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…'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.  

© True Blue V 2016