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Home Up 2000 2001 2002 2003 Arabella's 1st season (03-04) Logs Land Cruise 1 2nd Season (04-05) Logs Land Cruise 2 3rd Season (05-06) logs 4th Season (06-07) logs 5th season logs

Third Season in Mexico

The Adventure Continues...entries will be in chronological order, (newest at the bottom)


Deja Vu All Over Again- Regressamos a Paradise  10/23/05 Log

 Yes, we´re here in PV and the boat came through the summer in fine shape, but first some highlights from the last month or so…

 It seemed like we just got the house into comfortable condition when it became time to pack for our trip south to the boat.  We had a great housewarming party September 24, which also was a birthday party for our best pal, talented craftsman, real estate man, entertainer, and general renaissance man Buck.  There were some last minute visits to Portland to try to get our loan completed and see friends and family, but by October 8 we were finally on the road to Tahoe and a visit with Dale and Jane from Magic.  We were very grateful our new tenants Diane and Mary had such an easy going attitude, since we´d planned to be out by October 1.  After a great couple of days enjoying the company of Dale and Jane, and their comfortably beautiful “treehouse”, we hit the road again and soon arrived in SoCal, where Barb went to spend a few days with her mom, and Mike spent a few days getting the car fixed up and boat parts rounded up.  There was a great visit with our dear friend Squeek and a chance to see her new “ride” Zulu, a beautiful 76 foot Peterson designed sloop of which she is the proud new captain.  Also there was a fun birthday party for Barb´s mom Ruth, featuring the whole family in attendance except sis Mary who lives in Hawaii and couldn´t get away.  We had originally planned to leave the 14th in company with Sparky, but ended up a few days tardy due to last minute delays in procuring the elusive loan we needed to finish paying off the house.

 One benefit to our delayed departure was the ability to get the van´s air conditioner fixed, and it was a very welcome appliance indeed as we made our way across the desert to Nogales and into Mexico.  The border crossing was blessedly uneventful since there was a bit too much wine in the back to qualify for duty free import, and there were a few too many boat parts as well…

As usual, we ran into pals Paul and Paula from Luckydog  almost the minute we hit San Carlos ( two years running it´s been the case) and saw our friend Leonard as well, who offered to let us stay aboard his boat for the night.  That evening we also saw George and JoAnn from Kalinga and ran into Dan and Shirley of Island Time from Channel Islands as well.  Those were the folks who, while we prepared Arabella, so kindly let us use their slip, which happened to be right below our apartment in Channel Islands Harbor.  Having the boat so close made it ultimately convenient to get work done and to move aboard.

The 8 hour drive from San Carlos to Mazatlan was long and dusty, but it was good to arrive and see Dale and Jane again, in the midst of preparing their beautiful Gulfstar 50 ketch Magic for a trip to PV, and we all had a great dinner that night at Cowboys, where the steaks were tender and the tequila was plentiful.

The van decided it didn´t want to get past Tepic the next day without a cash infusion, so the alternator gave up the ghost and required about $100 to repair enroute to Puerto Vallarta.  We rolled into the Vallarta Yacht Club about 8:30pm, and after one of their great burgers and a cold beer it felt like we´d never left.

The boat was waiting for us free of smells, critters, or lightening damage, and looked like only a small amount of rain had found it´s way inside from the summer monsoons.  We were stoked that all our worry had been por nada!  The heat has taken some getting used to, but we hooked up our little air conditioner over the main salon hatch, and remembered how to string our “trailer trash” blue tarp “awning” over the cabin to keep out some of the rays.  The silver side on top works wonders…

 So far we´ve installed the new VHF radio (reception still sucks, and the buzz is still there), the new polyurethane bow anchor roller, the new lazy jacks, 90% of the new water heater, the four rebuilt ThinLite fixtures ($18 ea to repair at the Camarillo factory, three work great), and the new running back stays for the mizzen.  Next will be the portlight toggle latches, the new piece of T-track to allow the spinnaker pole to hang permanently from the mast, and last but certainly not least, the caprail refinishing job.  Can´t wait to get going on that one….  Of course cleaning, lubricating, waxing, etc. will also be on the menu.  It´s such a life of leisure owning and living aboard a boat!  Our plan and hope is to have the boat all tarted up by the end of November, when we´ll be hitting the briney for a trip south to Barra.

