Every Friday in the Blue Bay anchorage in Tenacatita the mayor organizes a dingy potluck with the boats in the anchorage. These are always interesting, fun and bring the already small cruising community closer. We have been in the area for three weeks and are beginning to understand how easy it would be to just be in the area for months! Supplies are close, beaches are beautiful, snorkelling is fantastic , every day there are a number of activities, surfing, Bochi on the beach, Mexican train in the palapa or ….. the days just drift by. This area is also the dividing line between those heading further south. A small group go as far a Zihuatanejo for Sailfest and the Guitar Festival then return, the rest head on to destinations further south. Zihuatanejo is usually a motor both ways at this time of year ( 400 kt miles in total ) and the temperatures pops up another 5 + degrees so with out AC or bigger fans Sue would definitely over heat! As a result we will be soon saying adios to a number of boats heading further south on bigger adventures. I can’t express how wonderful and open the people we meet cruising are – becoming friends in such short time only to find ourselves saying heart felt good -byes. The saying “ships passing in the night” has a whole new meaning for us on Adesso.
Yes, all those projects I thought I would get to once we were cruising in the south, with time on our hands, have remained. Once in a while things do require attention. Recently we noticed our water makers production fall off and lucky for us Chris on SV Legacy went to Spectra Factory training and carried a few spare parts aboard. After a little testing we decided the problem was the feed pumps needed rebuilding and yes he happen to have two kits available. With the rebuild kits in hand I had to remove the pumps rebuild them and put them back. The removing and putting back being the hardest part of the job, hot ,sweaty ,upside down in a small space! Now we are making a full 15 gallons per hour of water so we don’t have to change our rich water use ways.
Then the dingy motor – just three years old was having starting and idling problems. Upon checking the oil was being diluted with gas – yikes. This turned out to be a small metal shard in the fuel jet preventing it from closing but took a morning on the beach learning all about Tohatsu repair on the run. Oh and of course an oil change.
Its that it – well not really – a few electronic communication issues, our Dripless Shaft Seal lost lock nuts and started to sink the boat, the head needs greasing and oiling and the bottom of the boat is in constant need of cleaning – barnacles and other tropical life seem to laugh at the bottom paint that is supposed to keep them off!
Throw in cleaning, eating , socializing, surfing, walking, snorkelling … there is not time for discretionary boat projects – yet!
Well Josh has made it past the learner stage and is now catching way more waves than this old guy! The wave a Tenacatia is not huge but on the larger sets there is a great right pealing into the beach. If you crouch low enough you can even get tubed!!!! We are all having a great time with Matt ( a San Diego local ) on sailing vessel Tipsea pulling nose rides and all sorts of tricks that only someone who has spent his youth on the beach could do. We have loosely called our surf group the Wolf Pack, when the surf is good you can hear the howling in the bay. Sue has joined us, catching her first ride, her smile was a mile wide.
As you might have surmised from earlier posts Josh is our fisherman and he can spend hours at it. Sue and I often wish he would take his High School as seriously as the fishing, he spends hours working on lures, even inventing his own designs and if he doesn’t catch fish, he is not a happy camper! He has even taken to feeding the fish in hopes that they might grow bigger, his latest pet is at least a couple of feet long, a Jack he names – Googies -that has come regularly for snacks. This Jack has been known to nibble on toes if left dangling in the water a well.
Here in Tenacatita Bay Josh has a couple of equally fanatical fisherman (surfers as well), Dave on Aussie Rules and Matt on Tipsea. Dave and Josh caught the Dorado below as the sun went down and it was pitch black by the time the fish was landed in the dinghy. From the smiles you can tell how happy they were!
Melaque seems to be the best provisioning town in the area and the only one with a Bank! It is so great that Laurie (my sister) and Rob have made this town their winter home. She has all the inside info on where the best meat is, which grocery store to get veggies, what restaurants are good … They also have made a fantastic home base, a beautiful palapa over the upper floor where they live, with guest suites below. Oh, and a garden that we are told is a yearly challenge to keep under control. Rob also put his panga fishing boat in the water and has taken Josh on a few fishing trips, which is always a highlight from him.
We took advantage of a 5 day special to be on the dock in Barra de Navidad for Christmas. Here we: enjoyed a wonderful cruisers Xmas Potluck, hailed the French baker so we could enjoy decadent breakfast treats with our coffee, visited with Laurie and Rob who spoiled us in Melaque, re-provisioned, explored Barra, enjoyed the novelty of being on a dock where we got to enjoy all the Grand Bay Resort’s facilities. (included with moorage)
Next we drifted over to Tenacatita Bay where we went in a biathlon, organized a blind dingy race, made some wonderful new cruising friends, did the daily swim to shore for bochi ball, snorkeled in the Aquarium, watched the baby turtles make their first ocean entry, walked cobbled roads, socialized copiously, hid from hordes of nightly mosquitoes, drank coconut juice and ate fresh fish ….well as you can imagine… it hasn’t been easy, but we are managing!
