Monday, March 29, 2010


All kinds of activity here today in anticipation of the arrival of the three sailboats (Ahwanee, Dolce Vida and Joyeax) from Huatulco. Another boat, Shannon, arrived in the staging area last night too. Two of the hands from Shannon took the kayak and were playing in the surf while waiting for the correct conditions for the escort across the bar. They got caught in the surge and ended up in the bay, found their way to the marina and were not “getting” the fact that they were now illegally in El Salvador. Since Bill was busy with the preparations for the incoming boats, Claudia enlisted Dan’s help in explaining the situation to them and attempting to keep them out of “harm’s way”. One of the boys looks at Dan and says “Do you by any chance have a son named Steven?” Turns out that Reuben, from Landmark College, spent Thanksgiving with us at Janet and Charles’ about 5 years ago. SMALL, SMALL WORLD!! Their boat’s owner is returning to the states for 3 weeks or so and the boat will stay here until his return so Reuben and Adam will join us for the 30 (+ or -) hour trip to Costa Rica. They will then journey up through Nicaragua and back here to El Salvador for the rest of their sail.

Another item for the “Small World” anomaly. Nance and Ed will be arriving in Costa Rica’s San Jose Airport on Tuesday just 1 ½ hours after Robert. They will rent a car and are spending time on the Nicoya Peninsula and we all hope to join up at some point next week.

When it came time for the bar crossing, Dan and I took the dink out to just this side of the bar and watched the boats surf in then escorted them to their new home at the marina. It was certainly cool seeing all the action and hailing familiar faces. We celebrate their arrival by hosting a cocktail party on Quest. We served libations, pupusas, cheeses, veggies and pan to our 17 guest. The evening was great for us and “Thanks” to all our new friends for joining us.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


What a great day this turned out to be. It started when Dan and I followed Jean and Bill 4 miles through the estuary to the little town of San Luis La Herradura for Saturday market day. We passed birds, locals paddling hand hewn canoes and miles of mangroves. Too cool for words!!

In La Herradura we were welcomed by the local dock greeters that recognized Jean and Bill. After disembarking and leaving our dingy under their watchful care we headed down the streets lined with the venders. We visited the panaderia and watched them bake the breads, bought oranges and pupusas on the street and wound our way through the maze of sellers. Somewhere along the line we acquired our darling little assistant, Harrison. He carried our bags and greatly amused us. Since the end of the civil war in 1992, El Salvador has become an international tourist destination, uses the US dollar and retains Spanish as its official language.

Soon after we returned to Marina Bahia del Sol, Rojelio set out to escort the sailboat, OM, safely over the bar and into the marina. We are expecting several more of the sailors from Marina Chahue in Huatulco Bay to arrive tomorrow and hope to dingy out near the sand bar and watch the action.

Rojelio dove down to check the status of our prop, found virtually no effects of our fishing line and net catching episodes. Thank you!!

In the late afternoon Dan and I took the dingy out for a small tour and found these stilted eateries built over the waters. The proprietors try to flag you down to visit their establishments. What a sight! Sunday (Palm Sunday)is the start of Semana Santa and many people are starting to gather here now. It is a big holiday in the Latin American countries.

We swam in the pool several times (walk right in warm), got acquainted with many of our fellow boaters and took Rojelio to dinner at the local Pupuceria.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Pilot Rojelio


Friday morning we awoke to calmer waters and much anticipation for the bar crossing into Bahia Jaltepeque (13d15.9N X 88d53W) and our arrival at Marina Bahia del Sol.  We made our call on VHF 16 requesting pilot assistance over the bar and into the marina and were greeted by Bill and Jean on the Mita Kuuluu sailboat.  They became our "go between" and notified the marina of our needs.  Our pilot, Rojelio, arrived on a Jet Ski around 10:30 and patiently led us over the bar.  We surfed right in with NO problems. This arrival was like no other!!  We were met at the dock by Claudia form the marina office, the immigration officer, the customs officer and neighboring Bill and Jean.  Welcome to El Salvador!!!  How nice to be able to take care of all business right on your baot instead of trapsing all over from one office to another and then back. 

