I'd like to share my day with you cruisers-to-be. You guys undoubtedly wonder what we do all day. Here it is.
Woke up early and since we were in a marina (Paradise Village) I walked to a cafe and had a cup of joe.
Walked back to the boat
to prepare to leave the marina and go anchor
out for a few days. We've just purchased a new anchor
chain and we've already spliced some 3 strand rode
to the end that I hope that we never need, but if we do we have a total of 600' ready to go out. I had to pull the chain out and mark it in 20' increments, then find all our shackles, seizing wire, and tools. I rigged up the anchor end of the chain, we picked up all our messes and stowed gear
, getting ready to go. Checked the oil
and stuff like that. It was nearly high tide so we had to keep moving because the entrance to Nuevo Vallarta is pretty shallow and we've hit the bottom there before when there was a swell running.
We cast off and backed out of the slip perfectly. This boat
doesn't always back well but it did today. We motored out of the harbor and raised the sails
in 5-7 kts near the nose. After we got into deeper water
away from the beach we were able to fall off a bit as the wind
was picking up to about 10-11 kts, so like 15 or so apparent, perfect and nice.
About this time a few schools of dolphins
came around in groups to play in our bow wake. I haven't seen dolphins
this big before. I need to look them up later. After the dolphins we were in whale territory. We saw 10 pairs of mothers and babies in our 15 mile sail. After the whales we saw a couple of groups of rays sunning themselves at the surface. I think that they were the same species that were flying in the anchorage last week.
By now we were starting to pass the surf spots between Punta De Mita and La Cruz. I don't really know my way around all of them yet so I spent some time with the binocs trying to figure out which was which.
After we passed the last surf spot before Punta De Mita it was time to start pulling down the sails
and reel in the fishing
line (no bites). We motored gently into the anchorage and dropped the hook. The anchor set right away. This anchorage is a bit rolly when there are waves so we wanted to try setting a stern anchor as well. The breeze was from a weird direction so I put the Fortress
in the dinghy
and motored it over to where I wanted it so that we'd be stern to the swell. The stern anchor set immediately and we winched her around until we had the angle that we wanted. Pretty much everything had gone perfectly so far today, from a single
tack sail of 15 miles in 3 hours to our first stern anchoring
We hung around for an hour just to make sure that everything was riding well and as the wind
dropped off we loaded up the dinghy
with my surfboard, my wife, my kid, and the dog and a few beach things as well.
We cruised in to the beach and had a dry beach landing. We unloaded the dinghy and my family
set up camp at the table in front of the beach restaurant and ordered a pitcher of their amazing lemonade made with mineral water.
I drank a glass of lemonade and put on my rash guard as I chatted with a couple of friends before I paddled out into the nice but smallish waves.
I caught a couple good ones and enjoyed the view. There were more youngish women
surfing there today than guys, you see.
After I rode
my last wave in I joined my family
at the table and they had just ordered some chips & guacamole. Amazing.
We relaxed in the sun for about an hour and then some boat friends, a young family with a really cool 60' aluminum sloop
named Heavy Metal had started a fire up the beach. We joined them and a couple other families for the sunset.
Last, as I was hungry from the sailing and surfing, we walked a block up the street to Tacos & Papas. They have truly exceptional tacos. The tacos were seriously overshadowed by the potatoes, however. They make baked potatoes. Big deal, right?
Well, they top them with butter, thin sliced rib
eye, melted cheese, sauteed veggies including carrots, onions, mushrooms, mild peppers and zuchinni and then they top the whole thing with onions and cilantro, guacamole, and salsa.
I haven't had a meal that good for a couple of years.
We launched the dingy and I lost
a flip-flop in the water. Fortunately a friend was right there and threw it into the dink for me. We made it through the 2-3 foot waves in the dark without getting swamped and now I'm home, full and tired at the end of a perfect day.
I hope you get here soon.