Wednesday, March 16, 2016

La Cruz to Mazatlan

Mazatlan sunset
Touring Sayulita with Barb
Time is ticking away at La Cruz as we attend to the more common theme these days of boat repairs at sea. Currently we have a leak in the fuel injection pump which lost four quarts on the trip in to La Cruz in just 12 hours. Turns out it needs replacing which will keep us at dock for a spell longer than planned. We took the opportunity to visit Jos and Barb in nearby Sayulita. This darling surfer town is very popular with the gringos. A picturesque beach with artsy shops and coffee bars is a welcome change from the somewhat all-inclusive perfections of P.V. While we were there a mini windstorm blew up and sent sunbathers and merchants scurrying for cover.

Tomiko in the engine room

   At last the engine work rebuild is complete thanks to the speedy handiwork of Steve and Tomiko, and Mazatlan awaits. We will spend a week or two there with our friend Kelly, and raise a glass for the Emerald Isle on Paddy's Day!

Local Heroes; Simon Bolivar, Che Guevara and Bob Marley

"The monastery bells are softly ringing,
As twilight ends the long and sultry day,
In fragrant homes the village girls are singing,
Along the tranquil blue (Banderas) Bay."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tenacatita Bay to La Cruz

From Los Hadas we traveled up the coast to the tranquil bay of Tenacatita, a great hang out for sailors chilling out before the return trip north at the end of the season to put their boats up. The surf here is quite daunting to go ashore, but worth the risk of getting pooped (swamped), to spend the day on the golden sand and clear waters. After doing our provisioning in the nearby mostly Gringo town of La Manzanilla, we spent a morning exploring the cavernous mangrove estuary, expecting Pigmies with poison darts to emerge at every turn!
    At this stage of our journey we are starting to  meet up with former cruisers from years before. We were delighted to find our first buddy boat friends, John and Nikki on Seychelles, from Juneau Alaska, sitting here in the anchorage. We celebrated with dinner on Chantey V as dolphins sported amiably in the bay. Soon we plan to lift anchor and push north to La Cruz, and Puerto Vallarta.
Nikki and John on Seychelles
    A pit stop in lovely Bahia Chamela allowed us a few hours respite before carrying on with a blustery overnighter. We swam ashore and ordered the specialty of the house from the local palapa on the beach, BBQ fish (head on)smoked in spicy sauce. Lots of bones but tasty, until the flies drove us out! Too lazy to swim back we hired a fisherman to take us back to the boat in his panga. After a bumpy night at sea we deposited ourselves at the dock at La Cruz marina for a few creature comforts,  showers, laundry, and propane, and were good to go.

     La Cruz and Puerto Vallarta
   The sleepy village of La Cruz is a sailor's Mecca with it's choice of a modern, full-facility marina and a scenic anchorage next door. Boats often meet up here going south, to cross for the Puddle Jump, north to the Sea of Cortez, or spend time in Puerto Vallarta. Eventually everyone ends up in La Cruz. And no wonder. The music scene here is wonderful, especially at our favourite little haunt, Philo's Place. The Sunday mercado is also a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon sampling the local wares and just enjoying the vibe. Of course there's always a trip to the big city, Puerto Vallarta, where we took a walk down memory lane and revisited old Marina Puerto Vallarta and the Westin, where we tied the knot on our travels southbound. We also met up with former cruiser pals from years past, Liz and Chris on SV Espiritu, musicians extraordinaire, and planned a rousing music session on Chantey V.
Scene of the crime

Mercado, La Cruz
Jam session with Chris and Liz