Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday - Sailing to Isla

J, Jerr and I were preparing to go bright and early.  We had to check out with Armondo which was effortless as he operates El Cid very professionally.  Beth, Brenda and Leon were informed of a proposed 10am departure and true to form, they arrived at 10:30.  We actually got going around 11am.  The wind was out of the north/northeast which was the exact direction we were heading, the seas were pretty calm with 1 to 2 ft waves.  We followed Mahalo Nui out and headed north.

We went out far enough to take advantage of the northbound current but not so far as the seas would be rough.  We trolled one line and ran through a school of Bonita and brought one aboard.  As usual, Catie and Cocoa went nuts.  We released the fish and continued following Mahalo Nui.  While the temperatures were in the high 80's and we had a 10~15 know wind, the sun was relentless and it was hot.  Brenda took advantage and enjoyed the sun.
Brenda was even brave enough to take a tour while underway

Beth and I take our jobs as crew very seriously but always find time to enjoy the ride.

Leon brought a couple of coconuts aboard and about 1/2 way Brenda wanted a drink.  Being the multi talented captain, I made it happen.

Brenda enjoyed the fresh coconut but didn't want rum as it was just too hot.  Leon and Brenda enjoyed the meat of the fresh coconut too.

Following Mahalo Nui along the Hotel Zone of Cancun.

Shortly after this picture, Second Chance pulled alongside and started a water balloon battle.  We use biodegradable balloons and Mahalo Nui actually scored the first hit but since Second Chance had more crew, we were able to finish about 5 hits ahead. 

Beth, Catie and Cocoa enjoying the ride.

Leon trying the helmsman position.  Good thing I had it on autopilot.

On the approach to Isla Mujeres, the reel started screaming and Leon caught a fish.

 As usual, fish on Second Chance are for Catie and Cocoa.

Approaching El Milagro Marina in Isla Mujeres Mexico
We made it to the dock, as did Mahalo Nui without incident.  Jamie and Julio were on the dock and happy to see us return.  Vince and Kristine, with their dog Yeti, stopped by shortly after we docked to say Hi and give us the latest local info.  After getting things secured and hooked up, the land lubbers were very happy be back on land, or at least the dock.

We all headed into Isla Mujeres proper for dinner and walked around a little before catching the UltraMar ferry back to Cancun and headed to the resort.  J and Jerr stayed at El Milagro aboard Second Chance to babysit Catie and Cocoa while Beth and I went to Cancun with Brenda and Leon.  The insurance agent was coming out tomorrow morning to check out the boat again before it gets hauled out of the water at the boatyard.  Now that the "rescue" portion of the incident is over maybe actual repairs can start and get going with getting sailing again.  J and Jerr were looking into getting an apartment on Isla for the time she will be there which conservative estimates are a month.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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GPS location Date/Time:09/29/2011 19:09:41 EDT

Message:Living the dream !
All is well.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday - Sailing again, well motoring

We had to check out of Puerto Aventuras before we could leave and Gerardo took very good care of us.  The staff at Puerto Aventuras and everyone we encountered here were friendly but the boat was ready and we were ready to get going.  We planned our departure for 10am, so at 11:30 we motored away from the dock.  Mahalo Nui leading and Second Chance close behind in the event there was trouble.  Initially the sea was like glass and we took it easy, motoring slowly.  Sailing would have been nice but the wind was directly on our bow.  Sally chose to ride on the catamaran for the day.

As the day continued, the wind picked up which made the seas choppy and maybe 3ft waves.  Mahalo Nui was motoring through them smoothly and showing no problems.  At about 5pm, we started our approach into El Cid Marina at Puerto Morelos.  We spent several weeks here when I had my knee surgery so we were familiar with the entrance and marina.  

Once the boats were secured, Beth headed to Cancun to meet Brenda and Leon and guide them down here in the morning as they will be sailing and/or motoring with us tomorrow to Isla Mujeres.

Yes there are pictures of us along the way but Beth put the camera in her purse which she took to Cancun. I will add them on this page tomorrow night.

Added Friday

Sally wasn't sure of Mahalo Nui so she stayed with Uncle John and Aunt Beth and had a Great time !

