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Pacific Mexico 2014

February 2014    Paradise Village Marina...

is amazing.  It has resort facilities that the Marina guests can use including this luxury swimming pool.

There are 2 pools but the kids pool is way more fun with the crocodile slides.

Craig saying hello to the birds of Paradise Village.


15th February, Gotta go somewhere…..

After being in the La Cruz area for 2 months we just wanted to go sailing so we headed south to Tenacatita, Barra de Navidad and Carrizal (about 130nm).   We left with a forecast of 10 knots but around Cabo Corientes (Cape of Currents)  the northwest winds picked up to 20+ knots and along with the northwest current we were flying down the coast until about 11pm when the winds calmed. 

It was the first overnight voyage we had done for a few months and we had planned to drop anchor in Barra lagoon, fire up the BBQ and enjoy a safe arrival drink.  However Barra is well known for yachties running aground.  Obviously that would not happen to us but after discussing that the best time to run aground is on an incoming tide, we headed into the lagoon and met sandbank No. 3  on the 3rd hour of a run out tide.  We soon realised that our best course of action would be to wait for the incoming tide to float us off.  However, many locals arrived in their dinghies insisting that they could get us off by turning our bow - a technique that often works.  They tried & tried but to no avail.  Its an interesting way to meet people but I am sure there are better ways.  So we fired up the BBQ, enjoyed a safe arrival drink and waited for the tide to finish going out and then come back in.

We were glad True Blue V stayed upright on her long wide keel until we floated off at about 8pm that night.

According to our Navionics charts we were in the middle of the channel.  However with no buoys or markers (why? I don't know) running aground happens every day.  

The town of Barra de Navidad

The pangas offer a water taxi service from the marina and the lagoon into the town of Barra de Navidad.  The only way to get there is by water.  A round trip costs 25 peso from the lagoon or 20 peso from the marina. 

Barra de Navidad is a delightful town full of little shops and cafes.  

Sally from 'Scout" with the bay behind her

Early February…...La Cruz Markets on a Sunday

Every Sunday there is a market along the waterfront at La Cruz.  It is very popular with all the tourists and cruisers.  I always line up with the Americans to get my Sourdough bread.

No maintenance records came with the boat so it is hard to know when maintenance was last done.  One of the chainplate covers is leaking so Craig is rebedding all the chainplate covers with 5200.  It's a hot day so a Pacifico is not far away.

I am making an emergency rope ladder which can also be deployed by someone in the water.  Big jobs, little jobs…..it's all about getting ready for our Pacific Crossing which we are both looking forward to.


January 2014    Sayulita!  

A day trip to Sayulita was planned with Rick and Pam from sailing vessel 'Hotel California' and Greg and Sally from sailing vessel 'Scout.'  Craig was still suffering from food poisoning so he stayed on the boat to rest.  We had to catch 2 buses to get there as Sayulita is about 22 miles away on the Pacific Mexico coast.  

I had no idea what to expect but I could easily spend winter just hanging out in Sayulita.  What a great seaside town!   It is like a Mexican version of Byron Bay but not as developed as Byron.  Arts, crafts, markets, surf beaches, paddle boarding, great food…restaurants & bars, music, lots of color & fun!  Very cool and creative.

Rick from sailing vessel 'Hotel California' stops to take a photograph along one of the main streets which leads down to the beach.

Everything here is made from beads including his outfit.

This Mexican is working the beach selling necklaces

Hire a board & go for a paddle

This is a popular spot for tourists escaping their cold winters up north.

Tacos for lunch with Greg & Sally from 'Scout' (front) and Rick & Pam from 'Hotel California'

Lots of great places to eat, drink and be merry.


End of January    I am glad January is nearly over.  Craig got food poisoning after eating a soft serve cone from McDonalds.  I think he got the first one out of the machine.   Craig was sick for 3 days!  He says he will never have one again.

20th January   We have been anchored at La Cruz for nearly 1 month now.  The bottom of the boat is getting crusty with barnacles and the anchor rode looks like a green weed rope.  There is a nasty flu virus going around and everyone seems to be getting it.  Craig got it first and as soon as he recovered I got it.  

There are about 50 boats anchored off La Cruz.  

Today we moved into the marina to charge up the batteries, clean the bottom of the boat, change the engine oil & filters, add more solar panels, defrost the freezer, service the windlass, fix the leak in the dinghy and re-bed the chainplates with silicone, change a sea cock….etc.   Of course, now that we are here we are having hot showers and cold drinks and don't feel like doing any of that.  Mañana - that's Mexican for "tomorrow".

