Cruising 2005

December 30

OK I am remiss in keeping this page up to date so will try a couple of minutes here to bring you all up to date.

We departed El Salvador in Nov 05 the day before Turkey day. I am not sure which day that was but I do remember being underway on Thanksgiving. We sailed all the way to Santa Elena in Costa Rica. Two nights three days of sailing and we had a great time. Only started the engine to keep the batteries charged up.

Santa Elena was great nice anchorage and we spent a few days there before we headed off to Key Point. Really rolly there so we only spent a day or so then off to Playa Coco's to check in.

I dropped Pam off on the beach to do the paperwork as I was out of it with a migraine. I had to sign the papers and guess what the port captain and the immigration girl brought the paper work to the beach for me to sign. Is that to kewl or what?

Pam flew home to Stanwood to see the family and I stayed on the boat to keep it out of trouble. Pam had a great visit with the family and got here grandkid fix. She returned with the usual max luggage and max weight. We spent New Years on the hook in Playa Panama and where able to see the firworks of several places at the same time.

October 17

Well here it is the middle of the month and we are STILL here in El Salvador. Doggon but time flies when you are having fun. Fun OK lets sea. We have been working on the boat and trying to keep dry. It has been raining a lot over the past month or so. Maybe you would want to call it the rainy season, the locals do.

We are all done with the chest of Drawers the replaced the washer/dryer. Did I say Splendide was a not very good at supporting their products? Ya guess I did. Pictures to come on the RDreamz page. Also had the good fortune to have Jay from S/V Alkahest come and help tune the rig on RDreamz. Also for the first time in five years our spreaders are where they are suppose to be. I didn't know they had to dissect the angle of the dangle and all that stuff. Anyhow he spent several hours helping us get the rig tuned and now she is truly ready to sail the big water. Also lots of painting done this month, between the rainsqualls and down pours. Port side of the deck has been primed and painted. All the drawers have been primed and painted, several interior bulkheads (walls for the landlubbers) patched and painted. Basically what I am saying here is we have been working on our home and she is starting to look good. We also swapped VHF radios around so now we have a better radio in the Pilot House and with an intercom to the master stateroom, (should help to get help up quick if need be, or ordering drinks and food.:) Ya right.

As we said last time the mass exodus is continuing here from the estuary. 5 more boats departed yesterday. Kirkham Anne with Rick and Barbara headed south to Costa Rica along with several others. I have found that in this community you never say good bye just sea you later cause you do.

We topped off our fuel tanks. 317 gallons of diesel, at $2.90 a gallon, well I will let you do the math. 26 gallons of gasoline for the car. This takes care of that end of things for a few months. A few days after the fuel was taken aboard the rain really started. I had just installed another deck water fill for our water tank. The original is way forward and we would get some water when it rained but never was able to keep up with the usage. Well we filled the tank in about 4 fours of rain. That is we took on about 200 gallons of rainwater. Too kewl. Now the water tanks are full, first time in a long time.

Santos the local diver and boat bottom cleaner came by today and started on the bottom. Due to the strong currents he usually takes two days to clean the bottom. RDreamz is sitting pretty now that her green mustache is gone and the boot stripe is visible again. I am thinking we are about ready to split this hot dog stand and see what is to the south. We are going to wait for Paul and Joanne to return as they have some goodies for us, like a new air filter for the gen set. Kind of important. They are due back on the 26th I am thinking. So we should be out of here on or about the 1st of November. Time will tell.

Well it is off to see if I can upload pictures and this new addition to the web site. Thanks for reading.

September 21

Wow another month about to be folded up and put away. Where does the time go? Well we are still in El Salvador but the end is slowly coming in to view. Our hope is to be out of here in about a month. Still working on cabinet of drawers that will replace the washer/dry we dumped after it died and the company said "We don't have replacement parts but have some used parts we can sell you for the price of new washing machine". OK I have been called crazy among other things but the washer is gone and the drawers will be built this weekend and installed. More storage ye ha.

The people and boats are now starting to depart the estuary now. Two left yesterday and a few left last week. Lots of plans to depart the area from many more. This has been a great place to spent the summer and most of the hurricane season, but as is always the case all good things must come to an end. We where about the last ones to arrive here and it looks like we may be the last to depart. Not nesessary a bad thing. This way we can hear all about the good and bad ports to the south....

