22 February 2019
Just before we pulled into La Cruz, my tooth started to ache badly. Once here, I asked the morning net (vhf radio chat) for a dentist recommendation, and walked up to his office.
As of today, I’ve had an X-ray and diagnoses ($16), a root canal ($225) and a sealant filling ($75). No wonder people come here for medical and dental care.
20 February 2019
We rented a car and drove 2 hours up into the hills to San Sebastián, an old mining town that seems frozen in time on the day the mines closed.
Narrow cobbled streets, a proud town square, and many buildings from the 1800's. On this day, the mountains and the town were shrouded in mist, absorbing light and sound and adding to the eeriness.
17 February 2019
We are in the marina in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a real cruiser's port. We checked in, then went searching for tacos al pastor.
There are daily events here -- a film on how noise pollution affects whales, a seminar on obtaining and interpreting GRIB weather files, a talk on using Google Earth and openCPN for a DIY chartplotter. I'm having the deck wood re-varnished (tropical sun is murderon brightwork). We can catch the bus to the next, larger town for supplies. I can see why people stop here and find it difficult to leave...
16 February 2019
A group of islands about 8 miles off the coast of Punta Mita. Our plan was to do a day trip and explore; then head in towards La Cruz.
When we arrived, we picked up a mooring just offshore and were preparing to jump overboard when the Guarda-Parques panga roared up. After some broken spanish, we learned the rules, which I reproduce here in case some else wants to repeat this trip:
1. You must have a pass. We had our annual SEMARNAT cards (good for all of Mexico) but this caused some confusion on the guard boat, as I don't think they had seen these before.
2. You can only pick up the grey buoy, not the orange one. We moved the boat.
3. You can only swim in this area (seen in the photo).
4. All swimmers must wear a flotation device. We used a fender with a line loop tied to it.
5. One person must stay on the boat at all times. We took turns.
6. You can stay for no longer than 2 hours.
Even given all of that, the snorkeling was fantastic: huge swarms of fish, coral reefs, clear water. Totally worth it.
15 February 2019
We found that there's no direct bus from Punta Mita to Sayulita, so we hopped on a bus to Vallarta and transferred to another that got us there.
We liked Sayulita a lot. It's a colorful hippie/surfer town. Lots of dreadlocks. Lots of alternative everything. In that sense, it reminded us of home...
14 February 2019
We anchored around the south side of the point, and took the dinghy into a very rocky beach near the restaurants. The town itself is small, with a central street with shops and eateries focused on the gringo population.