Hola from Puerto Vallarta!!

Hola and Feliz Anos Nuevo from Puerto Vallarta!!! I have been reminded by several readers that our log has not been updated for a very long time!! We have been cruising in Mexico since the first of November and have enjoyed every port from Huatulco to Puerto Vallarta. Mexico has certainly changed our opinion of cruising the Pacific Coast. The climate has been spectacular with cool mornings and evenings and sparkling clear and warm days. We have not seen a drop of rain since leaving Guatemala!! With few noteworthy exceptions the seas have been calm and we have enjoyed the sea turtles, dolphins and whales that keep us company at sea.

We spent the month of November at the marina in Huatulco. It is a modern and safe marina with in walking distance of the town called La Crucecita. The Mexican government developed this area 25 years ago with the expectation that it would be the next Cancun ……it has been a slow process and the result is a modern but underdeveloped town. A friend of ours on another Nordhavn mentioned that it reminded him of the town in the movie “Pleasantville”! It was a good place for us to leave the boat for a family cruise to the Caribbean aboard the luxurious cruise ship the Silver Shadow. We also rented a car and took a death defying trip over the Sierra Madres to the wonderful colonial town of Oaxaca. Once again we were surprised by the cold climate in the higher elevations but our room had a fire place which was really nice! Oaxaca is rich with history and we did visit the tombs and ruins of Monte Alban and visited several Jade factories and purchased a bauble or two. Oaxaca and the surrounding villages are rich with artisans and craftsmen it would be easy to spend a week exploring the area. Another side trip from Huatulco was a visit to the seaside town of Puerto Escondido, home to the Mexican Pipeline (for those of you who surf) and may great Palapa Restaurants along the beach.

We left Huatulco with our friends Mike and Sara aboard Wayfinder. It is nice to have another boat with us on the long passages and they are great company. It was a two night passage to Zihuatanejo and one of the best trips we have ever had. The calm seas allowed for more sleep than usual and we arrived rested and ready to explore this charming port. It is an anchorage so we got to practice our Pacific dinghy beach landings.
We have installed wheels on our small tender that have to be lowered prior to landing at the beach between the waves so that we can pull the boat high up on the beach due to the extreme tides and surf. This is a new adventure for East Coast Cruisers but one gets use to going to dinner with a wet bottom!! Zihuatanejo with its colorful markets, craft shops and great restaurants has become a favorite stop. I hear it gets very crowded in the high season so we were luck to have the town to ourselves.

Next stop up the coast was Manzanillo where we anchored off the Las Hadas Resort that was made famous in the movie “10”. Steven spent the week looking for Bo Derek ! We had the use of the resort facilities which was fun and the town is a large commercial port so we were able to provision for the holidays before heading to Barra Navidad.

We have been told by everyone…wait until you get to Barra…..you are going to love it!! They were right. Four Nordhavns arrived on the same day and we were later joined by two more! Having spent 2 years among sailboats in the Caribbean we are thrilled to be among Powerboats and Trawlers once again. The Grand Bay Resort and Marina in Barra is gorgeous with beautiful grounds, pools and spa. There was always something to do and the town was a water taxi ride away. The town is quite a contrast to the upscale resort with its small tiendas and open shops. It has a true charm and the restaurants are plentiful and very good. We are in love with the Mexican Cuisine. Each area is different but they are all wonderful. I could live on Shrimp Tacos and Margaritas!! December was a busy month as we went to Palm Springs for Christmas and our friends Kathy and Andy joined us in Barra for our 20th New Year together. We actually spent New Years Eve at anchor in Tenacatita and took a dinghy trip through a jungle on New Years Day. It was fun to have them with us once again and the question of the week was “where will we be for next year?” Before departing from Barra Navidad we were able to catch up with friends that we have not seen in many years. Steve and Alice have a spectacular home not far from Barra in a beautiful coastal community of Careyes. We spent a night in Paradise overlooking the Pacific as their guests and enjoyed meeting their friends. We hope to meet up with them in Newport Beach in March.

Puerto Vallarta is a real surprise…..we feel like we are in Miami with all of the conveniences (Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Home Depot etc) and the mix of English and Spanish is about the same. We are at the Marina Vallarta which is near town and surrounded by shops, restaurants and beaches. We have access to several marine services
for the first time in a very long time. We are having the generator serviced, head liner replaced, inverter and main engine maintenance performed along with lots of waxing.
Next week we will rent a car and take a road trip up the coast and then depart PV for the Mexican Baja. We are not sure if we will go to La Paz or Cabo San Lucas so stay tuned.

Adios for now…………….
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