September 8

We are presently in Roatan Honduras. We've been here 5 days and have done 7 great dives. We took the day off to go into town and check out the sites. That took all of about 2 hours, as there isn't much town. Pam got her hair cut for 70 lempiras or about $4.00. We had taken a bus to town that cost about $.80 each. We thought since we didn't see much in town we would take a cab and do a small tour of the Island. Our first mistake. We stopped a cab and asked him how much for a tour. We went over the map with him so he knew where we wanted to go and see. We agreed on a price of $15.00. Royce went over it with him several times to make sure he knew it was $15.00. The guy spoke little English but with hand signs we all seemed to agree that it was $15.00. Our second mistake. The trip took all of 1 1/2 hours. When we got back to the hotel and went to pay the guy he insisted that the cost was $50.00 not $15.00. I tried to argue with him but we are the gingos and he is the local guess who wins? We even went and got a waiter we knew, to talk to him in Spanish. There was no budging him. We finally got so fed up with the guy that we paid him the $50.00. It really made us mad but what can you do, it's his country. The bad thing is that we'll be harder on the next cab driver and that's not real fair but once burnt....

On a more pleasant note, diving here has been unbelievable. The water is so clear and the colors so bright. All the waters are protected no hunting so there are lots of fish and lobsters. The colors are unbelievable. Lots of purple's, red's, green 's and blues. Very cool.

August 25

Well I did have some up dates but the computer crashed and they were lost. With no back up I might add. So let me see if I can remember what we have been up to since June 22. We took a van trip to Guatemala and Honduras. There was a group of cruisers that got a van and driver together for the trip. It was very nice. the driver spoke excellent English and was very knowledgable about the country side and the people of all three countries. But then he could have been feeding us a line and we would never know. He at least made it sound good. The drive was very comfortable and we learned a lot about El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. First stop Copan Honduras. There are very extensive Myan ruins in Copan. Kind of ruined all the rest for us. :) Lots of walking but it was very interesting and worth the trip. One day in Copan then, Tikal Guatemala. This was a much larger area of ruin's. We would have enjoyed it much better if there hadn't been such a long walk to each of the ruins. There was a mile hike from the parking lot to the first ruin, then to the next ruin there was a 15 min. walk and so on and so on. By the time we got to the tallest ruin we were too tired to climb it. I would have enjoyed looking from the top out over the forest canopy. There must have been over a thousand steps. Oh well.

Antigua Guatemala is a very popular tourist area and has been since the 1950's. Lot's of shopping and very nice restaurants. We had planned to stay for a week or so but both of us started to get sick and where really not feeling up to being a tourist. We took the bus back to El Salvador. It was disappointing to miss the rest of Guatemala but it was good that we went home when we did. Pam ended up getting light case of dengue fever. It's much worse then the flu.

July 21

The dive trip went off with out a hitch. The dive shop picked our group up here at the hotel and drove us to their shop in San Salvador. We payed our few and signed the releases and we were off to the lake. The dive was nice as we got to see a different part of El Salvador. The lake was in the mountains as this was a volcanic lake. The lake was beautiful, green and lush. The dive shop had two pontoon boats waiting for us. There was no crowding in the van and no crowding on the boats. They had a dive master on each boat that went with us on the dives. Up to this point this was one of the best put together dives I have been on. Now once we hit the water that is where it changed. The visibility was maybe 6 feet. Royce and I had to hold hands so we didn't lose each other. At several points in the dive we did lose the others in our group. The visibility was very bad. The lake is on a volcano and on the bottom there are openings where heat escapes. The dive master took us to several of those. It was neat to put your hand on a rock and it was warm. The temperature of the water was like 80 degree's. It was nice to dive to 60 feet and still be very warm. Kind of different. We may not of seen much in the way of fish or plants but it was a nice trip and a nice boat ride. I would definitely recommend Oceanica dive shop and Alvaro Pazos spoke English very well.

July 15

We finally got the dive trip all put together. There are 11 cruisers going. It should be a lot of fun. We did find out that more then half the divers have not dove for over 10 years. We talked to the owner of the hotel and asked if we could use the pool for Royce to do a refresher course for any divers that were interested. There were 8 cruisers that showed up and we had a great time. I think everyone came away feeling better about diving.

