Back in Banderas Bay

Hiking up the main road out of town!

Hiking up the main road out of town!

A convenient southerly wind carried us on a 16 hour, overnight passage from Tenacatita, around Cabo Corrientes and into Banderas Bay where we would rendezvous with sister Wendy and her husband Wayne.  We dropped anchor around 9 am in Yelapa (on the far southwest side of Banderas Bay). Yelapa is fairly open to swell so it quite a rolly polly anchorage. Though we were tired from being up all night, it was evident that we were not likely to be sleeping much, so we decided we might as well go on a big hike up to the waterfall. We waited for Mark and Dee on Speakeasy, fellow Canadian cruising friends, to pull into the anchorage so we could share the waterfall experience with them. Yelapa is wonderful! There is no road access so local transportation on land is primarily by mule and horse along cobble and dirt trails that are lined with beautiful flowers and foilage. To get to the waterfall you walk partway through town, then cross the river and hike along the river through jungle for about an hour until you get to a spectacular swimming hole and waterfall. We enjoyed the experience so much that we quickly put it on our list as a ‘must do’ with Wendy and Wayne (which we did about a week later).

 

While in Banderas Bay we stayed in Marina Vallarta for 3 nights in order to make for easy accessible visiting with Wendy and Wayne who were staying in an all-inclusive in the hotel zone.  We enjoyed the location even though marinas in general are not our favourite. Ted is always great at making the most of marina experiences: boat cleaning, boat projects, boat refit shopping….It was a great place to be to enjoy lots of fun experiences with Wendy and Wayne as well as Dave and Consuelo (Waynes cousin and his lovely Mexican wife) who shared with us some wonderful Mexican experiences we never otherwise would have had: a home-cooked Pollo Mole, snuggling with Mexican rescue dogs on the couch,  local oysters, enjoying the beach mexican style (just bring lotsa cervezas in a 5 gallon bucket of ice and hang out in the shade, swim in the surf, sit on the beach, repeat!), local market shopping, and in general wonderful friendly laid back energy!

Other Banderas Bay highlights included: La Cruz Sunday market, prawns from the fish market, Taco’s on the Street, joining in the Banderas Bay Regatta on Iolani, surfing and beach walks at Punta Mita, potlucks and visits with fellow cruisers we rejoined since Tenacatita….and eventually goodbyes to Wendy and Wayne and dear cruising friends as we all dispersed into our  varied directions  and journeys.

Banderas Bay Regatta

 

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The winning crew!!

Barry and Syliva have raced Iolani constantly in the San Francisco Bay and were loving the chance to take a break from cruising to race in the Banderas Bay Regatta.  This is supposed to be a “cruisers” regatta but we all know what that really means  “no holds barred” racing.  We joined the crew as deck slaves and what a great time we had and yes Iolani won her class!!!   I was part of the forced crew and josh was part of the genoa trim team – this means lots of grinding on winches.  I must say the crew did have a lot of experience, and we were all motivated by Barry’s polite (not) reminders whenever anything went wrong!  Like all famous captains our reward was beer and food!  Actually the real reward was the racing which was so much fun for me a Josh!

Mind of its own???

Maybe it was aliens setting it off as it sat mounted by the companionway.

Maybe it was aliens setting it off as it sat mounted by the companionway.

We had a mic failure on the way to San Francisco which was sending out Distress signals causing the US Coast Guard to contact us wondering what was going on. This was solved by unplugging the mic and replacing it.  In Banderas Bay how ever our EPIRB decided that we were in imminent danger and was turning on, then off, then on ….   This engaged the full Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre which manages rescues of Canadian Vessels world wide.  Lucky our Winlink  map on our website had us pegged at anchor in Punta Mita which would be an odd place to set off an EPIRB – we could swim ashore if we had too – so the the Mexican Navy was put on stand-by while they contacted us and we figured out what was going on.  Josh sitting in companionway saw the errant EPIRB go off, flashing lights again, so with screw driver in had we took the unit apart to unplug it.  The whole event was a little stressful but it is good to know that if we were really in danger, the rescue network really works!  Mark and Dee from the catamaran, Speakeasy, were traveling back to Victoria  so they offered to return the faulty unit.  Kannad the manufacturer decided to replace the unit in time for the Speakeasy crew to bring us the new unit, so all will end well!

