The Dock Life
16 March 2011 | La Cruz Anchorage, Bandaras Bay
Last week we decided to spend a few days at a marina because Ian was racing with our friends on their boat in the Bandaras Bay Regatta. Well it was a welcome treat as our budget dose not allow for very many nights at a dock. It was especially nice because lately the winds in the bay have been really blowing in the afternoon causing the boats at anchor to rock and roll.
The marina we were at was in Nuevo Vallarta which is about 10 miles north of Puerto Vallarta but still in the same bay. Bandaras Bay is huge its about 20 miles across and about 30 miles in length. Anyhow the price was right at Nuevo Vallarta at 49 cents a foot plus tax so for us it was about 20 dollars a night. It's a marina with very few ammenaties and it is somewhat under construction so it's not as popular as the other marinas in the area.
The first thing I did when we tied up was wash the boat on the outside. It hasn't been washed since the last time we stayed at a marina which was in late December! So she was both dirty and salty. Once that was done, I spent the next couple of days polishing the stainless steel - still not finished with that job - but the boat is looking pretty again. It's so nice to have access to fresh water to wash things with. We didn't fill the water tanks with the water as it seems to have a lot of sediment in it so we will continue to rely on our Watermaker to make our potable water.
Other things I enjoyed about our stay at the dock was the birds that were in the neighbourhood. I don't have a book on birds of this area unfortunatley, but I know there were swallows, beecatchers and the ever present but beautiful sounding grackles. It was very pleasant to polish the stainless and listen to the birds in the afternoon.
And you have neighbours you can chat with at any given time, just walk out on the dock and there is someone to strike up a conversation with. It's much more social on a dock that when you are at anchor. At the dock you can socialize from the deck of your boat as people are strolling by or go for a walk and meet the new people who just pulled in as you help them with their dock lines.
And one of the biggest advantages is that you can go for a walk when ever you want! You don't have to dingy ashore, land the dingy through the surf or find a safe place to leave the dingy. You just walk out the gate and go. On one of our walks, we came across this pool with dolphins and sealions. We watched from a distance as the trainer put the sealion through his paces and all of the tricks it could do. Impressive. In the background, the dolphins were playing on their own with no trainer around, and the thing that they kept doing was jumping out of the water onto the white padded mat as you can see in the above photo. They really seemed to like doing it and at times there were two at a time and they seemed to be trying to push each other off. It was so interesting to watch them. We got talking with one of the trainers, and the reason they are trained to jump out of the water like that is in case they need to move them to another location as they did during the tsunami, the dolphins jump out of the water on their own, they are picked up in these white mats by a crane and transported. It makes it less stressful for them than being caught and manhandled out of the water. I have very mixed feelings about dolphins and whales in captivity, I can see the alure in that you can get up close and personal with them where you can hardly ever do that in the wild, but I feel sorry for them in the small pools that they live in. Apparantly all of the dolphins in this place run by Vallarta Adventures are born in captivity. The main thing they do with them is to let people swim with them and touch them. I was very tempted but I'm sure it isn't cheap.
While we were at the dock we took advantage and did some major stocking up on canned foods and things that are harder to transport to the boat while at anchor. So all in all it was a good break from anchoring out. Normally I prefer anchoring out but I have to say that when you are in a rolly anchorage like we are now, the dock is a good alternative. But to be able to maintain this lifestyle, we are on a budget and so be it. A rolly day at anchor beats a day in the office any day!