Thursday, January 14, 2016

Paradise Village Nuevo Vallarta

   We have been tied up in the marina at Paradise Village, Dock B-slip 38, long enough to get the boat cleaned up and put back together after the jarring passage north from Barra De Navidad.  Our trip was planned with a 20 hour voyage in mind.  We opted to not get fuel in Barra but rather use our reserve 20 gallons from the jerry jugs on deck instead, heck it was a short run and we would probably sail some of the way….no need to fuel up.  We left Barra with about 28 gallons of fuel in the tank and no reserve.  We left Barra on January 2nd at 09:17 and would anchor for the night in Chamela which was a short 37 miles and 7 hours.  We made good time to Chamela arriving at 16:15.  We dropped anchor and ventured out for some swimming and snorkeling before a pleasant dinner of scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots, a bit of fresh marlin, and smoked pork chops.  We all had a good night sleep in spite of the rolly night on the hook. We pulled up anchor at 11:00 on the 3rd of January and set course for Paradise Village Marina with our ETA looking great for 10:00 on the 4th.

Hitchin' a ride.....

     We had a pretty good start….anytime we start out sailing it is a pretty good start even if the current did push us back about a half a mile as we sailed to our first waypoint.  Then we made the starboard tack….now the current and the wind was directly on our nose.  Start the engine. We will motor sail.  Very well, this is becoming the norm for us.  So, I opt to take the noon to 16:00 shift, I don’t know why I offered, honestly this is the worst shift, what was I thinking?  Sometimes I am just too nice even for my own good.  This shift is straight, hot sun, and blech!  The time is around 15:30, I look up at the boom and I see a block dangling from the end and I can only imagine the look on my face.  I imagine my head moving back and forth in wonder, you know, like a confused puppy.  “What the hell is that,” I am thinking.  Then I look a little higher and notice a line swinging aimlessly, twisting itself around the back stays.  “This is not right,” I say to myself.  “Hey Scott! You better get up here!”  Scott comes up from his nap, I say not a word, just point.  The topping lift has come apart.  The pin in the shackle came loose and is lost in depths of the sea, never to be found.  After several attempts of catching the line intending on replacing the shackle, we face the fact that we were just going to have to rig a makeshift topping lift until we have a little less wind and movement of the boat is a bit more calm.  Scott is able to rig a spare halyard to the boom….we have a good temporary fix.  The winds start to pick up and the seas start to get a little more rowdy.  It feels like we are warming up for a huge, rockin’ ocean party.  We put in a double reef and start closing the hatches, only we don’t get the hatches closed quick enough.  We get hit by a huge wave and I guesstimate five to ten gallons of ocean come spilling into the boat.  The main cabin gets half and our bed gets half.  Grant is rushing around trying to close hatches as he is trying to not vomit.  He is sea sick in a very bad way.  I come down below to help and he informs me that he is blacking out.  I have him sit on the floor while I continue to close hatches.  In the meantime, outside in the cockpit, Scott and Marshall are also getting splashed.  The ride had gotten so rough that the auto pilot was not an option and we were down one crew member.  Grant was instructed to go lay down on his back, breath deep, and stay that way for a while.  Scott, Marshall, and I were it.  We agreed that one hour at a time would be our due.  Then it was my up.  I was 2 minutes from my hour of being up, it was 16:58, *SPLLAASH!*  I just got drenched with what I would say a small swimming pool full of water….drenched…yes drenched!  I start to whine….”I just want my shift to be over!”  Scott says, “Well move over, I will take the wheel.”  Of course I have to finish out my last 2 minutes, and I do.  I go down below and change into dry clothes.  Just as I was thinking Karma had just got back at me for something, I look out in the cockpit and see Marshall get drenched.  Five seconds later he gets drenched AGAIN!  And then yet again after another five seconds.  Okay, so it wasn’t Karma….the ocean was just being a bitch today.  

     Marshall sat out his entire hour dripping salty sea from every ounce of his being.  He left the helm in Scotts hands and low and behold….sheet after sheet of ocean was poured over the Captains head.  Oh…we were not happy sailors.  Scott asked me to bring him him a towel and in the transition of towel from hand to hand I was thrown across the cockpit.  I had a firm grip on the binnacle with my left hand and did not let go with enough grace to save myself from being injured.  I tore or strained, or tore and strained several muscles in my left arm.  We were down to a crew of 2.  Captain Scott sent me to bed and instructed my to stay there until further notice.  I obeyed, not only out of respect for the captain, more because I had no choice….my arm was inoperative, I could not move it, though I knew it was not broken. 

     With our crew count down to two, Scott and Marshall were getting tired.  They were wet, salty, and exhausted from hand steering against the power of the wind and the sea.  At 21:00 they opted to heave-to.  We all needed a rest from the banging, crashing sea.  The boat was a mess inside.  Things had been thrown around like the Velvet Sky had a temper tantrum.  Flour in the galley, dishes on the floor, dirty laundry strung about, wet sheets, throw pillows, carpets, it was just a mess.  The six hour break of being hove-to was much appreciated and savored.  Grant came around at about 02:00.  The winds were a consistent 29-30 knots, and the sea state was completely undesirable with 6-12 feet waves on the nose about every 6 seconds.  03:00….things felt calm again.  We could breath deep and we could walk without falling.  We started the engine and and found our course for Paradise Village Marina.  Grant took the helm until 09:00 while Scott and Marshall caught up on some much needed rest. I stayed in bed with my arm in a sling position.  The guys brought us in and tied us up to the guest slip on A-Dock at 22:16 on January 4th.  I am so glad to be here.

     We have been here and tied up on B-Dock slip 38 for 10 days.  We have got Velvet Sky back into shape and beautiful as ever.  She has been washed and waxed on the outside and cleaned and oiled on the inside.  I love this boat.  We have done all of our laundry, sheets, towels, cleaning cloths, even the hatch covers.  it seems odd to say that having the ability to do my own laundry is a luxury, it is!  We have had a shower every day, many times twice a day.  We have had happy hour on the beach under a palapa with friends, both new and old.  Last time we were here we didn’t leave the resort.  This time we have traveled to PV three times, once to BucerIas, once to LaCruz.  We have been to the market twice.   Watched two (not so good, not terrible) movies at the cinema.  And we have only been here for ten days.  We will likely be here until the first week in February.

Laaaaaaaaa......They made it to PV!

We took a walk on Olas Altas

Dad, Mom......Does this look familiar?
We found the smallest McDonalds ever! Desserts only.

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