Christmas and the New Year, 2005-2006

The Mather family was arriving in Puerto Vallarta and all had rooms booked at Paradise Village Resort and Marina, we also had a slip reserved. Amazingly, we arrived one day prior to everyone else. When we called on the VHF to the harbor office, they informed us that the swell was too large and did not advise us to enter. Sitting just off the entrance of Nuevo Vallarta, we watched the swell and counted it like a surfer, we also noticed a couple other sail boats exit the marina. Deciding to take our chance during a lull in the waves, we entered the Marina unscathed. Once inside, we dropped the anchor in a wide basin and called the marina office to say we had made it, needless to say, they were extremely upset with us! Yelling at us and telling us how dangerous it was. They then put us in a very difficult slip, directly in front of a mega yacht. Jim maneuvered the boat fantastically and Blue Sky was secure to the dock. Thinking about it, I am sure that they did not have a slip ready for us, so they told us not to enter. Having our family arriving the next day, that was not an option for us. They proceeded to move us around the next few days, until we were finally settled into a semi-permanent spot.

Christmas dinner was a treat at the resort. Everyday was filled with adventures, exploring the beach, town and marina. Jerry and Dean helping us move the boat. Kara, Lisa and Lizzy and Briand, relaxing on the back of the boat. Grandpa Mather teaching Drake to fly a kite on the beach in front of Paradise Village Hotel & Marina looking north.

Our amazing time with family was ending and sadly it was time to say goodbye for a very long time, as we did not know when we would see everyone again! Blue Sky was now ready to start our journey south.

January 14, 2006: Departure day. We left Nuevo Vallarta at high tide in order to get out of the entrance/exit, once again the swell was large and coming in the entrance. When we had cleared all obstacles, we made way to the southern point of Bahia de Banderas. This is called Cabo Corrientes, which is known as the Point Conception of Mexico. It also marks the beginning of truly tropical conditions. Once around Cabo Corrientes we headed for Punta Ipala (N20 14 W105 36). There is a nice anchorage with protection from the elements, it is a small bay filled with fishing pots and nets and a fishing village ashore.

Up early the next day we continued to Bahia de Chamela, 52 miles south. Traveling close to shore in Mexico, it is very difficult to actually sail, plus there is no wind in the morning hours. In the afternoon, if the wind picks up, it is not from a good angle to sail. While in Mexico we would motor to each port, as the travel time would be less, which would allow us more time to enjoy the area. Motoring at six knots, it would take approximately 8-9 hours to travel 52 miles. If we sailed, under those conditions our speed would be around 4 knots and would take twice as long. Diesel was affordable and easy to come by in Mexico. Plus our new Perkin's engine was efficient and powerful! Here we stayed for a few days. The beaches were great and Manuelita's palapa took great care of us. Dave Hunt who joined us in PV enjoyed the refreshing ocean dip with Drake and refreshments with Jim. The children enjoyed the popsicles and the ceviche and fresh fish for dinner were amazing. Sitting on a beach, able to see your vessel is wonderful.

Several days later we headed south and looked in at Bahia Careyes. The have added a bunch of mooring balls and there was not any additional room with a large power boat taking the only safe anchorage. Off to Bahia Tenacatita then. We are very glad to have moved to Tenacatita. This was our favorite site to date. Great anchorage. There were about 20 boats in total. Activities include a swim to the beach, followed by Mexican Train (dominos), bocce ball, and a few cold ones before heading back to the boat to bar-b-que.

There was a river at the north end of the anchorage, that was navigable by dinghy. The river winded it's way to the small beach town of Revelcito. There were opportunities for grocery shopping and picking up lunch at one of the many palapa restaurants on the beach. The specialty is a whole fish with crab & shrimp wrapped inside the filet. Once finished with lunch and shopping it was a quick trip back using the four knot current. You needed to be careful when we neared the beach as it was shallow and we had to deal with the swells. Sometime the river was wide and other times the mangroves nearly swallowed us. Phoebe and Drake confirmed this was better than the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland!