Scuba Diving in Nuevo Vallarta

On Wednesday MJ and I went on a 2-tank dive trip.  We dove with Scuba Steve out of Nuevo Vallarta.  Scuba Steve is a PADI certified shop running out of the Paradise Villa Hotel.  We went out to the Los Arcos dive site, just south of Puerto Vallarta.  Both dives were reef dives.

The first dive was along an underwater wall.  The top of the wall was around 70-80 feet.  The wall dropped to a depth of 1600 feet.  Our max depth was 80 feet with a total duration of 35 minutes.  We saw a bunch of moray eels, zebra eels, angel fish, puffer fish and many of the typical reef fish.  Due to the max depth we reached, we did a 3 minute safety stop at 20 feet to help our bodies off gas excess nitrogen.  I believe this dive was one of MJ’s deepest dives to date.

I used a GoPro Hero4 to capture the video and pictures.  On the first dive I used a red color correcting filter to compensate for the loss of light underwater.  During the first dive I realized that there was considerable green in the water.  So on the second dive I used a magenta color correcting filter which compensates for both the loss of reds and the excess green color.

First Dive Video:

The second dive went to a max depth of 60 feet and a duration of 45 minutes.  We came across a pipe fish, a spotted eagle ray, and an octopus.  While we were at a depth of 50 feet and motor boat passed directly over our heads.  The octopus was a rather large one, about 12 inches across.

Second Dive Video:

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On this trip I am realizing my daughter is really fearless when it comes to activities.  Instead of waiting for the guy to approach us with the Iguana, she approached him  to hold it.  I blinked my eyes and she has the animal on her shoulder.

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Cruise to Yelapa

On Tuesday we took a power catamaran to Yelapa. Yelapa is a small village that can be accessed only by boat.  The two main jobs that support the village is the daytime tourism and fishing.

Along the way to Yelapa we stopped in a cove just south of Vallarta to snorkel and kayak.  The water was beautiful.  Jill and I took full advantage of the snorkelling and kayaking.

Yelapa is in a cove off the main bay of Vallarta. The town is built into the hillside.  The roads are way to small for cars.  The principle means for transporting bulk items through town is with mules or ATV’s.  The 2 modern conveniences that were noticeable was electricity and satellite dishes.

We walked through the town, up the hill to a waterfall.  The water was cold and fresh.  After walking through town it was a welcomed relief!

Down by the water, the golden sand beach was pristine.  Although with the temperature being in the upper 80’s, the sand was very hot to walk on.  Walking in the surf zone was a must.

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Mucho Mojitos Bad!

Enough said.

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Last year Jill really wanted to learn to surf however she got sun poisoning and could not be out in the sun the last few days of vacation.

On Monday she finally got her chance to learn to surf. The resort had surf boards and lessons available.

The water conditions were perfect for learning. The waves in the afternoon tend to be 3 to 4 feet high and break easy.



After 2 hours of lessons and an hour of practice she started to get the hang of surfing. At the end Jill was able to paddle start and get up on the board and ride the waves into the beach

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On Sunday, literally 30 feet from our beach chairs there was para-sailing. We watched a few people take off and land.  I had the thought of having Jill and MJ go para-sailing.  Before I could say anything Cathy turned to me and asked about Jill going.

Ten minutes later Jill was in the harness getting ready to go up.

As Jill took the sky, I went to find MJ in another private cabana.  I pointed to the para-sail and said “That’s your sister. How would you like to go para-sailing?”. “Oh cool, Sure I like to go!” was his response.

Right after Jill landed, MJ took off.

The whole thing was so caviler and nonchalant that it took MJ by surprise.

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Crowded Beaches

The beaches at Nuevo Vallarta are unbelievably crowded. NOT!.

I took these pictures on Sunday, when according to the staff was expected to be the most crowded for the week.  Monday the schools in Mexico began for the year.  This week we practically had the beach to ourselves with the resort staff waiting on us.  The kids are completely spoiled with the service.

The water is 80F with morning waves being 1 to 2 feet in height.  In the afternoon the waves would be 3 to 4 feet with a very nice breeze blowing in off the water.

With the beaches to ourselves, we always had chairs with an umbrella to keep most of the sun off of us.  Being in Mexico, the sun is very strong.  Everyone is lathering up with sunscreen.  The daily temperatures have been in the mid to high 80’s all week.

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King of Siam

So it took MJ all of one day to relax into vacation mode.

“I’m heading down to the pool” is what he said as he walked out the door.  Cathy and I found him in his own private cabana by the pool with a cheese plate and a Mojito in his hand.

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Nuevo Vallarta

Summer vacation is here!

We arrived at the Miraval Residences Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

Nuevo Vallarta is on the same bay as Puerto Vallarta.  Our room is a two bedroom, two bath room residence suite.  Plenty of room for everyone to spread out during the week.

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Bored Engineering Students

So what do 2 bored engineering students do to fill up their time on summer break?

They build 2 motorized bicycles.

In May MJ and Greg bought 2 Schwin bicycles and modified them to fit a 50cc 2-stroke engine onto the frame.  I was thankful to see that they bought new bicycles for this little project and not modify their existing bikes.

They spent about 4 hours on each bike installing the engine, sprocket, gas tank and controls.  The rear wheel sprocket and engine sprocket were a bit of a pain to line up.  They also had to fiddle with the brake controls so the clutch control worked.


The engines need to be pop started by pedalling the bikes and slowly releasing the clutch.   After assembling the bikes, it took another 2 hours to tune the carbs and get everything working smoothly.

The bikes will run at 25mph with a 75 mile range.

It’s pretty cool to watch the bikes go.

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