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Back Home in Paradise

November 2001

After a very brief stay in Cabo for a few repairs by Mark, we headed slightly north on the Baja side to Los Frailes, a very lovely little bay where we sat out a Norther last year. This time the conditions were completely benign, the skies sunny, the water warm and clear. We – the two of us – just needed a bit of down time in a quiet place after several weeks of intensity.

We also felt the need to have The Second Annual “Don’t Spill Your Margarita on the Generator Control Panel” Party and Book Exchange. We had about 50 people on the boat for BYO drinks and snacks, a great way to get to know other cruisers. At one point, most of the guests were on one side of the boat, so we had to have a bit of a cargo shift. Never had that problem before while at anchor! The only one minor casualty this year: in the book exchange, someone left us with several bodice- ripper romance novels, which we will have to find a way to sneak off the boat in a plain brown wrapper.

Crossing the Sea

The weather was so calm that we decided to make the crossing of the Sea of Cortez (a.k.a., Gulf of California, to non-cruisers) while the going was good. This time of year, once the Northers start blowing, it can be rough, but 2001 has been very warm and mild so far. We decided to skip Mazatlan and head for Puerto Vallarta, making a stop at the nature preserve on Isla Isabela, a nonstop trip of about 220 miles. We were back to three hours on watch, three hours off with just the two of us. Tiring, but it works fine for short crossings. The Sea of Cortez was totally empty and we didn’t see any other boats or ships on the radar screen all night. We did see lots of meteors shooting across the sky though – pretty exciting.

We headed for Puerto Vallarta about two weeks ahead of schedule (schedule, what schedule?) due to the lack of a stop in Mazatlan. The marina there was closed and being auctioned off, with lots of rumor and innuendo. We decided it was way too complex a Mexican situation to get involved in, so we just headed south.

Puerto Vallarta Feels Like Home

We arrived in PV on the 20th of November. When we went into the entrance channel at Paradise Village, it really felt like coming home. Many old friends (“old” meaning we met them last year!) were already there to greet us. Tom of ‘Tai Tam II’ was even waving to us from the jetty. We immediately made reservations for the big Cruiser Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed a lovely day with a hundred folks having turkey and trimmings on the terrace overlooking Banderas Bay.

One evening, we went with a dozen friends to Philo’s, a small club in nearby La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (don’t ask; cruisers and locals just call it ‘La Cruz’) run by a gringo former cruiser. It was jam session night, with several cruisers and local gringos showing amazing musical skills. Then things really got hot when a young Mexican guitar virtuoso arrived and wowed us all with his improvisations. Shouted “Bravos!” were heard from everyone. Got back to the boat at midnight, waaay past Cruiser Bedtime.

Just in the last few days, Signe put up our new little (and we do mean little) Christmas tree. Plus a crčche that she found in a local shop. No, with the temperature and humidity both stuck at eighty it doesn’t feel much like Christmas, but it does help give the cabin a homey feeling. We like it.

Trip to the Real Mexico

Last year, unlike many cruiser friends we didn’t make any inland trips in Mexico, but this year we were determined to rectify that omission. Adela Sanchez de Cueva, our Spanish teacher in San Miguel de Allende, had recommended Oaxaca as one of her favorite cities, so we were good students and followed her lead. Besides, we had heard about all the handicrafts that are made there, plus all the beautiful colonial architecture and the archeology. We flew there via Mexico City, stayed four days, and loved it. See the next log for details.


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This page was last updated on 04/13/04.


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