We couldn't just leave Kavenga all alone, exposed to the elements. So last summer we contacted our good friend Robin Bailey Gould and asked if she would be willing to make a full cover for her.

You can probably imagine what a monster project this was. We are very happy with the result and mightily impressed with Robin's attention to detail.

She's been doing boat canvas work for quite awhile but this was her first full-boat cover.

Given all the snow and rain that the harbor has had this year, the cover has already proven to be a good investment.

Any one in the vicinity of Gig Harbor needing canvas work should contact Robin Designs in Longbranch.

We also have another friend, Bill Harter, checking on Kavenga frequently to make sure that all her security and vital systems are in order.


When we arrived back in Puerto Vallarta we found our condo at Marina Las Palmas, all spic and span, and ready for us thanks to our housekeeper, Maria Luisa. However, we soon discovered that the fiberboard bases of our dining set chairs had aborbed moisture over the years and were beginning to crack. We checked with a couple of local upholsterers and one of them said that it wasn't that difficult and we could probably do almost as well doing it ourselves. Kay's good friend, Laurie Singer said the same.


So we went out and bought a sheet of plywood (see our blog about this experience), some foam and some material. Upon taking off the old material and foam we discovered that they had used about 200 staples per chair. We sanded the boards, cut out the foam and stapled two layers of it to the boards. Using the old fabric for patterns we cut out the new material and stapled it over the foam and to the chair frames.


We then covered the bottom with another fabric and stapled it over the rough edges of the top fabric to give it a finished look.

It really wasn't that difficult and we learned a lot in the process.


In early November we took part in the Puerto Vallarta Half Marathon And 5-Kilometer run--we did the latter. A team of about seven men and women from Kenya were there to compete against some of the better runners from Mexico. These people looked like cheetahs--long and lean. It was amazing to see the first of them finish the 13-mile course in a little over an hour.

We were just glad to finish the 5K in about half that time.

The police closed off two lanes of the 8-lane highway that leads into Puerto Vallarta from the north. We were able to run right down the middle of the highway without having to worry about traffic.

It was fun and we'll probably do it again next year.




About this same time we also had a visit from one of Steve's high school buddies, Fred Hansen and his wife Marie. They have a timeshare condo at Villas Vallarta and have been coming here since the mid 80's. Steve hadn't seen Fred since about that time so they had a lot of catching up to do.

We took them on our favorite hike up to the hot springs at La Desembocada, but we found out we were a bit to early in the season, especially after the heavy rains of September and early October. The river was a good two feet higher than when we had made the hike previously. We were barely able to make the first three fords--in fact Kay came within a wet handshake of getting swept downstream on the third. When we saw how treacherous the fourth crossing looked, we reluctantly hiked back to the village. Nevertheless, the scenery was spectacular as everything was green and fresh and we had a great lunch a the Guero Palanca restaurant beside the Rio Mascota.




After lunch we did took the tequila distillery tour at the Hacienda Dona Engracia and afterwards we were treated to a demonstration of Mexican folkdancing by this troupe of dancers.









Another excursion took us to the Banderas Bay Botanical Gardens

Not only were the flowers beautiful, but the restaurant there overlooking the rushing river far below is a great place to have lunch on a day when it's hot and muggy in town because the gardens are high in the mountains, exposed the cooling breezes that flow over the ridge and down to the bay.



One afternoon this little love bird (small species of parrot) landed on our terrace railing, began chattering way at us and seemed unafraid. In fact we thought he might actually fly inside. Kay says that if that had happened, we would now have a pet bird. He was a cute little fella. (If you're using a laptop, you may have to tilt your screen just right due to the backlight conditions).









And to close out this web page, here's a nice sunset shot taken from our terrace in early February.


To see what else we've been up to in PV this season, check out our road trip down the Costa Alegre to Barra de Navidad, Kay's adventures at Rancho Ojo de Aqua and our Spanish language school in downtown PV.