Life in La Paz

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We will be in La Paz until mid May. That should allow us time to get the feel and vibe of the place before we need to move on. There is no better way to do that than to put on our walking shoes. In fact we walked so much I blew out my flip flop (stepping on a pop top, Ha) and Gary had to fix it. The Malecon (their version of a broadwalk) along the waterfront stretches the entire length of the central historic district and is lined with many statues representing the fishing and sea life in the Sea of Cortez.

Beach along the Malecon

Beach along the Malecon

The Malecon

The Malecon

A nice shady spot along the Malecon

A nice shady spot along the Malecon

La Paz 5

A boy fishing with nets

A boy fishing with nets

From 1616 until 1940 Bahia de La Paz was famous for its natural pearls until the oyster beds were destroyed by a blight.

In honor of the oyster industry

In honor of the oyster industry

Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez ‘the world’s aquarium’. In 2009 the Mexican government renamed “Isla Cerralvo” to “Isla Jacques Cousteau”. When we left our overnight anchorage of Muertos to arrive in La Paz we had to leave early in the morning to pass between what we thought was Isla Cerralvo and the mainland before the winds kicked up and created strong opposing currents. Many in Mexico have not accepted the name change because they were not consulted so most guide books refer to the island under its historical name.

Jacques Cousteau 1910-1997

Jacques Cousteau 1910-1997

The Malecon really is the most picturesque part of the city. In other towns we have found pockets of neighborhoods where the architecture catches your eye. Here not so much and I’m thinking the homes and buildings are built very boxy and low because of hurricanes. We have not seen any damage here from hurricane Odile’s visit in September last year like we did in Cabo San Lucas.

A small B & B.  It is hilly here so walks are a good workout.

A small B & B. It is hilly here so walks are a good workout.

La Paz 7

The church off the main plaza

The church off the main plaza

La Paz has big box stores like WalMart that are out of the central district. Within walking distance to our marina we have the local markets where we can get fruits, vegetables, fish, beef and even lunch. Nothing is done ‘in the back’, all the chopping off of cow and fish heads is pretty much done right in front of you. No pictures of this gruesome task.

As we were sailing in last week, I commented to Gary that if you take away the water we could easily be in Arizona. We left the tropics of mainland Mexico and came back to the desert of the Baja and this region is no exception. Though, the water is absolutely stunning. Crystal clear with beautiful turquoise and blues. Cannot wait to get out into the Sea of Cortez. We have been busy exploring on foot and getting our arrangements made for our trip to Arizona for Austin’s graduation. But we move the boat to another marina next week that is outside of town and closer to the entrance to the bay. We can then start planning some trips up to the northern parts of the Sea of Cortez. I read that some areas around La Paz have venomous sea snakes. So more research is needed because this girl is not getting anywhere near sea snakes.

La Paz 3

The Sea of Cortez is calling us

The Sea of Cortez is calling us

La Paz 14

La Paz 12

Boat Music

In deciding what to bring on this adventure, we selected those items that meant the most to us for one reason or another and seemed somewhat practical to bring on a boat. My favorite picture of Austin, a Hawaiian Santa Steve had given us, our Buddha from the BVI’s and two ceramic figures from local artists we picked up on our travels. Okay maybe the last two were not so practical! We also brought martini and wine glasses because after all you can’t properly chill a plastic martini glass or drink a fine wine from a plastic wine glass :) Each breakable item has a specific place where it is stored during passages.

Before leaving the relative calm of the San Diego Bay and hitting the big ocean I went through the boat and made sure everything was as secured as I could. That meant going through all the cabinets and making sure they were full enough so that once we hit the ocean swells, nothing would go flying or break. We had a lot of food for four people so the food locker was quite full. We exited the bay out into the ocean under beautiful bright blue skies and so the boat ‘music’ began. Wine bottles and glasses clanging like a cymbal, the steal drum sound of cans, clattering dishes like tambourines, and the xylophone sound of silverware. All combined with a melody of crashing waves hitting the hull creating a symphony of heavenly music. The volume and beat was steady no crescendo culminating in broken glass. Whew I guess I did alright!

Then the sun set, the stars and moon appeared and watch schedules began. The aft cabin contains the food locker and engine all located under the cockpit. Cans rattling, cockpit table swaying back and forth, crew noises, wood creaking, water splashing against the stern not to mention the drone of the engine if it was on. It was described as the ‘House of Horrors’. In the main cabin, the roll of the boat mirrored the clang of dishes and bottles. Instead of counting sheep I was counting the clang of wine bottles. In the cockpit the engine exhaust sounds like thunder and one evening Gary and I both were positive that Greg was playing music in the aft cabin. NOT!

