. In the evening it felt like I was in San Francisco, looking out over the lights with the city below. Sunday night we, along with many Mexican families, cruised the boardwalk (malecon) along the bay; the teenagers cruise the boulevard looking for each other or they are on the street in groups. Sunday night is the night to witness this reality of PV. It is mostly tourists who are out walking the malecon on other evenings. There are restaurants everywhere, art galleries, and shops with incredible displays and items from all over Mexico for sale. On the boardwalk you can buy tacos, fruit, corn, ice cream and so much more; it feels like a carnival. There are beautiful bronze statues along the way as well as musicians, mimes, dancers, etc. What a fun evening it was! On the way back to mom's apartment we went by the beautiful basilica and peeked in; church bells chime every hour marking PV time. It was Super Bowl Sunday night, and all the sports bars had the game on, so we caught the exciting end to the game. Music filled the air as we climbed the stairs back to our home base and I fell asleep to a nice breeze.

On Monday we drove up into the low-lying Sierra Madre mountains east of PV to the beautiful, peaceful 17th century colonial village of San Sebastian. It dates back to 1605 and was made famous by its many silver mines. It is nestled in the pine trees, and the air is so fresh, clear and cool. "Tumbling colonial architecture merges with a colorful village square, quaint cobblestone streets, passing mules and a sleepy way of life removed from the rest of the world": I couldn't have described it better! There was art everywhere as well as local products which we eagerly tried: coffee, liquores, tequila, and racilla ( their local wild agave tequila-like alcohol). We had a fabulous lunch at a Spanish restaurant and drank the very best agua natural con hielo. Both Gayatri and I were in heaven. We hiked up a road outside of town and found a few small mines, and we wandered past houses surrounded by flowers, chickens, ducks, turkeys, colorful laundry hanging on the lines and children squealing with joy. It was really beautiful and a very fun adventure. On the way home, we stopped by a small local tequila distillery surrounded by agave fields and learned all about the making of the finest tequila. Of course, we also had to taste some; good thing Michael could handle the sips I couldn't! We returned home to the city, picked up mom and walked down to a small little restaurant with delicious food. It was another lovely evening in the city, and as I went to sleep, I again reflected on how very fortunate I am to have so many wonderful people in my life. Margaret and Michael were so kind to come all the way up to La Cruz, about an hour drive, to pick me up, and then they insisted on driving me back. The least I could do was pay for gas. Thank you, Gayatri and Michael for all the support and thoughtfulness.

This morning our LP gas ran out of the big tank, and it shouldn't have, so there is a leak somewhere. Being the mechanical whiz that I am, I was able to get the big tank out, but that is as far as I have gotten. This boat maintenance stuff is never ending!!! Luckily the marina sends out tanks on Wed to get gas. I'm such a lucky lady!! Yesterday afternoon I took a walk down the beach toward Bucerias and found a beach club where I could swim and shower with fresh water. On the way back I saw Mandy was still here, saw them heading to the marina in their dinghy with Virginia rowing into the wind, a very tedious process. I intercepted them at the dinghy dock, and we ended up taking showers and celebrating their departure with cocktails in the bar upstairs. It was great to see them one more time, and we got to hug goodbye again. They have left this morning for some coves across the bay which are supposed to be really nice, then they will explore Yelapa, and then they will continue down the Gold Coast of Mexico. We are hoping to meet up again somewhere. I think that one of the most difficult parts of cruising is saying goodbye to those you really do connect with. It is good that we all feel that way because we do appreciate the short times we are together.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Just wanted everyone to know that David is in Coos Bay, Oregon with his family, and Suzi is taking care of Sidewinder in La Cruz, so everything is on hold for the moment. Suzi has friends from the yoga center who are visiting Puerto Vallarta, so she has people to play with. I will update this blog if I hear any news.