Bill and Jean are the organizers of the first Cruisers Rally to El Salvadors under the request of and with the cooperation of the El Salvadorean government.  They have been here for 3 weeks and expect to be here until November and greet the sailboats as they arrive.  They gave us some great directions for finding local  pupusas foe dinner.  They are kind of like stuffed tortillas. YUM!  We have made plans to dingy to a Saturday morning market in San Luis La Herradura tomorrow morning.


Dan captured a beautiful sunrise after our second "all-night" and our frequent companions, the dolphin, were out to greet us by 7:30. Sea turtles were all around us today and several times we even saw a birds resting on a floating turtle's back. Free ride!!

We had quite a successful (or not) "non" fishing day today. Dan spotted a sailfish who displayed his beautiful sail for us. Breathtaking! I got the first catch of the day when I snagged a floating fishing line while at the helm about 40 miles out from the Guatemalan coast.Some poor fisherman is surely unhappy with me right now as we were unsuccessful at releasing the line from the prop and had to cut the lead. Sorry! Dan unsuspectingly caught a fishing net when we anchored off the entrance to Bajia Jaltepeque well after dark. This time the fisherman was right there and we managed to calm him with "mucho dinero" ($$$). We spent a rough night at anchor and are ready for a good night's sleep at the dock tomorrow.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Today at sunrise Quest over 60 miles from the closest land. We were still traveling slow in the currents the Tehuantepec Bay. The winds were calm and the seas flat all day. We continued on the same course for the entire day and said good night to yet another beautiful sunset but in Guatemalan waters this night.


The Quest was the first boat to leave in the "mass exodus" for traveling south during this favorable window weather. After last minute preparations and a breakfast of locally fresh baked cinnamon rolls and cafe latte we cast off and headed for El Salvador. The first couple of hours were "Porter Rough" but after crossing a strange and visible current line the Quest slowed 2 knots and with about 45 minutes the seas calmed to "Hanson Smooth". We had another beautiful sunset at sea.

Monday, March 22, 2010






Our day is done and we are all ready for the journey through the Tehuantepec Bay, out of Mexico, past Guatemala and into Bahia del Sol in El Salvador. Our visits from the customs officer went smoothly and our lovely immigration officers, Alethia and Nathali, stamped our passports and cheerfully agreed to let us leave the country. Adios Mexico!






Sunday was a day of rest and relaxation for both the crew and for Quest. Enjoyed the beach and the village night life. We did receive a great photo of granddaughter, Talia, after placing in her surf contest. She was so excited and told us about all of her prizes. Notice her trophy, "T" shirt and purple watch. Way to go, Talia!!

This morning we thoroughly cleaning the Quest - inside and out. That done, we, once again, had to do our customs and immigration check out with the Port Captain. Since we didn't leave on Saturday our Zerpa (exit paper) was expired. There were many boater with the same itinerary due to the anticipated favorable weather window so this took up a couple of hours. We chatted with all the others and it looks like everyone will be departing either Tuesday or Wednesday. We will be finishing up laundry and making a last minute trip to the market after immigration and customs visit our Quest again late this afternoon. If everything goes as planned, we will leave tomorrow and not stop until we arrive in El Salvador's Bahia Del Sol. We will probably have no means of communication until we connect with email there and cell service may be over for a while.
Jason, good luck with your new business venture!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010




In preparation for our anticipated Tuesday departure, we took Quest to the fuel dock for our final Mexico fill up (we hope). The wind had started to blow a bit so it was a true test of Dan's skills at maneuvering the boat into the fuel dock with wind, current and multiple pangas and dingys going in and out of the narrow channel. After returning to our dock we rewarded ourselves for a successful fueling with no deaths, dismemberments or dents and headed for an afternoon at the beach. Windy but totally enjoyable. The water was so warm that even I had no problems jumping right in. Great steak dinner in tonight, May be hard to leave this lovey part of Mexico.