Oh I forgot to tell you about our night last night..... Just as we were going to sleep there was a loud bang on the deck and the boat started healing over more then usual. as we got up on deck we found that the wind had picked up to the high 40 knots range and had caught the dingy and blown it off the boat. Each night we pull the dingy up on the boat for safety. We have never had any problems with winds blowing it off the deck. It's a heavy dingy so we were over confident. When the wind got as high as it did it lifted it off with no problem. When the dingy hit the water up side down. This put the motor under water. This not a good thing dingy motors do not like being upside down in water... Yep... So any way we worked on getting the dingy turned over. It was not easy as the wind was still blowing in the high 40's and the rain was coming down in buckets. Royce finally got the dingy turned over and we were able to tie it to the side of the boat for the rest of the night. Next we had to go below and clean up the water damage due to hatch's being left open and us being to busy with the dingy to close them. Royce got up early and tore the dingy motor apart to get all the salt water out. Even with everything Royce did the motor still would not work. Lucky for us there is a local here on the Island that repairs motors. We got a tow over to the guys house and for $25.00 he got it up and running. After the dive class was over we got the dingy back. We now tie the dingy to the boat every night. Even if it doesn't look like it's going to storm. A lesson learned the hard way. We did find that the current here is very strong and it can keep the RDreamz broadside to the wind even in 40+ knots. Since the wind was coming from the Port side this puts the dingy bow into the wind the rest is aerodynamics.

July 9

The last week has been so busy going and coming. When we first got home from the states we were just being slugs on the boat. We didn't leave the boat for those three days. Just laid around and read books and caught up on sleep. The next two days we ventured out to the pool. After that we were back to normal and hit the road running. The cruisers here are building a school on one of the Islands. Everyone donated money for supplies. They had ordered clean sand to mix with the concrete. Since it's an Island no roads connecting it, everything has to be transported over by boat. We told the locals that we would bag the sand if they would transport it to the site. So a bunch of us went and shoveled sand into bags then a couple of the locals came and loaded the bags into their pangas and transported them to the site. Monday we go to the school and start tearing the existing building down. After it's all torn down we'll start to rebuild. It should be fun. Something different from working on boats.

We met some local people and had them over to the boat for drinks. They were very nice and very helpful with local information. We found out that there is a resort up the street that has a great restaurant. When we went to go check out the resort and restaurant we found that they had installed wireless Internet connection, that we could use for free as long as we bought food or drink. The problem was that no one had tried to use it since it had been installed. Royce and Caroline from Qui Tal spent 3 hours trying to get our computers to connect. Finally after we had the desk manager, their computer tech and the hotel Manager (none spoke English) all involved they got it to work. After that it was very nice to set in the open air restaurant with the cool breeze blowing in and their waiters serving us drinks all while we set and surfed the net. Of course by the time we got on the net we all had enough of computers so we checked our accounts and went home. Where we are is a resort area. The wealthy Salvadorians come to the beach and stay at the resorts on the beach. It's a 1 1/2 drive to get into San Salvador There is a village ( La Herradura) up the river that we take the dingy to. They have an open air market for fruits and veggies. It's a 20 min. dingy ride and a 10 min. walk. Nothing is close by here! This couple also told us about a dive shop in San Salvador and that there was some good diving in the El Salvador lakes. Two days ago we took a cab into San Salvador to reprovision. While we were there we stopped in the dive shop. They are going to put together a dive trip for us. The price was half what it is any place else. For $45.00 they will pick the divers up here ,then transport us the 1 1/2 drive to San Salvador to get everyone geared up, take us to the lake, supply the pangas to get to the dive site and then bring us back to the resort. Not bad for $45.00. The lake is at the base of one of the volcanoes and is heated by the volcano. We were told that had the bottom 120 feet or so the temp of the water is 120 degrees. We will be doing shallow dives and the water temp is in the mid 80's. Royce told the other cruisers about the trip and it looks like we have 13 cruisers that want to go. Should be a fun trip. The dive is suppose to happen next Monday. After we get the dive trip out of the way we're going to be heading to Guatemala.

June 28

Home at last. It's so good to be back in our own bed. We really loved seeing family and friends but it's always nice to be back home. We had a whorl wind two weeks visiting Royce's family in Winchester Virginia and then on to Everett to visit Pam's. The flight there and back went well. The only problem we had was on the return flight. We got to the air port in Seattle with 3 box's to check in. At check in we were told that you can only bring one bag and one box a piece. They were nice enough to sell us a duffle bag for $40.00. So Royce had to unpack the box and fit it all in the duffle bag. When we got home we found out that one of the bottles of rust stainaway came open and everything was wet. It was just nice to be home.

June 11

Two days and counting before we get to go home. There has been a flurry of bag packing. We have finally decided to take some thing's home that have been taking up space on the boat. That equates to 6 bags to get to the air port. Should be fun. Yesterday I left Royce on the boat to work on a music CD for the cruiser kids that are having a skit Sunday. The cruisers are doing a show and dinner Sunday and the kids are doing a skit and needed some music so Royce volunteered. While he was doing that I went into San Salvador with another couple to do some last min. shopping. I found a big box of bisquick and a container of red vines licorice (that Royce loves).