We headed 280 nm over to Banderas Bay from the Baja and located ourselves in Punta de Mita, the northernmost anchorage in Banderas bay just off a large rocky point. Banderas Bay is a popular sailing area: it is very well protected, stretches 23 miles across, is home to 4 large marinas, and has an amazing assortment of wildlife. Puerta Vallarta, Bucerias, Sayulita are all interesting places to visit and just an easy bus ride away.
We anchored off Punta de Mita for a few days which allowed Josh to hone his surfing skills. He is definitely hooked on surfing! There are lots of surf breaks in Punta de Mita area, the best ones being off the point itself. I enjoyed catching beach break waves off the shore with my boogie board. The town of Punta de Mita is very small, and has the typical contrast between very poor small homes and opulent hotels and tourist homes. The tourists bolster the local economy and the Mexicans happily capitalize on it. It all works! To get internet access we typically pack our computers into the wet/dry bag, make a beach break landing, and pop up to one of the beachside palapa restaurants. You often get free internet if you order something; $12 Canadian, will feed all three of us a simple but delicious lunch including a Pacifico which allows us to catch up on emails etc. One of the things we noticed right away was the climate difference between the Baja and mainland Mexico; you leave a desert and enter a very lush, beautiful, tropic. The humidity was very high when we arrived and the first few nights were definitely an adjustment, very hot, wet and sticky inside the boat and out. Luckily the overcast nights and humidity subsided and most evenings since have been more comfortable.
From Punta de Mita we headed 9 nm south in Banderas Bay to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle where many cruisers spend the entire season. La Cruz is laid back and a little bit more of a town than Punta de Mita. It has lots of cobble stone streets, big shady huanacaxtle trees, everything you need for provisioning including an amazing fish market and an organic farmers market on Sundays. There are a number of Canadians and Americans who have made La Cruz their permanent home and these expats offer services for the cruisers; there is a variety of night life, music, restaurants, and little cafes.
While in La Cruz, you can either anchor out or stay in a very lovely, well looked after marina. We looked forward to connecting with a few more cruisers in La Cruz and decided we would anchor out for awhile and then go into the marina before exiting the area. We met lots of great people and in particularly enjoyed meeting a family from France who had teenaged boys close in age to Josh. Very rare! We all went to Sayulita together to play in the surf and check out the scene. I was shocked to see how much Sayulita had changed over the last nine years since we had been there. It has been on development steroids for nine years! We were there on the 14th of December, still a little early in the tourist season, but it was packed! Lots of young people, every nook and cranny was selling something, many different nationalities are represented by the goods being sold, hustle and bustle, and even young americans were trying to sell you stuff on the beach. Its still very beautiful, and you wouldn’t want for anything in Sayulita …. except for maybe a little bit of laid back simplicity. The boys had a great time in the surf, Josh got to check out the babes on the beach….I think he’ll definitely be back!
After La Cruz we headed back to Punta de Mita as this is a good spot to head out of Banderas Bay, give the Boy some more surf time, possibly snorkel at Las Tres Marietas Islands (just a couple of nm away) then start making our way south for Christmas in Barra de Navidad.
Just a short 25 miles north of San Jose del Cabo is Los Frailes, a bay at the south end of a large marine park dedicated to protecting a large coral reef. This should have been a quick trip but the weather man was wrong and I should have check in the morning before we left. Alas we ended beating upwind in 20 to 25 + knots, which meant it took all day to get their and that clean boat was again covered in salt. Here we found small cursing community that were waiting out of the northwesterly’s , a group of about 10 panga fisherman camped on the beach and a quite a number of trailer vagabonds that camp in the arroyo ( some have been coming for up to 20 years).
The hiking was great but the big plus here was the reef. Visibility was good and we spent hours snorkelling taking in the seeming endless array of colourful fish of all shapes and sizes. We easily wiled away 5 days, then taking the next wind window we were off to Banderas Bay, 280 miles away.
We are in the land of whales, dolphins, turtles, sail fish, a feast for the eyes. Oddly it felt like we were in a National Geographic nature show. A new surprise for us on the crossing was how the Boobies, loved to hitch a ride on our boat. They were not even afraid of our attempts to remove them solar panels and push pit. We wouldn’t have minded the hitch hikers, but they tended to shit on the boat while riding – what a mess!
Thank you to all friends, helpers and well wishers that helped us on our way. We are so lucky to adventure on Adesso and feel blessed by such fantastic family and friends. From the Mexican Riviera, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!!!!
After the escape from Cabo we headed to the marina at San Jose del Cabo to wash the boat, our selves, the laundry and just about anything else we could think of. The trip down Baja was dry with wind blown grit everywhere. This part of Baja is interesting because of inflated prices some of which is caused by the uber rich that tend to frequent the area sport fishing and the hurricane – some resources were hard to find. Sue an I took a walk down the beach and were surprised by the number if hotels that were under full renovation because of the storm damage. We heard that this also was taking a toll on the local population, the loss of service jobs, and quite a number had their houses literally blown over! At the marina docks were damaged or completely missing. Washed and stocked after a trip to the Mega we were excited to head out to our first anchorage that had reefs to snorkel.