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).
The jungle is a site to behold!
View up the creek at the ocean.
Fun in the waterfall!!
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!
Beaching at Punta Mita – surf is up!
Another water fall in the hills behind PV.
Dinner at Consuelo and Dave’s in PV.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.