Monday, April 23, 2012

Le Cruz

It did turn out to be a late one at Ana Banana's! It's a famous cruisers hang out and full of character. A number of the old sea dogs still live on at Ana's after their passing with their ashes hung from the roof in Canadian Whiskey sacks!

Previous Patrons live on at Ana's
We had a great night listening to the band and ended up immortalizing ourselves on their wall along with the Silver Lining crew. We choose the highest free spot available which required some gymnastics to achieve, but it's amazing what you can do after a few Margarita's!

Navigating back to the boat in the dinghy was a different story. The anchorage was full of boats and trying to find our boats anchor light amongst all the others is a tough task after a night out.  It has galvanized me into creating a remote control for the boats anchor light that will make it strobe so we can home in on it!

Nuevo Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta)
We have been out on anchor for about 2 months without staying in a marina and we decided to treat ourselves to a bit of luxury and stay at a marina for a couple of nights. Our friends Octavia and Petter had recommended that we stay at Paradise Village Marina and as per all of their recommendations we were not disappointed. It was a great facility and one that if we had more time we all agreed we could happily spend a month relaxing at. The only negative about this place was the cost of having our laundry done. At the mall that is part of the marina complex, it was $15 per load. We could have bought new clothes for the amount of money we spent.

We did have to be a bit more careful though as we are now in Crocodile territory!

There was much to explore in this area so we rented some wheels to get us around. We took the bikes for a tour around the coast which was great and enabled us to see a lot of non coastal Mexico.

Our ride

Cruising down the coast

Stopping for lunch along the coast

A change of plans and a slight detour
If you have been tracking our progress on the 'Where are we now page' of our blog you may have noticed that we are now in Acapulco. Puerto Vallarta is the main jump off point for cruisers heading across the Pacific and was the place we were planning to cross the pacific from. Our friends on Silver Lining were heading to the Caribbean and had been explaining to us the route and the great places to visit. When we went to Jamaica for Serena's 30th birthday while sitting at a restaurant overlooking the bay we had both said how amazing it would be to have our boat anchored in front of us and be cruising around the Caribbean. With the help of some subtle selling by Elan and Ashley on Silver Lining we decided to extend our trip and make a detour around the Caribbean before heading across the Pacific!

I'd rather be lucky than good
Our next stop was Barra de Navidad which required us to go around the 'Dreaded Cabo Corrientas' which is known as the Cape Horn of Mexico. We've rounded a couple of these now and after talking to a number of cruisers and locals worked out the best time to go. We had a good forecast, but as we were leaving the harbor we had waves breaking across the entrance and 20 knot winds outside. We pushed on and things settled after a few hours giving us an uneventful, even calm rounding of the cape. We pushed on down the coast.

We were lucky enough to then catch not one, but two Dorado! They are amazing eating and a welcome change to Bonito! They have an amazing color which changes once knocked out.

Barra de Navidad
We arrived at Barra in the afternoon and headed into a great lagoon which was at the end of the channel. It was full of boats and shallow so we had to explore for a while before finding a place to set the anchor. I'm glad our boat is the shallow keel version as the depth was 6 feet in most places and we finally anchored in 7 feet of water at low tide. We quickly called the local water taxi to pick us and the Silver Lining crew and headed into shore for an explore and dinner.

We were lucky enough to have a live singer come to perform while we ate dinner who had a great sound and we spoke with him for quite a while as we were the only audience that night. We ended up buying 4 of his albums before heading off for another bar and calling the water taxi past midnight.

Isla Grande
It must be said that we have been good at heading off on time the next morning regardless of the number of Margarita's consumed the night before and we hauled anchor at 8am as planned towards Isla Grande. We were sailing through the night when at around 2:30am after rounding the point, we encountered a traffic jam. We had 4 large cargo ships converge on our position, two from behind and two from ahead, which gave us hardly any maneuverability between them. I'm really glad i had recently hooked up our AIS ship tracking unit to the chart plotter as it provided all four ships exact position, speed and bearing. They were closing at 20 knots, but we were able to plot a path between all four, but with only a mile on each side of us! I'm really happy with the Raymarine E7 Chartplotter, Digital Radar and electronics we bought and it has really made navigating at night and in fog so much easier.

After a long trip overnight i got woken to look at a boat that kept altering course towards us as we veered away. As i got up top they we hailing us and Serena passed the radio to me. It turned out to be the Navy asking us to stop the engines and prepare to be boarded for inspection.

About ten troops pulled up and after circling the boat 3 times came alongside and came aboard. They all had machine guns and were wearing balaclavas. One guy stood on the bow, one in the cockpit guarding the crew and 5 guys came inside with me to complete the paperwork. After opening all the doors and cabinets in the boat they filled out some docs and we were free to go.

We then passed 1,000's of Jelly fish who surrounded our boat. I'd hate to think how many there were, but we were driving through them for at least 15 minutes or more.

We arrived at Isla Grande a couple of hours later and anchored in a small cove for the night.

We left Isla Grande early and headed to our next stop which was Zihuatanejo. This is one of the places where sailors get lost for a few years on their way south. It has a nice little bay that is quite picturesque and a great town to explore.

Silver Lining about to anchor at Zihuatanejo

We even came across the Neuvo Zealande Cafe (New Zealand Cafe in Spanish) which was closed and after speaking to the locals found out it hadn't been open for a couple of years :-( Really wanted to sample some cuisine from back home!

We came back in the next day and upon return to the beach found that Silver Linings dinghy was deflated and looked like it had been slashed! One of the tube's was completely split along the length of it. Luckily we had our dinghy still on our boat with Katie and Lewis who had stayed behind. 15 minutes later they pulled up with our puncture repair kit and we got to work on the patch. We managed to seal it up and tow it back to the boat behind us.

Towing the patched dinghy back to Silver Lining


  1. Great pictures, it's fun to keep reading about your trip. It brings back good memories.

    That's so awesome that you guys are extending your cruising. And your even changing up your route. I can't wait to read about your crossing to the other side. :)

  2. That is one hell of a detour :)