Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 4, 215 - Nueveo Vallarta

Nuevo Vallarta is only about 6 miles so we ran on one engine to save a little fuel which made the short trip just about an hour long.  The waters were calm but we did have to cross a narrow entrance to get into the marina basin.  It was much like crossing a river bar but did not seem very turbulent and compared to some of our entrances to the WA and OR coast ocean bars, this would be easy.  But as we approached the breakwater we saw the swell mound up with some significant waves.  Although there is usually enough room for two boats to pass through at the entrance, this was not the situation today.  They were dredging the entrance which dramatically restricted the maneuvering room in the now quite wavy fairway.  As we entered, several panga’s were headed in and out.  They are small and fast, and very maneuverable so they were not an issue for us.  Luckily a large catamaran tour boat, headed out, was able to see us heading in (surfing the waves) so they waited for us to surf through the entrance, past the dredge, and round the buoy.  We likely could not have stopped Adagio easily in the waves.   

Our slip was an end-tie so it was extremely easy for us to get to.   It was simple to bring her in to open water, swing 180 degrees and pull her right up.  The marina sent a gentleman out to help us tie up.  We were enamored at the mega yacht next to us, a 164 foot Westport Motoryacht, the mv Calex (or is it so large it needs cs for cruise ship?).  It is only 18 months old and is owned by a couple (not a charter fleet yacht).  Steve got off the boat and looked at the power source to find nothing that we could use, it was 480 volts, 3 phase.  The dock we were on had quite a few large yachts (100’ or larger) with crew working each day to keep them ship shape.  We expected to stay 3-4 nights so thought, well, we could use the generator and survive.  The marina is quite full right now which I do not think is necessarily the case most of the year.  The marina electricians made us an adapter and we were set up by end of the day plugged into dock power.  
Entrance to Nuevo Vallarta

Adagio on end tie.  You have to look to the right most area of dock to see us, we just know
your eyes were looking at Adagio and not the Mega Yacht Calex.

Adagio at the dock, Calex behind at Paradise Village
As marina tenants, we were allowed to use all of the resort facilities.  The main pool with the crocodile slides, which were extremely fun and fast.  We never tired of them.  They had games each day like water polo, volleyball, and crazy adult games where you could win, of course, tequila.  We never entered the contests but some friends did and they now have some tequila for feeding those large fish they may catch (dump it down the fishes mouth to stun/kill them just after reeling them onboard).  Three to four days quickly turned to a total of seven.  Some weather came in, ok, not just some weather.  In a one day period, 24 hours, we received 3 inches of rain.  On the first night with wind, pouring rain and a lot of lightning and thunder in the distance.  We heard that there was an inch of rain in less than one hour.  The rain continued the next two days and quite hard, not like our Pacific Northwest weather.  With the deluge of rain and wind Adagio presented some leaks that were never known, so we have a little work to do to stop them.  The lobby of the resort had some leaks coming down from the glass roof way up high.  We could watch the drop fall from 10 stories or so up.  We were sitting almost right under one and it would hit the chair I was lounging in.  In addition to all the rain, there were high winds and a lot of lightning.  We heard from some friends back in the La Cruz anchorage that the winds gusted into the mid-40 knot range.  That is almost 50mph!  We were safely tied up in the marina, and I think the megayacht sheltered us from most of the strong winds.  

We met and made some new friends during this stop.  One of the vessels at Paradise Village had a boy and girl that were Cindy and Kevin’s ages in the same order.  We had heard and spoken briefly to them a week or so prior via our VHF radio from La Cruz.  But even though the distance between us was only about 6 miles, trying to move on land without a car would prove to make it difficult for us to get together.  We were excited to meet the sv Flying Squirrel family from CA and through them met the sv Stochastic family, also from CA.  The kids played together and had a sleepover one night on our vessel.  Three approximately 12 year old girls and 2 approximately 10 year old boys.  They had a lot of fun together.  It is always great to meet other cruising families, and the kids usually bond quite quickly becoming fast friends.
Movie playing, popcorn too.  Sophie with the eye cooling mask (allergic to cats but loves them) 

