One side trip done, Trip #2 starting tomorrow
04 December 2014 | 20 44.84'N:105 22.32'W, La Cruz, Mexico
A few days ago were feeling a bit itchy for some new scenery. So, we pulled up the anchor and headed towards Sayulita with the idea of anchoring off the town for a couple of days and then heading back to LaCruz. Because Sayulita is well known for surfing, we were not sure if it was going to be a good anchorage. But, since the distance wasn't great, we knew that we could always come back the same day if necessary.
The trip North was quite enjoyable with some great scenery. As we rounded Punta Mita, leaving Banderas Bay to head North, we got a good look at how the really rich people down here live. All along the manicured coast there were houses which sell for five and more million dollars. For example, Bill Gates is reportedly and owner and investor here. However, once around the point, things slowly got back to normal with the houses getting smaller and the vegetation on shore getting thicker. The hillsides are steep and highly eroded while at the same time being thickly covered with Jungle. Here, the coast looked a lot like those South Pacific tropical pictures that we have all seen.
There was abundant wildlife as well. Boobie birds were using the boat as a tool to help their fishing. I guess that the boat would scare & distract small fish. The boobie's would hover near the front of the boat and then dive into the water in front of or beside the boat, almost always coming up with a meal.
We also saw a family of humpback whales lazily swimming along, oblivious of our boat. They sure are huge!
A few hours after leaving LaCruz we arrived off Sayulita and dropped the anchor. Unfortunately, our visit was very short lived. The stone walls of the bay seemed to refract the North swell and really build it up in the bay. Sure, we could anchor safely, but it wouldn't have been a comfortable night so we hoisted the anchor and headed back South.
Instead of heading all the way back to La Cruz, we stopped for a couple of nights in the anchorage at Punta Mita. There is an exceptionally nice anchorage here. It's huge and there were only six boats for neighbours, meaning that there was nobody within a half mile of us. While they all packed together on the North side of the bay for some inexplicable reason, we headed to the other side and anchored in 15ft of water near shore. No waves at all, and crystal clear water made it not only comfortable for sleeping, but great for swimming. We even had a strong internet signal compliments of "Jerry" who must have lived in one of the million dollar condos on the beach.
The only drawback, we found, was that there really is no culture or sense of Mexican community here. There are a few locals living here, but they are here solely to service the resorts and hotels in the area. As soon as we were on shore, the sales people were on us trying to sell us fishing trips, massages, and meals. While LaCruz feels like a quiet Mexican village that you can become part of, Punta Mita, although beautiful, made us feel like we were definitely "meat" whose sole function is to spend money.
We see this different flavour in communities often. Places that are heavily visited by tourists attract a hard core sales crowd. You know the scene: everywhere we walk we are being accosted and invited, quite aggressively sometimes, to visit various establishments. If only they knew that cruisers are cheap! Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and the Golden Zone in our adopted home of Mazatlan feel like this. Smaller towns like LaCruz, Melaque, etc let us walk around unmolested and make us feel welcome, almost part of the community. Sure, they hope we patronize their businesses, but they aren't aggressively hounding us to do it.
After a couple nights in Punta Mita, which we thoroughly enjoyed regardless of my previous comments, we headed back to LaCruz where we are now. If all goes according to plan, on Friday we will head North again, further this time, to visit a few anchorages and especially Isla Isabella, a world famous bird sanctuary. That is, as long as the wind cooperates. Then, it's back to LaCruz for the Banderas Bay Blast before heading South.