From HOT Paradise (seems like it should be renamed for the Anti-paradise place),

Mike, Barb and short haircut Buddydog

Some new pics

Preparing to Unplug from Paradise- 11/29/05 log entry

 Not sure if cutting the umbilical cord is a better way of putting it, since we have become dependent on the plentiful water, electricity, and cable TV provided here on the dock, as well as the easy shopping, laundry, swimming pools, and all the good friends we´re surrounded with.

But, it´s time to take a few baby steps and shake down old Arabella a bit, and we´re heading out in the next day or so for La Cruz, or Yelapa, or Punta Mita, or anywhere away from this place we affectionately refer to as a velvet lined trap of a money pit.

We have accomplished much while here, everything on our list and then some,   The spinnaker pole now hangs vertically from the extended T-track on the forward side of the mast (a much easier place to deploy it from), the rails look good, although I am a bit distressed by a whitish haze forming on top of one section… We sorted out some electrical issues, got the windlass to work in up and down mode, all the nav lights working, etc. etc.  We also have aquired an actual awning just like a real yacht might have, and it doesn´t blow around and look tacky.  Those who know us won´t recognise us!

I passed my ham radio Technicians license exam, but failed the morse code and the written test for General class.   I´ll try again December 17th when they give it again.  Meanwhile we´re getting a Pactor II modem so we can do e-mail from the boat using SailMail via SSB radio.  A quick note: when we get set up, please don´t send any attachments or anything other than short, fairly important text messages to our Sailmail address because the transmission speed is VERY slow and it just can´t handle any graphics or big files.  It will be nice to be able to stay in a bit of touch while out at sea or at anchor, though!

So that´s about it for now, looking forward to having new actual sailing adventures to report next time.  Plan is still to spend December in Barra, then perhaps head south in time to be able to help with Sailfest in Zihua.  Have to get going now to fill jerry jugs with diesel, square away the dinghy, do something with the Puffer, lash everything down, take down the awning, and lots of other fun stuff.  Talk to ya again in a month or so.

 Hasty Lombago,

 Mike, Barb, and the Bud Man

a few new pics

A Great December

Log Entry 12/27/05

After escaping Paradise yet again around the 5th; we headed all the whole 7 miles to La Cruz anchorage for a little shakedown.  Everything seemed to be working, so the next day we went the whole 10 miles or so to the beautiful cove of Yelapa on the south side of the Bahia de Banderas, and grabbed a private mooring we knew about.  The mooring was a real treat because Yelapa is an almost impossible place to anchor for the night with any degree of security, due to extremely vertical soundings all around the cove.

Anyway, the pangero who came to receive the secret password from us volunteered to set our stern hook, (which we were really glad to have when the wind switched around later on), and we proceeded to take an exploratory walk around the really charming, car-free town, where everything comes in by boat, and the “streets” are narrow, stone paved, wandering affairs .

The Yelapa Yacht Club proved to be our favorite spot, where we enjoyed some great sunset drinks and dinner.

Next morning, we cruised around the corner to Ipala, where once again the local kids came around asking for pencils and such, which we had prepared to provide since we´d been there before.  We spent an enjoyable couple of days there, and then an equally enjoyable couple of days in Chapala, another days´ run south.

From Chapala it was an easy few hours run to Tenecatita, where we anchored overnight and then made the couple of hour run into the Barra lagoon, getting in at high tide without mishap.  Once again it was like coming home, seeing all our local friends and the various folks who make the pilgrimage every year to this special spot.  It was a slow time for the days leading up to Christmas, however, since lots of folks have waited to come down until after the holiday.  The town has heated up now, however, and the lagoon has become crowded after only having a few boats.

Barb and I spent a few days back at Tenecatita after I got back from PV, where I had gone to retrieve the van and take my General Class ham exam.  I was very relieved to finally pass that damn thing.  Now we can send e-mail over the radio from the boat for free using Winlink.

