I have been very remiss not blogging for over a year but that is about to end so I will attempt to post a summary of last years season in Mexico so at least we can get up to date for the start of this our final season in Mexico!
The original plan last year was to drive to Mexico, taking our friend Nancy and the handsome Popeye the dog ....dropping them off in Guaymas and then carrying on to Mazatlan. Well best made plans.... I ended up having to stay behind for a medical reasons, so Dick & Nancy drove down without me and I flew down a week later with a stop in Cabo to visit friends and then a short hop flight over to Mazatlan to join Dick and "Full & By" from Cabo. My timing was impeccable as by the time I arrived much of the putting the boat back together had been done and the boat was back in the water. My time in Cabo was lovely playing in the pool, walking the beach, snorkelling and just having a good time visiting with our friends Valerie and Peter in their new condo.
Soon after I arrived, we moved the boat over to the ElCid marina where new projects ..installing AIS transmitter, radar, chart plotter, and my favourite, a new fresh water electric head began. With the help of Chris our friend from "Misty Michael" the head was installed and soon all the new navigation equipment was up and running as well.
In between the hard work, it was great visiting with all our pals, playing in the pool and just enjoying being back in the sunshine and on top off all that, we managed to get tickets for a wonderful performance of The Nutcracker at the Angela Peralto theatre..a beautifully restored old theatre in old town Mazatlan.
If you ever are in Mazatlan, a performance there should not be missed. We left our Mazatlan friends behind and sailed down to Puerto Vallarta...enjoying the clear blue water and beautiful sunsets
..where we had flights booked to fly home for Christmas...the first Christmas we had been home for in eight years and it was magical, a skiff of snow
With no time to waste, we quickly provisioned and then headed around the corner down to our favourite destination Tenacatita with our "Full & By" guest/friends/boat sitters aboard, Rick & Julie. Our quiet gentle passage around the cape with a bunch of dolphins that came to play
soon after sunset turned into a boisterous, windy, rolly bumpy ride. Too much sail up meant hand steering or reefing or both. We kept foolishly thinking the wind would die...it didn't and eventual we had to wake Dick up to help reef but not until we almost had a mishap, with the topping lift clevis pin dropping into my lap and sure enough, when I took a flashlight and aimed it forward, I was able to see the line making giant arcs across the "Full & By's" beam with the shackle still in the line! Fortunately we were soon able to secure the line, save the shackle and reattach, whew!
Hand steering is exhausting and by midnight I was toast...Dick took over and and next thing I knew it about 6 AM, I woke up to a very quiet boat.... noticed a person in the bunk beside me..assumed it was one of our guests...looked into the cockpit and there was Rick sleeping on one side and someone was huddled over the wheel opposite...Turned out it was Dick sound asleep below and Julie, Rick's wife, was on the helm! Anyway, thank goodness for our guests....fortunately the wind had died and we were quietly motoring along through flat water...the excitement was over, our destination only four hours away... well, before noon, we dropped the hook in Tenacatitia Bay...we've arrived in our winter playground joining the 40 or so other cruisers already there! Swim to shore, dolphins, paddle boarding, snorkelling, beach walks, Botchi ball, Mexican train, raft ups and all round fun...
Far too soon, our friends Rick & Julie, said goodbye. Time for a trip to Barra de Navidad, Grand Bay marina for some dining out and the French baker treats. Don & Susan were there vacationing so we rented a car and headed to Colima for a short land trip to the Volcano.
After a waterfall stop
we found ourselves in the magical little town of Comala where we sat down at this restaurant ....the food just coming...we never ordered!
Apparently the tradition here is as long as you order drinks they provide the food...perfect...we were hungry and the variety of tasty finger food treats presented did not disappoint us.
Back in Barra....a few day sails over to Custacomonte for swims and out to see the what's left of the freighter that ended its' days on the rocks and before long, we were back in Tenacatitia....Just relishing our time there, plying in the warm water, until our next guests arrived. We decided to rent a car for the day and drive up to PV, hit Costco and pick them up at the airport. It was a long day but worth it as we were able to fit in a visit to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens...a great lunch stop lunch on the way back.
There was great variety of colourful birds flocking into the bird feeder below the restaurant....Green jays , crackles, etc. Great fun to watch.
The plan was to sail back north to Puerto Vallarta with our friends to give them little sailing experience in Mexico, however it was not to be as the northers blew steadily for two weeks which would have made for a very uncomfortable NOT fun ride. Short steep seas and howling wind.. so after a very enjoyable visit with Ivan and Sussie, we found a driver to take them back to PV. We had a lovely time doing all the things we love to do while in Tenacatita, floaty chairs, river raft rides, paddle boarding and more.
After Ivan and Sussie left, we had some interesting birds showed up..took a long time to identify them but turned out they were Black Streaked Orioles...a variety only found on Costalegre Coast, very different colouring than the Orioles I am used to ..here is the male
and the photo that cinched the identity
These shots, unlike mine, were fabulous...thanks to Jackie & Mike on s/v Angelique of Vancouver.
Within a few days the water cooled to 74, so time to leave. We were looking for a window to head north which required a week of watching and waiting...our patience paid off and we had a lovely trip ...sailed most of the way with 14 knot southwest breeze, however by the time we got there most of our cruising friends had left Puerto Vallarta for Mazatlan!
No problem we still enjoyed being back in La Cruz, managed to see our friends, Rick and Cindy on "Cool Change" before they headed out across the Pacific for the Marquesas, went to the Sunday market (always fun) and visited with Sharon & Clarence on "Lotus" who were in the final stages of completing a mast refit. A week later we too were on our way north to Mazatlan, hoping to avoid the fog which so often lays in wait in early spring.... the early morning temps that time of year often dip down low enough to reach the dew point which results in fog which has been known to be bad enough to close the port! This season unlike the previous year we were lucky and had clear skies. ...little to no wind, so it was a motorboat ride but having good visibility made for a very pleasant trip.
After arriving back in Mazatlan we realized our cars' Temporary Import Permit was going to expire, meaning we were going to have to either renew it or head home at the beginning of May. In order to renew it meant going back up to the USA border, turning in the old tip and then back across the border, obtaining a new tip and returning to Mazatlan...very costly (tolls, fuel hotels) Disappointed that we would not get over to the sea in the short time we had left, we stayed put, did some much needed bright work, played in the pool and put the boat to bed, enjoying our last month tied up at the El Cid resort always a good time.
Our good friend Bob came to visit us while we were at El Cid and and we had lots of visits with cruising friends we hadn't seen in long time, so were not unhappy with our decision to stay.
Boat put to bed
we left Mexico for the drive north through canyon country..beautiful
and watched spring unfold as we drove north. Stopped in Boise to reconnect with old friends Chris and JoAnne and then we were home!
For the first time in a long while we got to see our dogwood in full bloom ...what a treat.
We have had a great summer sailing with many friends, visiting many favourite as well as new anchorages.. We really are truly blessed! Next season will be our last in Mexico as "Full & By" will be getting ready for an adventure of a lifetime. The plan is, March of 2019 "Full & By" will be crossing the Equator and heading to the Marquesas. Stay tuned as we prepare her and ourselves for the voyage and say Hasta luego Mexico and Bonjour French Polynesia.