January 30, 2010

Back On The Hook

After a month in marinas and multiple anchorages in Puerto Vallarta we are now back to life on the anchor. It is always hard to leave the conveniences of the Marinas, but so much nicer once you leave. We headed south from La Cruz and had an overnight sail under full moon and great conditions to Chamela. We met up with some friends on journey and anchored off one of the islands for some snorkeling and playing on the beach. The kids on journey along with Sienna and Tristan collected over 200 + Hermit crabs in a matter of 30 minutes. Their bucket was alive, but thankfully they all agreed to release them before we returned to the boats. We are now in the very nice bay of Tenacatita where we have met up with lots of kid boats. Tristan and Sienna are having so much fun. Tristan has mastered dingy driving and has a lot of Independence to ferry himself and friends back and forth from the boats. Sienna is very outgoing and loves to try out her Spanish when she meets the local children. It is too cute. Some of the highlights of the last month have been the Sea Turtle release, the whales, meeting up with friends and exploring new places.

The first few days were spent relaxing and enjoying our new home. Yesterday the bay was covered by dark rain clouds so we spent most of the morning catching up on home school and chores. When the sky's cleared we took off for the jungle tour through the crocodile filled estuary. The trip up river was fun. We raced two other kid boats tenders up the river. Sienna decided to stay with her new friend Zayda and the girls from Qualchan also hung back as we took the high spirited 7, 8, and 9 year old boys for an adventure up stream. The jungle ride was fun. We tied up to the dock of the little village of Tenacatita, and had lunch at the beach side Palapas. Our Trip was cut short when the hand held radio came to life "Meshach Meshach" . Friends on Iyoni and Dog Star were hailing us to let us know that the winds had picked up and we should return ASAP.. They were awesome and went aboard Meshach and took our awning down and made sure we were not dragging.

The Men took one dingy back to the boats while the moms picked up a few provisions. The trip back was eventful as we were now navigating the river at a low tide with a current pushing us. We got back to the bay and were not able to make it out of the river and back to the boats. We waited on shore as the husbands secured the boats, and then made our way through the wind and waves.

The evening would bring with it more excitement as the winds piped up, the heavens opened and an 8 hour lightning show that surpassed any New Years or Fourth of July fireworks display. The whole bay would light up as if it was daybreak and the sound of thunder. One one-thousand , two one-thousand Three... BOOM it was moving closer fast and we prayed it would not hit the mast. The radio was busy all night with boats moving to the other side of the bay, other boats dragging , and some just commenting on the spectacular show that was happening before our eyes. It's really amazing the power of nature. especially when you are living so close to it.

Loving life on the hook!

Meshach Crew clear and standing by....

January 22, 2010

Sea Creatures on the Bay in Puerto Vallarta by Tristan

We saw some whales when we sailed to Punta de Mita. The Humpback Whales are here to have their calves. The whales were really close to Meshach and we had fun watching them. My favorite animal was the sea turtles. I got to hold and release the baby sea turtles that were only 24 hours old. I hope my turtle makes it and I hope that all the other turtles make it. Only 1 in 100 usually make it. It was cute to see them walk into the sea at sunset. Later we saw them hatching out of the nest. The nest is a hole in the sand that is two feet down. They are underground for 45-60 days. I also saw puffer fish, dolphins and bat rays. I love sea creatures.
By Tristan

January 09, 2010


no·mad (nmd) - A member of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water, and grazing land.

1. Yes I am a member of a group of people. It's a small group, most people call a family.

2. Fixed home? Well we do have a fixed home, but it is currently being occupied by another group ( family) and our current home is a 45' sailboat, which could or could not be fixed.

3. We do move according to the weather, hurricane season, rainy season and cruising season.

We also go place to place in search of food, may it be the local markets, tiendas ( local convenient stores), other peoples boats, and the occasional big box store (shhh don't tell ).

4. Water - Well we make our own. That is unless we are in a fixed spot, say tied to dock, in a marina with dead fish and other nastiness floating by. Then I guess we do look for water.

5. Grazing Land - Absolutely!

We are always looking for grazing land, but that is for the sanity of our 4 and 7 year old children. Kids just need to move.

So I guess we would be considered Nomadic....

Do Nomads have their nails and hair done? Show me the Spa! This Nomad is due.

Considering the 2010 model for future travels... Do they make a four hump version?

January 04, 2010

Jungle Fever

We sailed from La Cruz Sunday leaving the backdrops of large hotels, para sailor and jet skis and replaced it with lush jungle and isolated bays. We are anchored just a few miles from Old town of Pv and found a beautiful anchorage in Boca De Tomatlan. We are the only boat in the bay and for many reasons. The first is probably because there are no other boats here, pangas are running in and out all day from this fishing village causing a nice roll, and the bay is very deep. A usual anchorage is in 15 -30 feet, here we are in 70 feet of water. It's not so much that it is deep it's that the bay is very deep until about 50 yard off the shore where the shelf comes up quickly.

The steep walls of the jungle crawl right down to the ocean and houses peek out from the canopy of trees. We have instant entertainment watching the pangas get up to speed and shoot the mouth of the shallow river, kicking up their outboard motors seconds before hitting the sand bar.

We arrived at sunset and made a quick trip to the shore to get some milk and stretch our legs a bit. Our quick trip turned into an unexpected exploration of the town with one of the locals and a simple dinner at the towns local taco stand.

The night was actually pretty comfortable despite the constant roll of the swell coming into the bay. It was just the right amount to rock us all into a very deep sleep.

Yesterday Christmas break was officially over and the home school routine kicked back in. After a few hours of academia we hit the road for some Social Studies. P.E and Spanish language study. We packed a lunch and headed off to Chicos Paradise a spot we had been to on past trips to Mexico. After a quick walk through town we boarded the local bus( kids ride free in Mexico) paid our 8 Pecos and took off for our exhilarating bus ride. I think that crazy bus rides are just standard here. Something you get used to. We obliviously haven't been here long enough yet. We were on the edge of our seats. Tristan asked why the man talking to the bu s driver( distracting the bus driver)was standing by the open door. I answered with, " He wants some fresh air" but the crazier the ride became I thought to myself he probably wants a quick escape.

The fun ride ended for us at the entrance to Chicos Paradise. The kids were beside themselves and exclaimed, " This is so awesome, better than Paradise" Paradise is the fancy Marina with all inclusive resort and a pool with water slide.

We were quickly greeted by Marco who was eager to show us around and get us a nice spot to swim. We settled on a spot over a clear pool of water on a warm granite boulder, with great views of the zip lines and the occasional tourist that flew above us and over the canopy of trees. We thought Marco was looking for a tip but refused our gesture and just said have a good time. We realized shortly after that he didn't want us to tip him for his guide services but the hair raising show of cliff diving he was about to put on. This was indeed worthy of a propina.

The first dive was scary enough to watch as he had to clear at least a 10 foot overhang and then land in a small pool surrounded by rocks. My heart was pumping and was relieved to see his head pop up from the pool, only for him to scale the cliff once again for dive two which included a front somersault. By now I am fearing that we are going to have to administer first aid. He again popped up and scaled the wall for the third time. I could barely watch but focused the camera and held my breath for the third dive, this time blindfolded. Applause and relief was heard throughout the canyon walls from onlookers above at the restaurant and from the swimmers below.

We were inspired by his cliff diving skills and did a bit of our own, but at a much more basic level. We had a fun afternoon and headed back to the boat only to see our friends on Gypsy Wind rounding the point and heading into the bay. We were excited to see them and enjoyed an evening on board Gypsy Wind, making Pizzas.