It's Saturday morning (3/20/10) and I am frantically attempting to recall the last few days of our fantastic journey. Please bear with me.

After departing Acapulco on Tuesday afternoon, we enjoyed great weather and a smooth all night passage before anchoring in Puerto Angel (15d39'NX96d29'W). This should have been a calm little anchorage but, due to a large "cat" that hogged the middle of the bay and tons of fishing pangas too, we anchored out and experienced a rough and rolly Wednesday night. However, our anchor did hold tight!!

Thursday we pulled up anchor as the panga fishermen were heading out for their morning of work. We finally wised up and started filling the bucket with the sea water to help us cool off during the heat of the day. Great idea, Dan! Only once did we have hits on the fishing poles and it came as Dan was napping. Both lines got hit at the same time and I brought my little mackerel in before we released him. That is my first for the trip!!

By 11:00 AM we were in beautiful Bahias de Huatulco and adjacent Bahia Chahue (15d45.25NX96d07.25W) where we are docked at Marina Chahue. This small marina is well run, clean and expanding to have a fuel dock in the near future. After checking into the marina we grabbed our official paperwork and headed to the Capitania to take care of that business. Silly us. We forgot we were on Mexican time and 1:30 was just a little too late unless you want them to work overtime. That gave us something to do on Friday!! We headed to the beach for lunch then back to the Quest for laundry and chores.

Thursday night we went into the lovely La Crucecita for dinner and a little exploration. La Crucecita was established as a service town for hotel employees and is charming, culturally rich and well stocked with banks, hardware, markets, restaurants, hospital and lovely fruiterias.
Friday found us, once again, at the Capitania and we were able to complete all our paperwork for our entrance into the state of Oaxaca and the preparation for our exiting from Mexico. Both immigration and customs officers came out to inspect the Quest and stamped our paperwork. The inspection proved to be nothing but possibly a verification that there was a Quest. We also found a taxi driver that helped us ferret out more of the correct engine oil for a back up supply for the next leg of our journey. For dinner we headed back into town and found el Pastor at a much more civilized shop than in PV (this had tables) and it was almost as good.

We are anticipating being here for a few more days as the Tehuantepec Bay is expecting one of it's infamous storms and this is the place to lay up. We plan to take the boat to the fuel dock in Huatulco Bay this AM so we will be ready when the opportunity arises to exit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010



Monday morning we cast off from our mooring (way too easy!) in Papanoa and glided through perfectly smooth waters to Acapulco. What a total ZOO the Acapulco Marina area is. We were going to dock at the Acapulco Yacht Club but, after making initial contact with them on the phone, we were unable to roust them for slip assignment so we ended up mooring outside their marina. No water hook ups or power but it turned out quite nice. We dropped the dingy down and rode to shore for a great dinner of pescado. I finally got my whole huachinango (red snapper) and we had yummy margaritas.

Due to our timely arrival in Acapulco and the "lousy" flight connections to Saint Maarten, Dick and Cheryl changed their outbound flight to mid-day Tuesday instead of the very early hours of Wednesday morning. We all got up and headed for a good Mexican breakfast then the Hansons took one of the "tight" VW Bug cabs to the airport and made their flight out. Dan and I ferreted out la officina de Capitania and presented all of our paperwork for checking into and out of Acapulco. That done, we did our marketing, loaded the dink, fueled up, got rid of trash and took on water. Our original plans were to anchor in nearby Puerto Marques but when we left the Acapulco Bay at around 2:30 we decided to spend the night traveling and advance ourselves as far south as possible due to a positive weather window for the weekend in the often treacherous Tehuantepec Bay. Weather is great now and we are enjoying this lovely cruise.

Monday, March 15, 2010


PERFECT is the only word to describe our spectacular 9 day journey on the Quest - heading south along the pristine Mexican coast - miles and miles of untouched beaches with lovely mountains behind. Every day"s weather has been sunny and gorgeous. The sea has been calm and lovely (except one day when we were safely anchored in a marina). Dolphins seem to jump for joy as we cruise along and then leap in our wake to surf. I (Cheryl) just spotted my first whale as we come into Acapulco- usually it's Dan who sees everything from miles away. Sea turtles and jumping manta rays have entertained us along the way.

