Saturday, March 23, 2019

Heading Home

We arrived in in Ixtapa area on the next day and then promptly anchored at Isla Grande.  A cool 3 sided island with beaches at each side.  About a mile away was a croc sanctuary and we had to see it.  The crocs were impressive as was the cold beer.  Nice anchorage and we stayed for a couple days.  Our first visitor was arriving in Zihua so we boogied around the corner to Ztown.  Kendell arrived and was soon swimming off the back of our boat.  We begin to explore this sweet village and find it to be a cute as it is beautiful.  Our friends the Smernoffs arrived the next day and booked a room on the next beach over.  We met them and had a lovely dinner at their beach side hotel.  Next day we started a round of extreme snorkeling with Sean and Kendall.  Kendall is an underwater hockey player.  He has to hold his breath to play the game so needless to say he has amazing breath holding ability!  We would drop them on the rocky coast with big breaking waves and they would find all sorts of caves, swim throughs, spotted rays,  and much more.  We did this on three separate days and Sean loved it.  Tex and I would putter around in circles while they dove.  Had an excellent sail in the afternoon with the Smernoffs and hung out for the sunset. 

The next day we were invited to spend the afternoon at their beach side pool.  They were staying Aura del Mar and it is one cool hotel.  The pool is magnificent as it sits above the restaurant and offers a commanding view of the small bay.  We then head to the suite for a nice relaxing dinner with Dave, Cindy, Kala, Kedall, Sean and Tex.  We also celebrate Dave’s 60th with the best cheesecake I have ever tasted.  Happy Birthday big guy!

The next day we take them up the coast and motor to Isla Grande for some snorkeling fun and lunch.  We drop off the snorkelers for a romp thru a rocky patch.  This is where they see the Spotted Rays.  We have a relaxing afternoon on the beach and everyone gets in the water.  We swam out to the point to catch some waves.

Kendall and the Smernoffs departed and we prepared for our next guests.  Paul and Murray were two of my old boat partners in the Addiction sail boat.  They came down for a short visit and we had a grand time with some sailing and snorkeling.  We also had a visit to Isla Grande with them. 

The Guitarfest at Ztown was next with my bro in law Michael joining us.  We were there for opening night and got a three song introduction from each of the artists.  We loved this guy from Bogata.  Oscar Mendez reminded us of Michael Hedges finger style guitar.  We made reservations for his show the next night.  He was playing in a small hotel pool area.  We gathered for dinner and he put on a grand show.  I moved up towards the stage to get a better view.  Once his set was done, we met him briefly and he said yes he was inspired by Hedges.  I told him that I had met him once in Palo Alto.  He was very impressed.

We saw many other artists and this beach happening is one I would gladly return to.  One last visit to Isla Grande with Michael and our last visitor arrived.  Carl is a sailing buddy from Sauslito.  He had never done ocean passages so he wanted a taste.  We departed Z and headed to Barra de Navidad.  It a 2 day sail that was very routine.  

We love Barra de Navidad, It is a two town beach and we stay at a lovely marina attached to a very romantic hotel on the water.  We get use of the pool and hot tub as well.  Very fun and so relaxing.  We get chores done and head to the pool for lunch and hammock time.  During the evening we head to town and there is a carnival going on.  We met a little boy at the taco stand.  He follows us to the ride area and we buy him a ticket for a fun ride.  He loves it.  We ride the Ferris wheel and he waves.   
 Next up is a run to Tenicatita.  This the most beloved anchorage in all of Mexico.  We arrive in the afternoon and go for a nice sail in the bay.  Winds are 10-12.  We anchor before sundown and enjoy this beautiful place.  What makes it so special is that it can only be reached by boat.  There is a small cantina on the beach and that’s about it.  The cruisers organize activities like walks on the beach, bocce, volleyball and dingy raft up pot lucks.  It is a blast to meet everyone as well. 

Tuesday is a beach day and we head in after lunch and a nap.  There is small gathering and we play some spirited bocce as well as Frisbee golf.  Fun Fun!  Greg makes the shot of the month and wins the tournament. 

We head north and arrive in Puerto Vallarta the next day.  My favorite stop, Yelapa, is ahead and we grab a mooring ball at this lovely spot.  We are surrounded by large mountains on either side of the bay.  We are at the mouth of an ancient river valley.  Palapa restaurants line the bay we sit down for lunch and a cold one.  Sean decides he has to take in a parasail around the bay.  We have a nice game of bocce and call it a day.  We head back to the boat for dinner and rest.

Off to La Cruz the next day and we grab a slip as we need to take care of check in, fuel, provision and water.  Carl checks out on Sunday and heads to town as we will depart on Monday.  We finish up the details and after a quick visit from a cruising friend Shane, we depart for Punta Mita.  This will allow a quick exit of the bay on Tuesday.  We are now headed north towards Mazatlan with and over night in Chamala.

Chamala is as beautiful as advertised.  We head in for some lunch and check out the beach.  We sail for the next couple days to Mazatlan.  We had a shackle break on the jib but we were able to fix it once we reached Mazatlan.  We highly recommend El Cid in Maztown as it is attached to a beautiful hotel on the water.  We depart later today and will head across the Sea of Cortez to San Jose del Cabo.  About 200 mile to arrive on Monday morning.  We are heading north and back to the SF Bay Area.