We have since learned how to really batten down the boat when on passages. And if we are anchored out where the boat is constantly moving, we have about five things we need to secure before going to bed. Otherwise somebody is getting up in the middle of the night. It took us two days to figure out that a small squeak that was keeping us awake was a latch on our companion way door.

But when all is quite in the cockpit, I still hear music playing.

The culprit that took us two days to find

The squeaky culprit that took us two days to find

Mazatlan Vibe

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When we go out to dinner we really enjoy sitting at the bar so we can meet people. In Mexico there are very few restaurants that have a sit down bar. We lucked upon one the other night by chance. We needed reservations at the restaurant we wanted to go to so a guy who looked like he was a member of the band that was setting up recommended we try El Presidio. As luck would have it we scored. This place had a real bar with barstools and we sat down next to a lovely couple who have lived in Mazatlan for a few years. So we got the low down on where to go the next evening, which was Saturday.

Plazuela Machado is the place to be for people watching, both locals and tourists, on a Saturday night. This is the central plaza for Old Town Mazatlan. It is surrounded by restaurants with entertainment and craft vendors.

We arrived around 5 PM when the restaurants were just setting up their tables.

Tables waiting for diners

Tables waiting for diners

There were several girls all dressed up each having a photo shoot. I mean like hundreds of pictures taken. This is the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday called La Quincenra.

La Quincenra celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday

We wanted to get some pictures of the streets before sunset so we set out walking the surrounding area.

Mazatlan 1

Mazatlan 2

Mazatlan 3

Mazatlan 4

Mazatlan 5

Plaza 2

Plaza

A few blocks away is the Cathedral, Basilica De La Inmaculada Concepcion. Construction was finished in 1899 and the crown jewel is the pipe organ, built in France by Aristides Cavaillie. It is believed that the organ was first played in May 1899.

Cathedral

Cathderal 2

We could only sneak one picture of the inside as there was a wedding going on and another one waiting. From the number of brides we saw it appeared that there was a wedding scheduled every hour.

Wedding in the Cathedral

Wedding in the Cathedral

It appears this pretty flower girl was awarded a big bag of candy for being a good girl. Notice that her lipstick matches her bow.

Pretty flower girl

Pretty flower girl

And this little guy was all decked out in his tuxs.

The red sneakers match his bow tie.  What a cutie

The red sneakers match his bow tie. What a cutie

Here is one of the many bride and grooms we saw

Bride & Groom

The bride and grooms ride

Wedding Car

One of the things I learned early on after moving to California is that family is very important to Mexicans and they so love children! We see that daily here and we really enjoy watching them interact. We have watched several weddings from afar and it is always a large festive family event. The wedding guests are all dressed ‘to the nines’. The men in suits and the women of all ages dressed in ball gowns. What always catches my attention is the shoes. I can’t wear heels. But here women of all ages wear stiletto heels and high platforms. I wanted Gary to start taking pictures of the shoes but NOT.

As the sun set, restaurants came alive and music filled the air with the sounds of Mexico.

Tables empty earlier are now full

Tables empty earlier are now full

Plazuela Machado 1

Plazuela Machado 2

Plazuela Machado 3

Plazuela Machado 4

Mazatlan 6

Mazatlan 7

Up to now the food we have had in Mexico is ‘good simple food’, mostly mom and pop restaurants. Here in Mazatlan, the food is more complex with an international flare. Though we like simple food, it was a nice change to have some more complex flavors and variety. And restaurants have actual wine and cocktail lists. Typically your choice for vino (wine) is one blanco (white) or one rojo (red) LOL. Sadly, no craft beer.

Here is our ride. Pulmonias are unique to Mazatlan. They are open air and a lot like golf carts but much faster. We were told that they are cheaper than a taxi, but not from our experience! You pay the same price for the privilege of smelling gas fumes and praying you don’t go flying out when the driver is swerving in and out of traffic like the Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland.

