We’re back in Mexico!! So thrilled to be here. We were very stressed watching Hurricane Lidia hit from afar, but fortunately Opequimar and Ayala were undamaged. And delightfully, Ayala looks fantastic with the new paint job.

Of course, there’s always plenty to do when preparing to sail, and this is the longest we have been away from Ayala since we got her. Our one casualty from Hurricane Lidia was our wind instrument, so that will need to be replaced. Sourcing it was surprisingly easy – there were online options plus several local vendors. We’re going to pick it up when we get to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, our next stop. And our stackpack is starting to disintegrate in earnest – I have sewn and re-sewn it so many times, but it’s getting hard to patch on the patches, so we are having PV Sailing make us a new one.

Living on the boat while it’s on the hard is not my favorite – especially when there’s a potential hurricane incoming – so we got a hotel 5 minutes away from Opequimar called Club Regina. It was a really fun spot in the end, we booked on a discount website so we could afford it. The pools were delightful and the rooms had freezing A/C plus a private balcony hot tub!

Charles had plenty to do during the day to get us back in the water (finishing everything up with our new deck paint, getting all the zincs we need for the season, cleaning and organizing, re-rigging our vang and other lines, etc.) while I worked, but we had plenty of fun in the evenings at the pool. Charles’ father and his wife Amy stopped through Puerto Vallarta mid-road trip, so we got a couple of surprise days with them (and their help to move the boat)!

The work did not stop once we got back in the water, but we took some time for a Mexican spirits tasting (friend of a friend is a manager at El Tasting Room). We also decided last-minute to get the varnish done. It turned out good (not as good as when I did it – but it’s hard to get other people to be as obsessive as you are about your own boat) enough and Ayala looks fantastic, but it led to a few days of us needing to clear off the boat. Lots of time in the Marina Vallarta partner pool at Hotel Flamingo Vallarta, where we met some really fun people. Sometimes all you can do is chill out.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is next, just waiting for PV Sailing to finish our stack pack and for these damn hurricanes to stop. Hopefully we actually get to head south this season!