Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Breaking a vow of silence?

      Apparently, some time this summer, the crew here on Kyrie decided to make a vow of silence, at least with regards to our blog. That's the only reason I can give that seems remotely appropriate right now. So, here I go with my attempt to break that vow at long last.

      It's been a good summer for us. This truck stop, as our friend Michael on SV Eos calls the resort, has been a good place to hang out and hide from hurricanes for the season. We've met some great people, done some fun things, and literally weathered a bunch of storms. Most days are pretty much the same. Breakfast, lessons for the kids, walk Rio at some point, read and play games, and then, around 3:00, most of us cruisers congregate in "our" spot up at the pool for a few hours. The kids play in the pool or on the beach, while the adults sit around, discussing our various boat projects, BSing about our opinions on various world situations, and laughing at the ridiculousness of us cruisers spending the summer at a place people save their money for months to spend a few days or a week at. I admit, it's a bit of a lovely feeling.  

    As much as we have enjoyed this long stop, I know I'm getting itchy. As I told Sandra, Michael's wife, yesterday, I'm getting a little tired of being a dock rat! I'm looking forward to getting out of a marina and finding some little place to drop the anchor in for a while. We're hoping the temperature and humidity will drop just a little more once Hurricane Pamela is completely past us and then we can do just that. It's time to put Kyrie's sails back on, clean out the cockpit, put away the air conditioner and shades, and get back to being a cruising boat again, instead of just a live aboard. We want to get out to Tenacatita again and make sure everything works properly. 

     We're looking forward to seeing friends again who have been away from their boats for a season or more and are planning on heading further south like us. As much as we have loved our time in Mexico, the wanderlust whispers that it is time to keep moving, to work our way through southern Mexico and finally say goodbye, before saying hello to Central America and then, hopefully the Caribbean. We know full well what happens when we try to make "for-certain" plans, so we won't, but there are some biggies on the wishlist of places to see "next." Chiapas has temples, coffee and cocoa plantations. Panama has Las Perlas and San Blas islands. Costa Rica, although complicated to visit, has jungles full of monkeys and sloths. Then there are so many possibilities of stops in the Caribbean. As we prep to move again, I'm reminded of the enormous wealth of options spread before us--the possible experiences still out there to have as a family. We've truly only just begun.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Hang on to your butts

    That line of Samuel L. Jackson's in Jurassic Park pops into my head from time to time. Prepping for a tropical storm/hurricane seems like an appropriate time. Here we are, at the end of June, and we're getting prepared for the second tropical storm warning in a week. Officially Tropical Storm Enrique, it could possibly turn into a category 2 hurricane in the next day or two. Thankfully, this potential bad boy is supposed to pass by far enough out that we should just get 50-60 knot winds and rain--albeit a lot of rain! After living in Juneau, 50-60 knot winds just don't sound like that big a deal. The last tropical storm dropped about six inches of rain on us in an afternoon, so it will interesting to see what this one brings...

    I have to laugh at us a little because I remember our time in San Carlos last summer. Joe and I talked about wishing a big storm would make its way up to us so we could experience one. Be careful what you wish for! It may not have happened last year, but it sure is this year. Location, location, location!

    We'll be checking the National Hurricane Center's website for updates on Enrique today and making sure we're prepped. Hang on, because something ugly this way comes!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Taking Stock

      This has been an odd past few months for the chief blogger here on Kyrie. It's not that we haven't done anything, but the desire to write it all down just hasn't been there. I've had some people ask me what we're up to and why there haven't been any updates here on Cruising Kyrie. What can I say? 

       In the nearly three months since I last wrote, we traveled over 2500 miles by road around the Sea of Cortes to pick up our new lithium batteries and to get our new tourist visas, hauled out in San Blas to repaint Kyrie's bottom, and made our way south to our home for this summer--Barra de Navidad. The road trip was crazy--we drove from La Cruz to Mazatlan, rode the ferry overnight to La Paz, and drove to Santa Rosalia; next day was a drive up to Mexcali; following day we drove first to Nogales, and then down to Hermosillo; Hermosillo to Mazatlan the next day; and finally, back to La Cruz on Levi's 14th birthday! Whew! The kids did a fantastic job being stuck in the car for hours on end and Joe and I got the bug of driving out of our systems for a while. 

The US Border fence from our rental car

        San Blas was hard work, but we still had a good time. We hauled Kyrie out and hired a few guys to do all the sanding for us this time. Sorry, no photos of Joe as Papa Smurf this time around. :) Our poor boat needed the bottom repainted in the worst way. Last time, which was over a year ago, we did a fairly light paint job, anticipating hauling Kyrie out in Puerto PeƱasco and spending the summer in the States. Then of course, those plans changed. Thankfully, the paint job held okay, but it was definitely time to get some new paint on the old girl. She looks much better now! We found a great place to stay in San Blas since we didn't want to stay on the boat on the hard--no electricity to power the air conditioner and we were there during a full moon. As usual, the bugs were fierce during that time, so we were grateful to have a cool place to stay, as well as somewhere the kids and Rio could park while Joe and I were working in the yard. Bonus: there was a swimming pool to come back to and a blender to make frosty drinks! We would have loved to stay in San Blas longer. Despite the bugs, we have a soft spot for that town. We spent six weeks there last year when Covid first shut the world down and it was nice to see it again a bit more open. Unfortunately, the word about San Blas has spread and the little Fonatur marina was completely full, so we couldn't stay. It was time to head south again!

