DREAMCATCHER VOYAGE
Journal 7 -from PUERTA VALLARTA, MEXICO.

LAND CRUISING ACTIVITIES: AUSTRALIA/ASIA/USA:
Baja Peninsula,  MEXICO.
February 28, 2004

HOLA !!!!  SENORS & SENORITAS !

CRUISING LOG # 7… from PUERTA VALLARTA,
MEXICO.

LAND CRUISING ACTIVITIES: AUSTRALIA/ASIA/USA

From Henry:   It has been a while since most of you have heard from me.
After leaving Dreamcatcher in Mexico, it has been a whirlwind of activities.
Glenys had to leave early in the month for Perth to be with her parents,
particularly her father, who is unfortunately quite ill.  I missed her very much,
and had to spend 2 weeks by myself in P.V……. but did a number of boat
projects to get the DREAMCATCHER ready for the Pacific Puddle-Jump,
planned to commence in early April.

I did the long trip to Bangkok, via San Francisco which took 32 hours of
flying.    Luckily, was able to break the trip and spend a couple of hours with
Pat and Geno in San Francisco before continuing on to Bangkok where
Jonathan and Queen Lolly looked after me for the next 5 days. They are the
most generous hosts, and I had a super time.  

Bangkok is a fabulous city, where we ate and drank our way through town:
never a dull moment! We even crashed a private party at the top of one of
the 5-star hotels!  At dinner we were told that the terrace was not available
due to a private gathering. So the brazen souls we are, decided venture up
to the terrace anyway, and act like we were part of the festivities-it worked!  
The food in Thailand is just fantastic!  Also had Italian (Pizza, which was
great on a very thin crust) Egyptian, too, which I had never sampled before
and found delicious.

Bangkok is a bustling city, with about 5 million population, and traffic is just
a mess. The best way to get around town is by taxi, tuk-tuk, or on the back of
a motor cycle, which requires a certain level of insanity.  I took a (scary) tuk-
tuk drive…..the young driver decided to show off his skills in taking me back
to the house by doing wheelies, fast sharp turns, and other erratic
behavior.   The 2 miles is all I could take, and was glad to get off….felt like
the a ride in Disneyland!. . Now mind you, taxis are a real bargain in the city:
about half an hour ride, only costs about $2.50 US.



One of the marvelous attractions that the city has to offer is the Grand
Palace…it was spectacular, with a lot of history and wonderful art. The
Palace is now ony used for funerals, coronations, and state visits. Gold,
statues & carvings completed the amazing scene.


Another highlight was the floating market outside of Bangkok: something I’d
read of and seen on T.V.    Lorraine organized the taxi to the market, with Mr.
Leek.  Upon arrival, we had a long-boat all to ourselves with a delightful
captain. It is interesting to see how the people live along the  river banks.
The river is just like a road, and instead of cars or other wheeled modes of
transportation, the long-boat is the vehicle of choice. Even went to gas up at
the local boat fuel station. The station was part of a sample store, and the
gasoline was poured into the bucket via a 1 litre bottle…..there was no
pump.  Very high tech.! The skipper  took us to the local Buddhist temple, an
an oasis in the middle of nowhere.  Very spectacular. After going through
the smaller canals, we entered the core of the floating market where all
commerce was conducted from  the  boats. Fruits, vegetable, hot food to-
go, hats, general store, it was all there.  The people working along the river
seemed very friendly, always a smile and a wave.

The skipper took us to the local Buddhist temple, and it was an oasis in the
middle of nowhere. Very spectacular. After going through the smaller
canals, we entered to core of the floating market. All commerce was
conducted from boats. Fruits, vegetable, hot food to go, hats, general store,
it was all there. The people along the river are very friendly, always a smile
and a wave.

After 5 wonderful days in Bangkok, it was off to Singapore to spend a night
at Ali’s & Graham’s B&B, where we had a super seafood dinner at Ubin’s-
the very best, before continuing the trip to Perth to finally catch up with Glen
after 3 weeks seperation. To say the least, it was wonderful to see her, and
spend time together.   I enjoyed seeing both her parents again…her dad
seems to be ok, but we are waiting further testing in January to see how
effective the chemotherapy treatment has been.    It is a little stressful at
times, but we are maintaining a positive outlook for her dad and have told
him he’s expected to be at the docks in Brisbane when we arrive in
November!