Pulmonias

A great martini

A great martini

Whales, Crab Pots, and an Aerial Show

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The west coast of Mexico is the winter breeding ground for grey whales. We saw a far amount of them from a distance both on the trip down from San Diego and while in Banderas Bay. But nothing like what we saw on our three day passage from Banderas Bay to Mazatlan. Our first morning started out calm enough with one going past us as we were leaving the bay. A little closer than usual on our port side but nothing to get excited about. As the day progressed we saw a few more, again a little closer than usual. Our second day things got, shall I say, a bit exciting. The first thing we come upon is a field of crab pots. It is almost impossible to see these until you are right upon them. With Gary on the bow and me at the helm we had to pick our way around them slowly so that we didn’t catch any of the lines in the propeller. We had no wind so sailing through was not an option. Once we got by we both settled back down in the cockpit. A short time later Gary yells whale. Sure enough there is not one but two whales on a direct line to cross in front of our bow. We had to put the boat in neutral to stop for the ‘whale crossing’. They passed right in front of the boat a few yards off. They were so ‘slow’ and graceful that Gary had enough time to get the camera and take some pictures.

We must have missed the 'Whale Crossing' sign

We must have missed the ‘Whale Crossing’ sign

They seem to travel in pairs

They seem to travel in pairs. Look how close they swim together!

We had whales cross the bow two more times but the most thrilling (or I should say heart stopping, OMG!) sighting awaited us right before sunset. We often have dolphins swim along side the boat. It seems like they make a game out of running with the boat, leaping in the air and generally look like they are having a lot of fun. They make us laugh and it breaks up the monotony of a long passage. We were traveling along about 5 miles off shore in fairly shallow water about 75 feet. We had enough close encounters of the whale kind to last a while and we thought they would stay out in deeper water. I heard a loud splash to my left and when I looked over I saw a wall of water. Yup, we had two whales who for some reason decided to play about 50 yards from the boat! You can imagine the noise and spray when these massive bodies leap straight up out of the water and then immediately fall back in. It is so quick it takes a second to register what you just saw. Gary tried to get a picture but by the time the shutter went off he got only spray. The show went on for a few minutes before they moved off. We are not sure why in the whole ocean they chose to play next to the boat. The hum of the engine could have intrigued them but they certainly looked like they were having as much fun as the dolphins. I am hoping that was a once in a life time experience. I much prefer to view them at a safer distance!

This was one heck of a belly flop.  They fall so fast getting a picture while in the air is almost impossible

This was one heck of a belly flop. They fall so fast getting a picture while in the air is almost impossible

On the way up we spent one night anchored in Chacala Bay.

On the way up we spent one night anchored in Chacala Bay.

The setting sun on our overnight passage right after the whale show

The setting sun on our overnight passage right after the whale show

Thanks Arland for snapping a picture of Gary in our 'car'.  This was right before it started raining :)

Thanks Arland for snapping a picture of Gary in our ‘car’. This was right before it started raining :)

San Sebastián de Oeste

The winds howling down the Sea of Cortez are keeping us here in Banderas Bay. Lucky for us, Arland is back and he offered to rent a car and drive us all up to San Sebastián de Oeste. This is an old mining town 4,500 feet up in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The ride up was beautiful with cattle, corn and coffee plantations. Lots of small towns with speed bumps. Mexico has speed bumps entering and leaving every town no matter if the town only has a few buildings. We stopped at a tequila distillery on the way. Pretty little place but the prices were way over our budget.

Small tequila distillery on the way to San Sabastian

Small tequila distillery on the way to San Sebastián

Tequila Distillery 1

Tequila Distillery 4

They also made liquores

They also made liquores

Arland hanging at the tequila distillery

Arland hanging at the tequila distillery

San Sebastián De Oeste was founded in 1605 as a gold and silver mine. At one time the population was 40,000, but only 600 live there now. The mines are said to be partly responsible for the development of Puerto Vallarta, known then as Las Peñas. It supplied salt by mules to the mines which was used in the smelting process. The gold and silver was sent by mule to Veracruz, where it was delivered to Spain once a year.

A picture of the miners

A picture of the miners. Not a happy looking crew.

Busses and tourist vans visit the town but it still has an old town feel to it. In part because there are only a few shops, restaurants and hotel rooms. Many buildings have been saved and reconstruction is done with an eye on the history of the town.

The town had a fort in order to protect the mines. Today it is used for special events.

Inside the courtyard at the fort

Inside the courtyard at the fort

Inside the courtyard at the fort

Inside the courtyard at the fort

From one of the older sections of the fort

From one of the older sections of the fort

Today the courtyard is a peaceful place to take a nap

Today the courtyard is a peaceful place to take a nap

We enjoyed a nice Italian meal at Montebello.

Montebello

The church was originally built in the 1600’s then rebuilt after an earthquake in 1868.

