Monday, November 24, 2014


November 11, 2014

Cabo Marina
The weather was still unsettled on Tuesday, so we decided to remain one more day in Cabo.  I took advantage of the time to shop for a new pair of headphones.  While walking through the mall, I happened upon a toy store where I managed to purchase the last available set of Mexican Train dominoes.  I had been searching for them since the previous December, so was well satisfied, although the last thing I really needed was a five pound domino set to add to my already voluminous luggage.  Eventually, I found a pair of headphones at a farmacia.  Then I went to Starbucks and posted the first blog post I had made since starting my journey.  Unfortunately, I had forgotton my camera, so could only get as far as Bahia Santa Maria.

When I came back, we had an early dinner of tostadas and then Kathy stayed behind to sew while Don and I set off to walk to Walmart in the cool of the evening.  It grew dark as we walked and what started as an easy stroll along the sidewalk, eventually morphed into a hair-raising walk along the verge of a dark freeway.  We did eventually make it to the Walmart, however.  We stocked up on beverages and fresh produce and then took a cab back to the boat.  We retired early, planning to get up at first light to leave for La Cruz.

November 12, 2014

Wednesday morning, all the boats planning to head for Banderas Bay finally paraded out of the Cabo marina to start the nearly 300 mile passage.  We motored for the first few hours to charge the batteries and run the water maker, but switched to sail when the wind came up and sailed all day and into the evening.  Though we had expected wind on the nose, we were able to sail on a close reach.  The day was nearly perfect, with points of light sparkling off the wavelets like diamonds.  

Cabo in the Rear View Mirror
Thunderheads in the Distance
We made good time, rotating through our watches.  The sport fisher in the slip next to us in                                                                                                                                                             the Cabo marina (We were the only sail-boat in that section of the marina.) had given us a couple of dorado filets and I sautéed them in garlic for dinner and we ate them with cabbage and couscous.  While there were massive clouds all around us, the weather stayed fine all night, although the wind died and we had to start the engine about 9:00 pm.

November 13, 2014

Thursday was another day of perfect weather.  The wind was a bit light for sailing and mostly on the nose, anyway, but the seas had calmed and we motored along easily.  We all caught up on sleep when we weren’t on watch and Kathy did a bit more sewing.  We could hear the other Ha-Ha boats talking on the radio around us.  As evening approached, we dodged a few squalls.  I made chicken cutlets and mashed yams for dinner.  Kathy had some impressive lightning on her watch, but I slept through the whole thing.  When it got dark, we could see the lights on the Marias more than twenty miles in the distance.

Sunrise on the Way to La Cruz
November 14, 2014

I came on watch at 4:00 am as we neared Banderas Bay.  I slowed the motor a bit so as not to have to thread my way between Punta Mita and the Marietas in the dark.  The sun rose over the mountains behind Puerto Vallarta just as I had remembered it, eclipsing ever other sunrise on this journey.  Gradually, I made out the Marietas and headed for the center of the channel.  I woke Don so that he could witness our entrance to Banderas Bay.  Kathy came up at what would have been 8:00 if we hadn’t sailed into a new time zone, making it 9:00 local time.  I saw a whale blow three times and then breach and then we saw a pod of dolphins following us in.  The last vestiges of the tropical storm had passed and it was a gorgeous morning.  We entered Marina La Cruz at 10:15 in the morning and took a slip for a few days.

The Marietas
Entrance to Paradise
                   After washing the boat and ourselves, Don and I took a walk around the marina to the port captain’s office and checked in.  Kathy stayed behind to try to finish sewing the trim on the dodger.  When we returned, she was ready for a break, so we repaired to the nearest palapa bar for drinks and appetizers.  It truly felt like we had landed in paradise.

