Mar 10, 2013

Dinghy-Less and Radar Warranty Woes

Always listen to your heart.  It may be
 On your left, but it is always right.

We finally made the jump, sold our dinghy, and now rely solely on our kayaks to go to/from boat/land.  We used our kayaks for 4 months on a trial basis before taking the plunge. 

In that many months we managed to be dunked only a couple of times in an anchorage known for its swells and waves.  When it happened, we noticed a dinghy that also got dunked and another one deciding not to come to shore upon seeing our very wet attempts at landing. That area is much more of a surfer haven than an anchorage so it was to be somewhat expected. 

In speaking with people on another boat using exclusively kayaks, it turns out they only got wet at the same place in their many months at sea.  Now that we belong to the non-dinghy group, we started noticing just how many boats don’t have dinghies either – something we hadn’t observed before.  It is all part of our goal to leave a small footprint/wake on the planet.  We’re sure the little bit of petrol the outboard uses won’t hurt Exxon, but we sleep a little better.
We have carried everything from propane tanks to laundry and groceries as well as laptops, potluck dinners, and puppy.  We depend heavily on our dry bags to keep everything from the salty water and on tethers so we don’t lose anything in case we get dunked.   It certainly helps our upper bodies stay fit and toned, a great help when hoisting sails or anything heavy around the boat.

The few boats targeted by Mexican thieves over the last year or so we’ve been here were approached mainly because of their dinghies and outboard motors.  The lack of such items onboard Déjàlà will be less of an attraction; although we haven’t encountered such problems since we are not a large flashy vessel. 
On another note, we are still in the Puerto Vallarta area waiting for replacement parts for our radar.  It stopped working when we left Mazatlán more than two months ago.  Since it is still under warranty, we have to jump through their hoops to obtain service.  So far this has cost us many weeks of waiting, many hundreds of dollars of travel, and endless frustration at a company that doesn’t know there is a world outside the USA.  They (Lowrance/Navico) make it impossible to work with from Mexico, even though the unit says ‘Hecho en Mexico’ on the sticker!
Of course there are worse place to be stuck waiting, but we had hoped to be further south while the season is good. So much for planning – good thing we are never attached to plans.  So – while Mike is in the US dealing with the radar issue, I am busy painting the green eyebrows on Déjàlà and adding our bi-yearly two coats of varnish.  She is looking spiffy again and ready for the next six months.  It could be another 2 to 6 weeks before we get a new or refurbished unit.  Hoping it will be sooner than later.

Anyway – all this to explain why we haven’t had much to add to our traveling blog lately – we just haven’t done much traveling.  We’ve been taking yoga classes, catching up on computer updates, and meeting with friends over dinners.  We have been able to do a bit more in-depth exploring of Banderas Bay, and practice our surf landings in the kayaks.  Our ‘learning Spanish’ goal is actively being pursued with the aid of Rosetta Stone.  So far, Marie can actually speak sentences; Mike has mastered Hola and Adios, and can count to cinco.  (Oh yeah, and ‘?Donde son los baños?)
UPDATE:  It has been 3 months and our 'new' radar will arrive in Arizona next week so Mike is heading up that way to pick it up.  We, hopefully, will be leaving Banderas Bay near the end of March for new adventures. 

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