SB Church 2

SB Church

A shopkeeper came running after us asking if we would come visit her newly opened store. She mentioned the word ‘candy’ so we just had to stop by. We came away with some very different candies.

One of the shopkeepers

One of the shopkeepers

SB 5

SB 6

No matter what town we are in, we always see kids on bikes

No matter what town we are in, big or small, we always see kids on bikes

SB 3

Beautiful setting for a nice dinner

Beautiful setting for a nice dinner

SB 1

Banderas Bay Pictures

We are back in Banderas Bay in La Cruz getting provisions and the boat cleaned before heading north to Mazatlan and then on to the Sea of Cortez. It is getting close to when we have to make a decision regarding where to spend hurricane season. With not much exciting going on I thought I would post a few random pictures we took that somehow didn’t find their way in to a blog.

This first one is of a sea turtle we caught on camera as he was swimming around the docks in the marina. I say ‘he’ but I really don’t have a clue whether it was male or female. Lucky for me he kept surfacing and I was able to snap a picture right when he came up. They let out a little gasp of breath when they break surface. Not as big as the one we had swimming with us a few years back in Waikiki but just as pretty.

Sea turtle swimming off the docks in Marina La Cruz

Sea turtle swimming off the docks in Marina La Cruz

The blessing of the fishing fleet is an annual event here. This is a collage of fishing boats decorated by each captain and their family. The boats parade the five or so miles from La Cruz to Bucerias and then charge up on to the beach. It is tied in with one of the many religious ceremonies that take place here.

Fishing boats decorated for a parade from La Cruz to Bucerias

Fishing boats decorated for a parade from La Cruz to Bucerias

The last two pictures are from the beach in Barra Navidad. It was a about a two mile hike to get there but it was worth it. There are stairs leading up to the top of a rocky bluff and Gary snapped the picture of the surf near the top. The beach was so steep no swimming was possible but the waves were so large there was no way I would have attempted it anyway.

The rocky bluff at the Barra Navidad beach.  If you look carefully you can see stairs leading up over the top and down to another cove.

The rocky bluff at the Barra Navidad beach. If you look carefully at the very left of the bluff you can see stairs leading around at the side and down to another cove. The water marks indicated that waves crash over these stairs probably at high tide.

Gary caught a great shot of the surf from the bluff

Gary caught a great shot of the surf from the bluff

Barra Navidad, Mexico

Still enjoying the Barra Navidad area but we moved from the lagoon to the marina where we have full privileges to the resort facilities. We love swimming off the boat when at anchor, but a pool in a resort with a swim up bar is a close second.

The marina at Isla Grand Resort Bahia Navidad

The marina at Isla Grand Resort Bahia Navidad

Pool at Isla Grand Resort

Pool at Isla Grand Resort

The town of Barra has a lot more happening than La Cruz. Restaurants, bars, a few tiny markets but Barra has small shops, which La Cruz does not have. And since Barra is bigger, there are way more locals in the restaurants and shops than there are boaters. A nice change from La Cruz.

The town of Barra

The town of Barra. A street sign with an ‘E’ indicates whether you can park there or not.

Many side streets with lots of trees and locals

Many side streets with lots of trees and locals

Coca Cola no Pepsi here

Coca Cola no Pepsi here

Small grocery store with fruit and veggies out on the sidewalk

Small grocery store with fruit and veggies out on the sidewalk

Many restaurants have tables on the sidewalk

Many restaurants have tables on the sidewalk

A nice bay view from this restaurant

A nice bay view from this restaurant

After Hola (Hi) this is the next Spanish word that you learn (bathroom!)

After Hola (Hi) this is the next Spanish word that you learn (bathroom!)

Stop taking pictures of me!

Stop taking pictures of me!

Bésame Mucho (Kiss me a lot) great food.  We ate here twice.

Bésame Mucho (Kiss me a lot) great food. We ate here twice.

Church in the town of Barra

Church in the town of Barra

We had dinner upstairs in restaurant Loco Loco and it felt like we were in a tree fort.

We had dinner upstairs in restaurant Loco Loco and it felt like we were in a tree fort.

Here is where the French Baker creates all the goodies he delivers to our boat.

Here is where the French Baker creates all the goodies he delivers to our boat.