Whilst sitting on the boat at the anchorage Dan & Cathy from 'Lungta' commented that they would like some artwork on their outboard.  I was happy to oblige as it is a bit of fun and you always get interesting comments.  It also makes your outboard less likely to be stolen as it doesn't have the brand name & horsepower on it and it is easier to identify as it doesn't look like everyone else's.  Even if someone painted black over it, the dots are raised and act like a fingerprint.  The chances of getting an outboard back are slim to non-existent so its best not to lose it in the first place.

Regular maintenance includes checking our batteries and keeping them topped up

6th January - Banderas Bay is a cool place to hang out and it is also one of the favorite departure points for the Pacific Puddle Jump.  The PPJ website now shows over 100 boats which have registered for the rally and are planning to depart from San Diego, Mexico, Panama and Galapagos. 

During January/February there are alot of Free Seminars for cruisers here in La Cruz and Puerto Vallarta.  Most of the seminars are aimed at cruisers doing the Pacific Puddle Jump 2014 and offer valuable advice from experienced and knowledgeable speakers.  

Pacific Puddle Jump Seminar - the screen shows the ITCZ cloud and the gap we will be looking for

In this seminar Steve is talking about passage-making to the Marquesas.  It is approx 2800 miles and depending on wind we expect it to take a minimum 3 weeks to get there.  During this passage we will need to cross the ITCZ - International Tropical Convergence Zone also known as the doldrums.  On the presenter's screen it is seen as the cloud mass streaking diagonally across the screen.  In reality it is a line of squalls and unsettled weather where the northeast and southeast tradewinds meet near the equator.   The idea is to cross the ITCZ as quickly as possible by looking for a gap, starting the motor and heading south.  Once through it we should pick up the south east trade winds and be sailing merrily on our way to Marquesas.


                                                 Happy New Year!  2014

A Dock Party had been organised on Dock 11 at the Marina but with all the wet weather the venue changed to the VIP Room at the Marina.  It was a Pot Luck with everyone bringing along a dish to share.  BYOG of course.  Lots of cruisers and kids and all the musicians amongst us brought along their musical instruments.  The music was great and very entertaining with hand drums, bangers, rattlers, shakers, ukelady and anything else that could make a sound.  Fireworks are allowed in Mexico so all the kids had huge sparklers whilst the adults let off the ones with big bangs and bursts of colour.  


Marquesas 2014


Check out our 3 new movies in Movies-2014/Pacific.

Our Pacific Crossing which features our Equator dance,  I Like Birds!,  and Adios Mexico which is a summary of our time in Sea of Cortez & Pacific Mexico. 


Baie de Taioa, Nuka Hiva……9th May    This bay is also known as Daniel and Antoinette's Bay after a friendly Marquesan couple who have lived here for 60 years.  You may have seen this bay on TV as it is where Survivor Marquesas was filmed.  Today we went on a spectacular hike through the valley to Vaipo waterfall.  We first kayaked to the beach and found a trail which led us around the point to the western cove.  

The family who owns the valley live here and are warm and friendly. The valley is full of fruit trees. They wander out of their homes to say hello and offer lunch and fruits.  I think he started doing a Marquesan version of the haka when he saw the camera. It cracked me up.

Our hike took us past ancient ruins, tikis and paepae in the valley.  Old stone walls, paths and foundations are found everywhere along the hike.

The hike wasn't always easy or well marked

Vaipo waterfall is a very high and narrow waterfall cascading around 2000 feet to the valley floor.  

There is a pool which you can swim in but if you climb over some rocks or swim under some other rocks you will be rewarded by a much better pool and you can swim right up and under the waterfall.  This makes the long hike worthwhile and you really feel like you have found paradise.


Baie de Taiohae, Nuka Hiva Island…..1st May  There are alot of boats anchored here as it is an official Port of Entry for the Marquesas.  For us, it is an opportunity to stock up on fresh produce, assess the autopilot, pick up spare part for the Monitor Windvane and repair our Honda Generator which may have a stuck valve.  It is also a chance to catch up with other cruisers, refuel, do washing and a little bit of internet.  

Nuka Hiva Island…..25th April  Our plan is to keep moving so that we can spend a month in Tuamotus and a month in Tahiti/Society Islands.  We have just heard from Gravel and Nat (True Companion).  They have left their boat in San Carlos and are sailing with Alan onboard Sara M to Australia.  We have not seen them since we were all in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.  They are at Controller Bay, Nuka Hiva with plans to depart for Samoa in the near future.  All vessels up anchor and we sail through the night to arrive at Controller Bay hoping to catch them before they go.  A reunion is a good excuse for a party.  Later that day, we were all sitting on Exodus enjoying a pot luck and a cocktail and discussing our passage crossings.  



