What’s Goin’ On?

Whenever possible, we would go to the Ikuai restaurant and listen to Mango Duo. Their Latin rhythms, acoustic swing, and Zoe’s lovely voice create a relaxing haven for us.

We sure enjoy their music and friendship.

[Not a valid template]Mango Duo (Al and Zoe), Rick, and Lynn at Ikaui Restaurant

When LA VITA sensed that Rick was well enough to go for a sail, she demanded we go to Opequimar Shipyard and get her bottom painted!

[Not a valid template]LA VITA Moving To The Work Area

We had to choose between La Cruz Shipyard  (part of Marina Riviera Nayarit) and Opequimar Shipyard in Puerta Vallarta. We decided to haul out at Opequimar because it has a good reputation, most of the staff speaks English, and we can live aboard.

[Not a valid template]Opeguimar Café and Computer Stations

Living on board is a huge savings. The quote is itemized so you know what’s included. Plus the quote is in pesos and USD (US dollars). Knowing exactly what we are paying for makes managing the project much easier.

The La Cruz shipyard is closer and the lift is bigger, but they do not permit living on the boat. Motel living is expensive, even in Mexico.

There was another important reason we chose Opequimar. It would force us to leave the safety of the marina. We had been chained to the dock for so long, the fender had grown its own eco-system. It’s been nearly a year and a half.

[Not a valid template]LA VITA Chained and Shackled To The Dock

Time to go sailing!

[Not a valid template]Sailing from Marina La Cruz to Opequimar

Here’s how things went…

We tossed the lines about 8am and set off for Puerto Vallarta. As soon as we got out of the marina, we experienced the familiar feeling of freedom and joy when we sail LA VITA.

In about three hours we were at Opequimar.

[Not a valid template]LA VITA In The Slings

After 5-gallons of paint are applied to LA VITA’s bottom, she is ready to launch.

[Not a valid template]Lynn Inspecting The Through Hull

We sail back to marina La Cruz and for the moment LA VITA is happy.

[Not a valid template]Marina La Cruz Entrance

Back in our slip, it’s time to chain and shackle LA VITA to the dock. And for us to get back to our boat projects.

[Not a valid template]LA VITA Chained and Shackled To The Dock

We decided the first priority is to clean the air conditioner before the tropical heat and humidity begins to climb. The unit has been wrapped in plastic and sitting in the cockpit for a year. The innards need to be clean of dust and dirt.

[Not a valid template]Rick Cleaning The Air Conditioner

With our successful “voyage” to Opequimar and back, plus a working air conditioner, we decided to celebrate with a night on the town!

We join Lynn and Pat on s/v CRICKET and walk to the Octopus’ Garden for a fun evening of fire and entertainment.

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Fig. 1) Fiery Entertainment at Octopus’ Garden Fig. 2) Rick, Lynn, Pat
(s/v CRICKET)
Fig. 3) Rick, Lynn, Pat
(s/v CRICKET)

The potential of blood clots is always lurking in the background. Regular testing is the best way to monitor and prevent blood clots. In January of this year we fly back to the US and Rick receives his Alere INRatio®2 PT/INR Home Monitoring System.

[Not a valid template]Alere INRatio®2 PT/INR Home Monitoring System

These Alere home kits test blood coaguability (aka thickness). Too thin and a person runs the risk of excessive bleeding. Too thick and a person runs the risk of blood clots. Knowing his blood level gives Rick the freedom to travel.

Marcia is a registered nurse and an Alere trainer. We arrange for Marcia to meet us where we are staying, the Navy Lodge on the San Diego Navy Base. Marcia shows Rick how to use the Alere kit and how to test his blood. Rick received excellent hands-on training.

[Not a valid template]Marcia, Registered Nurse and Alere Home Trainer At San Diego Navy Base Entrance

Before we leave San Diego we visit George and Renata. They were our neighbors when we lived in San Diego. Both Rick and George have lived in Europe and they always enjoy discussing a wide variety of national and international topics.