June 3

Yesterday we took the bus to Zacatecoluca. Try and say that name 3 times...... The bus trip was an adventure unlike any Navy slogan. It's 1 1/2 hours give or take a few stops. At several stops along the way the driver picks up vender's that push their way through an already crowded bus to sell food. Provided the entertainment on a long trip. We got cold water ( the water comes in bags not bottles), toasted cashews, pupusas (these are a local specialty), peeled oranges, candy and several other thing's I don't want to remember right now. We had not eaten breakfast yet so I bought us 6 pupusas's. Pupusas's are a round rice flour tortilla with some kind of filling placed in the middle. Royce likes the cheese pupusas's and Pam like's the cheese and bean. There very good and we really have to watch that we don't eat to many as they are not a diet food. Any way back to the story. The people here in El Salvador don't see that many gringo's as this is not a tourist area so everyone was staring at us, just to fit in we stared back at them. They are very friendly when you talk to them but the problem is no one speaks English so the conversations are not very long. There are a few thing's I understand but after you know where the bathrooms are the conversation dies out real quick.

Once we got to Zacatecoluca we went to the town center by the church. They have an open air market. It's similar to the one's in Mexico but you can tell this is a much poorer area. Lots of people and lots of laughter but very little else, kind of makes you think. The trip back was just as hot and long, at least different people to stare at. Maybe I will strike up a conversation with someone, naa already know where the important things are.

Money is as everywhere in short supply very much so here. The average worker earns about $5 US a day. Yup you read it right. With that in mind you will understand some of the things cruisers are doing down here.

One thing we did was take up a collection to purchase enough material to make uniforms for one of the schools on the island here. All the schools since we departed San Diego have a dress code. Uniforms are in and ripped jeans and tyedied shirts are out. Once we had enough money together we purchased the material and told the village fathers and mothers what we had done and they decided that since Mothers day was coming up we should present the village with the material at their mothers day celebration. So we hired there pangas out fitted with seats and made the trek to the village, about a 30 minute ride from the anchorage, up a very shallow river.

The Mothers day celebration was a big hit lots of laughter and fun and food was had by all. I had one little girl (about 4 or 5) come up and hug me, as I was carrying the part of the material through the village on the way to the school where the celebration was to be held. Made everything a non issue.

With the extra time we had we were able to walk thorough the village and visit with the people. Walking past one home we were invited in to look at furniture that the man built to sell. It turned out that the man was the patriarch of the village. He invited us to set speaking a little Spanish lots of hand motions and drawings we had a nice conversation with him. The furniture he made was a kind of bent branch (willow) chairs and tables. After we said our good-byes we finished our tour of the town and went back to the school to wait for the ceremonies. At around 1 PM the villagers started to bring stuff for cooking. At 2 PM we finally got to eat. As none of the cruisers had eaten breakfast or lunch we were all very ready to eat. Everyone had brought some thing to add to the table. Pam brought deviled eggs, the locals made papooses.

After pigging out we meet in the school for some great entertainment from the local and cruiser kids. Some of the entertainment was from the cruisers picked out to participate. Pam was picked to be a group of 6 women. They paired us off and gave us each a balloon. With out speaking Spanish we had no idea what we had to do with the balloon till some one showed us we had to break the balloon by putting it between two people and hugging each other till the balloon broke. The first balloon to break that couple won a prize. My partner and I won the prize. It was great fun and lots of laughs.

It was a long day and we were very glad to get home . It's very interesting seeing how others live. It also reminds you of how lucky we are to live in the United States.

May 27

We took a trip into San Salvador today. By car it's a 1 1/2 hour drive. the bus is like 2 hours. We chose to do a cab. We shared the costs with Paul and Joanne of Wanderer. To rent a cab for the day was $30.00 plus gas and lunch for the driver. The gas was $17.00 and lunch was at Burger King and was like $2.50. Not a bad price for a 12 hour day driving thorough San Salvador. The only bad part was our driver spoke very little English and it took longer to explain where we wanted to go. The High lights of the day were, breakfast at a pastry shop. We stocked up on some of the best bread we have had since leaving the states. Ace hardware was a real treat, they had things we had not seen for a while and we ended up spending more then we were expecting.

Royce has been working on the pilot house windows. They have always leaked and with it being the rainy season it was more important to get them to stop leaking. The biggest problem was the glass was 20 years old and both of the windows ended up breaking. Since we had a cab to drive us around we found a glass place. Royce had made a pattern of the glass that needed to be replaced so with pattern in hand we walked in. Through sign language and what little words we knew we got glass ordered and could pick it up on the way home that night.

