Thursday, January 28, 2016

North from La Cruz & Banderas Bay

Sunset on our overnight passage north.

Mike and I departed La Cruz before "0-dark 30"; that being 6AM out of La Cruz. With their time zone change, the sun sets and rises an hour later than other places we've been. In the supreme darkness (no moon at that hour), we weaved through night time fishing pangas which thankfully had small lights so we could see our "targets". The sun rose about 7AM and we enjoyed smooth sailing for the first day of our trip. As usually happens, the winds pick up at night so the seas were choppier after our nice, long day. 

We did our 6 hour shifts at night with my starting with the evening, watching the stars come out and the moon rise. I came on shift again at 7AM, and caught this sunrise. 
The red ball rose through hazy morning clouds

Judy being artsy with the sunrise

Some of the shrimpers pass closeby
Quite spectacular! It lasted for a good long time and the warm sun was welcome after a cool night passage in our open cockpit. Off came the cap, socks and wind pants as the sun rose in the bright blue morning sky. On this passage, we didn't have any encounters with fishing nets so we were thankful. We'd had 2 tangles with nets on the way south. Mike got us free from the nets both times but we lost one of our boat hooks in the process - thankfully, Mike stayed on board!
Mike & David enjoying cigars on the patio. Nice!

Quite the panoramic view from Jan & David's patio

Blue mountains across Banderas Bay
Our last evening was spent with friends enjoying an amazing dinner and vistas of Banderas Bay. What a wonderful place! We hate to leave but it's time to head back north toward Mazatlan.
Funky Cuban bar in Puerto Vallarta where Mike bought cigars

Free mojito with the
purchase of a cigar
We'd spent an adventure day in Puerto Vallarta exploring, walking and taking in the sights and sounds - of which there is no shortage. We stopped at this Cuban place so Mike could by "authentic Cuban cigars". Well, they were good Montecristos to be shared that evening.

Next stop: we headed back to Mazatlan! I'll have to post pics of this stop later as we are getting ready to leave Friday AM for our 48+ hour passage up into the Sea, heading toward La Paz. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Night jasmine and palm trees

 This magic moment. The glorious scent of night jasmine wafting through the night air, the warm breeze swaying the palm trees, a nice evening walk back to the boat after a fun night out with friends. A great start to our time in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, in the heart of Banderas Bay.
Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Especially in this little village, music of all kinds is omnipresent. Whether surviving the loud banda music (the louder, the better? I don’t think so) or rock and roll in one of the many restaurants, La Cruz is a music hub. Music sets the stage, draws the crowd, tames the soul.
Cobblestone streets, Kenny's Carniceria (Meat Market)
Hot rod with air conditioning

Wednesday market - the veggie guy
We’ve been here over a week and on both Saturday evenings at the zocolo (town square), large Mexican bands performed dance music, everything from big band tunes to Mexican love songs. There were enough musicians that they spilled out of the gazebo, filling the square with music, while the locals danced and enjoyed general merrymaking. What fun to be part of it all.
We also enjoyed a great blues musician at Philo’s (may he rest in peace), and last night we watched the Packers game (volume off) while the house band played dance music. 
Tim Williams at Philo's

Relaxing at Dacquiri Dick's

Mike toting our new sinks at "World of Tile" store
Sinks for our new floating home
Leon, the world famous washboard player, sang “Jesus’ Brother Bob” to everyone’s delight.
We took a day to go to Puerto Vallarta for Judy's computer repair (again) and to find Mundo de Azulejos (World of Tile), truly a sensory overload of hand painted tile. We scored a couple items for our new floating home - sinks for the (soon to be upgraded) bathroom and house numbers.

It’s hard to say what the best part of La Cruz is this time…  however! The installation of our new mizzen sail and sail packs/lazy bags for both the mizzen and main is now complete, thanks to Tony Morrelli Performance Sails. We are stoked for the upgrades that we worked our butts off for this past summer.
Mike learning from Tony about our lazy bags

Enjoying the fun that is ... Mazatlan

Fast moving dolphins are hard to photograph
Our 36+hour trip south from Topolobampo to Mazatlan was uneventful, thankfully. We shared the company of dolphins and blue footed boobies. One boobie roosted on our mast for at least 12 hours, well into the night, pooping all over our deck.
Mermaid on the malecon

We enjoyed our time in Mazatlan working on boat and Judy’s work projects,
Changing weather

Blue footed boobie getting a free ride on the mast

On the way to Puerto Vallarta
spending time with friends and finally, took New Year’s Eve for ourselves to explore starting with a long bus ride to and through this bustling city of unending contrasts: old and new, the sea and the barrio, bright sandy beaches and short dark alleys, glorious and sad, expensive and cheap, loud and peaceful. 

The list goes on. It’s a living montage you’re too busy absorbing to even take photos. We like Mazatlan for all these reasons and more. It’s also a welcome place for all types of boats and a busy commercial port.

New Year's Eve
At the end of the bus line, we hopped off in the bustling market area where you can find anything including a great purchase from the “shrimp ladies” on a side street. We walked forever along the sea wall, the hilly streets and backstreet barrios and eventually were beckoned by a sign promising the best margarita and the best guacamole. That’s a challenge we must accept! This colorful sidewalk cafĂ©, La Copa de Leche (cup of milk), delivered. We sat watching people and the waves across the street when I was surprisingly coaxed into a fabulous pair of earrings by a passing street vendor with a black case full of silver; a guy who needed just one sale to make his day (I may have been his only sale that day so it was a win-win).
Haircut in Mazatlan