' Large behind ' the scene view of an amateur fashion show. (Comment provided by Gary LOL)

‘ Large behind ‘ the scene view of an amateur fashion show. (Comment provided by Gary LOL)

One of the drinks many of the bars feature in Barra is the Michelada. Typically this is beer and Clamato Juice but we were seeing some other interesting takes on it. We decided to give them a try at Nacho’s where the owner, Carlos, is the bartender. While Carlos has a very small bar, he crafts exceptional cocktails.

Carlos crafting a new drink behind his tiny street side bar

Carlos crafting a new drink behind his tiny street side bar

Our waiter was Paco who speaks very good English. He is the ‘front man’ for Nachos pulling in people off the sidewalk. After talking with Paco, Gary chose a Michelada that included tamarind and I chose one with shrimp soup. I know you are probably all thinking, how gross is that. Carlos added ice and garnished them with cucumbers sprinkled with spices and we had one helluva big drink. I’m not sure we liked the combination enough to order them again but we both liked it well enough to finish them.

Here is Paco the 'front man' for Nacho's.  Paco brings them in and Carlos wows them with excellent cocktails.

Here is Paco the ‘front man’ for Nacho’s. Paco brings them in and Carlos wows them with excellent cocktails.

Michalada decorated with spiced cucumbers on top

Michalada decorated with spiced cucumbers on top

This was a very big Michalada.  Luckly the only alcohol was beer.

This was a very big Michalada. Luckly the only alcohol was beer.

Margareta's at Nachos

Margareta’s at Nachos

In talking with Paco we learned he teaches English and Spanish as well as instructing cooking classes. The following day he was teaching a class of 32 how to make chili relleno’s. When I mentioned that was a lot of people for a cooking class, Paco said ‘well I like to make money’.

Gary and I were walking back to the boat one hot afternoon and we came upon a small dog who looked very hot and stressed laying in the shade on the sidewalk. He didn’t move though we were only steps away. We hustled to our boat, filled up a plastic bowl with some water and I took off back to the dog. As I was approaching the gangway leading from the dock up to the sidewalk, I met a woman who appeared dressed more for an afternoon luncheon at a posh LA restaurant than a day on the docks. This is a sight you don’t normally see here so I assumed she was a visitor. She greeted me cheerfully and noting that I was balancing a bowl of water let me go ahead of her. Eager to get the dog some water, I hustled down the sidewalk to the left and she went to the right. But the dog wanted nothing to do with me or the water so off he went. There was a flurry of excitement further down the sidewalk at the sight of the dog. A couple who clearly knew the dog called out to his ‘mommy’ behind me that the dog had been found. I turned around and of course it was the lady in the dress. He had wandered off the dock and she was just going to look for him when we met at the gangway. My efforts to ‘save’ her dog got me a hug. And yes, she dresses like that all the time. She owns a trawler so I guess she has the room.

Road Trip to Manzanillo

When Gary posted to Facebook that we were on a road trip, my brother-in-law Mike responded ‘you are on a boat how can you be on a road trip?’ We needed provisions that we couldn’t find in the small markets here. So we threw some clothes in a backpack, took the water taxi to the land taxi, and headed out 25 miles away to Manzanillo. We wanted to check out the anchorages here as well, so we asked the driver to take us to Las Hadas Golf Resort and Marina. We were hoping to get a room there for the night and we are so glad we did! Bolivian billionaire Don Antenor Patiño hired José Luis Ezquerra, a famous Spanish architect, to create a fairytale resort. After 10 years of construction, Patiño’s dream was realized when the resort opened in 1974 as Las Hadas or ‘The Fairies’. The white washed buildings are on multiple levels tucked in to a hill overlooking the bay. Walking along the cobbled paths passing turrets and towers you have the sense of being in a fairytale. Hollywood soon discovered the beauty of Las Hadas. In 1979 the movie “10” starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore was filmed here.

The movie "10" was filmed at Las Hadas

The movie “10” was filmed at Las Hadas

This resort is just beautiful! But I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The view from our balcony.  We were on the 6th level.

The view from our balcony. We were on the 6th level.

One of many sets of stairs leading up to the multiple levels of suites

One of many sets of stairs leading up to the multiple levels of suites

The cobble stone paths twist and turn

The cobble stone paths twist and turn

Beautiful palm trees at Las Hadas

Beautiful palm trees at Las Hadas

We got lost a few times

We got lost a few times

White washed room with a large clam shell for a headboard.  All rooms overlooked the bay

White washed room with a large clam shell for a headboard. All rooms overlooked the bay

View of the bay from Las Hadas

View of the bay from Las Hadas

The small marina at Las Hadas.  Med moor docking

The small marina at Las Hadas. Med moor docking

The martini bar at Las Hadas

The martini bar at Las Hadas

Bahia Navidad Lagoon

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After a short hop down to Bahia Navidad, we entered the channel and were met with this lovely sight of the Isla Grand Resort.