Last night we anchored at a cove (Papanoa) and took the dinghy to shore for the best local food - by far our most tasty meal off the Quest, including fish soup with oysters, shrimp, a lobster tail, a red snapper head and melt-in-your-mouth octopus. What a treat to enjoy a delicious meal among local families swimming and eating on a Sunday afternoon. Dan showed us his paddle board skills - looked so inviting that Dick decided to give it a try - very successfully. We were lulled to sleep by lapping waves and wakened during the night by birds fishing in the phosphorescent waters just outside our windows.

Today a leisurely trip over glass-smooth waters to Acapulco, final destination for this part-time crew. What a privilege to participate in this incredible Quest.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


After a couple hours of "boat cleaning", we grabbed a taxi and headed to "Z Town" for late breakfast and exploring. Everything on the ride over was so clean and green and really quite beautiful. Unfortunately, we all forgot cameras. Just as we came into "Z Town" we saw a huge, old circus tent set up and ready for an evening performance. Quite the sight.

The shore area where we had breakfast was neat and tidy and offered a great view of the "Z" Bay. After breakfast we walked down the municipal pier and watched the hordes of local families purchasing water taxi tickets and jostling for seats in the numerous "taxis" that take them across the bay to the lovely beaches. It was a riot of activity!

We were on a quest for a fish fillet knife, plastic chopping board, lemon juicer, produce and hair clip today so headed into the shops in the old town area. Cheryl and I got slightly distracted and each bought lovely glass bead bracelets but were soon back on track. We found the produce in a small open market where we had to move to make room for the 2 pigs (head and all) that were being brought into the meat stall. We also found a "not so great" knife for filleting the fish Dan will be catching but no tray for him to use. We will keep on looking.

Mackerel chaviche (sp?) from yesterdays catch was our afternoon snack. Wow, was that good! Dick and Cheryl treated us to a great dinner at the Italian restaurant right here in the marina and, once again, we called it a night.

Tomorrow we will be starting the journey to Acapulco, spending one night at anchor in Papanoa and arriving there Monday evening.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Blow Hole on Bufadero Bluff at Caleta de Campos



This proved to be a totally interesting day. We saw morning fisherman in their pangas, marveled at the blow hole on Bufadero Bluff in Caleta de Campos, caught 5 fish (1 yellow fin tuna, 3 mackerel and 1 amber jack), had a smaller Mexican Naval boat cruising by, watched the huge container ships around the shipping mecca of Lazaro Cardenas (not such a pretty place) and, of course, were amused by the charming dolphin and majestic whales.

We pulled into Ixtapa around 6:30, tied up, ran to the Marina office for check in, got everything "ship shape", showered and then feasted on our freshly caught tuna for a marvelous dinner on board the Quest.


We pulled out of beautiful Marina Navidad by 7:00 AM, praying for good weather as it looked like we might get into some wind and waves. The weather "gods" were looking out for us and it was just beautiful all day. Dan and Dick caught us a Dorodo which we cooked on the BBQ for a fine meal. Maruata (18d15'22"X103d20'26") proved to be a very small anchorage but we held tight and enjoyed watching the activity of the village on shore and looking at the stars above as night fell.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010



This morning we hopped in a water taxi and scooted back into Barra for breakfast and a better look at the village. We found a great little place for huevos and stocked up on fruit and veggies.

After returning to Quest, Dan and Dick took the boat to the fuel dock and the Hansons generously "filled he up" for us. Thanks so much!! Cheryl and I wasted no time before heading for the beautiful pool at the Grand Bay Hotel which extends privileges to the Marina guests. The guys joined us after finishing their chore and a delightful afternoon was had by all.