Yummy breakfast with pancakes , bacon and juice

The crew of the magayacht are very friendly and will often stop to chat with us as we came and went from the boat.  That openness led to a unique homeschool project for our kids.  Steve asked one of the crew if our kids could interview him about what it is like to work on a megayacht.  Matt said absolutely!  Captain Chris and crew member Matt were happy to help our kids with their “homework” and offered up a tour as well.  The two families above were also able to see this beautiful yacht.  Cindy and Kevin will be posting their compositions in a week or so.  We thank the crew from mv Calex tremendously for showing these kids around.  Cindy and Kevin got to learn quite a bit from them and the paths that led them to becoming members of such a wonderful yacht and the family that owns it.    Pictures below and the kids’ compositions coming soon!

The Pilothouse on MV Calex

The galley of Calex.

In a salon of MV Calex.  Yes, the kids sat down!

Kevin in the engine room of MV Calex.  Huge Detroit Diesels.
Talking at the stern of MV Calex.  Capt Chris on the right.
Cindy and Kevin interviewing Matt, crew from MV Calex 

Calex crew took our dinghy fuel cans and filled them for us.  Steve is sitting at their dinghy chatting
while they are lifting theirs aboard via a large davit.

We did get to see the Superbowl in the hospitality suite/lounge at the resort, which is where we also took showers much of the week.  It's a very nice room primarily designed for resort guests that arrive too early for check-in or have a late night flight to catch when leaving for the airport.   With air conditioning, two big screen TVs, and comfy furniture we thought there may be many people there to watch the game, then thought, well maybe just cruisers since all of the resort rooms have TV's.  When we arrived there were just the other two cruising families we have been hanging out with.  We had appetizers and conversations of our voyages.  So, we got to watch the game with people we already knew.  The kids mostly watched the other TV on the other side of this open room but eventually started a game of Monopoly.  What a fun time for us adults and the kids as well.
Sophie, Mathew, Kevin, Cindy and Morgan at the game table!

 A set of pictures to show our fun at the wonderful resort!
Kevin in the pool

Kids in the Hospitality suite, girls watching TV, boys on electronics!

Steve going down the crocodile slide

Kevin down the crocodile slide

Cindy down the crocodile slide

Dinghy ride in Nuevo Vallarta, Iguana

One of the many Iguanas we saw on our jungle tour.

Lots of Pelicans in this part of Mexico

Dinghy ride up the estuary

Boogie boarding off the beach at Paradise Village

The crew of sv Flying Squirrel boogie boarding

Kevin catching a wave 

Steve too!

Cindy and Morgan in the pool at Paradise Village

The kids got to tour sv Living Free thanks to Jannie and Steve, the first tour of a catamaran.

The rain came pouring down here.  person in the green yacht is a municipal officer posing for us as we took this picture.
Thanks goodness he could stay aboard and not in the rain.  Boat is being held for some reason.

Cindy and Kevin's Crystals.  Two weeks of growing and it was time to get them out of the jars.
Steve took advantage of our time here at the resort (and it’s ultra-reliable internet access)  to study for his ABYC Electrical Certification renewal test.  After a few days of study he headed to the resort lobby to take the two hour online test.  He passed with a 96% and is now good for another 5 years.  He is very happy to have that behind him.

Once the weather calmed down we decided it was time to leave.  Steve went and paid the marina bill, and then took the water taxi over to the Port Captain’s office (Capitania De Puerto) to submit our departure paperwork.  If the location is large enough to have a Port Captain, then foreign cruisers must go to the office upon arrival, bringing all of your paperwork like passports, vessel documentation, proof of Mexican Liability Insurance, and your last port exit papers.  With this you can “check-in” to the port.  The procedure must be performed again when you “check-out”.  It’s a bit of a hassle, but usually can be done in 20 minutes or less.  We are accumulating quite a stack of check-in/check-out papers.  Every port captain has been wonderful and easy to work with. 

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