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May 28, 2006

​Jacaranda Passage Notes #8: What? Still in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


We did actually check out and leave to head north to Mazatlan with our friends Christy on ISLAND GIRL and Gordon & Suzy on SPIRIT. We got as far as Punta Mita (15 miles) on the northwest end of the bay and discovered that the newly rebuilt injector pump was now leaking fuel. Feeling that it was best to resolve the problem before continuing on, we turned around and went back to PV. Little did we realize that it would take removing the pump and returning it to the injector shop three times before it stopped leaking. If the pump had been easy to remove and replace, it would have been one thing but the whole port side of the engine had to be disassembled just to get to the pump. I did it so many times that the first time it took me 5 hours but the last time only took 45 minutes (with greatly reduced curse word combinations) . It turned out the problem was a tiny O-ring that split when the pump was being reassembled.a very minor thing that would have been caught right away if the pump had been bench tested like we requested to the mechanic (all three times). So, finally, a simple repair begun before Easter just got resolved a few days ago. Ahhh the joys of cruising. Needless to say we were not happy campers.

When returning to PV from Punta Mita we decided not to go back to Marina Vallarta but to go to a second harbor a couple miles north called Nuevo Vallarta, still inside Banderas Bay. At first we stayed in Nuevo Vallarta Marina, a once beautiful but now quite dilapidated marina, tied to pile moorings (between two steel posts) - a cheaper and more comfortable place with its cooling breezes and absence of mosquitos. We use the dinghy to get in to the showers and access to buses into town, and you take your life in your hands when you step on the decrepit docks. After a week we decided to move next door to upscale Paradise Village Marina so we could use the numerous pools, beaches and facilities of the associated resort hotel. It really is first class here with beautiful concrete docks, 24-hour security, a yacht club, a mall with restaurants, shops, and a supermarket, numerous pools and even a zoo with tigers on the grounds. The lap pool that we use every afternoon is set in a tropical flowering garden with peacocks at one end and scarlet macaws at the other. But Paradise is not free!

Our plans have changed a bit since we last sent out a passage note. We thought we might spend the summer up in the Sea of Cortez but we have decided to leave the boat here in Puerto Vallarta in Paradise Village Marina and go to Boston for the summer. This will allow us to spend lots of time with our youngest son Joe, plus see son David when he comes to Boston on business. So we are madly trying to book flights, find housing and get the boat prepared to leave for the hurricane season that runs from June until November. (Know anyone in Boston who needs a house sitter?)

Puerto Vallarta / Nuevo Vallarta is one of the best safe hurricane spots in all of mainland Mexico. The marina is very secure and we will have a boat management company look after the boat for us. Of course much needs to be done to prepare to leave Jacaranda. All the sails must come off, washed and bagged. Also halyards and lines must be removed, washed, dried and packed away. The whole interior cleaned (wiped down with bleach to prevent mold). The engine will be flushed with fresh water. Water maker needs to be pickled, etc.

I will also try to obtain some work with the company I worked with before leaving SD (CSC) that I could do remotely from Boston. So I have folks in CSC keeping their eyes open for some work.

Thats the new news from us onboard Jacaranda. We will be back on board in early Oct ready and eager to start the next cruising season.

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