We splurged and had dinner at Antonio's in the hotel. We sampled some great tequilas and had a super meal. Since we were the only patrons in this beautiful restaurant we had plenty of attention. They made a "true" Cesar salad right at our table and our fish dinners were prepared nicely.

We hope to be out of the marina early tomorrow morning and headed for Muruata, weather permitting. If the wind is still blowing we may only go to Manzanillo or Cabeza Negra.


I think this was the day with the most beautiful and diverse scenery so far. We saw isolated mansions perched on the cliffs, cultivated trees, fishing villages and huge, modern developments. We even had the best whale show as we entered the bay of Navidad.

The marina is stupendous!! It is partnered with the Grand Bay Hotel and we are able to take advantage of their wonderful amenities. Cheryl and I checked it our when we went to check into the marina office. Think we will be using the pool tomorrow.

We had another scrumptious dinner cooked on the BBQ tonight and then took a water taxi over to Barre for an evening stroll before calling it a night.


Early to rise and to cast off for our next beautiful setting. We made it around the point with some wind and wave action but we all did fine. The whales and dolphin cooperated to welcome the Hansons and Dan even caught our first "real" fish. We anchored successfully in Chamelia, even after I didn't get the anchor alarm set right the first time. Dan and I took our first swim off the boat's swim step with Dick leading the way. The sunset was, once again, stunning. We had a great dinner of BBQ freshly caught fish, cabbage salad (with Alexis' dressing) and grilled squash.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Steven, Jeremy and Leticia got checked out of the condo and made their flight out of PVR to Newark. Dick and Cheryl Hanson arrived at about 9:00 PM. Their flights originated from Saint Marten and went through Miami and Dallas. Since they were traveling very light, we jumped on the local bus for the short ride to the marina. After a tour of our Quest, some light munchies and a cocktail, we turned in for the night.

We plan to be out by 7:00 AM tomorrow for the long trip around Cabo Corrientes (28 miles SW of PV) and on down to Bahia Chamela. Corrientes means currents and this point is where the winds and current "mix it up"!

It sure is great having the Hansons with us!!!


Steven, Jeremy and Letecia

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3/6/10 Las Animas, yet again

A real day off again!! We took of from Marina Vallarta around 10:30 and headed for lovely Las Animas under dreary skies. We were all ready for a respite from the intense sun and enjoyed the protection of the cloud cover. This time we did not anchor but moored in front of the Las Animas Beach Club and rode the water taxi to shore. Any of you that might find yourself on this delightful little beach, be sure to go to their facilities to the far right of the pier where they have white umbrellas and padded lounges. The staff is more than accommodating, the drinks great and the food tasty. They are making lots of changes (expanding the kitchen for one) ad may have a new name soon but I am sure the service will remain the same. Try it.

We were delighted to receive a call from Dick and Cheryl Hanson requesting "Permission to come aboard" here in PVR and to assist us in our journey to Acapulco. I had just emailed them this morning requesting their presence but, since they are vacationing in Saint Marten, had little hope that they would join us now. Thanks!!


We had planned to go out with the kids today and anchor for the night but I think they are just having too much fun at the resort. Can't blame them! We decided to go for the day tomorow instead and dedicate today to doing our "check out" with the Harbor Master for our early departure planned for Monday morning.
Dan was doing a quick check of the boat and found a leak in the hoses that connect the steering wheel to the hydraulic system. We had to remove them and take them to a little shop in Las Juntas where they put together the correct fitting and hoses. Back to Quest, installation and bleeding of the system and all is good. Bummer that we are having to do all of these little things but so thankful we are finding the problems here where everything is available.
We did have dinner with the kids at our little "street taco" stand and then collapsed for the night. No Cribbage tonight.

Friday, March 5, 2010

3/4/2010 Sail Boat Regatta

03/04/10 Thursday Roets on day cruise to La Cruz

Ray and Sharen (our long time Villa del Pal Mar friends) joined Dan, Steven, Jeremy, Leticia and me for an outing to La Cruz on the north end of the Bay of Banderas. We were much impressed with the 2 year old marina there. Lots of activity because the sail boat regatta is taking place and the president will be there on Saturday for the festivities. After docking for a couple of hours, walking around and enjoying the sights and having a wonderful lunch (thanks Ray and Sharen) in the village we pulled out of the marina and anchored so the guys could fish a little. Craig, I am just letting you know that they didn't do any better than you!!