We decided to give each other a few days at the fabulous marina at the Grand Bay hotel for Christmas, and that´s where we are for a final night, with high speed Wifi and cable TV here on the boat.  I thought I better update the log while it was easy, or else you may not have seen anything new for quite awhile.  Schlepping the computer ashore to find a place to plug it in is a real pain!

So, we hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and we wish you all Prospero Año Nuevo as they do here!

We´ll head south to Zihua around the middle of the month, so next update will be from there.

 Take care and be safe,

 Mike, Barb, and Buddy says “woof”

a few new piccies

All Cruising Plans are Etched in Jello

Log Entry 2/17/06

It´s a very common saying amongst the cruising fraternity, because everything can (and does) change in a heartbeat, and “plans” are not taken any more seriously than the stop signs on the highway around here.

So, when the last update was written, we really did plan to go to Zihua, but a few days later, we decided not to.  As I recall, it was one of those mutually arrived at decisions that came out of nowhere.  We just didn´t feel like going all the way down there and then having to bash all the way back uphill.  We decided to save our energy for a trip up into the Sea of Cortez come spring.   Instead, we took care of some more boat work and enjoyed the marina here in Barra while we did it.  We put several coats of varnish over the Nervion two part system we applied to the rails in PV, since it was already starting to look like caca.  Our pal Westin replaced the worn out leather on our wheel, and we got the hull (topsides), and cabin top waxed, since the gelcoat was starting to get chalky.

By the time we´d been in the marina a month, the work was done and at last it was time to go just relax on the hook at Tenecatita,  We had a delightful couple of weeks snorkeling, walking the beach, and generally enjoying ourselves there, and it was time to return to Barra where we met our Buena Amiga Katherine on the 4th of February.  She had flown out of Oregon just after a storm packing 90 mile an hour winds had hit, and was ready for some serious relaxing in sunny Mexico.

We introduced her to the town on Superbowl Sunday, then after a few more days here, off we went again to Tenecatita.  There´s just something really cool about that place, and I think Katherine now agrees.  Unfortunately, there is some kind of time warp that happens there.  The days themselves go by in slow motion, but next thing you know, a bunch of them have come and gone.  And so they did, and we had to get back here to get ready to send our dear friend off on the big silver bird back to Oregon, where she may be met by a snowstorm!  We once again are ensconced in the luxury of the Marina Isla de Navidad, where we have been lounging by the pool and drinking umbrella drinks for a couple of days.  We once again have wifi on the boat, and that is how I am able to finally update this page.  I knew it must be time to update when I got an e-mail from a reader (nice to know I have one) who was wondering what the heck had happened to us!  The last two nights have been especially fun in town; last night perhaps the best night we´ve ever had here.  We got in on the free drinks served at the luxury Grand Bay Hotel every Thursday, then went to one of our favorite restaurants (Seamaster) where we enjoyed some of the best music ever, played by several folks who happen to be friends and acquaintances of ours.  Although we´re a bit consado  (or maybe crudo) today, we´re about to head up to the pool to cool off and get ready for a good dinner at the fine restaurant at the hotel.  It´s Katherine´s last night and we need to make it especially special.

Our latest “plan” is to perhaps head down as far as Santiago Bay (Manzanillo) for a week or so, then back here, then Tenecatita for another week or two, then perhaps back up to PV shortly after Saint Patrick´s day.  After seeing the celebration they have in Melaque for San Patricio last year, we couldn´t miss it.

So, that´s about it for now, sorry no big adventures or scary stories to tell, but it´s just been a really mellow time so far. 

I think the pool is calling, gotta go.

Hasta Luego,

Mike, Barb, and newly groomed, slightly sunburned, Buddy

Link to New Pics

Going Down the Road (Feeling Bad)* 04/06/06

So at last we are going to leave our home away from home here in Barra de Navidad.  We had originally planned to be out of here mid March, but things conspired to keep us here, and here we stayed.  Remember that Jello thing?