If your ever in El Salvador we really recommend going into San Salvador. It was well worth the trip. We saw a lot of very poor places but a lot of very happy people as well. There were a few beggars but nothing like we say in Mexico.

The wage here for unskilled laborer is $5.00 a day. The cost of an apartment is $54.00 a month. It sounds cheap but figure out that at $5.00 a day working a 6 day week that's $35.00 a week. It would take a week and a half to pay just the rent and the $54.00 apartments are not in the best parts of town.

May 22

Today started out like any other day. The winds had the water stirred up a little. It was a beautiful day. The sun shining and no rain. we had just gotten back from lunch at the hotel and laying down reading our books when Barbara and Rick on Kirkham Anne came along side the boat. Barbara said there was a problem and they needed Royce's help. They told us of a canoe with some people in it that had swamped and needed help. There was too many in the canoe for Kirkham Anne's dingy to help. They wanted us to go help with our dingy. There was a lot of chop so it was hard to really see what was going on. As we got closer we found there were 5 kids hanging onto a submerged canoe. The current was going about 2 knots and the winds had the waves up. They all looked close to panic. As we approached the canoe the girls made a mad dash toward the dingy. We got the two girls on board then the boys were all pulled aboard. No one spoke English but we did find out that that was all of them. They were all very scared and the girls were crying. One of the girls was so scared she latched onto Pam and was not going to let go. We tried to talk to them and find out where they were going but just could not understand. We ended up taking them back to our boat and calling Paul and Joanne on Wanderer. Paul speaks pretty good Spanish. We found out that they were from a village about 4 miles away. It was their day off and they had come to the beach to swim. The canoe was a small dugout and they should have never gotten all 5 of them in it. We had to look at them as they were just kids and had no clue as to what kind of danger they could have gotten into. I think they found out the hard way. Kid's are kid's no mater where there from.

We got the girls some dry tee shirts as they were shivering and cold. I made kool aid for everyone and Royce gave them each a RDreamz hat. After everyone was dried off and calmed down we took pictures of everyone and Royce went down and made copies for each of them to take home. Everyone was very thrilled with there pictures. Paul found out that they would have to take the canoe 3 1/2 miles up the estuary then walk 30 min. to get to there village. We all decided to take them in our dinghies as it just was not safe for them in the canoe. Paul and Joanne took one of the girls and one of the guys. We took the other three and we headed out. It was a nice trip up the estuary right up till we turned off into a inlet. Now remember they came from there village in a small dugout canoe. No problem in the canoe. In our dinghies we were feeling a bit of a squeeze. The mosquitoes started to get bad as well. Of course we didn't bring our spray with us. We were beginning to wonder when we would get there and if the dinghies were going to get stuck. I really didn't want to get out into that water. Finally we got to an area that had 3 or 4 other canoes pulled on shore. This is where they got off to start walking back home. At this point I noticed that none of them had shoes on. We asked if they were OK with no shoe in the mangrove under brush. They said it was not a problem. Our good byes said off they went. We turned our dinghies around and headed home. It was an exciting afternoon and we were glad it turned out so well. We met some great kids and I'm sure they were glad we were there to save them.

May 14

We made it to El Salvador after 4 nights out to sea. We got to the bar before first light. The bar at El Salvador is a shallow bar of land about 10 to 15 feet deep with breaking waves. The opening to the estuary is wide but it's so shallow that with the waves breaking it's hard to see where the opening is and where the beach is. It would make a great place for surfers but boats are not meant to surf. There is an area out side of the bar that you can anchor in about 40 feet of water. It's kind of rolly but not as bad as some anchorages we have been in. Because of the storm that we had just been thorough the waves were pretty big so it didn't look like we were going to be able to get over the bar that day. It was disappointing to be so close but it was nice to just relax on the anchor. Later in the day Colette and Murray (cruisers who live here and volunteer to help boats over the bar) came out to see how we were all doing. By that afternoon the number of boats had grown to 6. Murray thought that a smaller shallow draft boat might make it over with out a problem so Trica Jean upped anchor and headed over. They sailed thorough so nice and easy we were all ready to try it our selves. Wanderer volunteered to go next and we upped anchor so we could go after them. Wanderer headed in and I got the movie camera to film it. It went well right up till they were almost through. They got the bow a little to much to the right and a wave caught them and they went side ways to the waves. It looked like it might be a knock down but Paul was able to get it back up. After that, they got through the rest of the way with out any problems. Then it was our turn. With Colette telling us which way to go when to wait for a wave, when to speed up we headed in. I wasn't real worried as Royce is a great sailor and RDreamz can handle just about anything. But there was a little apprehension of the unknown. Well we made it through after only surfing two waves (11 knots) and headed to find a place to put down our anchor and get some well earned rest.

