Mexico 2007 / 2008  
Home PageAbout The Liberty Mexico 2006ServicesNav55.pngMexico 2006Road Trip SouthMexico To Samoa 2008
Double click to select image. 


 There will not be another web page update for another month as we cross the Pacific from Mexico to the Marqueses. It should be around a 25 day passage. You can track our positions daily at . When we get back to land of internet connections I am sure that we will have a lot to say and pictures to post. The liberty is stocked to her gills and we are more than ready. There are 35 other boats leaving the Mexico area and 17 from here in the Puerto Vallarta area. We have started a morning and night radio net to stay in touch with each other and offer support. We all have had a wonderful time getting to know each other and look forward to sharing an anchorage in the South Pacific Islands.  



It has been two and a half months since the last update, finding WIFI in Mexico has changed. Last year we were finding a WIFI signal most anywhere we set anchor. This year we even have a better WIFI antenna that really pulls the signal in, up to two miles is not uncommon with our 8db EnGenius 18 inch antenna. What has changed to our disadvantage is that the resort hotels that put the signal out for their patrons have locked them out not only for their own patrons, but for others around the area, hence us cruisers. They all require a fee for usage that ranges from a couple of dollars a day to ten dollars for three hours. Once in a while we may find a signal from a small hotel or even a private residence or restaurant, but that even has been rare this year. I must admit that it is a bitter sweet thing though, having the internet capability on board is a distraction to just enjoying the simple things in life, playing cards, reading, visiting, and even being buffered from the news in the States, and of course the ever important US Presidential election race, (ya, right).

 The sail down to Barra Navidad was a decent ride with being able to have enough wind to at least enjoy some nice motorless quiet sailing. We enjoyed the buddy boating along with our friends Mike and Liz on the Arganaut as we headed South. This past two months have been almost identical as the same two months last year. Christmas in Barra, then South to Las Hadas, Manzanillo, and then back up to Puerto Vallarta. The few changes that did happen is that we saw a lot more whales and turtles this year, the dolphin population is still about the same. Not hardly a day went by without being given a show by sea mammal friends, dolphins were always present leading us into and out of bays for anchorage. They seem to follow their omen, dolphins are a sign of safety, they just always make you smile. The whales this year are in great numbers and just about every sighting included a baby whale at a mothers side. We enjoyed many nights and mornings hearing the two distinct sounds of two whales, one higher pitched than the other, always leading us to believe that it was a mother and her calf. There was so many times that we had whales come close by and seemingly checking us out. They seem to enjoy the same traits as the dolphins and love to put on a show if they know they have an audience. Christmas was spent with friends and a potluck turkey dinner at the same hotel pool as last year in Barra Navidad. We spent New Years Eve on the Liberty with our friends Mike and Liz and had another man Jim join us for bar-b-qued dorado fish. Jim shared his many stories of his circumnavigation from years past. He is now on his way from Canada to England through the Panama Canal. Jim is in his late sixties and after all these years he is headed back home to England for good, as that has always been his home land. We were also blessed with meeting up with Melinda and John from Spokane. Melinda we got to know as our Realtor/broker that sold our house. She coincedently owns a condo in Barra also. We took them out for a little sail lunch one afternoon and they invited us over to their condo for a "condo warming lunch party" We had a great day with them and just love their condo right on the beach, what a treat that was. There is however one large difference this year and that would be the lack of other kids on boats. Last year there were nearly fifteen cruising kids from other boats for Christmas, this year, two, Joel and Kyle. Of the few kids we did come across on other boats they were very young and in the 4 to 9 year old range.