Blue Bay

Boats at anchor in Blue Bay

Boats at anchor in Blue Bay

This beautiful anchorage in Tenacatia Bay is known to capture cruisers and hold them for weeks and we were no exception.  We departed and returned numerous times, truly enjoying every stay.  The cruising community had elected a Mayor – Robert and Virginia on Harmony who have returned every winter for many years.  They provide, with the help of Chris and Heather on Legacy, daily activities such as beach bochi, Mexican train in the palapa, swim to the beach at 1:30 and of course there is always beer in the palapa no matter what one does with the day.  The weekly Friday mayors raft-up with potluck appies and theme sharing is always fun and a great way to meet the cruisers anchored in the Bay.  We would fish, surf, paddle board, beach walk, took a dingy trip into the mangrove swamp, swim, beers on the beach, play bochi ball, happy hour with cruisers and talk about everything under the sun!  Then  it would happen all again.  We made such good friends, here and are sure to keep in contact with many, some living on our own Vancouver Island – just another example of how small the world is!

 

La Manzanilla

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Adesso at anchor in front of La Manzanilla

Hiking up the creek bed.

Hiking up the creek bed.

This little beach town across from Blue Bay in Tenacatitia   was one of or favourite stops.  Oddly so did quite a few Canadians escaping the cold in our home province of BC.  We met so  many friends from Cortes Island here as well, just a little mind blowing, walking the beach and seeing so many familiar faces.  Aside from Sue wondering if we should retire here the big draw was the hike up to a waterfall.  We took a few fellow cruisers up to splash in the fresh coooool water, on a hot day, it just doesn’t get better.  Hikes in the jungle are full of new plant, animal and insect life that is just amazing to see. What a planet we live on and reminder for us to take care of it lest we lose all this beauty.

 

 

OUCH!

We have not had that may injuries this trip.  The usual scrapes that often take a long time to heal if they are on the feet, as they often are.  Sue even had to take antibiotics for a toe issue that got quite infected.  Josh on the other had did get stung by a ray not once but twice.  These stings are very painful as the tail of the ray has a barbed hook that jabs you if you happen to step on them.  The word at the beach is “shuffle your feet”!  The remedy for a ray sting is get hot water – VERY hot water , on the wound right away and keep it there for as long as you can stand.  The picture shows Josh getting the hot water treatment but by now the beers that you get in sympathy have numbed the pain.

Josh with his foot in a buck of hot water.

Josh with his foot in a buck of hot water.

La Manzanilla Storm

We have had the odd bit of crazy weather in Mexico but the storm in La Manzanilla tops them all.   Water has been warmer than usual and the ITC zone has been spinning disturbances off for the last month.  The latest, moved through our area while we were visiting La Manzanilla and it was quite a light show.  I was hoping that the steel boat anchored close to us would draw any lightening strike first!   The local cell tower was close as well so I suppose that would get hit first.  It took a couple of hours for the front to move through and though the rainfall was less than when we were in Melaque the electricity was astounding.  I have never seen the like of this in my life.

Rain!

We are in the middle of the sunny Mexican holiday season where it never rains, right?  Well we had a couple days of cloudy wet weather but one day was a full on tropical downpour .  Streets turned to mud, the Melaque lagoon burst and the beaches were deserted.  I took a quick video from the boat.

Melaque 2015

Melaque 2015

Melaque 2015

Rob and my sister, Laurie have a house in Melaque, so this  was our next stop for a week or two while we catch up with family.  Brother Peter and his wife Heather travelled south from Calgary which was great fun.   The Bay gives you great protection from the wind but swell has been known to challenge even the best at dinghy landing.

The point that protects Melaque Bay

The point that protects Melaque Bay

Adesso anchoring infant of Melaque.

Adesso anchoring infant of Melaque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were lucky this year with mostly easy landings though when the Tohatsu outboard was being repaired  we got wet a number of times- mostly at night when the swells were hard to see.

Always lots of room on the jeep

Always lots of room on the jeep

Rob took us on a number of Jeep adventures, travelling into town was a regular occurrence with the horn always bringing smiles to kids faces.  Of course a little back-roading took us into agriculture area behind the town with proved to be enlightening though we always seemed to be covered in mud!  Rob found this Veep is the US, a 1951 Jeep body that was put on a VW beetle under carriage that turns heads where ever it goes.

Josh and Rob catching more fish

Josh and Rob catching more fish

Rob Josh and Peter were always game to fish, they had some success.  Here is a pic of Josh with another Durado , we have bee eating well from the sea!

The week with family went quickly with trips to La Manzanilla, Barra de Navidad, Costacomante, the local Melanie tienge (street market), beers at Alexe’s on the beach and …….   It was so fun to have most of the Bannister together for a week but alas all good things come to pass.  We have truly enjoyed getting to know this town and area.