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Fig. 1) Rick, Renata, and George Fig. 2) Rick and George

With a new supply of boat parts and the Alere test kit packed in our luggage, we fly back to Puerto Vallarta.

Because the home kit is new to Rick, he compares his test results with the lab at San Javier Hospital.

It soon became apparent that there was something very wrong. There was a wide discrepancy between the two tests. The Alere test results report Rick’s blood was in the safe range. The lab at the hospital said his blood was too thin. What was the problem? Our assumption is the home test kit was faulty.

Alere is willing to exchange the kit. Even mail it to us in Mexico. However, Mexican customs do not allow individuals to have medical equipment mailed to folks staying in Mexico. Our only choice was to fly to San Diego and make the exchange there.

We road the bus from the Tijuana Airport to the border crossing. This is the fence between the US and MX. Each cross represents a fatal attempt to enter into the USA.

[Not a valid template]Border Fence Between Mexico and USA. Each Cross represents a a fatal attempt to enter into the USA

Marcia agrees to meet us, again,  in San Diego at the Navy Lodge. She and Rick review Rick’s testing method and confirmed his testing method is perfect. They compare the test results between the new and old test Alere home test kits. Results match.

As she was leaving the base, Marcia says with a smile, she loves Mexico and if Rick requires any more training, just let her know, she’s more than willing to fly to Puerto Vallarta.

[Not a valid template]Marcia At Naval Base Gate

We stay in San Diego a few more days and play Mexican Train Dominoes with our friends Pat and Lea Ann. Pat and Lea Ann introduced us to Mexican Train Dominoes. It nice to play be a set of rules we support.

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Fig. 1) Rick, Lea Ann, Pat
Playing Mexican Train Dominoes
Fig. 2) Pat, Lynn, Rick
Posing For The Camera

Then of course we, bought more boat parts and then caught a plane flew back to Puerto Vallarta.

With the new Alere test kit in hand, Rick returns to the hospital lab for double testing. This time another cruiser goes with us. She wants to make sure her home Alere test kit is testing accurately, too.

They both have their blood tested by the Hospital lab and their home Alere test kit. The blood tests show a wide discrepancy between the home test kit and the lab results!

[Not a valid template]Nurse Drawing Rick’s Blood

There is great concern on all sides. The lab decided to send Rick and the other cruiser’s blood to be tested by an outside lab. I donate my blood to be tested as a control sample.

When the results come back, the test results from the outside lab and our Alere home test kits agree. The lab at Hospital San Javier determines there is an error with their lab testing equipment. The lab replaces their equipment immediately.

Rick returns after the new test equipment is installed and calibrated. New tests are taken. Results are compared. Blood test results are almost a perfect match.

We have always trusted the medical treatment we received at Hospital San Javier. The staff is professional and dedicated to the highest level of service. This was a tough patch for the lab and patient. By working together we were able to get to the source of the problem.

These test errors could have happened in any lab around the world. The difference here is Rick was trusted enough by the staff to be told the problem was with the hospital lab equipment. Knowing Rick can trust his Alere home test kit gives us the mobility our lifestyle demands.

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Fig. 1) Lab Staff and Rick Egar, Rick,
Lupita, Minerva
Fig. 2) Yndria (Dr. Rios’ Nurse)
and Rick

For months, I’ve been filing claims and battling with the insurance company. I have filed over 10-inches of claims. Our cruising kitty has reached a new low. (Note: As of Oct. 2, 2012, the insurance company is still rejecting one of our claims. This one is for over $10,000 USD).

[Not a valid template]10-inches of Medical Claims for 2011

Meanwhile the powers behind attracting tourists to Mexico have planned a huge international event for the travel industry. The event is called Tianguis Turistico and opening night is at Marina Riviera Nayarit (our marina).

The construction company brings in earth moving equipment begins digging the holes for the cement foundations that will support the structures for the high-tech event. The marina begins to build a swimming pool. It is the end of February. They have about 45 days from start to finish.

TIME TO BUILD!