   We had the pleasure of enjoying the company of our good friends Brad and Josie Ehrlich from Northern Idaho come and stay with us for two weeks in January. Back when we kept a sailboat in the Seattle area they would join us for two weeks most every year and we would explore the beautiful Puget Sound and up into Canadian waters. They are a lot of fun and make their selves right at home on the water. We spent two weeks enjoying fishing, sailing, sight seeing and relaxing. We even spent the last three days with them in one of the most beautiful resorts and marinas in Mexico, The Grand Bay, what a treat that was. The pictures below will show the fun. After enjoying Brad and Josie's company it was time for us to sail the 130 miles back North to Puerto Vallarta to start getting ready for the trip to the South Pacific, known between us cruisers as the Pacific Puddle Jump. We are now about two weeks from this grand adventure. Boat projects have been adding a new 7.5 amp solar panel, replace raw water pumps for both the main motor and generator, tuning up the tension on all the standing rigging, cleaning sails, and just checking out everything. Once we cast our dock lines we are on our own and must be self-sufficient. There are 35 other boats doing the PPJ (Pacific Puddle Jump) this year, of them 15 are leaving from here at Puerto Vallarta. The others are spread through out Baja, Panama, Mazatlan, etc. Every week there has been a meeting with guest speakers. The subjects have been, provisioning, engine repair/maintenance, radio, weather and just some good old friendly visiting. One noteworthy item was that Joel and Kyle started studying for the ham radio exam a few weeks ago, and then with just 3 days to go before the test, Yvette decided to study too. Kyle decided that the he wanted to try his luck at both the Technician and General exam. The exam was held at the Yacht Club Paradise and there were the required three FCC designated examiners there. Two of the three were our good friends Bill and Mary from the sailing vessel Raptor Dance. The FCC tests for both the Technician and General class are not easy. The tests go into electrical theory, transmission/propagation fundamentals and the Federal governing rules. Unbelievably all tests were passed, we are now a boat full of "ham"sters. Carl was fourteen when he got his first ham license, but now Kyle has even surpassed that by getting both technician and general at thirteen years old, what an accomplishment. Joel and Yvette are going to take their time and study for their General exam in a year or so. Joel and Yvette both scored very highly on their exams and didn't want to confuse the issue and try for both classes.

    We did take a break from the boat projects to join our friends on a Saturday night out and take in some Mexican culture. Well, maybe that would be debatable, but anyway Bill and Mary wanted us to join them with seeing a Luche Libre (Mexican WWF, you know, wrestling). We all did have a good time, it was as fake as you can imagine, but the gymnastics were fun, and the crowd was just as much fun to watch. Like the bull fights, we are glad we took this in, but probably will not make a habit of it. I will say that it is different than the States, they add some humor to it all and maintain respect for each other even while trying to seemingly twist each others legs off or throwing one another out of the ring.

    This week is Bandaras Bay Regatta, sail week here in Puerto Vallarta. The 25th annual race from San Diego to here was won by an incredibly sleek racing sailboat. They reported speeds up to 25 knots was experienced, that's pretty darn fast for a sailboat, we are always happy when we hit 6 knots. The crew of 12 beat the record by four hours as they had great winds all the way. We were invited to join in with the festivities Parade on a lovely 46 foot sailboat the "Chere" Our good friends we met in 2006 in Santa Barbara from Spokane, WA. The parade was a blast and in the Mardi Gras theme. We took the first place ribbon, what a great job they did on decorating and dance rehearsals we all had a blast. Check out the pictures!!

christmas12.25.07 005.pngImg125.pngImg128.pngchristmas12.25.07 015.png

          Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree           Christmas Potluck, great vittles                               Joel with Liz from the Arganaut                     The best, Mike and Julie from    "SLACKER"

christmas12.25.07 024.pngjanuary2008 005.pngjanuary2008 004.pngjanuary2008 012.png

   What did Yvette find in there? I want some!                                       Melinda and John right at home sailing or flying !!                                              The view from Melinda's Condo

january2008 022.pngjanuary2008 026.pngjanuary2008 042.pngfeb3rd2008 020.png

Jim and Mike on New Years Eve                           Boys being boys on a hot day                                           A few thousand tons on the fin            Our Colima Tour Guide Memo, what a happy guy

feb3rd2008 0291.pngfeb3rd2008 042.pngfeb3rd2008 036.pngfeb3rd2008 048.png

      We get to eat tonight !!                                 Brad and Josie at little Italian Restaurant              Josie and Carl enjoying some sun                         Italian food done right, standing ovation!!

