Tuesday, February 17, 2009

December through February 17

Gosh, it's been 2 months since we last updated our blog which unfortunately is about right for us.

In our last addition we talked about Destiny's transmission dying just as we were entering the marina in La Cruz. Fortunately, the actual repair turned out to be a minor one but it took time and a few $$ to figure out what went wrong. Everything is now better than new so we'll just wait to see what's the next item to have some kind of issue.

We loaded up Destiny and took off from La Cruz on December 13. Our goal was to reach Barra de Navidad by December 24 with intermediate stops along with way at Punta Mita (right off our condo), Chamela and Tenacatita. All went well except for our success in fishing which seems to have escaped us. Other friends are catching nice fish but we might as well be in the Dead Sea. Fortunately fresh fish is easy to buy in Mexico so it's not a big deal. Our friend, Debbie Bledsoe, who lives in La Cruz drove to Barra to spend Christmas with us and then gave us a ride back to Punta Mita in time to meet Scott, Hillary, our cute and constantly active little grand-girls, and their dog, Libbie, for their two week visit. Prior to leaving Barra we spent Christmas day at a cruiser's pot luck that included turkey and ham with all the trimmings and many wonderful side dishes. Definitely not your traditional Christmas around the fire with family but very enjoyable.

The family visit was fantastic and it looks like we will be seeing much more of them as they're planning to spend the next school year in San Francisco (known as San Pancho by the locals) which is a half hour drive north of our condo. The girls will be immersed in Spanish during their stay and will hopefully be fluent when they go back to Colorado Springs. Scott's employer has given him permission to work away from the office as long as he has an internet connection. As you can imagine we're very much looking forward to this.

Hillary took and posted fabulous pictures of the girls during their stay - please check out their blog and the photos, on the attached link - "Our Grandkids"...

On January 18 we took a 4.5 hour, first-class bus ride, complete with movies and a snack from Puerto Vallarta to Barra de Navidad. Cost at the current exchange rate was $12 pp. Destiny was waiting for us at the spectacular Grand Bay Hotel marina. The hotel is 5 star rated with beautiful facilities but only a handful of guests. We're not sure how the place stays open as the staff must outnumber the guests by 10 to 1. After enjoying the hotel facilities, provisioning and getting the boat ready to go, we headed out for Santiago Bay 20 miles to the southeast. We were in the area two years ago for a one day stay with David & Anneke aboard Freedom so we had some idea what to expect. We spent two+ weeks in the three very different anchorages and we enjoyed them all. First was Santiago, the more traditional Mexican anchorage with a broad beach dotted with palapa restaurants, followed further along by magnificent multi-million dollar homes. The second, Las Hadas (where the movie "10" was filmed) has a real Mediterranean feel with hotels and restaurants looking down on a relatively small anchorage.

The last anchorage was the beautiful and remote Carrizal, which has no shore side facilities but fantastic scenery and snorkeling, with live coral, right off the back of the boat. One afternoon, after a bout of snorkling, Gilly was sitting in the cockpit reading when a shark cruised two feet from the boat. It had spots, dorsal fin and the classic shark tale, but as we didn't see it's head it was hard to identify. We guessed it was about 10-12 feet long. Other cruiser's think it may have been a whale shark. Regardless, we were glad to be out of the water when it decided to come calling.

All of these anchorages are just north of the port city of Manzanillo which we also enjoyed visiting several times.

On February 11 we made the trip back to Barra where we're now anchored in what they call 'the lagoon'. We can see the Grand Bay Hotel but staying in the lagoon is much easier on the budget. Last year we came here with the idea of staying 2 days and ended up hanging around for 2 weeks. We love the feel of the place and the little town of Barra which is an easy dinghy ride away. We'll stay here until around February 20 when we start our trek back to La Cruz in time for visitors to the condo. After that we plan to be in La Paz by April 1 for another event sponsored by Latitude 38. Very much looking forward to this plus spending more time in the Sea of Cortez.

No matter what we're doing, our time in Mexico seems to fly by faster than we realize.

Click on the photos to view....

Christmas to Feb 17 in Barra de Navidad

Chuy - our semi adopted beach dog...