Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Marina La Cruz 12.17.08

We upped anchor on Monday and went into the marina. The marina is called Marina Riviera Nayarit at La Cruz and is beautiful. Check out the website here… The marina has 351 slips available and I’d bet there are only 90 slips full. It’s a nice, new marina and the best thing…it has power! Haha… Our batteries were mostly to the point we couldn’t go past so we came into the marina and plugged in. We contacted two maintenance men who are supposed to have a good knowledge about generators and hope they can fix it!

Until then, we went into Puerta Vallarta with Lady Hawke & Pacific Jade. Mike & Marylyn went in search of batteries and Joe & Deborah went in search of a solar regulator as they are having issues with their solar panels. We went in search of a generator mechanic that knows electrical. There is a magazine that is published here called “Vallarta Nautica” that has a large section on local businesses that can help cruisers. Under the battery section, there were several so we just started down the list. Michael found the guy we were looking for 1st thing and we made an appointment for 3pm. So we joined Mike & Marylyn on their quest for batteries. We walked to a place called Zaragoza’s, which is like a West Marine – a large marine store. There were batteries in the back and Mike & Michael tried to find the specific ones they needed. Marylyn & I walked around the store, looking at the goodies. We meandered back and found that Zaragoza’s did not have the batteries we needed, we were looking for 6 volt deep cycle batteries, and Mike asked the guy at the counter to call the next place on the list. Sure enough, the next place had them and the Zaragoza guy could arrange for them to be delivered for $2100 pesos each. Mike had a funny feeling that the Zaragoza guy was tacking on a percentage and asked me if I could make a phone call to the battery place and ask the price before he agreed to get them through Zaragoza’s. We went outside and started to walk down the street, attempting to get the cell phone to call the place. Mike & Marylyn have a U.S. cell phone which is very weird to use and we were having issues with the area code. We stopped at an OXXO, which a convenience store like a 7-Eleven. I was thirsty so I went inside to get a water while they were messing with the cell phone and pay phone. I went to check out and got behind a man who was taking a little longer than usual because he was adding minutes to his cell phones, all 3 of them, and he apologized for taking so long. I chatted with him for a while and when I had paid, went back outside to see how it was going. Still no good, there was something we were doing wrong! I figured I’d go in & ask the man what the area code was and during the conversation, he volunteered to make the phone call for us on his cell. What a deal! He called up and we played hot potato with the phone – first he told the guy I was going to ask him questions, I asked & answered his questions and the he asked if he could speak to the guy again! Turns out, the batteries were only $1500 pesos each direct through the company and our hero from the convenience store even had them come to deliver/pick us up right at the store! We thanked him vehemently and bought him a beer and gave him $5 for his cell phone use. We waited about 20 minutes and lo and behold…a little blue beat up pickup truck pulled into the lot with two smiling young guys with our batteries!! We asked them a million questions and eventually, Mike & Michael got into the pickup truck to be taken back to the company where he could pay for them, then they drove them all the way from PV to La Cruz, which is about a 20 minute drive. If that wasn’t enough, when they got to the boat, the two guys removed the old batteries from the boat which is NOT an easy chore! The old 8D batteries are like 200lbs and are stuffed into compartments that a midget couldn’t fit into. When the first battery was removed, one of the guys cursed long enough to make a sailor blush about those @#&$ batteries. Then they lugged them back up to the truck & were away! Now that’s what we call a true Mexican adventure. We could have been screwed by the guy at Zaragoza’s but ended up winning big time on the batteries.

Once Mike & Michael jumped into the pickup truck, Marylyn & I went….shopping! haha… We stopped for a fantastic lunch – a chicken parmesan sandwich on a wonderful foccacia bread (we even purchased a couple pieces of foccacia bread to eat later!) and then went shopping. We ended up at the tequila factory where we each purchased 3 bottles of tequila for Christmas! Haha.. We jumped back on the bus and was back at the marina by about 5pm. Mike & Michael had the new batteries wired in & were sitting back with beers in hand. Deborah & Joe from Pacific Jade came by & we all chatted & enjoyed the evening. Our generator guy didn’t show, bummer. We called and he rescheduled for Tuesday. Back at the boat for chicken tacos & watch Mama Mia.

Tuesday was boat chore, e-mail, phone calls, etc. day. That evening we went in to town & had dinner at Brittanica, a local pub that hosts a ‘jam session’ where musicians of every talent get together & perform. It’s totally random, some rock music, some folk, some country, etc. Dinner was bbq’d ribs with Spanish rice & coleslaw. The music was good, OK, fantastic, & phenomenol. I wonder if it had anything to do with the margaritas we were drinking, haha… It started out with a local guy singing with 2-3 cruiser guitar players, then another guy got up & sang some folk songs, then two guys from New Caledonia got up and rocked the joint & finally the local guy finished out the evening. The guys from New Caledonia were wonderful – one was a guitar/singer and the other played the harmonica & sang. All the while they had a bass guitar, lead guitar, drummer, & even a guy playing the spoons who accompanied them. This was probably the best harmonica player I’ve ever seen. I sat & chatted with them after they played and they are here for only 2 months. They began their ‘tour’ in L.A., then Tijuana, Mazatlan, here, & they are continuing to go South and play where they can, paid or not, until their 2 months are up. They will be in Zihuatenejo in a week and we’re bummed we will miss them! Oh, our generator guy still didn’t show up today. I guess he’s not coming…

So it’s Wednesday now and we’re still doing boat chores & internetting, & getting caught up. We had a new generator guy come by today named “Tea pot Tony”. Uh huh…just what I was thinking. He worked with Michael for about an hour and left scratching his head. We couldn’t reproduce the issue (of course! It’s like taking your car to the mechanic!) and he wanted to run the problem by one of his electrical gurus and will return on Friday. We’re going to run on battery power only, just like we had, and hopefully reproduce the problem tomorrow. It’s a nice hot day and we’ve spent the day on boat chores & lounging. Tonight we are supposed to do a dinghy raft-up with Pacific Jade & Grey Max but we’ll see if that actually happens! We’d like to get out of the marina again and hopefully something will get figured out soon!

More to follow…Rene


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