South Bound and Down
We finally finished all our lightning-related repairs on the boat and broke the dock lines tying us to Puerto Vallarta. We were there two months longer than planned this season. While there was certainly some stress and a lot of work involved, we also had a ton of fun exploring the area and spending time with friends.
Our new landlubber pals, Chris and Steph, introduced us to awesome local restaurants, let us tag along on Costco runs, and provided us with frequent dog fixes (thanks, guys!).
We visited with cruising friends in the marina and friends who happened to be in the area on vacation. Our friends Jessie and Dave made their annual pilgrimage to Gadabout to escape the Pacific NW winter.
We even had the opportunity to partake in local Mexican Christmas Eve festivities, thanks to our amigo, Juanito, and his family.
We wouldn’t have experienced much of this had we been on our original timeline. I guess Mother Nature wanted us to have a bit more fun before leaving this beautiful area.
Our first leg was a short trip across Banderas Bay to Punta de Mita for the night then the next day was a long one, 90 miles, to Chamela Bay. There were a few whale sightings along the way, including a mother and calf, and a pod of dolphins paid us a visit to play in our bow wake. The seas were a bit sloppy but the weather was beautiful. After no open ocean for 8 months, though, plus the stress of an after-dark arrival in the anchorage, we were exhausted when we finally dropped the hook at the end of a 14-hour day of (mostly) motoring. We spent three days in Chamela exploring and catching up with friends, then continued south to Tenacatita Bay.
Last spring, we were the only boat in Tenacatita but in the high season, this anchorage turns into a busy, activity-filled cruising community with a fun atmosphere and tons to do. We spent three days kayaking, paddle-boarding, surfing and relaxing. On our last morning, we awoke to dolphins swimming between the boats. A short while later, a trio of whales was spotted in the bay. A call went out on the VHF radio and soon everyone was on deck watching as the whales made their way into the anchorage, in just 30 feet of water. One of them rolled on its side, appearing to wave at all the people ooh-ing and aah-ing over their presence then they turned and headed to deeper water.
We took that as a sign to leave, as well. A short 2-1/2 hours later, we pulled into a slip at the marina in Barra de Navidad, where we’ll spend a week before plying new waters (for us) as we continue south along the Mexican coast.