Isla Grand Resort, Bahia Navidad

Isla Grand Resort, Bahia Navidad

Our destination was a lagoon situated behind the town of Barra Navidad and beside the resort. Our chart plotter showed a very narrow entry to the lagoon and we knew we were in for an adventurous entry after talking with other cruisers. There is an unmarked sand bar spread out across the entrance to the lagoon. We made several attempts to locate the break but no luck. We were going slow enough that each time we hit the bar, we were able to back off. Thinking we provided enough entertainment for the day, we put a call out to the other boaters. Three dinghies raced out and helped us locate the narrow path. Once in the lagoon we were greeted by a crazy old woman who yelled F bombs at us so we would not anchor anywhere near her. We actually know who she is. She participates in cruiser forums on the internet using pirate talk. Need I say more?

One afternoon we had one heck of a storm blow through for about 20 minutes. The rain came down so hard, we could not see the bow of the boat from the cockpit 40 feet away. With 31 knot winds Sereno II was twisting around on the anchor. Our decision to go oversized on our anchor (73 pounds) and connect it to 250 feet of all chain sure paid off. Did she drag? Heck no. One boat did drag and another had their dinghy go flying off the boat. It was one wild ride and we were very happy to be anchored and not on a passage.

But despite the entry, the crazy lady, the storm, and the gunky mud all over the anchor and chain we enjoyed the beauty of the lagoon and each morning a panga called the French Bakery pulled up along side the boat with fresh croissants, breads and pastries. His name is Emeric, he is from France and has a small cafe in a hotel in town. He has been delivering to boats since 2002. We could get really spoiled here!

The French Baker delivering bread and pastries to our boat

The French Baker delivering bread and pastries to our boat

We also had Water Taxi service. For 60 pesos round trip for two (currently $4.00 USD) we have a dry fast ride into town. After our last dinghy experience, a water taxi is heaven.

Water Taxi

Water Taxi

Enjoying a dry ride in the water taxi

Enjoying a dry ride in the water taxi

With waypoints programmed into our chart plotter showing the way out, we left the lagoon with no problems. Sure would have been nice to have those on the way in lol. On the chart below, the red X’s show the safe route. It is just ‘a bit outside’ (for you ‘Major League’ fans) of the channel (shown in white).

Just follow the red X's

Just follow the red X’s

Bahia Tenacatita Mexico

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We were getting way to comfortable in Banderas Bay so it was time for us to get moving again. Right before noon on Gary’s birthday we pulled up anchor and began a 23 hour passage south for Bahia Tenacatita 125 nm away. It was our first overnight passage with just the two of us. Since it was one night and we were both well rested we did two hour watches. We arrived to discover a beautiful bay with about 15 other boats. The boaters had elected a ‘mayor’ who organized a dinghy raft up for Friday night. Bring an appetizer to share, your own plate, something to drink and spend time getting to know the other cruisers because as everyone moves about, we will run into them again in another anchorage.

Mayors raft up at Tenacatita

Mayors raft up at Tenacatita

In Banderas Bay we had the good fortune to have access to dinghy docks everywhere we went. Not so here but luckily the waves were on the smaller side. There was a small cantina beckoning us on shore so off we went in the dinghy. I counted the larger and smaller waves to get the pattern. Once I had it Gary gunned the engine and in we went on a small wave. Getting the propeller up while turning the outboard off and getting out of the dinghy before getting swamped will take some more practice. But we were happy with our landing and the ‘Mayor’ gave us a B-. Our departure, well thats another story. We enjoyed happy hour at the cantina with other boaters then all headed back to our dinghies. Everyone else launched with no major problems and since Gary and I were further down the beach, we were thankfully the last ones to go. I will put it out there right now. I messed up. We walked the dinghy into the surf and at my urging Gary jumped in to start the engine. I lost hold of the dinghy causing it to get hit broadside by a bigger wave. Gary was thrown head first out and I was run over by my own dinghy not once but twice lol. But hat and sunglasses stayed on! We dragged ourselves and the dinghy back to shore, emptied out the water, walked it further out since we were all wet anyway, jumped in and took off. I was telling Gary that I’m not sure my body can handle all the fun and excitement of living in paradise :)