No updates here since February didn’t mean there was a problem, just that there wasn’t too much to report.  We spent another couple of weeks anchored at Tenacatita after the last log entry, pretty uneventful but lots of fun.  Did lots of snorkeling since the water had warmed up and there were no jellies, lots of walking on the beach, and lots of reading.  Finally we felt the need to return here to wash some laundry, and our plan was to hang in the marina for a few days, then return to Tenacatita.  Well, somehow we both caught the Cold From Hell, and discovered that everybody in town had it, or had just recovered from it.  It was the dry cough that turned into a wet cough, and took a couple of weeks to kick.  So next thing we knew, we had passed the magic 11 days here at the marina, at which point the cost becomes the same as the monthly rate.  So, since we had planned to be here for Jose’s birthday (the proprietor of a favorite beach palapa restaurant in Tenacatita) on the 19th, and Piper’s birthday on the 23rd, we just said “to heck with it” and stayed here.  By then the wind had begun to really honk from the northwest, exactly the direction we needed to go, and that kept up until a few days ago.  Some of our fellow cruisers who tried to go back to PV against that wind had gear break and sails tear in 38 knot winds near Chamela, and we wanted no part of such dramatic adventure.

So, we have been here, attending going away parties for many of  our friends, and watching them fly away except for tne very few left who are leaving in a few days.  Of course there are a certain number of full time residents among our friends, but they are a minority.  Lots of snowbirds!

Anyhow, the moderate breezes seem to be hanging around, so our newest plan is to check out today, and head out early tomorrow morning, perhaps to head straight to PV.  We have to renew our FM3 resident alien status by Tuesday, or else we’ll be in deep doo-doo.  We’ll see how the weather looks once we’re out there, and maybe pull into Chamela if it blows up.  Check back in a few days and I’ll update this update to let you know how the trip went. 

update 04/16/06 Happy Easter!  We had a mellow trip up from Barra to Paradise Village where we are now.  Took it in three easy stages- Barra to Chamela, Chamela to Ipala, and Ipala to La Cruz.  Left early each day and got tucked in before the afternoon winds kicked up too much.  Been here about a week and still trying to get somebody to show up to help us with a few projects.  Busy time for workers I guess.  Looks now like we will probably just leave Arabella here, since it will probably take until the end of the month to get the things done we need.  Great to reconnect with friends here!  Added a few pics to the gallery.

 Hasta Luego,

The Arabella Crew

a few new pics

*from a Grateful Dead song...

Welcome to the Camp 5/18/06

So the vacation from the vacation has begun, and we get to spend a few months pretending to be landlubbers here in Yachats, Oregon.

Before leaving the boat in Paradise Village Marina, I finally taught myself how to make eye splices in three strand, and made all new docklines out of some spare anchor line.  We buttoned up Arabella much better than we did last year (when we thought we´d only be gone for a month or two), and hit the road around the 3rd or 4th.  It was an uneventful drive north, except we seemed to get pulled over at all the checkpoints, which we had never experienced before.  No searching, just a few questions and a cursory look here and there.  They even stopped us at the boarder for an “agricultural inspection” but again, no real searching.  We decided our demeanor must have been calm and carefree enough to squelch any real suspicion.

Once in LA, we slowed down just long enough to drop Barb off at Mom’s, and I continued north to Oxnard to get a bit of business taken care of, and then on northward.

It was great to return to the old house here in Yachats, and see good friends and familiar faces.  Of course there is still some culture shock, having just returned from Mexico, but it is starting to feel more normal here all the time.

Summer will be busy, trying to correct all the drainage problems on the property, get the new roof on, and perhaps some other major projects.  The goal will be to get this place in good shape to rent out, and find some qualified tenants to rent it for perhaps a year or more.  I´m determined to “jump the Puddle” next season, and once in the South Pacific, have a pretty good idea it won´t make sense to commute back here for the summer.  The next time we return here, I´m guessing the boat will be here too, up in Newport, after sailing back from Hawaii.  Arabella has been wanting to cruise the Northwest for a season.  She has a cabin heater after all, and it needs to be tested out!  Then maybe back south and through the canal to check out that direction.  We´ll just have to see, eh?