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Fig. 1) Future Swimming Pool and
Location of Tianguis Turistico
 Fig. 2) Earth Moving Equipment

Within a few short weeks the lot is transformed into an amazing outdoor theater. Complete with state-of-the-art aerial acrobat equipment, sophisticated video projectors, complex sound systems, fully equipped kitchen, search lights, and much more.

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Fig. 1) March 13, 2012
Parking Lot with the Beginning Structures
Fig. 2) March 19, 2012
Basic Structure
Fig. 3) March 19, 2012
State-of-the-Art Lightingg

SHOW TIME!

March 24 The venue is ready. The caterers, technicians, and entertainers arrive.

The performances are fantastic. They include song, dance, and breath taking high-wire acts. It is a night to remember.

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Fig. 1) March 24, 2012
Pool and Venue Completed
Fig. 2) March 24, 2012
Malecón Dancers
Fig. 3) March 24, 2012
Chefs Preparing Gourmet Appetizers

NIGHT TIME!

All this for one single night!

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Fig. 1) March 24, 2012
Show Time!
Fig. 2) March 24, 2012
Show Time!
Fig. 3) March 24, 2012
Show Time!

After an exciting night of Tianguis Turístico entertainment we begin preparing for our TAP bus trip to Mazatlan.

Joe and Fran on s/v YANCEY brought our mail down from the States to Mazatlan. We used the mail delivery as an excuse to visit our friends in Marina Mazatlan.

The bus station in Puerto Vallarta is modern and clean. The TAP bus company knows how to please their passengers. Good drivers, the bus seats recline and the bus is air conditioned. Just before boarding the bus, each passenger is given water and snacks.

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Fig. 1) Puerto Vallarta Bus Station Fig. 2) TAP Bus Care Package

It was great to see Joe and Fran again. We decided to celebrate our visit by going out to dinner. We each ordered our favorite dishes. Lynn indulged by ordering her favorite meal, BBQ spare ribs. After dinner Fran and I toured our favorite bakery and loaded up!

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Fig. 1) Joe, Fran, Lynn, and Rick Fig. 2) Dinner is Served

Naturally, there are always boat projects in the wings. So when we returned to LA VITA, we both went back to work. Lynn rounded up her tool kit and began dismantling and cleaning the squeaking table fan.

[Not a valid template]Lynn’s Tool Kit and Squeaky Fan Project

Rick went back to repairing the teak decks.

[Not a valid template]Rick Repairing Teak Deck

Siesta Time!

After lunch, Rick stretches out in the cockpit for a well-deserved nap.

Meanwhile, Lynn is below filing boring insurance claims.

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Fig. 1 Rick Enjoying a Well-Deserved Siesta Fig. 2 Separate Lynn Busy Filing Insurance Claims

[Not a valid template]Sunset at Marina La Cruz

To view the pictures in this post and more, click on the Photo tab (above) or click on the camera icon (below).

Comments
  • Carole Hossan October 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Congratulations on your perseverance re: blood thickness monitor! Glad you have had some good news to celebrate by going out on the town! Also glad that La Vita got to be free of shackles for a while.

    Yay and Keep Up the Good Work!

    Carole in Colorado

    • Lynn October 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Hi Carole, Yup, we all felt so free as we sailed to the shipyard. No speed limits, no stop signs, just plain freedom.

  • Julie October 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Thanks for the update! So nice to know that even in paradise, there are squeeky fans!!!
    Hang in there with that insurance company Lynn- remind them how lucky they are that you are in Mexico and not here for most of that health care!

    Have a margarita for me!
    Julie

    • Lynn October 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Julie,
      It’s been a tough claim to get through the system, that’s for sure. We are so deeply grateful to have coverage inside and outside the USA.

      That margarita sure sounds good!
      Lynn & Rick

  • Devin October 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    So great to see you blogging again. Looks like you two are enjoying the life down there, despite some bumps in the road. Though I’ve always heard, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all”. So glad to see you picked the first one. I really hope to be able to come down there soon.
    Love you guys,
    -Devin and Linda

    • Lynn October 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Devin,
      It feels great to post again. We think it is an interesting life and we enjoy sharing our experience here on LA VITA. Glad you enjoy reading it.
      Hugs,
      Mom & Dad

  • Jane October 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Good lord, Lynn.