feb3rd2008 0651.pngfeb3rd2008 083.pngfeb3rd2008 087.png

               Yvette and Josie on the Viranda of the Grand Bay Resort             View of the Marina along with Barra Lagoon anchorage in the foreground      One of the pools

feb3rd2008 097.pngfeb3rd2008 099.pngfeb3rd2008 1001.png

    The Liberty alongside the Raptor Dance               One of the many "Boeing Boats"                               Other boating dogs love to take our boys for a walk

joel_jan_2008 011.pngjoel_jan_2008 009.pngjoel_jan_2008 015.png

      They love to be around us!!                                    Grab your "floatie" and join the raft up                 Another lovely day comes to an end

march108 0041.pngmarch108 0061.pngmarch108 015.png

         Is that the Black Pearl????                                                   Joel and Kyle making their wooden boats                          Mary's birthday dinner,  WOW!! it's a Luche Libre playset

march108 0201.pngmarch108 031.pngmarch108 0331.png

                     What can we say, Luche Libre at it's finest                                                                                                     It's parade time on Chere with our fellow Spokanites Charlie and Cathy

march108 039.pngmarch108 041.pngmarch108 042.png

        The Mardi Gra meets King Neptune and his studies                          A good time for all                                                                The boys brought up the serpents tail

march108 045.pngmarch108 046.png2008-02-11_8087_whaleand_tif.png

      And how did Yvette get those beads we ask???                            We even had a Mermaid on the mast                                   We want to think they are playing ?