Barbara is flying in next week, so we’ll put some pictures up once the camera is available…



Mike and Buddy

Landlubbing in Yachats 06/10/06

So here we are, almost as white as the rest of the Oregonians, almost completely solid on our land legs, and with dirt under our fingernails most days.  Not a whole lot of progress on the house yet, but we’re poised to dig into several major projects almost any minute.  So far the major accomplishment has been getting the yard tamed somewhat, along with getting the inside of the place somewhat clean and organized.  It is a battle on both fronts, but we are winning - somewhat.

The roof is going to be done in the next couple of weeks, and that will relieve the most pressing problem the house has.  We opted to outsource that project because of the importance of getting it done right, and the fact that it’s a long way up and a pretty steep pitch.

Buck has been helping lots, and will be instrumental in all the other stuff we do, including the upcoming deck project.  He has already done the design and materials figuring, and we will order all the stuff tomorrow.

After the deck is all done, we will be tackling the installation of a downstairs bathroom, and eventually a wet bar/kitchen type deal down there.  The idea is to make the downstairs into a self-contained living space ala “Mother-in-law apartment”, but that is a ways down the road.  There is still an issue or two to deal with before we can put drywall up and hang a ceiling down there, and that may all wait to happen until next year.

Of course one of the major issues we need to address is the drainage problem on this exceedingly wet piece of land; until that is done all improvements downstairs are subject to periodic flooding.  Either a pond or some French drains will do the trick, (or maybe both.)

Finally, as much as we love the old fashioned windows, there is no way to have screens (they hinge at the top and push out at the bottom to open); so we will be replacing them with some newfangled vinyl ones that will surely save lots on the heating bill, come winter.

If all this stuff can happen before October it will be a minor miracle, but optimism is our middle name.

Paul and Paula from Luckydog will be visiting next week, which will be fun - and different to spend time with them away from the normal cruising venue.  We’re hoping Sparky might drop in this summer as well, and we are seriously considering going to Alberta in a few weeks to our friend Colorado’s big three day party celebrating his farm’s 100th year in the family.  My sweet "little girl" Lucy is visiting with her friend Dave this weekend as an early Fathers Day present, and is it ever great having the youngsters around!

Hasta Luego,

Landlubbing Arabella Crew

How’d it get to be July Already? 7/11/06 Log


While re-reading the last entry, all I could do was shrug and say “that’s the speed of life at the coast.”  It’s a little like Mexico except actually slower, if you’re wondering about a comparison.  Things happen eventually, though, and it looks like several things might happen this week all at once.  But then again, maybe not.  We’ll see.

So far the big accomplishment is the two new (replacement) windows installed on the north side, and the guys are coming to dig the pond starting Thursday for sure.  The roof work was to start this week as well, but we haven’t heard from the guy who was going to do it.  Also, we are actually going to order the materials for the deck tomorrow- that was postponed due to other work projects that needing finishing up.

The big goal is to get finished with as much as we can before August, when the little blond kids that call Barb “Grandma” show up for a visit.  If all goes well, we should be done with almost everything we’re starting now.  Yeah right!

Anyway, not much else to report.  Barb and I have begun a rudimentary exercise regimen involving taking Buddy for sunset walks, but everything we do around here involves a certain amount of exercise.  We live on the second floor, for one thing! 

We got in lots of walking while attending the Oregon Country Fair last weekend.  It was the usual dusty, expensive, semi-overdose of oddly half-dressed, painted, masked, and mostly naked hippies enjoying fantastic music and beautiful crafts and food in the woods, (etc) experience, but once again we had a fantastic (if somewhat wearying) time there.  Once again we enjoyed the fabulous hospitality of Paul Darling at his ever-improving Shady Rest Campground.  It is located almost directly across the road from the Fair entrance, and provides a safe, calm respite from the frenetic energy- meant in the nicest way- inside the fair.  I used to “sleep” inside the fair when I ran a booth there, and it wasn’t easy…

We had a little Solstice party that happened to coincide with Barb’s birthday on the 24th of June, and the “lawn” was almost all mowed!  There were some grilled hotdogs and salads, a little session around the fire-pit, and we grooved on a few tunes provided by some members of the local band, including Buck.

Stay tuned for the next update, and find out if any of our projects actually happened!


Mike and the crew.