The anchorage is wonderful, and at present there are a total of 57 boats. This is a great place with very friendly people and beautiful surroundings. We're anchored out near the hotel Bahia del Sol that serves as the "cruiser headquarters" -- for $10 a week, we get dinghy dock privileges, use of the pool and showers, and a 30% discount on food and drinks. There are a several other small restaurants near here and some tiny little stores that are gradually starting to stock the things that cruisers want. We plan on being here for a couple of months. This area is a well protected area and very safe to leave a boat for a while. We're going to leave the boat here while we head back home to see all our loved ones.

May 9

We have been so busy with sight seeing and just enjoying the cruising life style that I have not up dated this page in a while. We finally left Zihuatanejo after a wonderful time there. We got lucky and got there during the International Guitar festival. We went to several of there concerts and picked up some great CD's . After there we had a 3 day passage to Huatulco. While is Huatulco we did an over land trip to Oaxaca. Our next leg was going to take us to Alcapulco. We had not planed on stopping at Alcapulco but the other boats we were with wanted to so we bowed to group and we went. We were really glad we did. We really liked Alcapulco. It was very expensive to stay there but well worth it. It is really a big town with lot's to see and do. We were kept busy the whole time we were there. The trip into Alcapulco was uneventful except our attenuators broke half way thorough. As we pulled into the fuel dock in Alcapulco we found a guy on the dock that fixes them so we handed it over to him for repair. We had expected the costs to be around $40.00 but when he returned he charged us $180.00 We were not very happy but what can you do. We paid the price and were glad that the altenator was fixed. It was finally time to head back out again. We dropped the dock lines and started over to the fuel dock to get fuel. In the short distance from our dock to the fuel dock the altenator went out again. Once we were tied to the fuel dock we went looking for the guy that fixed the altenator. He came and took it again. An hour later he was back with a working altenator. We left Alcapulco with a working altenator just to have it stop working again a couple of hours later. Very upsetting. Royce pulled it once again and had someone look at it in Huatulco and found that the guy in Alcapulco didn't put in new parts but just soldered the old one to get it to work. We know that it worked for a while. We also know that we payed for an new part. Welcome to Mexico.

Other then the altenator we had a nice trip. We got to sail some and motor some and we got there in good time. The Marina Chalway was a nice change from big marina's. It's small but very well kept. The marina manager spoke great English and was very helpful with any thing you needed.

We had planned to take a road trip to Oaxaca while we were here. They have bus's and Vans that go there. We had heard that the van was a better way to travel so the 4 of us Paul, Joanne, Royce and Pam all got in the van and headed out. It would have been a better trip if they had not crammed way to many people in the van. It turned out to be very cramped. After the van trip we planned to take the bus back. In the end we flew back on one of the small commuter flights. The trip in the Van was a real experience. They took the road over the mountains and let me tell you they do not have paved roads or guard rails. This was roads like you would never see in the states. At one point we had to set and wait while a bull dozer clear a land slide off the road. The view was amazing but when you looked over the side and it was a sheer drop down we started to wonder what we had gotten our selves into. There were so many curves on this road that Pam started to feel a little car sick. I'm glad we did take the van for the experience but we would never do it again.

We had a great time in Oaxaca. We went to the ruins with a tour guide. We went to all the church's and took in the museum. Oaxaca was a much bigger town then we thought it was.