    Here Rick is with blood that’s perfect, hospital says it is too thin thus influencing his medication thus creating thickening thus opportunities for clots.

    Oh man, oh man. And now he will be o.k.

    Loved reading about you again.

    Lots of it and mainly plain sailing.

    Love

    • Lynn October 13, 2012 at 5:10 am

      Hi Jane,
      So many of us are conditioned to believe laboratory results and doctors. The reality, is errors occur. The huge difference here the Lab was willing to test their own equipment. determine there was a blood processioning problem and replace the equipment.

      Last week, Oct. 2, 2012, Rick donated another blood sample so the lab could run a double blind test again. Results compared between the hospital lab, independent lab, and Rick’s Alere home machine all agreed within .1 reading.

      I know consumer protection laws are important, but without the threat of a lawsuit or financial penalty, it was easier to work together to solve the problem.

  • Nancy & Greg October 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Lynn and Rick,

    Glad things are good with you both. What a couple of years you guys have had.

    We plan to go to Mazatlan but don’t know if we will make it to you neck of the woods or not. Since we plan to anchor in the old harbor. I don’t think we will be able to take a bus ride either, hate to leave the boat anchored while we travel.

    Hopefully the weather will break soon and things will cool off some for you.

    • Lynn October 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Nancy & Greg,
      You are so right. 2011 sure taught us how important health is and what it takes to take care of ourselves.

      We understand about not wanting to leave the boat unattended. Although, we wish we could see you and share a cold drink. It’s really the best decision.

      Cheers, Lynn

  • Fernando Parra October 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Hola,Rick y Lynn, me da gusto saber de ustedes ahora tuve tiempo de leer su Blog, muy interesante sus aventuras desde que salieron de Baja Nval,aun estoy ahi, por ahora estare 5 semanas sin trabajar, tuve una cirugia de rodilla por una fuerte molestia de hace añoscuando estaba en los barcos trabajando en la pesca del atun. Todo esta bien por aca y espero que Rick este mejor cada dia a usted la veo muy bien, reciban un fuerte abrazo de mi parte.

      Translated by Google Translate

    :
    Hello, Rick and Lynn, I’m glad to know you now have time to read your blog, very interesting adventures since leaving Nval Baja, I’m still there, for now I’ll be 5 weeks off work, I had knee surgery a añoscuando strong discomfort ago was working on boats fishing for tuna. All is well here and I hope Rick this better every day you see it very well, receiving a big hug from me.

    • Lynn October 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Fernando,
      Muchas gracias por leer nuestro blog y tomarse el tiempo para comentar!

      Por favor, siga las órdenes de los médicos para que su rodilla sane rápidamente. Rick dice ir a pescar por diversión y tal vez ver un Objeto v
      Volador No Identificado (OVNI).

        Translated by Google Translate:

      Thank you very much for reading our blog and taking the time to comment!

      Please follow your doctors orders so your knee heals quickly. Rick says go fishing for fun and maybe see a Unidentified Flying Object (UFO).

  • Bev and Larry November 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Keep truckin’

  • Sam Crabtree November 2, 2012 at 10:04 am

    It’s good to read that you guys are still out there and enjoying the cruising life. Keep it up and keep letting us enjoy Mexico vicariously thru you.

  • Karen November 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

    You two are totally inspiring…thank you for taking the time to update all of us who wish we could be there…I wish you luck with the insurance “dance”..they can be so frustrating but perservence is key…keep having fun and smooth sailing

  • Pablo Robles November 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Lynn and Rick is good to now you are busy nice blog, I hope you continue your hard work (in the boat and with the insurance) congratulations.

    Pablo Robles

    • Lynn November 6, 2012 at 4:59 am

      Hi Dr. Robles, Thank you for your kind words. Yes, we are working hard on the boat and insurance. Now it is time to work on ourselves and walk. Thank you for the excellent medical treatment you have provided. Lynn (& Rick)

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