Monday, January 27, 2014

Moving South...

This is the kind of place we have to live in these days. Really slumming it, right? We are currently in Bahia Navidad (yep, Christmas Bay) and the marina is part of the Wyndam Grand Resort, Isla de Navidad. Gorgeous. Glorious after 8 days anchoring and getting salty and stinky and low on food. The pools are fabulous, replete with water slides and a bar you can swim up to. We felt like we arrived in heaven! So civilized. But man is it HOT here. And hot is not always pleasant.

Marina Puerto de la Navidad, Wyndham Grand Resort, Isla de la Navidad in the background
Appa in our slip
As you can probably tell, we were finally able to tear ourselves away from Banderas Bay - Puerto Vallarta and La Cruz - after more than a month there. We loved it there and it was actually hard to leave it, knowing that we had only just begun to explore all that the area has to offer. Knowing we’ll be back in March helped some. Marcus wants to do the Banderas Bay Regatta in March so on our way back up the coast to further explore the Sea of Cortez, we'll be stopping there again. And we'll go back to Costco... OMG that was an amazing experience. A cool slice of home and familiar goodies and presentation and even cheap hotdogs! But we had miles to go... and barnacles to swish away. We were eager to get off the docks/marinas and get moving again. Hard to imagine I would say that but now that we are halfway through our adventure, it seems to be speeding by us. Marcus has decided that his best weather window to get the boat safely back to Seattle is to leave the southernmost tip of Baja California around the last week of May, first week of June, heading to Hawaii (three weeks) and then from Hawaii to Seattle (three weeks), chasing the currents and avoiding a bash up the coast. He has already started to focus on that aspect of the trip which oddly annoys me a bit since we still have so much to do before then. But I get it. We need that all to be in place sooner rather than later so our friends who are coming to help him deliver the boat have time to make travel and life plans. As you can tell, I have opted NOT to do the crossing with Marcus. I am not comfortable with it, especially with Samey aboard. It is too long to be “trapped” on a boat at sea for her and it would not be enjoyable for me to be “trapped” with her care, potentially seasick for days on end. She's a great little sailor girl and quite comfortable on the boat but not being able to get off the boat or run around or swim would prove unhealthy for her, I am sure of it. You should see her swim these days... Ben and Sam are eager to get back to “the blue house” and talk about it constantly. Samey even told me she had a dream about it. I know, however, that they will miss these days on the boat once we are back home and back into the routines there. I know I will, too. It's not easy living like this but it sure is "living". We are lucky to be able to do this, I know it. So, sooner than I can imagine, I will fly up to Seattle with the kids. 

See the whale fluke? It was swimming in the anchorage when we woke up!
Samey, Easton (S/V Sand Dollar) and Ben swimming off the boat in Ipala
Checking the "rope swing" connections at Ipala (village in the background)
There goes Marcus! 
Since we left Banderas Bay, we have made some great stops. Our first stop was Ipala. The guidebooks did not seem enthusiastic about it but we had a marvelous time. The whole family loves to be able to jump off the boat into the warm, clear waters. Its not something you can do in La Cruz or Puerto Vallarta. We did at Punta de Mita and Tres Mariettas but it had been some time and everyone was happy. Marcus rigged up a rope swing with the spinnaker pole and the boys (and Kaley) from Appa and Sand Dollar made fools of themselves trying to hold on and splashing into the water. Marcus and I dinghied into the little town to check things out and see if it would be a good idea to have a meal there. We have been burned by our less than enjoyable stay in the beautiful Yelapa with the incredibly unfriendly reception we received there so we were a bit wary. But Ipala was delightful. We were immediately welcomed by "Cande"who threw our garbage bag into the back of his pick-up truck and offered to take it for us. He explained (in Spanish so I may not have understood everything...) that the statue of the Great White Shark (with a baby doll in its mouth! So funny!) was there to honor the fact that even as recently as the revolution, there were tons of sharks in the waters and now there aren't many. He and his daughter "Gaby" have a restaurant there on the water and we told them we were coming back with everyone for dinner. Marcus and JC had lobster and Shauna and I had red snapper and the kids had shrimp tacos and it was a fabulous dinner. I finally was able to give the local kids (who were all beautiful) the pencils and stickers and books that we had gotten in Target for that exact purpose. It was fun to see them all running around the sea wall in front of the marina and on the beach right there with their "gifts". Gaby's brother was the ponga driver who picked us up and dropped us off. "Fernando". I kept singing the Abba song in my head, too. We left the next morning for Chamela.
Silliness underway...
A wonderful bay, great beach and easy anchorage. One of our least glorious dingy beach landings, though. Samey even lost her pants, we crunched the dinghy tires and the dingy we had a fish swimming in it! We didn't capsize but we were all drenched. Waterproof backpack proved worthy! NO internet again. Not even Telcel. And NO bank. And we discovered we had NO Pesos! Oops. Thankfully, Max had some and so did Ben so we borrowed from the kids!!! The town was odd. Like a thoroughfare. Many tiendas with, oddly, tons of beach toys. We were glad to have been there over the weekend and to see the Mexican families playing together and swimming and enjoying the surf. Antipodes showed up which was great fun for the kids. They love our powerboat friends and their son, Adam. Samey loves their kitties - Fiddlesticks and Oreo. And then, happily, we were joined by Vales Valeo again!! 
Off to swim and fish in Chamela Bay

Three Mexican lovelies
They were coming for just one night there and as we had been there in the bay for several nights we decided with Sand Dollar to travel with them to Paraiso. What a lovely little cove it was. But the wind picked up and by nightfall, we knew we were in for a VERY rough night at anchor. YIKES. But we all just went to bed and the kids slept from 8:30-8:00 am. We left as soon as we could and headed to Bahia Navidad. We love this place. The town is so colorful and has so much character. And the resort has proven to be SO much fun for everyone. Lots of bugs... HOT... but a wonderful place. Internet still IMPOSSIBLE but we do what we can. More to come as we are now leaving for Manzanillo!


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  2. Looks like you have really turned the corner and are enjoying the adventure. I love how you said that it's hard living like this but it sure is living - I'm sure that must be so true.