L-R Brian (Chara), Gravel (Sara M), me, Alan needs a drink (Sara M), and Carolina (Lady Carolina)…..Photo courtesy of Exodus

Baie Hapatoni, Tahuatu Island  21st April

Outrigger canoes on the beach

The village is neat and tidy with a tree lined road and stone walls

The locals carve wood and bone to sell at the local market. They also make bowls, jewellery and scented coconut oils.


Fatu Hiva Island, Hanavave Baie  18th April       The Church bells are ringing….It was Good Friday.  Joyce and I sat at the back of the church which had concrete floors and walls and a timber ceiling all painted white.  The air flowed freely through the windows which had no glass or coverings.  The children were all seated together at the front of the church.  The church was full at 3pm and there were locals still wandering down the street to attend.  

Apart from Amen, I didn't understand a word they said but for me it was all about the singing and they sang a lot.  A packed church full of Marquesans singing loud, clear and in tune.   Their songs filled the air space and every crack and crevice.  The sweetest sounds came from the childrens voices.  It was a Marquesan concert and an experience not to be missed.  We spoke to a local girl after the service who said there was another service tomorrow night at 7pm which would include guitars and drums.  And yes, we went to church again.  This time with about 15 other cruisers.

The local church at Hanavave Village comes alive when the locals fill it to overflowing and start up the guitars, drums and singing. 


Our Marquesan Feast - We were sitting in the cockpit when we were visited by a local family. They were inviting cruisers to come to their house where they would cook up a Marquesan feast of chicken, goat, poisson cru, rice, coconut rice, salad & banana for a small fee.  We accepted as did Exodus, Lady Carolina, Dragonfly, Skabanga and a Hanse 52 with Germans and Swiss on board.  We arrived at their house at 6pm where a large banquet table was laid out with all the food.  It was delicious.  After dinner, the family picked up their guitars, eukalele and drums and started singing for us.  Their 10 year old granddaughter was so shy at first, not even able to look at us as she began playing the drums.  It wasn't long before she became the star of the show singing and dancing and laughing when she made a mistake.   

Even though there are some language barriers, coming together with the local Marquesans around food and music is an exceptional experience.  They have big smiles, a lot of warmth and are willing to extend friendship to visitors and share their culture.


The waterfall behind the village at Hanavave - We hiked for an hour before we reached a beautiful waterfall where we spent hours lounging around the rocks and enjoying the tranquil setting.  

The boys from Exodus and Lady Carolina played with the crayfish and an eel hiding amongst the rocks.  I was happy just to sit with my feet in the cool running water.  My little instamatic camera fell out of my pocket into the water.  It worked for about a week and then finally died.  


Fatu Hiva, Hanavave Bay, Marquesas 

Arrival - I am in paradise.  This is the most magnificent anchorage of great natural beauty that we have visited.  There is not much room in the small anchorage and we dropped and retrieved our anchor 3 times before we found a spot we were happy with.  In the meantime, a fellow Australian named Bill on Dragonfly played his didgeridoo for us as we arrived in the bay.  Our cruiser friends thought we must know him but we didn't meet them until later that day.  He had simply seen the name True Blue V, the Southern Cross on the bow and the Australian flag.  Thumbs up Bill.

The Bay of Virgins at Fatu Hiva Island


Hiva Oa Island, Baie Hanaiapa, 14th April       We went for a walk through the picturesque village of Hanaiapa today.  

Fruit trees everywhere, a paved road, a fresh water stream,  a church.  This is a delightful village.

We met William from his own unofficial Yacht Club where he gets cruisers to sign his guest book and offers lemonade & fruit in exchange for items to trade.

A great photo of the kids with William who is holding his guest book and standing behind his rain gauge

13th April  Hiva Oa, Baie Hanaiapa…..We were up early in the morning and motored the 10nm to Baie Hanaiapa, before the winds picked up. We made 60 litres of water whilst underway and had breakfast when we arrived.

This waterfall and cave are at the entrance to Baie Hanaiapa.

Baie Hanaiapa, Hiva Oa


12th April   The Twins…..We departed (Top Secret Bay)Tahuata yesterday planning to sail to Baie Hanaiapa.  We had a great sail down between the 2 islands with full headsail and mainsail out, travelling at 6.5 to 7.5 knots.  I was hand steering when the drag on the fishing reel started screaming.  Craig grabbed the rod, however he was concerned that the fish would wrap itself around the handline that we were also towing.  I went to pull it in but it was also heavy.  Crikey! A double hook-up.  

