Posted by: Sailing Camelot | January 13, 2012

Dec 23rd to Jan 13th – Life in La Cruz

It doesn’t take long for us to fall back into the relaxed rhythm of Life in La Cruz. Well, we make it a point of it being a relaxed rhythm. There’s so much to do if so inclined, you could keep yourself busy every waking hour of every day!

This time our stay here is geared towards getting Camelot hauled out for regular maintenance. There’s a myriad of little projects to tackle before she gets in the shipyard, so every day is spent in equal amounts of work and rest. The fun and games will have to wait until we’re caught up!

This doesn’t prevent us from enjoying the Christmas Potluck Dinner held on the dock on Christmas Eve. Well, Tom was able to fully attend, while I –plagued with yet another cold- observed the scene from Camelot’s cockpit, waving at the crowd like the Queen of England and keeping my germs to myself…

Christmas Eve's Potluck Dinner on the dock

The Soul of the Party

As soon as I recover from my cold, it’s Tom’s turn. We share everything, germs included. A few days of miserable hacking and coughing go by. Then on January 6th we get an invitation to go sailing on a neighbors’ 63-foot Catamaran called Profligate. The owners of the catamaran, Richard and Dona, are the publishers of a popular marine periodical called Latitude 38. Everyone in the marine industry or even with just a faint marine interest knows this publication, so we kind of feel flattered to be sailing with celebrities! 

Our host Richard and a bunch of happy people

There’s a fun group of people making up the crew for this day of sailing. Some we know, some we don’t. We leave the docks with the intention of sailing up and down Banderas Bay, zooming by Puerto Vallarta.

Before we can even raise our sails, however, Richard spots a sailboat in distress: it looks firmly aground on a neighboring beach. We divert our course to go offer assistance, but there’s already a Mexican Coast Guard vessel standing by and four pangas already tied up to the sailboat, trying to pry it off the beach. 

Mexican Coat Guard at the scene

Richard – a reporter first and foremost – stands by, trying to get more information on what’s going on.

In the meantime, I’m taking a lot of pictures. And let me brag here for a second… Two of my pictures end up being published, supporting an article about this misadventure on the following Wednesday’s edition of ‘Lectronic Latitude! 

Sparviero, the unfortunate sailboat in trouble

Pangas to the rescue!

Finally the unfortunate sailboat, named Sparviero, is freed from the sands ‘clutches and happily floats away, apparently unscathed. With cheers of joy we resume our day-sail and spend a good few hours enjoying Banderas Bay and the excellent performances of Profligate’ flying her colorful spinnaker. 

Tom raising the gigantic spinnaker on Profligate

Tom at the helm on Profligate

Profligate's enourmous and colorful Spinnaker

Yes, I was there, too...

It’s now January 10th.     The day has come for Camelot  to go to the beauty Parlor (also known as La Cruz Shipyard).

Both Tom and I are a little unnerved. It’s never easy to see your floating home lifted out of the water and toted around… 

Driving into the shipyard's dock

All strapped up and ready to go

Lifting her out! This is the worst moment for me...

From the water to the yard. I'm still biting my nails...

But the guys at the shipyard are true professionals. Effortlessly and with quiet efficiency they haul Camelot out in what seems to me record time and proceed to give her bottom a thorough bath. 

Tickling her belly! A much needed bath

Left hung to dry off

After closely observing the action for a long while, Tom and I leave the shipyard to go move into our temporary home.

We rented a Casita, located just a few steps up the hill from the yard.

La Casita!

We barely set down our bags in our new home, when looking across the garden we see Camelot’s mast passing by! 

So weird to see Camelot's mast passing by...

The boatyard workers are moving her to her spot, which turns out to be just below our little apartment. Tom is thrilled! Needless to say, we cross the lawn separating our apartment from the boat multiple times a day to watch the progress… 

Tom watching the action across the lawn

Tom is watching... Camelot moving around!

Our accommodations are luxurious by our standards. The Casita has a distinctive Mexican flavor. 

Checking on Camelot from the living room is easy!

The colorful and airy Kitchen

We have a small bedroom and bathroom behind doors. Everything else –kitchen, living room- is in the open air and we absolutely love it.

French (Mexican?) Door to our Room

Our Bedroom

The Bathroom

We’re very comfortable here. As a bonus, there are three Labrador Retrievers –one of them a puppy-.   

Paco on the right, Parker on the left

Parker "parked" at the entrance of our bedroom

There’s Paco, the senior at 14 years of age; then Parker, about 8 yrs, who has a knack for parking himself at your feet wherever you are; and finally, Dawgie the little hellion, 10 weeks old and with a penchant for shoes – Particularly Tom’s sandals.

Dawgie the Hellion, retrieving (or stealing?) Tom's sandal

We certainly get our fill of canine love… Oh, there’s also a cat – but he’s too fast for my camera! 

The picture of relaxation. A man and his (borrowed) dog.

For the past few days one of our friends, Crazy Mike, has been not-so-subtly suggesting a Lasagna Dinner, so I decide to oblige by inviting him and whoever else wants to join for dinner at the Casita.

The early morning of January 12th finds me busy at the open-air stove. By 11 o’clock I have produced two MASSIVE trays of lasagna and Tom has prepared a huge amount of mixed salad. Whew! We now have a few hours to relax before the guests arrive…

We end up feeding “only” ten people. I have enough for 24! So this morning I placed the rest of the meal into the freezer for future use.

Today, Friday 13th, is going to be a lazy day for us. Camelot’s bottom has been sanded down to the original fiberglass, and is now sporting a military-grey double coat of primer. The ugly and deep scratches left by our encounter with a whale last year have magically disappeared.  Tomorrow the first of two coats of new paint will be applied – Marine Blue this time! We’re hoping to have Camelot back in the water by next Tuesday at the latest.

In the meantime, we keep enjoying life on land. Tonight we’re attending a Hula Hoop Dance show. Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you a juicy detail about this show: the Hula loops are set on fire as the dancers’ perform their routine… Now, THAT is something I wouldn’t do… But I’m more than happy to watch others do it!

This is all for the moment, folks! I’ll resume my reporting once there’s something new to say.

Wishing everyone – belatedly – a Happy New Year.






  1. Thanks for the update, T&L. Look forward to all of them. Love living vicariously thru your travels. Love to both of you. Bill nd Bev.
    Wish we could hear you on the Net sometime. What Freq do you get on on 20M?

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