While we were there we got stuck in the worst hail storm to hit Mexico. There was hail stones the size of a quarters. We had gone out to dinner at this restaurant 3 blocks from our hotel. We had just finished out dinner and ordered ice cream when the wind started to pick up. We had been setting out side the restaurant so we moved under cover. About the time we finished our ice cream and were waiting for the check it started to hail and rain. We didn't think it was any big deal until the hail kept coming down and kept getting bigger and bigger. The rain came down in buckets. Mexico is a very dry place so when you dump as much water on a place like that it can not keep up with the volume. All the drains started backing up. There was water ankle deep in the street. We were still waiting for our check when the roof of the restaurant sprung a major leak. We were not on that side but there were a lot of wet people when it went. We payed our bill and went looking to see if there was any way to get back to the hotel. There was so much hail that it was 2 inches deep with hail and 3 inches deep with water under the hail. Paul, Joanne and I thought maybe we could make a run for it. As we stepped out on the street to head back we saw the error of our way. We were all wearing sandals and shorts. The road was slippery cause of the ice and the water was up over our ankles. We didn't get very far before we couldn't feel our feet any longer. We turned around and went back. As we turned Joanne lost one of her sandals and had to go looking for it. By the time we got back to were Royce was our feet were blue with the cold. We found another restaurant that we could get coffee and coco and warmed our feet up. It was well past 10 PM before it stopped raining and we were able to head back to the hotel. The one last hurdle was crossing the street to get to our hotel. There was a raging river in the street with the water way over our ankles. Paul held on to Joanne and Royce held on to me and we crossed with out falling. It was touch and go for a min.. When we got to the hotel they were having problems with the water coming into the lobby. We went straight to our room in hopes that they were dry. Thank goodness they were. We jumped in a warm shower and crawled into a nice warm bed. When we got up the next day we found that 20 people had been killed in the storm. Several buildings had collapsed. As we went walking around town we found big mounds of hail. They were shoveling it out of the yards and the churches. Even as hot as the days get the ice didn't completely melt till the next day.

March 2005

Well the poor pitiful me didn't work as I still didn't get any emails. So I guess the heck with all ya'll I will do this page anyhow. hu so there.

Well here it is the end of March and I am still playing catch up. We are now in Zihuatanejo, on the hook and watching the jet skis and pangas race by us and create all kinds of waves. Tough life hu sitting here in Mexico and complaining about waves and all that.

Well we departed La Cruz and after only a few days and sailed to Paradise Village Marina. We finally got a slip for a couple of weeks and tied up and started enjoying the good life....

We spent 24 days in E42 which if any of you have been there you know it is in the lower forty. Way down the river. Good thing is it is quiet and there is a breeze and no swell. So it was OK after all.

Mom and Keith came down to visit for two weeks and we all had a great time Pam walked Moms legs in shape and Keith Showed the local how the people in Winchester VA do it. all in all a good time was had by all.

After Mom and Keith flew back to the snow, Pam and I checked out of the Marina and sailed to La Cruz for a night then we departed for Ipala. It was a long sail around Cabo Corrientes which can be very rough but we hit it just right and had a nice ride. After spending a rolly night at Ipala we pressed on to Chamela and spent a few days seeing the sights and drinking beer on the beach.

Departing for Tenacatita on the first light we had a motor boat ride (aka no wind). But at least we didn't get beat up. So we anchored for a few days and took the river boat cruise and then we did our dinky cruise. Nice and quiet way to spend a day puttering up a river with the tree branches providing the shade. We did learn later from another cruiser that they had found a snake in there dingy after there river cruise. Thank goodness there were no snakes dropping into our dingy or Pam would have been walking on water all the way back to RDreamz.

Our arrival at Barra De Navidad was uneventful so we spent a few days out in Melaque then sailed into the Lagoon at Barra De Navidad. Anchoring in the lagoon is like being tied to the dock your boat swings a bit but never moves unless a panga zooms by.

Well we gave the french baker lots of money and he brought us baked goods. He didn't look too french to me. More Mexican than anything. But what do I know from french people.?

Anyhow Pam enjoyed the guy coming out and bringing her baked goods. After a bout 10 days we decided to move south so we weighed anchor and headed to Santiago Bay about 25 miles south. We pulled in and anchored before dark so we got to see the gazillion people on the beach. Turns out it was Easter weekend. With the people on the beach comes the jet skis and pangas. So needles to say the next morning found us steaming south again. Off to Zihautanejo.

The trip was long but uneventful, we ended up motoring the whole way. The weather man was predicting 15 to 20 knots of wind down the coast but we missed it. Oh well we are here and all is well. I do have a leak in the transmission and one I just found in the engine. I say just I really found it while we where motoring down the coast. I turn off the engine every 8 to 10 hours and check the fluids and I found the engine oil level low and oil in the bilge. So I will be working on that while we are here. Fun Fun Fun.

It is tax time and I don't have all the info I need and so that aut to be interesting. Lots of long distance phone calling. Oh well at least there are phones here. On that note I will go put this on the web and make my phone calls.

February 2005

Well here it is into the second month of 2005 already and I have not updated my web page in four months and no one has complained so I guess no one is reading it. (This is where you all feel sorry for Royce) Then send us emails telling us all about how you live for this web site and can't live with out it.

