Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back in Punta Mita...

We've been back to our Punta Mita condo for several weeks after completing our second season of cruising the west coast of Mexico. Hurricane season runs May 15 through October 31 and brings with it warmer more humid weather along with frequent afternoon and evening thunder showers producing sometimes dramatic lightning. Since it's generally not a good time to be on the water we have Destiny safely tied up in La Cruz. Near the end of July we'll move her to the even safer venue of Paradise Village in case we experience some really nasty weather.
Our last posting had us still in the Sea of Cortez getting ready for an overnight crossing to Mazatlan where the boat was scheduled to be hauled before coming on home to Banderas Bay. We were able to get in a little sailing but motored most of the 170 odd miles without incident except for an alternator that kept overcharging the batteries. We disconnected the alternator which temporarily solved the problem enabling us to keep going. We arrived in Mazatlan on a Friday morning for our scheduled haul out on Monday. The boat yard and marina are all in the same complex complete with amenities like swimming pool, hot tub, very clean bathroom and shower facilities, WIFI and laundry room. We stayed on Destiny while she was out of the water and took full advantage of what the place had to offer. We, like most other boaters, dread the time out of the water but this was a fun and enjoyable experience. We partied with other cruisers at pot lucks and movie nights, and had a chance to further explore much of what Mazatlan has to offer. Best of all the work done to the boat was excellent and reasonably priced.

Mexico has a huge shrimping industry with Mazatlan at its center. On two occasions when the boat was hauled out we bought shrimp from a street vendor, and then took it to a nearby restaurant where they boil the shrimp for free and the beers are $1.00. The restaurant will prepare the shrimp in many other styles for around $3.00. Our favorite is sauteed in butter and garlic which is so yummy. It's a true Mexican setting with loud music no tourists around to spoil the ambience.

Being somewhat anxious to get home we decided to blast back to Banderas Bay without stopping somewhere along the way. We got in some good off wind sailing during the day and saw no other vessel traffic at night. In the early morning as we were approaching Punta Mita and Banderas Bay a series of nasty looking thunder storms materialized in front of us but dissipated as we started to make our way around them. All and all a good trip without incident.

Two weeks after returning, our friends David & Susan Sherrill arrived for an 9 day stay. We introduced them to the area around Punta Mita and then took off on Destiny for Chacala which is one of our favorite anchorages 35 miles to the north. Luckily we had a breeze out of the south so for much of the way we flew the spinnaker in ideal conditions. We caught our first dorado (mahi mahi), a fish that has alluded us since coming to Mexico, so it was sashimi later that afternoon.

Unfortunately, the anchorage at Chacala is open to the south so that afternoon and evening felt like we were on a floating trampoline. The next day things calmed down and with water in the mid 80's we kept jumping in and out. Our next stop was Guayabitos 7 miles down the coast where we understand 3,000 bikers visited the weekend before. That must have done in the place as we could not find anything open for dinner, so back on the boat Gilly and Susan put together a fantastic dish that will likely never be reproduced. Our trip home home in normal NW winds was another good one and we caught a second and larger dorado supplying our protein requirements the next few days. Who could ask for more??

We had planned to drive the Sherrill's into Vallarta but our Blazer decided to have an electrical problem which took a couple of days to sort out. It's such a shame as they were stuck swimming and surfing in front of the condo but somehow they adapted. We had a wonderful time with them and hopefully they'll come back for another visit. Soon after they left the weather got nasty so their timing was perfect.

During this past cruising season we went as far south as Manzanillo and subsequently well into the magnificent Sea of Cortez. We visited 22 different anchorages and overall covered about 2,000 miles. Not impressive when compared to what many others do, but certainly was a wonderful experience for us and we look forward to doing more of the same in the coming years. Right now we'd love to be enjoying the summer on San Francisco Bay where we have so many great friends and memories. Someday it will happen but for now we're happy having Destiny domiciled here.