12/20/07 Merry Christmas!! We left Mazatlan and headed South about two weeks ago. It was really nice to throw the dock lines off and get underway. It was a 130 mile run to San Blas, Mexico, and the sailing was spectacular. The night run was a moonless sky filled with millions of stars. It always amazes me on just how bright things are with just stars in the sky. You can see the horizon and even make out shadows in the water. The glowing translucent ocean water splashing around Liberty's hull and behind in the wake is just a delight to see. At one point on my watch around midnight a few dolphins came along side, you can always tell by their distinct squeaky "blow" and the size of their translucent glow they make in the water. On Yvette's watch from midnight to 0400 there was a bunch of small fishing boats out fishing that we had to dodge. We find it hard to believe that they would be out in their small pangas nearly 30 miles offshore. They keep a propane tank light glowing so you can see them. They do not show up on radar very well, I would guess that every so often one gets ran over by the large boats transiting the coastline. We had an oil tanker and two cruise ships pass us up that night. There are local stories about these fisherman just coming up missing, they are poor fisherman and do not have any safety items onboard, no radio, GPS, life jackets, what a hard life. The next day was filled with watching whales breeching, and tons of bow riding dolphins. We came upon an area that was just full of jumping rays. They where brown and measured about two feet wide. They were jumping nearly 6 feet out of the water and came down with a slapping sound we could hear from quite a distance. At one point we saw about a hundred of them pass us by about two feet under water, that was absolutely beautiful. Once we set anchor in San Blas we just relaxed, had dinner and went to bed early for a good nights sleep. The next morning was a dingy ride to shore and check out the little city. San Blas is where Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote one one of his last poems. The city is small and very quaint. We sat at a local sidewalk restaurant and watched the people go by. Mostly we enjoyed how just about everyone rode bicycles, even smartly dressed ladies. There was not any sense of "who has the fanciest clothes, bike or possessions", just a lot of very happy people living in complete harmony. The food was great, and with full bellies and $11.00 later we caught a taxi back to our dingy at the beach in the bay. On the way we stopped and saw large lobsters for sale on a grill for $6.00 each, and then a lot of side road stands selling fruit bread. We couldn't make up our minds so we bought a loaf each of banana-nut, yuka, pineapple and coconut bread. The boys went crazy over these breads, and at our dismay it was all gone in a few days. These loafs were large loafs too! The banana nut bread was so much like Grandma Nichols we all agreed, it was really a good treat. It is so nice to see the kids get so happy over such simple things. After the taxi dropped us off and we were walking the next few blocks to our dingy the road crossed a swampy pond, and there it was was, a large crocodile. We watched him for a while, and then he just slid into the murky water. We saw two of them that day. We went back to the boat and enjoyed a nice swim and showers, no, crocs don't go out into the open sea water around here. We enjoyed San Blas for a few days and then headed down 35 miles to Chacala. Chacala is a small bay with just marginal protection from the swell, we had to place a bow and stern anchor out to keep us pointed into the swell to minimize the side to side rocking. We checked in with the local Port Captain and took the whole twenty minutes to explore the little beach area. There is only a couple of very small stores and a few beach palapa restaurants here. We did come upon a little sign on the gate of a house that read that they serve dinners for guests on Thursday nights for only $5.00 per person, but you had to sign up for it. As it was only Tuesday and we knew we would be leaving in a day we were dissapointed. Then Isabel came out and I asked her why it is only Thursday, and with a very giving smile she said that this evening wouldn't be any problem at all if we liked chicken enchaladas. She was so nice and sweet, and of course we took her up on her offer. That evening we put on nice shirts and went to her house for dinner. The boys were entertained by her talking parrot as we waited. When Isabel came out with our dinner we knew we were in for a treat. The food was wonderful, and we all loved the drinks she made us out of flowers called Jamica. It was just like a cold tropical punch that even had a grape juice flavor to it. We all agreed that was a real treat to be able to enjoy such a nice dinner in her lovely little home. We left for Puerto Vallata two days later, knowing that it will be a rolly day as we had a nice swell coming from the West and we were headed South. There was not hardly any wind to keep the sails full and cushion the roll. The swell was around 5 or 6 feet and close together at 6 seconds. We plodded South motor/sailed and just rolled with the punches. Once we got close to the point where we could make a turn with the swell and enter the huge Banderas Bay of Puerto Vallarta the wind finally piped up to 22 knots and we skated around the corner at nearly 7 knots. The swell was nonexistent in the big bay and things smoothed out just fine. We got a slip in Marina Vallarta and gave the poor Liberty a good wash down. We have now been here in PV for a week and have enjoyed meeting up with old friends and doing some Christmas shopping. The stores here are just packed with people and it doesn't take long before you are just ready to get back to the boat and unwind. PV is such a fast pace area, nothing like Mazatlan. We met up with a couple and their 15 year old daughter that we have known now for nearly four years. Both Rod and Charlotte were school teachers in Canada about 400 miles north of Vancouver in a one room school house. They have opted to stay here in PV for two years and teach at a local private school. Their daughter Carrie and son Morgan their 17 year old son are enjoying the school and lifestyle here. We went to their Christmas pageant this evening and loved it. It was held outside on a large stage. The pageant was mostly in English, complete with singing, music, dancing and even fireworks. It started at 7pm and ended at 9pm, and all of this outside with the temps in the 70's. Afterwards there was of course food, tamales, tacos, tortas and all the usual stuff. But the kicker was when they came out with Crispy Cream donuts. Come to find out a crispy cream store is in PV that we didn't know about, what a shock. That about sums up PV, Walmart, Sam's Club, Home Depot, Costco, Office Depot, and now even a Crispy Cream, what a shame. However when it comes to good old tradesmen skills there's still some bargains to be had in PV. We needed a new stainless steel anchor chain deck fitting made,so Kyle and I walked to a machine shop and explained what we needed. They told us to come back tomorrow morning and it will be ready. When we went to pick it up we were very impressed with their welding skills, they even polished the unit to a mirror finish, and it was just perfect. All of this and they only charged $12.00, in the States after a week of waiting it would have been an easy $60.00. Tomorrow (Thursday) will be filled with last minute shopping, and then at 5pm we will cast our lines to head even further South to get to Barra Navidad by Christmas in 5 days. We enjoyed Barra so much last year we want to be there again this year. The sail tomorrow evening will be with light winds, small following seas and a 3/4 moon, plus our friends Mike and Liz on the Argonuat will be buddy boating South with us. It should be a nice night sail and dropping the anchor around 3pm on Friday.

