12/17/2011 - 1/6/2012
We left the islands outside of La Paz on Dec. 17th along with S/V Rose of Erin, Damon & Erin Cruz, to cross the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. The weather forecast was for northerly winds to 15k, the reality was winds up to 30k. Because we were expecting a light wind sail, I didn't take any seasickness precautions, and ended up being sick the whole 30 hour trip. (I now have a seasick drug that is supposed to still be effective even if taken once symptoms have started.) John on the other hand was thrilled with the sail! We arrived in Mazatlan Dec. 19th and decided not to hang around long, and departed for Banderas Bay Dec. 21st.
Banderas Bay is a large area, containing the towns of La Cruz, Bucarias, and the city of Puerto Vallarta. We spent the majority of our time in La Cruz, splitting our time there between the anchorage and the marina, only taking the boat over to PV to attend our friends Daragh & Cathryn's wedding on Dec 30 and New Years Eve. La Cruz is a great small town that has access to a large area. I could easily spend more time there!
La Cruz, like most towns we've visited in Mexico has a percentage of expats and seasonal inhabitants from the US and Canada. In fact, Linda & Mark http://www.alaskacapitalinn.com/
from Juneau spend several months there each winter. We were able to connect with them and spend some time together. They are such gracious hosts and introduced us to several of their friends and favorite restaurants in the area.
They even included us in their annual Christmas day at the beach. I've got to agree that Christmas in the sun, under a palapa, with cold drinks works well for me!
Photo: Christmas at the beach palapa
Photo: Christmas eve in the marina
Photo: Local English class singing Christmas carols, in English
La Cruz is full of musical people, thus live music could be found most night in one restaurant or another.
We met Daragh & Cathryn and Georgie (the Westy Dog) of S/V Chantey V (hailing port Victoria BC) on our way down the US coast and they have become dear friends. They had planned their wedding before leaving home and had family coming in to join them. We were very honored to be invited to join them on their special day. The wedding was beautifully simple and elegant.
New Years eve we again joined the "O'Nagle" clan for dinner, drinks and fireworks over the bay.