Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12th. Happy Birthday, Ken!! Hope I get to email this today! Not so sure I want to leave my boat at the moment …

Today it is blowing about 20 knots. There were three boats that dragged anchor in the anchorage today. Luckily our anchor holds fast (and we test it every time by motoring full throttle in reverse when we set it.) Merle went out there helping save them. It was great for the kids to see their dad being a real live hero. Matero said to me, ‘Mom – if I am ever in trouble will dad come and save me too?’ And I was glad to be able to say, ‘Yes – he will come and save you every time, no matter what.’ We are surrounded by such amazing people, and we used to be too busy to notice. But we are waking up and noticing now, and it is really heartwarming how many good people there are out there.

It is a sunny warm day here in Puerto Vallarta. The full moon the last few nights has been spectacular, and with the moisture in the air, there was a rainbow ring around it on Saturday. It was beautiful. Now it is very hot during the day ashore, but on the boat it is very nice. The evenings have been windy and we leave the hatches open and the windows, and the wind blows through and keeps us nice and cool for sleeping. The boys have been doing school, and Shandro tried out a local school here for a few days and loved it. Now I am looking into registering them for a little while for their Spanish. It would be 3 hours a day for a few days a week. There is some paperwork that has to be done before they will be legal, but we will get there.

I have been doing a little bit of healing trading here, and that has been very nice for a change. I love that time. And the full moon just makes it even more special. I am always so grateful when I can help someone.

Boats are departing here for the South Pacific – French Polynesia and the Marquaise Islands and Fiji and Tahiti. They leave about one boat every 2 days. Love Song left last Saturday, so they have been gone almost a week. This is the time of year for that – as the trade winds that flow in that direction are just developing now. They will be blowing steadily by the end of March.

We talk to the “Puddle Jumpers” every day at 9:00AM Puerto Vallarta Time (Saskatchewan time I think) on the SSB at frequency 8.188 Upper Side Band (USB). Anyway, we have crystal clear radio contact with them and it makes us feel like they are right next to us. If you have a ham radio or an SSB, we’d love to hear from you! Merle is taking the second ham radio exam this Sunday. He did the technical already and he will do the general exam next, so he is studying for it. We’d love to talk to you! We could just set up a time to check every day and then we could talk to you! That would be very cool. Try these frequencies in the next few days and see if you can hear anything. Some of the boat names who will be talking are Bravado, Love Song, Lucy, Apple, Kenta Anae (us), Light Heart, Corinthia, Me Longa, HipNautical. They give their location, wind speed and direction, wave height and frequency, miles covered in the last 24 hours, barometric pressure, and general conversation to keep in touch. It is great for them as they keep track of each other for the 20 to 30 day crossing. Very cool. If we go across, we will be part of a similar group too.

Tonight is a pot luck for anyone racing in the sailboat race this weekend, or in the Bandaras Bay Regatta next week. We will race in the Regatta. The potluck starts at 6pm and there are people there between the ages of 1 year and 98 years or so. The boys love it because they get to play. And we get to meet some of the sailors here. The Regatta is next week. We will be taking another couple with us – maybe even 4 or 5 extra people. (People are asking us if they can race with us now, because we have won all of the races we have entered, so we are the boat to beat. That in itself is pretty funny, considering we have only been sailing for such a short time.) We will let you know how it goes. Ryan and Corie-Ann thought they might come down at the end of March, but I don’t think they will be here for the Regatta. We will try to get some photos of OUR boat sailing. (It’s way easier to get photos of other people’s boats, but a bit tougher to get a photo of the boat you are on …)

The outboard motor on our dinghy gave up a few days ago. One of the cylinders caved, so it lost compression. Fixing it will cost within $50 of replacing it – about $2500 US. So our current focus is earning enough pesos (around 36,000!) so we can get a new motor to get to and from the beach without rowing. (Rowing is fine here near the marina. But in big swell, landing on a beach with oars can be difficult without flipping the dinghy as you have to match the speed of the waves to ride one in. And if you are not successful at that, you flip the dinghy, and that is not fun.) So that is our focus at the moment.

I will go now and make some food for tonight. I am typing this email before I go to shore online, and I should be able to just cut and paste into an email. Then perhaps I won’t lose the connection before I send the email.

We think of you all very often, and would love it if you were here. But even talking on the radio would be great! Or you could call our cell phone, evening-ish.

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