Beetle finds the keel floating above the sandy bottom at Chacala for a third day, and a lovely day it is. Sun is out, bit of breeze from the NW ruffling the water, puffy tradewind clouds in the sky, the little Honda generator is humming away on the pointy end of the boat and Kristen has set up a CD from Mana playing from the speakers.
There was a virtual VHF radio meeting a little while ago, the aim being to decide what to do for a group dinner. We had earlier in the day voted to have evening drinks and munchies on Iolanthe, and Nick pointed to the shore and claimed that his boat was now ashore and looked just like that palapa over there – no need to dinghy to the fiberglass thing off to the south, instead head for Iolanthe shore-base palapa. We took him up on his offer, and have decided that the plan is meet up for drinks and munchies on Nick’s Palapa Iolanthe. Funny part is that Nick’s VHF radio transmitter has failed, so all he can do is key the mic and make clicking sounds (2 clicks = NO, 3 clicks = YES), so we had to ask simple yes/no questions of Iolanthe so he could be part of the virtual meeting – especially important to him as the point of the meeting was to determine if we were all going over to his boat this evening
Yesterday was time to swap out the filters on the Spectra watermaker (Beetle has the Ventura model, it will produce 6 gallons/hour though what I’m finding is that it produces more like 7.5 gph in the warm water ’round these parts), I went to the spare filters bin and pulled out replacement carbon charcoal filter (strips any chlorine out of the fresh water flush to protect the reverse osmosis membrane), a half dozen 5 micron pre-filters, and NO 20 micron pre-filters… odd, where are the blue-topped 20 micron filters? Didn’t Anders at Swedish Marine set me up with some when I purchased the unit and put on spares? Rather than tear the boat apart to see if I had placed the 20 micron filters in some location other than aft-port-side-near-the-watermaker, I was able to locate on gmail Anders’ email listing the spares contents: six 5 micron filters, and no 20 micron filters. Rats!
I figured that being near Puerto Vallarta must be good for something, such as finding someone that might have Spectra watermaker parts. Idug around the web, found Azimuth Marine Services, called proprieter Kim on his cell phone (it was listed on his contact page), and no, he only installs and fixes Spectra watermakers and he does not stock any parts. He suggested I call Elizabeth Shannon as she has the chandlery across the street from the Vallarta Yacht Club, and no, he didn’t have her number handy. Hmm…. I did some more digging on the web, and discovered there is a Vallarta Chandlery, and they mention Spectra Watermaker parts… I call them, I get a machine speaking to me in Spanish and then a beep. That’s not helpful. I reconsider the problem, perhaps there is someone at Vallarta YC I could call – and then I re-read carefully the SGMarine listing and realize there is a cell number there as well. I ring it up, and I get, “This is Elizabeth – what’s up?” I explain the desire for 20 micron filters, she says she’s open every day and has lots of them. I tell her I am at Chacala and will be in Nuevo Vallarta on Tuesday, she says, “Chacala?” I say Yes, she says, “We’re headed there right now on the boat, how many filters you need? We have the white mooring in the bay, and will be there tonight.”
About 7pm last night a 65′ power boat appears over the horizon, they are cruising right along, anchor out, back up to mooring that is used as a stern anchor, and I dinghy on over – there’s Elizabeth with six 20 micron filters, hand-delivered to a sailboat floating in Chacala. Pretty amazing how some things work out! I installed the replacement filter this morning, and have the other five to go with the five 5 micron filters I have remaining from Anders.
All is good in the world today! And should you find yourself on the beach at Chacala this evening around sunset, wander on over to Nick’s Iolanthe palapa and join us. Look for 8 somewhat ragtag folks having bebidas and diners.
Oh – and as regards Banderas Bay Regatta, Beetle is entered, we will be at Paradise Village Marina tomorrow night, and start up four days of low-key crewed racing Wednesday morning. Should be lots of fun. Crew on board are:
Rick (old IOR racer)
Bernard (foredeck on SC50, I believe)
Ben (SSS Transpac vet)
Lucie (Pacific Cup vet)
Nick (ex-dinghy racer)
Should be lots of fun!
From my Android phone on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network.