Christmas was the second year in a row “down under” for me:   
December/January is warm, and seems an odd time  for Christmas, since I
am so used to the holiday season being cold!  Along the ocean front and
beaches, families start their BBQs early in the day for the family festivities.  
Champagne is broken out…. It’s a great atmosphere!


New Years’ Eve brought us again to Ian’s for a fantastic new years’ eve
party in Perth.  Lots to eat and drink, a fire works display, and into bed as
the sun rose on New Years Day.  Unfortunately, GT had booked a trip down
the Swan River which left at 10:30 in the morning, so we got little sleep, and
had to hustle to the dock, somewhat groggy.  The Swan River travels
through Perth and suburbs south, eventually flowing into the ocean via Freo
(Fremantle).  The river bank is lined with walk ways and small grassy parks
which offer a tremendous amount of open space for the public. There are
huge mansions along the river-front where some of the homes are for sale
for many millions of dollars, and some cost in excess of 30 million to
build!.....is there money in Oz?!  
Henry also went sailing on a 22 footer in the Swan River, with Nicholas…
the full extent of the grounding on the sandbar will be told at a later date…..

We also had a chance to sail with one of the neighbours, Peter, who has a
28 footer.   The West coast of Australia provides excellent sailing
opportunities.

Early in January, we did some serious wine tasting. The first was the Swan
River Valley wine region, where we spent the night with Judith and Jeffery in
their wonderful home in the bush. The wineries are small, and reminded me
a little of the Livermore area in California.  I tasted some great reds: Shiraz,
Shiraz blends, and Cabernet.

Swan Valley was the precurser for the big wine trip to the Margaret River
region, which is 200 kilometers south of Perth.  The first night we stayed at a
historic building called Caves House, in Yallingup, just outside of Margaret
River, and took a short walk to an amazing surf beach.
Next day, the wine tasting started in earnest.  We chose a small, charming
B&B as our base in Margaret River for the next few days.   It’s a serious
wine growing area with over 80 wineries, most of which have superb
restaurants, that we took full advantage of.

Australia Day on January 26 was a hoot, and we joined the other 400,000
Perth-ites along the banks of the Swan and watched the aerial displays
backdropped by a lovely sunset over the city, then thoroughly enjoyed the
fireworks (the best Henry has ever seen, he says)…. 8 barges on the river, 8
tall buildings, 4 speeding boats and the Narrows Bridge, all launching
spectacular fireworks displays in a synchronized fashion  – it was just
awesome!

Back to Singapore for a week or so where Glen had some business to sort
out between catching up with friends over great Asian food & Tiger beers
(thanks again to Ali/Graham for their hospitality).

Then back to the USA to grapple with tax, banking, mail and boat admin
matters.  It was great to be able to catch up with friends and family in
between, though we both had trouble dealing with the cold weather after 10
straight months of summer!  Thanks to everyone in the US who provided
bed, board and great company while we were there.

After wrestling with the 11 pieces of luggage through Mexican customs at
Puerta Vallarta (yes, we had to pay duty, but got off very lightly considering
what we imported)…… we’re back aboard DREAMCATCHER, and doing
jobs in prep for a short 2-3 week sail before coming back into the dock for
final tweaking and provisioning prior to the “Puddle Jump”…from Mexico to
the Marquesas at the end of March.

Here’s a couple of things to look out for:
We’ll be launching our website soon:
www.dreamcatchervoyage.com  and
we’ve also registered ourselves on YOTREPS (Pangolin): this is a sailboat
tracking site where you can see our movements…..as soon as we get off
the dock, we’ll be able to register our position under our call-sign
(WDB5015) and anyone interested will be able to see where we are.  
Simply put YOTREPS into Google or your search engine, and the site will
come up.  We’ll link it to the website in due course.

We’ll endeavour to publish a short report our on our Mexico sailing prior to
the end of March, before the Pacific crossing.

Meanwhile, hasta la vista!
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Click on link to VIEW PHOTOS FOR JOURNAL 7