On our ride back to Marina Villarta we were delighted to find ourselves among the racing yachts. See how beautiful they are in the photos. We were also entertained by at least 2 different whales before we got back. Wonderful day

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Polish and wax job was finished on Quest, found more of the correct chain for the anchor (needed for back up), had the broken dock-side stairs welded, fixed the ventalization for the freezer, hung the knife holder and , thus, completed our PVR "to do" list and are ready for our next leg of the journey.

3/2/10 Tuesday Maintenance

This was a long day of maintenance, again. Dan started out to do a simple job of changing fuel filters but it turned into an entire day of air filter removal, replacement of super charger screens and trips to 3 different auto parts stores to find the necessary gaskets and rebuild parts. It was a good thing that we found we had worn out parts here in PVR so we could find the replacements in the "boat rich" area. We also discovered that the engine room air inlets had been sealed in Portland as part of the winterizing of the boat. Now with the engine room air inlets opened, filters cleaned and new screens on the super chargers the Quest should be able to "breathe" a lot easier in the warm weather to come.

Polishing and waxing continued on the Quest and it should be done tomorrow. Looking good!!

After this intense day of work, we headed to Villa del Pal Mar for happy hour and sunset. We caught up with Jerry, our beach vendor amigo of many years, and made arrangements for him and his wife to join us on Sunday evening on the Quest for a sunset cruise.

PS: I almost skunked Dan in Cribbage. What a thrill.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3/1/2010 Monday Puerta Vallarta

Porters made it out of Mexico and onto their next vacation spot, Newport Beach, CA. Glad their trip was uneventful but we miss them.

Dan spent most of the day changing the oil in the engines and I was his "gofer". Also got a couple of guys polishing the exterior of our Quest. That's a job that really needed to be done and they are experts here.

The kids are now fully checked into the condo and enjoying the pool and all the amenities of resort life. Dan and I went over late in the afternoon and enjoyed "happy hour", the sunset and catching up with friends. I think Ray and Sharen will join us for an outing on Thursday.

Monday, March 1, 2010


This is the Porters last day and we all opted to head back to the beautiful beach at Las Animas. The stand-up paddle board was, once again, put to use and even a couple of guys on the beach asked to give it a try. The afternoon crossing back across the bay got quite rough and Leticia was really glad to get back to the marina!! After docking, the guys ran to the closest little cantina and watched the end of the Canada/US "race for the gold" ice hockey game. Too bad the ending didn't favor the US.

Dan and I took the Porters to Villa del Par Mar (our time share week begins today) where they will spend this, their final night. We all went to Brazil Steak House before we bid the Porters adios and a huge gracias for all their contributions to our trip so far. They now art Platinum for "frequent cruising" miles. We will miss you!!!!!!!

SAT; 2/27/10 KIDS HERE

Early morning calls today. Steven called as he, Jeremy and Leticia boarded at Bradley Airport in Hartford, Connecticut for their 6:30 AM flight to EWR then on to join us here in PVR. By the time they had reached EWR we were receiving calls from Erin in Hawaii, warning us about the awful earthquake in Chile and the tsunami warnings for both Mexico and Hawaii. We stayed on alert most of the day but the marina only experienced a small surge where the channel comes in from the bay. We were thankful not to have anymore than that. Our thoughts are with those in Chile.
Dan and I spent the morning locating, purchasing and toting back oil for our Detroit engines. We are now ready to do an oil change in the next couple of days.
The kids arrived here at the marina by 3:00 and we all went for a late lunch/early dinner here at the Marina and watched some of the Olympics. We had a house full with the Porters in the guest suite, Jeremy and Leticia in the "V" bunks and Steven on the couch in the salon.