Barra de Navidad
Happy New Year! We've obviously been doing more sailing than blogging. Someone said "You're still stuck in San Blas." Well we promised to hang in Banderas Bay for the holidays, but hey, there's something to be said for being restless. Sailors can't be blamed for wondering what's over that horizon, or in our case, what lies south. 'Go down there," we heard from more than one boat. So we went. The best cruising plans are the ones that change by whim of weather or crew. So south it was, leaving Banderas Bay with great times in our wake, and more to follow there.
Our route led to Yelapa where "A palapa in Yelapa beats a condo in Redondo." From there hence around the dread Cabo Corrientes to Punta Ipala, where we spent Christmas eve in this tiny, very scenic fishing village with our new friends Bill and Mary of 'Raptor Dance." As we watched the fishermen fishing with hand nets, watched mother and baby near the sea, and heard goats bleating in town, we realized that, although miles from home, we were closer to the Nativity story in many ways here.
Christmas Day we saw whales, dolphins and sea turtles enroute to Chemala Bay. We landed one tuna and lost the granddaddy of all tunas right at the boat. I swear that fish rolled over and winked right at us with his big tuna eye before he parted the leader and dove for freedom.
Chemala Bay was gorgeous and hospitable, Tenecatita Bay even more so. And for New Years we were in the lagoon here at Barra de Navidad with 25 or so other boats. We went to dinner at the golf course clubhouse with the crew from several other cruising boats, went for a kayak across the perfectly still lagoon under the full moon, then watched the fireworks from the Grand Bay Hotel at midnight from the cockpit of our boat.
We're reading a lot, doing a few boat projects, meeting some other boats and spending a lot of time admiring the world around us.
I was curious about the news and went to a newstand yesterday to buy USA Today. I read the first three headlines and felt a fear and distaste that is foreign to our experience on the water. I didn't buy it. I heard somewhere that the news is meant to be like a soap opera: The formulaic themes, new actors coming and going with the same tired dialogues, and best of all the plotline that you can follow daily, or miss a few episodes or news cycles and still catch up easily. Out here Thoreau's advice to "Read the tides, not the 'Times'" makes perfect sense.
Man, it sure was great to see our kids Robert and Ashley down here. Being raised for a while on the island of Bequia, they have the tropical vibe down. They wasted no time unpacking into their spaces onboard and turning into beach bums. With them as our guests, we did the circuit in Banderas Bay, starting from Marina Vallarta where we could pick them up at the airport. We headed for La Cruz, went to the Tres Marietes for a lunch hook, back to La Cruz for a night at Philos, and sailed to Yelapa with a great humpback encounter enroute. Yelapa is a funky place that seems just what you'd want to design in a beach town - some little resorts, a lot of thatched roofs, volleyball and frisbee on the beach, a ton of scruffy dogs running around, a crooked little town that's like jumping down the rabbit hole to walk up the stairs and through the streets. By the time we hugged the kids goodbye at the airport again, we'd seen and done a lot in a few days together. Our great thanks to Tom and Patty for hosting us at their condo during that time, too.
We've got sunshine on the solar panels, a breeze through the hatches, and friends Dean and Linda coming to the yacht for dinner.
Our New Year's resolution is to live on our boat in Mexico.
This surf town has beautiful beaches and a very laid back vibe.
We've traveled many miles to be here, and that makes the view all the sweeter. We'll be spending the holiday season in Banderos Bay, based out of La Cruz and occasionally Puerto Vallarta. The weather is beautiful and it's time to slow it down and soak it all in. Happy holidays from the crew of Liberte.
We were welcomed to Dock 6 by a friendly group of fellow cruisers, and came ashore for long showers, a dinner on the town, some Sunday Night Football, and a bit of laundry and wireless at the cafe. 'Liberte' got a freshwater bath which she very much enjoyed, and Rebecca has organized the lazarette to an amazing new standard. We're having a really, really good time. We head out this afternoon for an overnight to San Blas.
We anchored for the day off this fishing town and commercial port, with a bit of the Greek islands in the tropical air. Rebecca had to stop me from singing "Topo, Topo-lobampo" to the tune of "Abracadabra."
Sunrise over Topolobampo
Of all the sunrises and sunsets we've been lucky enough to experience daily, this one stole the show. It was special, too, marking the landfall of our passage across the Sea of Cortez. We picked a full moon night for best visibility in the crossing, and made passage from Isla Catalina to Topolobampo.