Tuesday - Testing

J and I got started on the steering issue bright and early and with a true "Rube Goldberg" were able to get the boat steering by the main wheel again.  These repairs were completely temporary and I told J that I was sure it would hold for at least 70 miles.  Its about 65 to our destination of Isla Mujeres.  Jerr was, of course, the one to put the finishing touches on the process as it required a small person to get into the hole where the connections are made.  Once that was done, we decided she needed a sea trial.
Leaving the dock for the first time since the incident

J and I took the boat out without incident but about 1/4 mile off shore, one of the alarms starting going off.  It was like Key West all over again with the overheat temperature light and buzzer going off.  We immediately shut down the engine and because of the proximity to the reef, J unfurled the foresail to keep us steering while I checked out the engine.  The engine was hot but engines are supposed to be hot.  We didn't have the instruments on-board to actually verify if it was overheating so we erred on the side of safety and didn't restart the engine.  J turned us around to head back to Puerto Aventuras under sail.  Just before we got to the approach channel, we started the engine and brought in the sail.  We motored in and docked just as the alarm began sounding again.
Returning to dock

Bob, a local at Puerto Aventuras, lent us his digital infrared thermometer so we could actually check the engine to determine if it was actually overheating or it was a bad sensor or another wiring issue.  We ran the engine under load, pretty hard for 30 minutes checking different spots and while the temp warning light was on, the engine wasn't actually overheating.  We checked everything over again and the decision was made to attempt our first leg to Isla Mujeres tomorrow.  With any luck, we would be spending tomorrow night at El Cid in Puerto Morelos.
We decided since it was probably our last night in Puerto Aventuras we should celebrate with Paparazzi's Pizza and one of the new DVD's that Brenda brought us.

Check-in/OK message from Second Chance SPOT Messenger

Second Chance
GPS location Date/Time:09/28/2011 18:12:10 EDT

Message:Living the dream !
All is well.

Click the link below to see where I am located.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday - In Cancun

I rented a car and J, Jerr and I dropped off the laundry and headed to Playa Del Carmen.  We went to AutoZone to pick up some new oil and bits for Mahalo Nui.  It was my task to try and find a part to reconnect the steering cable to the steering chain while I was in Cancun with the family.  I left J and Jerr about 11am and headed to Cancun, wary of my speed as I wasn't getting stopped again in Mexico.  We all headed out as Beth wanted to show them a few of the local places.  We went to Market 28, a famous tourist market and after an hour or so of looking at all sorts of things, Beth and Brenda bought a few trinkets.  From there we stopped at a marine store where the part that might have done the trick was over $100 US. I wasn't willing to spend $100 on a maybe.  We then went to Home Depot where Leon and I came up with a maybe that was only $5.  After driving around town for awhile, we headed back to the resort.  There was a welcome cocktail party going on so we stopped in and Brenda had a few drinks.  After much discussion about where to have dinner, we got back in the car and headed to Senor Frog's of Cancun.  Leon's friend had recommended the place and it is an interesting place indeed.

It was still a bit early for the main Cancun crowd and the waiters had fun with us.

 All this before we even ordered our drinks.  After we ordered, the fun really began.
Lap dance for Leon

Then hair gel

The new "Leon"
Then it was apparently my turn.
I knew my hair was getting long, but really, a ponytail
But that wasn't all they had in store for me.

Then it was Beth's turn.

And then it was Brenda's Turn, just after her second Pina Colada

The guy at the next table was enjoying them mess with us enough to get their attention.

They dressed us very similar and then we were requested/required to Karaoke to "Feel like a Woman"

Then the balloon guy paid us a visit to adorn us with lovely balloon hat creations.

The whole Senor Frog's crew
We got to eat and the food was quite good. The entertainment continued well after we left.  A few pics taken on the way out.  By the way, Brenda was the only one drinking and she wasn't driving.

It was a GREAT night out and we headed back to the resort.  Beth and I were returning to the resort and I asked Beth to drive.  It was a straight drive car which she never learned to drive.  Guess what!  She can now.
She drove the 60 or so miles without an issue.  Once she got the hang of it, she was shifting like a pro.  The good thing was that it was a rental car so if she really messed up, well, it was a rental car.  We made it back to the marina and after Beth loved on the babies, we headed to bed.