Feliz Ano Nuevo to all! The end of the Mayan Age has come and gone, we’re thankfully still here on this beautiful planet, and in this lovely little village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, named for the Huanacaxtle tree, a huge, spreading, deciduous tree which grows profusely here on the shores of the Bay of Banderas. Cruisers living on their boats in the marina, in little houses on shore, or on their boats anchored offshore have numerous opportunities for fun, especially during the holiday season. We have been no slouches in the social fabric of La Cruz, with numerous parties, get-togethers with friends, paddle races in our kayaks, charity dinners, and buying and wrapping presents for kids at an orphanage.
This photo was taken at a charity dinner to raise money for renovating the bathrooms at the local primary school. My Spanish teacher Anna was kind enough to take another student Nina and I to The Little Closet, a fabulous little store with one-of-a-kind clothing that I suspect comes from Mexico City, and which surprisingly is not expensive. This dress and belt were found with Anna’s help.
Celebrating two days before Christmas with our friends Lauren and Herrardo at their property a little ways above La Cruz.
Some singers and dancers came to town and performed at a local restaurant and then the next day at the Sunday Market here at the marina. Their costumes, singing, and dancing were spectacular, very warlike and forceful.
The stay at the marina is going on much longer than we had anticipated, because Nikk found a leak in the fuel tank about two weeks ago. Getting the fuel tank out of it’s enclosed space after pumping out the diesel into bottles, then unhooking hoses that were devilishly difficult to access took up most of a day. Our friend Dick volunteered his truck to take the fuel tank to his welder in the nearby town of Bucerias. Many days later (Christmas came right in the middle of the days in the welder’s shop) and many dollars later, the fuel tank was finally welded, but that wasn’t the end. It had to go to Dick’s garage to be thoroughly cleaned, then painted with primer and three coats of corrosion-resistant paint that is gunmetal gray. Today, the first day of 2013, it still sits curing in Dick’s garage. Perhaps tomorrow it will be reinstalled, but only if the leak into the bilge which runs under the fuel tank is found and stopped. Which brings me to the surprise.
New Year’s Eve day was cloudy all day, and somewhat cool, an unusual occurrence here in December. Still, Nikk and I were in short sleeves as we strolled up to Philo’s Restaurant for dinner and dancing. www.philoslacruz.com Philo had a music studio in the Bay Area. After arriving in La Cruz in 2000 he bought a place and turned it into a restaurant and bar with a large dance floor, then put together a country rock band and entertained several nights a week right up to last night. We were back at the boat before midnight to watch the fireworks, from Yelapa, about 20 miles across the bay, to Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, and La Cruz, fireworks were exploding in the sky in all their dazzling colors. We congratulated our middle-aged selves for staying up past midnight, then collapsed into bed. About 3:30 am I woke confused, with water all over my forearm. Was Nikk spraying me? Did I drool? Oh no, it was rain coming in the porthole above my formerly sleeping self. As I was closing the porthole Nikk woke up and wound up outside lowering all the hatches, then coming inside to finish closing all the portholes. And it rained, and rained, and is still raining almost 12 hours later. So for all of you who were a bit envious of our sunny weather, envy not until this storm has passed, in what the internet says will be about 36 hours. We are discovering all the places that leak, some of which we thought we’d fixed last summer. The huge brown tarp is now back covering the boat, and Nikk is searching out the source of the leak into the bilge.
We were planning to be sailing this week, maybe across the bay, maybe over to the Mariettas islands to do some snorkeling and scuba diving, but now we’ll be here in La Cruz until this Sunday, when we go for an overnight trip with about 60 other people up to a 400-year-old mining town in the piney mountains called San Sebastian. The next post will chronicle that trip to a different part of Mexico not seen by boat.
I’ll end with a picture of sunset at the beach where Nikk and our marina neighbor Greg go swimming right before sunset to cool off after a typical day of sunshine and temperatures in the 80’s. I hope that those days return sometime soon!