Puerto Vallarta to Mazatlan, March 2011
Jim and Emma with Samantha, Monica and Janus, five years ago, on the back deck of Blue Sky. He prepared us a traditional polish dinner one evening, which was fabulous.  A nice change from fish tacos.
When we were in Mexico five years ago, one of our favorite stops was Chamela.  What made it so special was meeting Janus, his wife Monica and their daughter Samantha.  Monica's family own Manuelita's a beach side palapa.  Much to our enjoyment, the restaurant and family were still there. The last time we were here I was stung by a Sting Ray, and Janus knew just what to do.  It was extremely painful, so he gathered some raya leaves and made a tea in water, once I submerged my foot in the hot water the pain dissappeared.
The colors of Mexico above, it is always a joy walking the streets and seeing all the crafts for sale.  After leaving Chamela we sailed to Impala, and staged ourselves to go around Cabo Corrientes in the early morning hours, to avoid the afternoon winds that can become rather strong around this point. 
Impala is a small sleepy fishing village.  The shark statue is new, but the town is still quaint.  The children enyoyed a swim while we ate ceviche.
The anchor was up at 4:00am and as we rounded the Cape, my parents phoned us.  They informed us that there was an earthquake and Tsunami in Japan and the wave was heading across the Pacific to the West coast of the Americas. 
We decided to continue to the anchorage and drop the hook in deeper water and watch.  We witnessed one large surge on the beach, then instead of more waves, the marina experienced ten plus knots of current rushing into the harbor then out.  The boats anchored closer to shore were right in this current, one minute they would be facing one way then the next flipped around. You can see the discoloration of the water from the surge.
Entering Banderas Bay toward Puerto Vallarta, the seas and wind were calm.  What was unusual was the chatter on the VHF and the amount of boats in the bay.  Many yachts decided to leave the Marinas and ride out the Tsunami in deeper water.  Unbelievably the harbor master was closing all the harbors and not allowing boats to leave or enter, I guess he didn't read his manual.  That it is safer for a boat to be at sea and not in a harbor when a Tsunami hits.  Fortunately no boats were damaged, however the dock above, did not fare so well. 
Jim hoisted the signal flags that read Tsunami approaching.
Before our departure from Puerto Vallarta, five years ago, we stayed at Paradise Village Marina. This time we choose to go into Riviera Nayarite, located in La Cruz.  While we were gone they built this new Marina, and we had never been to this area.  The town is a nice mexican village, with great inexpensive restaurants. Plus all the "kid boats" were there.  It was nice to tie Blue Sky up to a dock again, as we have many projects to complete, and it is always easier to do it on a dock. 
Our friend Peter arrived in Puerto Vallarta to help us take the boat up to Mazatlan and Baja. Silvie, whom we also met prior to our departure, joined us to catch up on the last five years. .
One day we took the bus to visit Paradise Village and say hello to the manager, who remembered us from before and was very helpful.  The children wanted to play in the large swimming pools and going down the crocodile slides.  The difference between the two marinas, one is full of tourists and the other locals.
Tami, from s/v Andiamo II, is pictured above with some of the children in the Marina.  She organizes a kids club that meets twice a week.The children made their own burgees one day and even put on a play for all the adults.  There was a field trip to the zoo, where Phoebe and Drake got up close and personal with a giraffe.  As they say, the zoo was ok, but nothing compared to seeing these amazing animals in the wild.  
I am pictured with Diane, who was getting her boat, s/v Ceilydh, ready to Puddle Jump in the next few days, with her husband and daughter.  I wish I had met some one prior to my departure to give me advise!
The La Cruz Marina hosted a Polynesian night to bid all the puddle jumpers farewell.  Phoebe wore a sarong we bought in Tahiti along with shell jewelry we had from the South Pacific and Drake wore his Marquesan T-shirt. They both won prizes, as they were the only ones there who had actually been across the Pacific.
The boat projects were done and it was time to start working our way up the coast to Mazatlan.  The whale season was coming to an end so it was a treat to see a humpback whale breeching.  They are amazing animals to watch.  We anchored a couple nights at Punta Mita then headed for San Blas.
The malecon in Puerto Vallarta is lovely to walk along, wiht many interactive statues.  We came across some that we remember from before, so the children posed on them again.  It is amazing to see how much they have grown!
The Bells of San Blas
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What say the Bells of San Blas
To the Ships that southward pass
From the Harbor of Mazatlan?
To them it is nothing more
Than the sound of surf on the shore,
Nothing more to master or man.

But to me, a dreamer of dreams,
To whom what is and what seems
Are often one and the same,
The Bells of San Blas to me
Have a strange, wild melody,
And are something more than a name.

For bells are the voice of the church,
They have tones that touch and search
The hearts of young and old,
One sound to all, yet each
Lends a meaning to their speech,
And the meaning is manifold.

They are a voice of the Past,
of an age that is fading fast,
Of a power austere and grand,
When the flag of Spain unfurled
Its folds o'er this western world,
And the Priest was lord of the land.
"The saints! Ah, have they grown
Forgetful of their own?
Are they asleep or dead,
That open to the sky
Their ruined Missions lie,
No longer tenanted?

"Oh, bring us back once more
The vanished days of yore,
When the world with faith was filled;
Bring back the fervid zeal,
The hearts of fire and steel,
The hands that believe and build.

"Then from our tower again
We will send over land and main
Our voices of command,
Like exiled kings whol return
To their thrones, and the people learn
That the Priest is lord of the land!"

O Bells of San Blas in vain
Ye call back the Past again;
The Past is deaf to your prayer!
Out of the shadows of night
The world rolls into light;
It is daybreak everywhere.
The chapel that once looked down
On the little seaport town
Has crumbled into the dust,
And on oaken beams below,
The bells swing to and fro,
And are green with mould and rust.

"Is, then, the old faith dead,"
They say, "and in its stead
Is some new faith proclaimed,
That we are forced to remain
Naked to sun and rain
Unsheltered and ashamed?

"Once, in our tower aloof,
We rang over wall and roof
Our warnings and our complaints:
And round about us there
The white doves filled the air,
Like the white souls of the saints.
We anchored in Mantanchen Bay, a palm lined beach that is  a fifteen minute bus ride from San Blas.  If you anchor inside the harbor you will be bombarded by noseums, tiny biting bugs that make you itch all over for days.  .  March 12, 1768 missionaries, under the leadership of Fray Junipero Serra boarded the ship "La Purisima" and sail from Mantanchen Bay for Baja California.  On July 1, 1769 they arrived in San Diego marking the beginning of the settlement of California.
Peter, Drake and Jim relaxing at a Palapa on the beach.  Back on the boat we surprised Peter with birthday brownies, to wish him another wonderful year.
From San Blas we motor sailed up the coast to Mazatlan. Anchoring in the old harbor we were close to the historic sights of town.  The El Faro lighthouse is one of the tallest in the world, located 500 feet up a hill.  At the top we were greated by ocean to mountain views of Mazatlan. The light house began operating in 1879. 
The historic section above is where Machado Plaza is located.  The plaza is lined with restaurants and museums.  Hoping on a bus one day we discoved El Bogotes, which had the best carnitas!
Lamar was a restaurant located within the harbor and allowed us to dock the dinghy in front.  We always enjoy relaxing in a location where we can see the boat.  They were so accomadating that we presented them with a Latitude and Attitudes burgee and a s/v Blue Sky burgee.

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