Mexican Riviera, February to March 2011
While in Mexico, we learned that our friends from s/v Moose, were in Saint Helena.  You may remember that we traveled from Chagos to Madagascar, Mayotte and Mozambique and Richards Bay, South Africa with them.
Well, when we were in Saint Helena, we buried two bottles of South African wine, one off Jacobs ladder and the other in a canon, on the far side of the island.  Duncan, above right, with their friend, took the coordinates and found both bottles.  Not surprisingly they both aged well and were still drinkable.
Blue Sky enjoyed the anchorage at Las Hadas resort, which became famous when the movie "Ten" was filmed there. Cruisers are welcome to use the swimming pool and beach.  On the hill was another restaurant with a pool, where we met Jane and her husband Don.  They began talking to Phoebe and were intriqued by our story.  So they invited us to join them for dinner in Manzanillo. It is these small acts of kindness that have made our trip so memorable.
Las Hadas resort.
Jane and Don with their friends Richard and Meredith enjoying dinner with a spectacular view.
From Las Hadas we went around the corner to Santiago Bay, and met up with all the kid boats.  Phoebe and Drake with Danielle (12) and Harrison (9) from s/v Whatcha Gonna Do, and Jack (10)from s/v Santosha.
The marina at Barra de Navidad, with the lagoon in the distance.
Blue Sky anchored in the Lagoon at Barra de Navidad.  This sunrise photo was taken from our neighbor, John off s/v Naida.
In Barra Jim's sister Kara, her husband Brian and son, Wyatt came to visit us and celebrate our circumnavigation.  Phoebe and Drake enjoyed meeting their cousin for the first time! It is wonderful having a new member in the family.  Leaving Bethesda, Maryland right before a huge snow storm blanketed the east coast.  It was time for some sun and fun by the pool.  
Wyatt was a natural at driving the dinghy. His favorite new word was "boat" and si, si, si, no, no, no.
The pool at the Grand Bay Resort had two water slides, not sure who had more fun, Brian or the kids.
Kara and Phoebe with the Resort behind them.
Drake, Wyatt and Phoebe enjoying a swing in a hammock.  Phoebe is old enough now, that we could leave the three of them in the hotel room and go out for an adult evening. 
Poolside in the afternoons there were different games everyday.  One day there was a chess tournament.  Drake beat Brian in ten moves, then won the tournament, grand prize a chocolate sundae.  (Thanks Brian we know the truth)
Kara, Wyatt and Brian.  the Mather's below, on the deck from their hotel room.
One of the benefits of anchoring in the Barra Lagoon is the French Baker.  He delivers fresh baked croissants, baquettes, quiches etc.  Everyone would come out to the boat for breakfast, where we were treated to the Mexican airforce, right, dive bombing the boat.
Family photos from Brian and Kara's balcony.  I was returning to the hotel via the marina and saw a dock worker with a very interesting hat.  CHEMCENTRAL.  I spoke with him about my years of service and he immediatly swaped hats with me!
Kara, Brian and Wyatt's vacation went by too fast!  They flew back home to Maryland and we were left, with two days to kill before we needed to sail 15 miles north to the next bay that is home to the El Tamarindo resort.

Originaly the plan was for Emma's parents, Ruth and
Edward to book rooms at the Grand Bay Hotel.   After they received a confirmation, they were re-contacted and informed that the hotel was full.

Fortunatley we had discussed other options in the area and they requested to be moved to the Tamarindo Resort.
El Tamarindo, is a lovely boutique resort in a nature reserve.  Rooms are a bit more expensive than The Grand Bay Hotel, but because it was a booking error on their part, they would cover the additonal expense.  The room they stayed in had a private swimming pool in a lovely garden with an "al fresco" seating & dining area. 
The sunset photograph above is the main pool with
s/v Blue Sky anchored in the background.
Unbenounced to Brian and Kara, Phoebe and Drake give them the bunny ears.
Emma rented a car, and with the children, she met Ruth and Edward at the Manzanillo Airport.  We were all exicted to be together again!
Afternoon walks on the beach and sunset dinners were the norm.  After settling in to our relaxed schedule, Martin Byrne-Quinn and Patryc Lampasi from Sydney, Austrailia arrived to complete our group.
Ruth & Miss Phoebe enjoying each others company.  Miss Phoebe is so named after Ruth's mother Phoebe Olive Betts. Granny would have enjoyed a good book by the pool, however, Miss Phoebe managed to get her in the water everday. Setting up houses and playing with the Littlest Pet shops.
Drake on top

Phoebe in the middle

Uncle Martin holding up the whole show!

Check out the infinity pool.  Can you tell where the pool ends and the Pacific begins?
The photograph above, is all of us on the 9th hole of the golf course.  To celebrate Edward's birthday, we played a round of golf.  After he and I completed  the front 9, all of the family met us at the restuarant that over looked the stunning 8th & 9th greens.  Spectacular is not even close to how fantastic it was.  After lunch Edward and I continued though the back 9 and re-joined the clan at the pool. I did not loose too many balls on this difficult course.  Edward played wonderfully, but he does get to play a round every week.  The last time I played was on Saint Helena. 
The birthday celebration was pool/beach side, and the piece de resistance was the chocolate cake that Phoebe and Drake had baked and decorated for Grandpa.  After dinner we enjoyed relaxing around a beach fire, below.
The Tamarindo had added a few more toys since our previous visit here.  Phoebe and Drake would swim out to the floating trampoline and play king of the bouncy. 
When we were here five years ago Martin  joined us on the yacht and we spent a few days at the Tamarindo with other cruising friends.  The timing was perfect, as his holidays were scheduled for our arrival this year. He is Emma's father's brother's son. 
Edward, Martin and Pat
The men & Master Drake took a panga across the bay to the mangrove and estuary  tour at Tenatacita.   In 2006 we took the children in our dinghy and had a wonderful time. Below a baby crocodile warms up in the sun.
A large croc eyeing us as we keep our distance, staying in the boat, just a few of the many interesting things we saw.
In our opinion, one of the best restaurants in Mexico is Martins, located in La Manzanilla.  The owner, Martin, prepares Ceasar salad and Bananas flambee table side.The food is fresh and delicious.
Ruth and Edward's luxurious bedroom.
Once again it was time to say our good-byes.  The only difference this time, was that we are on our way home and will not have to wait a year to see Granny and Grandpa again.  Martin and Pat went off to explore Barra de Navidad and some other wonderful destinations.  We were working our way to Puerto Vallarta one day at a time and waiting for good weather to beat ourselves north.
Thankfully Drake and Phoebe have stopped asking us to do this!  Wee.

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