          We anticipated taking our time traveling south, especially because we knew we were heading for the barn. This past year, we have spent way more time at the dock than we had ever thought we would. As I've said in a previous post, it isn't a bad thing and the time has given us some great opportunities to really get to know a town. However, there were also some really great anchorages we wanted to revisit, especially since we don't know if we will head north again, or keep moving south after leaving Barra. Chamela and Tenacatita were high on the list. I had visions of staying in Tenacatita for at least a couple of weeks again before moving on, but the conditions weren't good. We saw the biggest surf we've ever seen in Tenacatita--waves were breaking over the rocks guarding the river entrance! Perhaps we could have been patient and waited a few days for the swell to settle, but then again, maybe not.

           Pulling into the back lagoon in Barra first felt so good! No swell and super calm. After a passage of several long days--dropping the anchor a couple times well past midnight--it was such a relief to just be still. Maneuvering into our slip in the marina the next day and knowing we were settling in for the summer felt peaceful and not like we were giving something up.  I may be singing a different tune after we've been here a few months, but I like it here! The town is lovely, the resort isn't crowded so we feel comfortable using the pool, and there are activities going on here at the marina. For example, there was a huge fishing tournament a couple of weeks ago. Some pretty big fish were brought in, which was fun to see, but the really amazing thing was that a lot of the meat from the fish went to schools and orphanages in the area. We watched a crew literally scraping every bit of flesh off a 118-kg marlin one of the days. Another boat gave us a huge chunk of tuna, which we thoroughly enjoyed as sushi one night.


            We have definitely reached the hot and rainy season. Last night, there was thunder and lightning, the power in the marina went out, and it poured so hard you got soaked standing on the back deck under the suncover! Thankfully, no leaks showed themselves during that downpour. We'll see how Kyrie fares during the rest of the season. 

            The pool beckons us regularly and the resort isn't so busy that we feel uncomfortable spending time there. Barra and Melaque are both relatively easy to get to--water taxi, then walk or take a bus, depending on which town--in order to go grocery shopping and, of course, to continue our quest for the best tacos. Thanks to the trees, I think we might actually get sick of mangos. We can pick them all over the place, plus friends constantly give us their overflow. Our new blender is getting a good workout making mango smoothies! I don't know what highlights this season will have, but I'm determined we will enjoy ourselves.

One of many deliveries of mangoes!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Belated Updates and an Epic Experience

     Hello from La Cruz! I know, I know. It's been a long time since we've updated this blog at all, and for some reason, none of us have been much in a writing mood. No excuses, no apologies. We've been living life and enjoying ourselves! 

     Let's see. The last time I wrote was our five-year anniversary of living aboard Kyrie, so I have a bit of catching up to do. A few highlights:

     The Gold Coast was awesome! We were in Manzanillo on the previous post and slowly worked our way back north, even finding another kid boat on our way. We met the family on SV Sauvage en route from Tenacatita to Bahia Chamela and they actually reversed course and returned to Chamela with us since our fleet was the first batch of kid boats they had encountered in months! 

     After one aborted attempt and a few extra days in Chamela, our little fleet of four kid boats rounded Cabo Corrientes and gratefully dropped anchor in Banderas Bay on Valentine's Day. That apparently signaled the arrival of the kid boats in La Cruz! 

Nearly all the boat kids are enjoying ice
cream after the trash boat regatta here.
     This has been a rough year for finding family boats as a lot of families returned home to wait out this Covid situation. Therefore, we've tried to stick with the ones we've been able to find. I'll admit, it's been a bit of a difficult balancing act, trying to be safe and determine how best to observe social distancing, with kids being so excited to see old friends and make new friends. Okay, the adults are there too! Thankfully, after a parent meeting early on, I think we all reached an agreement everyone was happy with, and the kids can congregate outside to their hearts' content.

      We met a number of new families during this time here, including a family from Alaska (SV Third Day) and a missionary family consisting of seven people living on a catamaran (SV Ankyrios) not that much bigger than Kyrie! The only problem with this lifestyle is that friends come and go and we never know when we'll see them again. Thank goodness for email and other social media, right?

Up close look at baby
Olive Ridley turtles
     Cat here at Marina La Cruz has been running hither and yon, arranging all sorts of activities for the kids and their families here and we finally got to participate in one particular activity that Joe and I have dreamed about literally for years. Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates is a sea turtle rescue and release program in Puerto Vallarta. They watch for sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs and once they are done, the volunteers collect the eggs, bury them in their enclosed nursery and keep the eggs safe from predators until they hatch. Once the baby turtles hatch, the public is allowed to sign up to attend release days, which is what we got to do last night! About 30 people from the marina signed up and we got to learn a bit about the situation for sea turtles in Banderas Bay and then see the newest batch of Olive Ridley sea turtles. 

It's a baby turtle
in a cup!
     We were all given a coconut cup and then asked to spread out on a line drawn on the beach. Then volunteers put two baby turtles in each of our cups. Once there were no frigate birds flying overhead, we were told to step forward to the next line, tip our cups over in the sand, and cheer our little turtle babies on in their quest to find the waves! Most of the turtles oriented themselves right away and started their journey, but a few were apparently confused and trying going the wrong way at first. We all had to stay back, but it didn't stop us from cheering our turtles on. Rachael and Megan named their turtles and we could hear them yelling their names and urging them toward the water. It was amazing how attached I felt to "my" turtles and watched until they both made it to the water and I couldn't see them anymore. Any of those babies that are females will return to that same beach some day to lay their own eggs and continue the cycle, and they could live as long as 80 years. Incredible! I feel so honored to have played a tiny part in helping these creatures get started in life.
Right before we all released our turtles

The kids are cheering "their"
turtles on toward the water.

Here are a few of the babies, making their
way to the water and their new life. 
Best of luck and swim safe!