12.15.07pv 0031.png12.15.07pv 005.png12.15.07pv 006.png

Fresh fruit breads, a big hit with the boys                                               San Blas "Centro" Christmas Tree                          Fresh Churros

12.15.07pv 009.png12.15.07pv 011.png12.15.07pv 019.png

            Local San Blas Resident                                                Real Enchiladas de pollo, yummy                                             Pretty girl with local art

12.15.07pv 023.png12.19.07pv 003.pngImg121.pngwindlasssshole 001.png

          Our Little Christmas Tree                            Bill and Mary on the boys flight simulator                  Local PV school Christmas Pageant


Happy Thanksgiving!!  We have now been here in Mazatlan for a month, it feels good to be back with our cruising friends. The past few months our timing of leaving Spokane, WA and heading South was timed perfectly with summer changing to a cooling fall season. We were chased out of Yellowstone by the threat of snow fall, and it seems like we just rode a nice waining heat wave all the way down. When we got here in Mazatlan it was really hot and humid, and now 4 weeks later, it has become very pleasant, upper 80's by day and 60's by night. It's 7am during this writing and the outside temp is 67 and the cabin temp is 73, the air is dry, and the sun is beginning to rise. Let's go back to four weeks ago to bring you up to speed of our last months travel. We went to cross the Juarez/El Paso border on the 16th of October. All was fine, we were 20 yards from the border and a Mexican civilian and a uniformed border guard came running towards us with their hands flying in the air. They explained to us that we are too heavy for the big bridge to cross here. This was just way to fishy for me to fathom, I knew something was wrong. Their English was poor, but I knew better than to argue with this gun totting uniformed guard, especially while others were standing by watching. This is the busiest American border, why would our smaller 28 foot motorhome be too heavy for that huge bridge in view on the Mexican side I kept asking myself. The civilian kept telling us that we will have to turn around and Pancho Villa,(the guard) just nodded his head. I am thinking I am on a six lane one way road, with traffic piling up behind us, and we have to turn around with no area in sight to do so, this is going to be a challenge. The Mexican guy said, follow me I'll help you get across to the six lanes of stopped traffic waiting to cross into America. Sure enough, he stopped traffic a lane at a time as we cut across nearly ten lanes of honking traffic. Once he got us positioned in the far right motorhome/bus lane for the traffic waiting to cross the US border he came to us with his hand out. I gave the guy $5.00, that didn't go over well, he wanted $20. This is when we knew we had been taken, I told him in Spanish that what he is doing is very bad and for the good name Mexico has outside of the border areas, it didn't phase him, I gave Mr. Villa the twenty green backs, and we sat their enduring the glares from all the other traffic we had cut in front of. Looking back we saw Pancho splitting his plunder with the other uniformed guards, their warm smiles of happiness was such a Kodak moment. The fun began when we got to the American border and they asked how long we were in Mexico and I said, "we never made it." After explaining what just transpired the past hour they just shook their heads and replied, "they think of something new everyday, go ahead." We then went East fourteen miles on I-10 and went across a smaller border and passed through as smooth as milk through a funnel. Juarez is much like Tijuana, but triple the crime and size and you'll have a good mental picture of it's beauty. We wasted no time and distanced ourselves from the border areas that day. After three days we were ready to make the 250 mile turn to the West to Mazatlan. This road was beyond words, even though it's name is "El Camino De Diablo" (The highway of the Devil). The 250 miles took us 10 hours, up and over the Sierra Madres Occidental. It is a major trucking two lane road, even though it is only slightly wider than a two lane sidewalk and averages fifteen 170 degree hairpin switchbacks per mile for 90 miles. All the beautiful shrines crowded together at each turn are lovely reminders of the cars and trucks probably still stacked on each other 3,000 feet below. It was pretty country though, the villages were quaint, and it's all very pine forested. The problem is that many places you wouldn't think of going any faster than 15mph. The big trucks have to cross into the opposing lane to get around the switchbacks. After that day we now feel we are more than ready to handle any squalls we may encounter over the next couple of years sailing, because we have after all endured the "El Camino De Diablo in a twenty year old motorhome. AHHHH, we are in Mazatlan, such a tranquil oasis it is. The past few weeks have been adding our new goodies we brought down from the states, radar, spinnaker pole with mast track, A.I.S. (auto-id-system that shows us ships in excess of 60' within 150 miles of us, a new ham radio, etc. The redundancy we have going on the Liberty now would make NASA proud. We have two ham Radios, two radar's, four computers, two depth gauges, four GPS's, three VHF's, even two fine strong boys. The Liberty did well and survived the hot summer just fine. The only casualty was the anchor windlass (winch), it died. After removing, and seeing how it allowed water to seep through the top seal, into the gear box, and then through the lower seal into a poorly designed electric motor, we came to the conclusion to replace that unit. I called the Lewmar-Simpson Rep and told him that after only 5 years a $2,400.00 windlass should last longer. I also went on let him in on a good word of advice, "go back to England and fire all your engineers and hire ones that have an education"! This Unit (Sprint 1500) is designed to fail fairly quickly after the warrentee expires. Had the user manual addressed a few areas to keep greased and sealed I could have gotten many more years of use out of it. The new one is an Ideal CWM horizontal solid bronze unit that has been in production out of Rhode Island since 1935, without any changes through the years, now that's a proven track record! I drove the Motor home back up to El Paso to sell it to a lady that we had met, she was selling her Harley to buy our lovely home we so enjoyed this past few months. I did not go back the way we came down and it went uneventful. The one thing worth mentioning was how I had to stop at three large Military inspections. Each time four or five Mexicans with large rifles completely checked everything out for drugs or contraband, they knocked on the walls looking for false compartments, crawled under everything and very professionally inspected everything. Each time took about thirty minutes. When I got to the US border, they only asked for fruits and vegetables and did take the 2 minutes to check the refrigerator for any life threatening turnips. That's Home Security at their best. I flew back to the family in Mazatlan within a couple of days, and the sell of the motorhome went well. Between all the new installations and haul-out with new bottom paint we have been enjoying the social aspect of the Marina life here. Halloween parties, "Dia De Los Muertos" (day of the dead) parade. What a culture experience that was, the Mexican love to celebrate their dead family members in remembrance. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are having a huge traditional dinner catered with a fiesta in Mexican tradition sprinkled in. There are 120 paid cruisers attending, dinner, band, dancing and maybe even fireworks. The Mexican love their fireworks, we had a nice dinner out this past Sunday evening in respect to the Mexican holiday "Revolutionary Day" All for around $6.00 each, we ate, laughed, and listened to a great band that played Santana music almost as well as OL Carlos himself, then of course fireworks. The boys are getting such a culture education, and we all have only just began. We are looking forward to the South Pacific culture experience, and that is only five months away. Yvette has been enjoying herself helping put on morning walks and water aerobics. They normally average about 25 people and all is enjoying themselves. The boys as usual are doing great with their studies and enjoying the pools daily. I have been staying busy with the non-ending maintenance of little annoying things that never seem to come to a stop no matter what you do in life.