November 15, 2014

Don at the La Cruz Marina
We had stayed up quite late on our first night in La Cruz, so I rose late.  It was wonderful to be able to wander up to the office and use the lovely showers, revel in the air conditioning, and connect to the internet.  In the afternoon, Kathy repaired once again to the Eva Mandarina Beach Club, which was still under construction when I was in La Cruz last year, and Don and I went for a walk around La Cruz so I could show him what was there.  Unfortunately, my favorite restaurant was abandoned and Ya-Ya’s Café had burned down, but there were also a few new places that has sprung up in my absence.  The town seemed unexpectedly sleepy, but everyone was expecting a busy season because of the hurricane in Cabo and violence in Acapulco.
Bar at Eva Mandarina Beach Club
After it cooled off, Kathy sewed on the dodger until it got dark and then we all set off for town to seek out some street tacos.  It was still rather early, so we stopped into the Gecko Rojo for a couple of drinks first.  Several sidewalk eateries spring up after dark in La Cruz, dragging a barbecue and a few resin tables out onto the sidewalk and/or street and serving food al fresco.  We had carne asada and beef adobo tacos.  Dinner for three cost us 75 pesos (about $5.75) in stark contrast to the beach bar where one margarita cost 85 pesos, although the ambiance was wonderful.  We chatted with a local fisherman at the next table who wanted to make sure that we didn’t miss the Sunday farmers’ market the next morning.

November 16, 2014

Kathy at the Farmer's Market in La Cruz
Feeling that I had been entirely too lazy the day before, I got up before dawn to run in the cool darkness.  I ran the 2+ miles from one end of the marina to the other and back and then repaired to the office for a shower and to use the internet to compose a blog post.  Kathy also got up early to finish the sewing on the dodger before it got hot.  I worked on my blog until Don and Kathy were ready to go to the farmers’ market. 

The Sunday farmers’ market in La Cruz doesn’t offer much in the way of produce, but offers every other kind of food imaginable and lots of clothing and crafts vendors.  They had a good band playing classic rock and Latin hits.  The singer did a passable Paul McCartney imitation.  Kathy bought a variety of berries and a small picture made of colored straw.  She and Don shared a chorizo sandwich and I had a spinach and cheese empanada.  We all shared a yeasty roll dripping in sugary frosting and drank fresh juices.  I had a refreshing glass of kiwi, cucumber and lemon juice that really hit the spot.  We ate, drank and listened to the band for a while before heading off to catch a bus to Bucerias to find an ATM.

Beach Bar in Bucerias
We disembarked from the bus near the center of Bucerias and gave Don a quick tour of the plaza, market and beach before stomping off in search of the bank.  We actually had to walk almost all the way to Mezcales to find an ATM, but there were a few up that way.  It was hot, but interesting to see parts of Bucerias I had never explored before.  We got our pesos and then caught a bus back to La Cruz.  Of course we were hot after our exertions, so we stopped at the Gecko Rojo for a drink to cool down.

I spent part of the afternoon perusing various websites and sending emails to landlords, looking for a place to live.  There were a lot of B&Bs and luxury condos for rent in the $100+ per night range.  Long term rentals were much cheaper, but I wasn’t planning to stay the requisite 6 months or one year.  I wrote to the few options available.  I got negative responses from a few that were already rented, leaving me with just two possibilities to pursue.  One was as apartment building on the hill overlooking town that had a variety of places from studios at 5500 pesos ($425) per month to two bedrooms for 8000 pesos ($615.)  The other was a home that rented rooms and looked lovely, although the stated rate was $40/night.

Kathy and I strolled over to the beach club for banana daiquiris and passed a couple of pleasant hours hanging out there.  We were all hungry by the time we returned to the boat, so I whipped up some salad and quesadillas from leftover chicken cutlets and veggies and we had a light dinner.  I napped for a couple of hours after dinner.  (Kathy had taught the bartender at the beach club how to make daiquiris and he used a LOT of rum.)  I woke up just long enough to make a trip to the restroom and chat with Scott for a few minutes before retiring.  By the time I got back, Don and Kathy were already asleep.

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