Sailing into 2017

As I write this, we are anchored in the Lagoon at Barra de Navidad. It’s 83 degrees outside, I’m sitting in the cockpit under the new shade cover we had made in Guaymas, and a flicker of breeze is keeping it cool. We paddled at sunrise and may stroll around the town later today. Aside from the Seahawks’ loss last night, All is Very Well. Happy New Year, everyone! You may have noticed the postings have been a little sparse–we’re going to many of the same places as last year, and loving the cruising life even more. Last year was the year of discovery–every single moment contained new information, decisions, stresses, and epiphanies. This is still happening in 2017, but it seems some learning took place last year, and as a result we’re able to avoid a few pitfalls and maximize the “fun units” (as friend Sandy White would say). In 2017 we understand the weather better, we know more people (both cruisers and locals), we don’t have medical issues dictating the calendar, and we’re able to experience this beautiful country in more depth. 2017 is also a year of taking a breath and reviewing the intense months (and years) leading up to the trip South, and thinking of all who have helped, encouraged, and mentored us–as well as those who make fun of us and keep us entertained. New friends and old, family near and far–each of you adds richness to our lives. We wish you all a healthy and peaceful 2017!

gold-coast-4

Our course since San Blas is the blue line. Skipped Chamela, one of our favorites, because the trip around Cabo Corrientes from La Cruz went too fast (8 & 9 knots) and we arrived well before dawn so just kept going to Tenacatita.

steve-and-jonie-floating

After leaving the Baja, the mainland coast felt quite warm. Steve and Jonie from the s/v Tandem are coping well at the Chamela anchorage. It was a holiday week so the beaches were packed with vacationing Mexicans.

la-cruz-market

Getting some Christmas shopping done at the Sunday Market in La Cruz. The fish market in the back ground is open everyday as the pangas come in early each morning with their catch–ahi, dorado, shrimp, snapper, octopus, grouper, etc.

lucy-kennel

Flying to my sister’s house in San Jose for Christmas required figuring out how to get Lucy there. She’s well within the weight limit of 20 lbs to ride in the cabin but she must also fit into this FAA approved carrier. The super close hair cut helped but…….time for plan B.

christmas-dinner

My sister Linda was nice/crazy enough to host  our family including Donna’s mom Ev and even Lucy at her home in San Jose for Christmas. 15 people and 4 dogs for dinner.

lucy-fire

Lucy had acclimated better that Donna & I to the heat in Mexico so had a hard time dealing with the “cold” in California.  The bombers jacket and fire helped.

luminario

We spent New Year’s eve at La Cruz just around the corner from Puerto Vallarta. At midnight we all launched “luminaria” —-mini hot air balloons—with our 2017 wishes attached. You can see hundreds of them filling the sky. Unfortunately ours, which Donna is firing up here, crashed and burned before clearing the jetty. (Do we still get our wish?)  Lucky that they have tile roofs here.

brain-waves-crew

Jim & Deb, from the J-35 Brain Waves, are our impromptu welcome committee to Tenacatita–nice welcome.

bocce-at-tenacatita

Everyday most of the guys anchored in Tenacatita Bay dinghy ashore at 2:00 for a game of bocce ball (really petanque) on the beach.  Competition is fierce.

john-bocce

With bocce technique like this, how can I lose?  I’m getting better.

post-bocce

After Bocce, everyone adjourns to the local beach bar for refreshments. Reminds me of the old Wednesday Race around Blakely Rock then meet at the Pub.

mayors-raftup

The “Mayor’s Raft Up” at Tenacatita Bay. At sunset everyone brings hors d’oeuvres and drinks and shares stories. One of the perennial cruisers–Robert on the s/v Harmony, is the “Mayor” and acts as Grand Poo Bah when promoting social events like this.

pat-sing-at-raftup

Pat sang the hit song “Fat Boat Blues” aka Chasing Carmanah at the Mayors Raft up.

paddle-to-aquarium

Pat & Cline paddled with me on a water trail through 2.8 miles of mangroves to reach another bay north of Tenacatita locally called the aquarium. Crocs are present but we didn’t encounter any that day.

aquarium-relaunch

After paddling through the estuary to “The Aquarium”, we portaged to the ocean side and paddled home in open water.

john-dive-outfit

Finally, I have the spear gun and all equipment working properly, shown here out at Roca Central where I go shots at snapper, grouper, sierra, pompano, and sea bass. Even hit a few. It’s very challenging to stalk and ultimately bring a struggling fish to the surface , most of the bigger fish are at 40+ feet deep near the rock.

crevalle-jack-on-spear

This Crevalle Jack (I mistook for an African Pompano) that I speared quite near the boat put up an amazing struggle. Pat helped me get him out of the water without damage to the inflatable.

lucy-on-paddle-board

Lucy just hates surf landings and usually bails the second we catch a wave. It’s getting harder to get her on the board. Her swimming skills have improved tremendously however.

 

2 thoughts on “Sailing into 2017

  1. Jeff Ozimek

    What a life! Good to see you three doing so well. Definitely would like to hear more about your spearfishing. After snorkeling all the time in Hawaii, I’ve developed an interest in it.

    Like

    Reply

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