Back in The Untied States

We flew into San Diego airport late last night and rented a car to drive over and spend a few days with Bill’s brother Rick.  Bill had a tooth go bad the evening before we left La Cruz and Rick did a super job of finding Bill a dentist for today.  Of course that ate up much of our Friday visit time.  We did meet Rick for a late lunch at his favorite regular eatery near has his home and returned to his place where he and Bill had a nice visit.  We returned to the same restaurant for a leisurely long dinner.

Before leaving the boat, and in spite of Bill’s hurtful tooth, we got the boat all set up to be left for a few months.  We will have to return before hurricane season to tie things down better on her.  For now we left her in a more operational state in case we find someone who is interested in becoming her new owner.  We arrived at the airport several hours early as we were unsure of the traffic.  It turned out to be light but we had heard that several days earlier the trip to the airport took several hours and not the more usual 30 minutes.

Sail fest

This is the weekend of lots of sailing activities here in Banderas Bay.  The cruiser fleet has races today off of La Cruz then tomorrow they race down to Punta de Mita with a party on the beach there.  Tuesday they return up the bay with the Pirates for People race back to this end of the bay.  Funds raised are used to purchase school supplies for students at the lower income schools in the Puerto Vallarta area.

The kick-off of the long weekend was a party put on by Latitude 38, the marina and the State’s office of tourism here.  It was a very nice  welcome to the new cruisers and a thank you to all for the benefits that they provide to the town.  This party was at the beach palapa with a very good one-man band providing the music.  There was a fire juggler and some children let off hot air balloons with a small fire inside to light them and raise them up.

Progress

The boat is coming along.  It took a few days but but all the oil leaks in the main engine seem to be all stopped.  Of course it is a Westerbeke so it still weeps a bit of oil.  On Sunday morning Bill got the dinghy into the water and after making sure that the fuel did not contain water, the outboard started with the third pull.  We took her for a short dinghy ride.  Later in the afternoon we went to the beach for a late-lunch-early-dinner to celebrate.

Yesterday we got the new mizzen halyard reeved and the proper shackle attached… it did take two tries to get it right but it still was much easier than the last one we did.   Next project is to use that halyard to take Doreen to the top of the mizzen to remove the unused wifi antenna.  All the rest of the equipment to make that antenna useful is back in the states.

We continue to go out to dinner almost every evening and have settled on four favorite restaurants here in La Cruz.  We do hit the beach about once a week for an afternoon meal and Doreen takes the opportunity for a nice ocean swim. The tiny pool here at the marina sees us most late afternoons for a bit of exercise time and we do do our morning sunrise walks along the marina breakwater.  The weather continues to be pleasant with warm days and not so warm nights, but never really cold.

Thanksgiving

Yesterday was US Thanksgiving Day and a group of expats joined at one of their homes for a nice turkey feast bringing pot luck vegetables and deserts.  It was a nice meal with turkey dressing gravy and cheesy mashed potatoes plus a myriad of vegetable dishes.  As typical for Thanksgiving we all came away after having eaten a bit too much.  It was a nice early evening get together and we enjoyed visiting with some of the other folks there.  Many that we had met at Anna Bananas on Sunday mornings enjoying breakfast.

Today we spent the morning on the boat tidying it up. Late in the morning a boat broker stopped by to take lots of photos of her.  We hope that he can find someone to enjoy and love Lanikai as much as we have.

Frustration

This past week has been dedicated to getting the main engine running.  First we sucked the crud from the bottom of the fuel tank, there was no water and therefore only a little bit of fine dirt.  The engine started up with only a little trouble due to weak batteries but when Bill looked at the engine the raw water pump was leaking lots of salt water.  The next day, with a cooler engine the leaky water pump was removed and replaced with a spare that we have on hand.  The next step was to check the engine oil.  It was thick but way over-filled.  Time to drain it and most likely replace a leaky diesel lift pump, not the first time this has happened.  Bill then got ready to suck what oil he could out of the hose set up for such purposes only to discover that the pump need a working drill.  The batteries to our drill are all dead and none will accept a charge.  Plan two was to put a bucket into the bilge and drain the oil thru the same hose out into the bucket.  The lip of the bucket is actually above the bottom of the engine pan and the oil was quite thick, being cold, so the process was very slow and we left it to drain until the next day, today.

Today we removed the bucket from the bilge loosing no oil and making little mess.  We drained about 5 quarts out, but now the dip-stick measures “full”.  The main engine started right up but after running about 15 minutes Bill now discovered that there was a slight oil leak from one of the hoses.  After it cools tomorrow it will be checked out and hopefully repaired.