Ok Ok Ok. So now I am awake and here we are in San Blas. How did we get here you might ask as the last you knew we where in La Paz. Well it happened like this. It was cold, dark and stormy night, OOps we are in Mexico. Would you believe it was a warm balmy, star filled night with a 15 knot northerly wind. Well that was how we made the crossing to Mazatlan. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

First off we spent way too much time in La Paz. Although I must say we had a very good visit from two friends from Washington State, Dan and Krista (see Photo Page "Friends"). They where so much fun and it was sad to see them go. We did get a chance to take them out for a sail and to cruise around La Paz and see the sights.

After they departed we decided to depart for Mazatlan. This is where we pick up the story. The sail over was almost perfect. Left La Paz and sailed up to Lobos anchorage just north of La Paz and spent the night and met up with Ocean Rider (see Photo Page "Friends"). We departed the next day early and motored for about an hour to get clear of the harbor and the land then sailed for over 12 hours. Around Midnight we thought we had better catch up to Ocean Rider, who at this point was 10 miles ahead of us, and also so we could arrive at the entrance to Mazatlan Marina during the morning due to the dredgers' work schedule. We motored for about 5 hours and arrived just behind Ocean Rider at 0730 in Marina Mazatlan. Once we tied up we realized it was Sunday and most places close to the Marina where closed and we where tired so we ate breakfast at the Palapa at the Marina named Gilligans. Ok but nothing great.

We spent a month here seeing the sights and touring around the area. We did find the Dairy Queen thanks to Compass Rose - John and Linda, Nice place we also did some boat maintenance on RDreamz. Her rust was showing so Pam spent many days sanding and grinding and priming and painting. She once again is in bristle shape.

We departed Mazatlan and headed south towards the Isla Isabella which is a bird sanctuary and there we spent a week in the harbor, walking the trails and dinging around the island. Lots of birds and they let you walk right up to them. Frigates and (my favorite) the blue footed booby bird where every where.

Said adieu to Isabella and cruised to San Blas 40 miles to the East. nice trip got to sail for about 4 hours. As usual RDreamz came in after all the other boats where anchored and we anchored in 12 feet of water in the bay. We where traveling with Dreamweaver -Rick and Judith, and Blew Moon - Berry and Stacey. The fleet decided to go ashore for a well deserved dinner. We dinged in and the water was so shoal that we had to drag the dink in the last 150 feet or so. Well about the time we all sat down the noseaums came out for their dinner also. Wow! we could not get back to the boat quick enough. Everyone got bitten and it was not an enjoyable night. Dinner on the boat was hot dogs.

The next day we had about made the decision to depart for ports south and less buggy. When some one found that you could go up the estruary and anchor next to the town and the noseaums where not so bad there. So we all upped anchor and headed toward the river, we also where in the company of Pelagic - John and Irene. So all four boats cruised up the river to find a very nice place just north of the town to anchor. Great holding and nice view. We dingyed into town several times and took the river tour on a panga up one river to the alligator farm and then the next day we made our own trip, in our dingys up the river we are anchored in. Saw lots of birds and fishermen which seem to be in abundance here.

Every one else is departing to the south the next day and we plan to head out soon since it is San Blas Festival days and we are going to go in to be part of the festivities. There are a ton of kids. Today all the schools got together and had a band contest. They had trophies for the best bands. The only thing is they only have two types of instruments drums and bugles and all the bands played the same song. They wore uniforms (white shirts, ties , caps est.) and marched into the town square. It was all very small town and a lot of fun watching the kids. We didn't stay to see who won as the music was just to loud and we got tired of listening top the same song over and over.

We came in later and checked out the fireworks display. They built a tower in the main square and on this tower they had wheels and designs that where lite up with rockets and lots of sparkers and although different than what we see in the USA it was very nice and everyone talked about it the next two days in town.

Ok enough of San Blas time to head south. Departed around 8 or so and took on 150 gallons of fuel and then headed towards Chacala. Dreamweaver is there and they called and said it was very nice. Well we sailed and steamed for 4 hours or so to get there and once there it was very picturesque but the swells started to come from the north west and it was way uncomfortable even with a stern anchor out. We did go in for dinner and it was very nice eating on the beach with no bugs....

Next day we pulled our anchors and headed south again to Punta Mita. Arrived there before dark and found good anchorage with about 10 other boats. The swell was still building so we stayed aboard since you had to ride the waves to go ashore and we just didn't feel lucky. So we spent the day and then headed to La Cruz the next morning.

La Cruz is very nice and we have been ashore several times you can park the dink in front of Bananas and walk to Fillos and the food is good and the music is fine too.