Yellowfin Tuna.  We had twins measuring 80cm & 81cm.  Sushi and hot tuna on the BBQ.  Delicious.

We have decided we need a fish cleaning board as everytime we catch a fish we have blood everywhere in the cockpit and on the side of the boat.  I found out the hard way that if it's not washed away immediately it becomes a real chore later on.  Anyway, back  to sailing…….as we came around the point we met 25knot easterly winds and moderate seas.  We still had 10nm to go but it was going to be a hard slog.  Lucky for us we were just passing an anchorage called Baie Hanamenu on Hiva Oa Island so we decided to drop anchor there for the night and get an early start in the morning.


Tahuata Island, Top Secret Bay, 11th April   

Meet the Marquesans…..We departed Atuona yesterday afternoon and headed to a nearby island called Tahuata where Lady Carolina and Exodus were already anchored.  We arrived at a beautiful bay with white sandy beaches and coconut trees.  About 3 days ago Tim and Steve gave me a leg of goat and a pig rib roast to put in my freezer with the view to having a meat feast sometime soon.    The local family who own the land and beach were holidaying there and when Steve and Tim asked about somewhere to cook the meat they invited us to join them for lunch and use their BBQ fire pit.  We had a fabulous afternoon and we all ate way to much.

Hospitality Marquesan style.  They grow everything themselves on their property and we enjoyed trying some new and tasty Marquesan dishes such as conch, poisson cru, pumpkin with tapioca sugar & coconut milk, spicy fish and red banana with shredded coconut.  In addition to this we bought salads, green beans, potatoes, onions & breadfruit for the hot coals, bread pudding with caramel sauce and banana bread as well as goat and pig that we had been given in Atuona.  There was so much food that we ended up taking the meat home to eat later.

Using coconut husks to keep the fire hot.

The meat feast which our hosts chopped ,marinated & cooked for us.  Thank you.

Beachfront view looking across to Hiva Oa in the background.

Steve and Tim taking the kids for a ride.  Note the kid in the blue shirt giving the thumbs up.


Hiva Oa, Atuona 10th April   

Visiting Atuona…..Bob & Joyce from Chara have their daughter and son in law travelling with them.  We all went for a walk in to town to check out the cemetery where French artist Paul Gauguin and Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel are buried.

Craig with the Chara crew L-R  Joyce, Bob, Anna & Brian at the beach in front of Atuona.

Joyce recommended lunch from the sandwich truck.  She said to get the complete sandwich which consisted of a french baguette filled with omelette, ham, french fries and tomato sauce.  We headed down to the beach and sat on this concrete wall where we ate our complete sandwich which was delicious.


9th April   A tour of Hiva Oa …...We went on a tour today which was a drive around the island of Hiva Oa.  We piled into the car with Lady Carolina & Exodus and our tour driver Marie-Jo.

A photo stop along the way

It's all about the fruit!  There is fruit growing everywhere alongside the road and also on landowners property.  Bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, mangoes, guava, starfruit, applestar, pamplemousse, pistache, strawberries, little red chillies and ginger.  You should always ask permission from the landowner before taking them although our guide assisted us with this.

This fruit is called a Pistache, also known as Tahiti Cherry and as you can see it gave me a purple tongue.

We called into a local orchard and sampled some of his citron, pamplemousse and dried banana.  

Pamplemousse is delicious.   It is like a sweet grapefruit and Marie-Jo made sure we took plenty home with us.

We saw lots of goats and chickens.  The locals also hunt for pigs and sheep.


Visiting the tiki site on Hiva Oa.

The chief tiki is on the right, standing head and shoulders above his wife situated behind him.  Apparently the missionaries cut off his penis because they thought it was offensive.  I doubt the Chief would have liked his new look.

This tiki behind us looked like a fish.

Some of the locals were swimming at the beach but none of us had bought our swimmers and after driving around all day we were keen to get back to our boats.


Hiva Oa Island,  8th April        Boats are arriving and departing daily as Atuona, Hiva Oa is an official Port of Entry.  

Many of these boats have arrived from the Galapagos & Mexico.  It's anchors down and off to check in with the local Gendarmerie which is a 1/2 hour hike into town.

The village of Atuona situated in front of Mt Temetiu 1213m 

The Gendarmerie is located in town and where we go to check in.  It is also a good excuse to check out the supermarket for fresh vegetables & french baguettes.  And a chance to practice our limited French.  Bonjour!



© True Blue V 2016