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future 08/15/06

 The Webcaptain has been either lazy or way too busy to provide new material, especially photographs, here in a very timely fashion, and I guess  I’ll leave it for you, my good reader, to judge which motivation it was.  Please read about what has happened in the last month or so, though, and you can check out actual pictures this time.  See pic links at the bottom.

The Pond:

No one could have ever prepared me for the pure mind-bogglement of having a beautiful small body of water materialize in the back yard.  Watching this thing progress was an exercise of blind faith, since there was never a plan on paper or artist’s rendering/sketch/doodle to look at beforehand.  Robert Hollen, the maestro we hired to do this bit of “hardscaping”, just worked from what he described as his “vishe”, and the result- I’m sure you’ll agree- is breathtaking.  What had been a swampy bog so mushy it couldn’t be mowed, became a tranquil pool with happy koi swimming around in it.  There are pics of the process on the pic page.  Turns out the spring that was causing the swamp was producing in the neighborhood of 800 gallons a day, and that water now serves to keep the pond water nice and fresh.  The overflow goes down a drain and out to the ditch by the road, and we hope this works well in the winter when the volume increases…

Anyway, I can feel a whole “pond” story will be written one of these days, so I won’t try to do it here, but rather move on to-


The Deck:

This was one change I was pretty prepared for, since its future existence was implicit in my buying decision.  I had my own “vishe” (kind of rhymes with “wizz”) of this house, and the deck was an integral part of it.  I saw it wrap around the front of the house, with a slider out from the living room, and a regular door out from the kitchen, and by golly, there it all is now, thanks to a certain Mark (Buck) Dortch.  The deck just needs it’s railings and they’re being made as this is written.  Buck has been slaving on them all day, and we’ll install them tomorrow.  By the way, that good friend and trusted craftsman has performed miracles of carpentry excellence in building the entire deck, and it really is a masterpiece he can be proud of.  There will be better pics next time, but you can get the idea I'm sure from these.

Being able to stroll out in the morning with a cup of coffee and watch the weather and the surf out front…priceless.

So that brings us to-

The Roof:

This has not been a happy process for us.  Now that it is almost finished, we can almost try to find some humor in the whole thing, but not quite.  I’m not going to elevate my blood pressure or cause a bunch of toxins to be released into my bloodstream by recounting the bloody affair play by play, but suffice it to say a four, maybe 5 day job took over a month and involved periods of exposed house with nothing where the roof was supposed to be.  That was a big no-no we were promised would not occur.  The reason we picked a local habitué of the local saloon for this job was the lack of “reputable roofers” in this area, and their backlogs, mixed with their obvious “take it or leave it” attitude.

Anyway, it’s done, almost, and probably won’t leak.  That’s all I got to say about that…

On a much happier note, we had a great visit when the two little grandkids came for a (short) week, with hikes, horseback riding, and fun tourist outings to the Sea Lion Caves and the Newport Aquarium.  We also enjoyed a quick weekend visit from Bonnie and Keith, two of our good Barra de Navidad friends from Vancouver BC.

So, I’m getting sore fingers from typing, and this will have to do for now.  Hope you enjoy the pics, have fun in the summertime, and we’ll see ya soon.


Hasta La Vista,

The Yachats Hillbillies


Pics that should have been with the last update

 Pics from this update

Fixing to Start Preparing to Plan to Get Ready to Think about Heading South- 09/19/06, (with a couple of more recent updates below)

It’s hard to imagine less than a month remains before we pack up the old Safari and point it south for another season cruising Arabella.  The Summer ends Saturday with the fall equinox, and once again we will be celebrating with friends and family here at casa Fulmor.  Sunday is Buck’s birthday, but we thought it would be kinder to everyone if we allowed for a day of rest before returning to work.

In between finishing up house projects, the webcaptain has been busily ordering boatparts online, including new solar panels, a new dinghy, books to help prepare for a South Pacific foray, and all sorts of sundry stuff.  The house and the boat are having a race to see which can empty my bank account fastest. 