mazatlannov07 0101.pngmazatlannov07 0121.pngmazatlannov07 0061.png

        Lovely Elvira the harbor master with Yvette                                  Fesitivites for Halloween, great pot luck, music and fun

mazatlannov07 020111.pngmazatlannov07 022.pngmazatlannov07 0321.png

          Dia De Los Muertos Town center festivities                               Happy locals  they love a camera                                                      Typical Shrine/Alter for a loved one

mazatlannov07 0381.pngmazatlannov07 0441.pngmazatlannov07 046.png

             Time for new bottom paint and a good inspection       Mike and I counseling with the wise one, OSO NEGRO (black bear) What a nice boat, sweet sailing lines above and below

mazatlannov07 062.pngmazatlannov07 068.pngmazatlannov07 070.pngmazatlannov07 054.png

    Joel and Kyle are following a Greek tradition, eyes under the water line keep the evil spirits at BAY!!                                           I am sure they must be thinking of something??

mazatlannov07 090.pngmazatlannov07 082.pngmazatlannov07 092.pngmazatlannov07 093.png

     A match made in Heaven                              Por Favor, no more stinking tacos           The new anchor windlass, YEA!!                        Even a new mast mount radar


Home Page | About Us | Contact Us | Services | Site Map | Mexico 2006 | Road Trip South | Mexico To Samoa 2008

Starfield Technologies, Inc.