A slight break since my last entry, we’ve been off the beach and have had visitors, so I'm a little behind in the writing. While in Puerto Vallarta we enjoyed a week off in the Grand Mayan Palace with my parents and my grandfather. I know, how do we deserve a week off when we’ve been “off” for the last 4 months? You’d be surprised, a week free of boat maintenance, bottom scrubbing, simple tasks that are more difficult on a boat (laundry, provisioning, cooking when we are underway, etc.) was like heaven. The hotel’s kitchenette felt like Chef Ramsey’s gourmet kitchen, the king sized clean sheets minus the sand and salt were luxurious and other amenities were greatly appreciated by all that regularly inhabit the Pelagic. We also took a week off of the homeschooling and I’m not sure who was more excited, the students or the teacher! One of the highlights of our stay at the resort was participating in a sea turtle release program. Zander is planning to write about that in his next blog, so I will leave the details to him.
We had a lovely, albeit short visit with my grandfather, who flew down to PV for two days to share his condo with us. We also squeezed in an additional Christmas celebration and the kids opened presents from the family which came down with my parents. They were all excited about their new loot and now we just have to find a place to stow it all on the boat. I guess Porter will need to mount his compound bow next to his rarely used guitar on the top side of his bunk. I think I may be sneaking a few things in my parents suitcases to take back!
We enjoyed a week off and then spent an additional few days in the PV area. Finally on January 12th we started our trek south, this time with two additional sailors on board. My parents visited Yelapa, Chamela, Bahia Tenacatita and Barra de Navidad with us. In Yelapa we toured the small hanging village that had been deeded to the community by the King of Spain back in the 1500’s. We took, probably, the most exciting water taxi ride of our lives into the beach. Anchoring is discouraged in Yelapa and a mooring buoy includes a ride to and from the beach. We were picked up from our boat and while the driver waited for the perfect conditions, we wondered how we were possibly going to get in through the waves and up on the steep beach. Finally, the driver told us all to get in the back and hold on tight to the bambino! What? Before we had a chance to second guess his tactics, he roared in past the surf, pulled the outboard up and parked his boat, on dry sand, between two very surprised Canadian tourists sitting on the beach enjoying their cocktails. Our look of terror was quickly replaced by whoops of joy from the kids. They loved it! Certainly worth our 200 pesos! From Yelapa we did a night sail (more like a night motor/sail) with light winds down 70 miles to Bahia Chamela. This was by far the slowest leg of our trip. We had a counter current and even when we were sailing our speed on the GPS was so slow, the leg took us almost twice as long as usual. In Chamela we kayaked, snorkeled and paddle boarded around the bay. Leaving Chamela we stopped in Paraiso, a secluded little gem of an anchorage. We shared the anchorage with one other boat, but we felt like we had it all to ourselves. The cove had a palm tree lined, white sand beach, the snorkeling was pretty good right from the boat (clarity could be better, but we saw a few new species of fish). It was a rolly night, but worth it for the solitude. Mexico has become a very popular cruising ground and there aren’t many anchorages that you have almost to yourself! We mostly sailed to our next stop of Tenacatita, but were able to fly the spinnaker, which everyone always enjoys. Along the way we saw distant whales, dolphins and caught a small dorado. In Tenacatita we took a mangrove tour in the dinghy and saw 29 species of birds and a coatimundi (they look like our raccoons, but are much more elusive). Back on the boat we had a relaxing afternoon catching up with boat projects and homeschooling and taking turns playing with the kids. If space wasn’t an issue, 4 adults to 3 kids would be a pretty good ratio on a boat.
It has been nice to have guests and it is one thing we truly miss while we are away. When I peek at Zander and Porter’s journals, the only thing they ever complain about (besides the school work) is missing friends and family.