We had a small scare when Hurricane John seemed to be bearing down on Paradise Village Marina (where Arabella is lying), and decided it might be a good time to fly down and install the new porthole in the aft cabin, as well as rebuild the old Groco EB head in the aft cabin with a new shaft, to see if that might fix it for once and all.  I have rebuilt that beast so many times I can almost do it in my sleep, but it isn’t enough fun to make me want to continue the pursuit as a hobby.

Anyway, the hurricane was a non-event, but it was fun to see Jan and other old friends and hang out on the boat for a few days.  Dick Markie and the fine marina staff had already moved Arabella back to a safer place in the back when I arrived, away from the worst of the wind and surge had it materialized.

So it looks like Buck will be holding down the fort here in Yachats, and we are confident he’ll be around for awhile since he has moved his Harley down and his real estate license, and will be beginning a new position with the Coldwell Banker office in Waldport.  That is a good thing since we may not be returning here before November 2007 or maybe August 2008.  Despite the fact that ladysailor has declined to participate in ocean crossings with me, the Call of the Islands is too strong to ignore, and the time just seems right, right now.  She’ll meet me in Tahiti and cruise for a few months, though.  It will not be a fun trip coming home from New Zealand or Australia, I know, but the boat can take it if I can!  Who knows, maybe we’ll just take her home the long way around…and I’ll finally get to see the Caribbean.  After that, we may take a year off cruising, or turn around and head south to Mexico again, we’ll see.

So the next update may be from Puerto Vallarta I guess.  We'll start driving south on the 16th of October, and be back in Vallarta by November 1 or so.  I'll be scrambling to install the used Hydrovane self-steering unit, hang the new solar panels, put three new cabin fans in, get the new VHF antenna up the mast, hook up the pactor modem, change oil in engine and tranny, get the dodger zippers replaced, etc etc etc.  You know, in other words, lie around and get a tan by the pool.  Some new pics are up, and we hope this finds everyone well and happy.

Fair Winds,

Mike, Barb, and Buddy

Some newer house pics, almost "after shots"

Things Change, Things Remain the Same   10/23/06

Here you find us in Oxnard, CA, actually in the area residents would call Channel Islands Harbor, and it almost feels like we never left.

After tearful goodbyes, we actually left Yachats pretty close to when we had planned, only a day and a half late… pretty good we thought.  Made it all the way to Grants Pass, OR, after a 3 PM departure- pretty good time- and onwards to Tahoe the next day in time for a 6:00 turkey dinner with our dear friends Jale and Dane, I mean Dale and Jane, in their delightful tree-house like abode.  A nice couple of days there, and we had become mellowed out enough to contemplate further southing, so we left about 11 AM and took a most scenic route along Hwy 89 to 88, over the passes, and down to meet I-5 south of Stockton, thus avoiding lots of Sacramento and Stockton Friday afternoon traffic.  Almost no traffic the whole way- please don’t tell anyone about it.

We had a dream of landing in Pismo, at my favorite beachfront motel, the Sea Gypsy, but as it was Friday we realistically held little hope for success with no reservation.  Turned out they had a “smoking allowed” studio available for two nights…can you say “wine tasting”?  The Paso Robles area just to the north has become a premiere Zinfandel and Syrah producer, and many fine wineries are there, welcoming visitors.  A few duds, too, of course, but not many. ;0)

So tomorrow we will face the concrete jungle of Smell-A, do our best to find our way to sheltered coves amidst the tumultuous sea of humanity there, and after a family party at Barb’s Mom’s (one of those great coves) on Sunday , we will be the gringos driving full speed for Nogales.

Arabella is calling us!


Mike, Barb, and Buddster


10/30/06   Latest, Last, and Final update of the 2005-2006 season

We're somewhere south of Phoenix, north of Tucson, at a place called Best Western Casa Grande.  This will be our last night of enjoying English speaking TV, etc. etc. but we can't wait to get back to our adopted second homeland, and the people we love there.  And of course our dear Arabella, who, Jan has informed me, still floats happily in her slip.   The next log will be the first entry in the soon-to-be exciting (if all goes as planned) 2006-2007 season.  I'll try to make weekly entries, whether they get "published" here right away or not.

Adios, Ciao, and viva Mexico,

M, B, and B



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