Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life in La Cruz

The Honcho has been berthed at the Marina Riviera Nayarit for the last week, where we have done some routine maintenance and given the boat a thorough washing. We've also taken time out to socialize with fellow yatistas and enjoy the local culture here in La Cruz. In this town, the local culture is a very pleasant mix of Mexican food, art, music and society on one hand, and the whole expat sailing community on the other.  The sailing community consists of people who are following the dream of traveling by boat to foreign destinations. Most are Yanks or Canadians, a few Europeans, and the occasional Aussie or Kiwi. I'm fortunate to be fairly fluent in Spanish and have enjoyed becoming acquainted with some of the locals who live and work here in town. Both groups seem to be happy with their lives and are very friendly. One of the most pleasant surprises for me is meeting young Mexicans who are university students. I love hearing their ideas and opinions regarding their lives. Overall, they seem to be quite optimistic about their futures as well as the future of Mexico. I think their optimism bodes well for this country, in spite of the widespread poverty and the ongoing drug wars in some areas.

The Honcho has sailed almost exactly 2,000 miles since leaving Long Beach and I am happy to report that the boat has performed very well throughout the voyage and has done everything we've asked of her without complaint. Once a fuel filter became clogged and the engine wouldn't start.  Another time, we took a wave over the bow with the window over the galley open. Sea water ran into the stove burners and clogged them up. Aside from that, the boat just keeps on keeping on. I brought a 'Baja Filter' from Long Beach, but didn't use it at first because it appeared that all the fuel we bought was clean. I was wrong about that, so now I use the filter whenever we fuel up. It slows down the process of fueling, but I think it's well worth the extra hassle to be assured of clean fuel. If you're getting ready to head south, pick up a Baja Filter at your local West Marine store. It's cheap insurance.  Overall I'm very happy with the boat and all of its systems. Of course we're only about halfway through this voyage, and only the little half at that. As we travel north into the Sea of Cortez, we'll be visiting more deserted anchorages, and more primitive places, so reliable equipment and self sufficiency will be necessary.

Part of the reason we're hanging out in La Cruz is the upcoming XIX Regata Internacional, otherwise known as the Banderas Bay Regatta March 10-12. I'll be sailing aboard a Beneteau 42s7 called 'Tivoli' in that event. It should be a lot of fun and I'll post a report on all the festivities after the regatta.

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