We heard from Steve that he was stuck in Cuba due to high winds and seas and would not make it down to Panama City for the first week of March. He suggested that we do our Plan B for the season and, instead of doing the puddle jump with him, sail into the Sea of Cortez.
So we left Barra de Navidad on Tuesday February 9th before the French Baker arrived in the marina, a great sacrifice from Karen! We had planned on taking about 3 days to sail up to Banderas Bay where we might be visited by Richard’s nephew and his wife in late February. Once we headed north we saw 2 other sailboats going our way. WaveDancer planned to stop in Chamela, like us, but the other boat Cool Change, was going to do a straight shot to La Cruz. By 1 pm we were all sailing at over 6 knots so the three boats all decided to keep going through the night. Just off of Chamela we were visited by dolphins, always a great time on Snowaway!
We had an easy rounding of Cabo Corrientes and anchored by mid morning at Punta de Mita.
After resting up and learning that Richard’s nephew was not going to make it to Puerto Vallarta, we sailed around to Chacala. This was one of our favourite stops when we sailed down on Sol Mate. We enjoyed a lovely meal at Las Brisas, the same restaurant we had eaten at in 2005. The town has grown up a lot since we were last here!
On February 14th we headed up to Ensenada de Matanchén. Our sailing friends on Airborne, Kathy and Hal, had left their boat on the hard in San Blas for the hurricane season. We had a lovely visit with them. After visiting the Port Captain and having a tour of the San Blas Fonatur facilities, we had lunch and a stop to view the crocodiles.
On February 16th we headed out with Ann and Dick on Full & By to do the overnight motor sail to Mazatlán. We are currently at dock in Marina Mazatlán preparing boat and crew for the overnight sail to La Paz on the Baja California Peninsula.
We had planned on leaving Mazatlán on Saturday December 12th and take about a week to reach the Costalegre area of Mexico. We had decided we wanted to spend Christmas in Barra de Navidad, one of our favourite places to be. It rained all day Saturday…
So at 8:15 Sunday morning we departed Marina Mazatlán and headed over to the El Cid fuel dock. It took awhile to get fuel but by 10 am we were sailing south in very lumpy conditions! The man at the fuel dock had told us that the port captain was about to close the port due to the conditions!
We had a great sail until the winds started to die at 5 pm. We then motored through the night. In the morning, after avoiding many fishing long lines, we decided that the seas had not calmed enough to go into Chacala. So we motored to Punta de Mita just inside the entrance to Banderas Bay. It took us 23 hours to travel the 173 NM from Mazatlán.
We spent a relaxing day at Punta, enjoying the sunset and watching the fishermen feeding the pelicans.
We were surprised that we did not see any dolphins nor whales.
On Wednesday December 16th we headed across Banderas Bay to round the dreaded Cabo Corrientes. The winds are always stronger around the cape and sailors like to time the rounding such that the winds are no more than 20 knots. We actually had a great rounding, the approach almost had too little wind!
We were treated to dolphins showing us their jumping ability as we sailed along the coast.
We arrived in Tenacatita just before the local cruisers net started on Thursday morning. Just after we anchored two dolphins came over to rub themselves on our anchor chain! What a great welcome to the bay! We traveled 120 NM from Punta in just over 24 hours.
Friday was our day to enjoy the area. We had a great snorkel along the northwest part of the anchorage seeing lots of fish and eels. We enjoyed the delicious “Sea Roll” at the little palapa restaurant for lunch and enjoyed the season’s first Mayor’s sunset dinghy raft-up.
On Saturday we motored to Marina Puerto de la Navidad where we plan to spend much of the next month…
We decided we should hop on the buses at La Cruz and explore the bay area. Buses are frequent and inexpensive. A bus into Puerto Vallarta about 20 km away costs 16 pesos (less than $2). But we decided to head to the other end of the bay to Punta de Mita. We have anchored there several times but have never gone ashore. We decided since we had lots of time we would visit by land and look for easy landing sites. So on Friday we hopped on the bus, it cost about $1.50 and we had a nice 30 minute ride along the coast to Punta de Mita. We wandered along the beach looking for the fishermens’ basin; when we were anchored we saw many pangas going into the basin and we hoped there was a place for us to bring our dinghy. Of course there was no place for us but we enjoyed watching the birds cruising around looking for some left overs. We found a very nice palapa restaurant for lunch and they put on the Olympic men’s hockey semi-final game between Canada and the USA while we had a great lunch. Although they only had a Fox telecast, which was in Spanish, and we had to watch speed skating finals in between the hockey, we were happy to watch Canada win.
The next day we were joined by Lynn and Don from Pacific SeaShell (another Calgary based boat) for our trip to Sayulita. Sayulita is outside Banderas Bay but not that far. We paid 80 cents for a bus to Bucerias and then $1 to Sayulita. The bus took us through some mountains to a lovely town that seems to cater to surfers and the younger crowd.
The beach was lovely and the town had lots of restaurants serving vegan to very meaty dishes. We went looking for lunch a bit earlier; we discovered later that a time zone change had happened. We were looking for lunch at 11 am!! We found a lovely place on the beach that served hummus and pita and other Mediterranean dishes; we asked about buying tahini there but were told they brought it in from Guadalajara! We enjoyed the side street along the river and saw a flock of black-necked stilts, one of our favorite water birds, enjoying the banks.