It’s three in the afternoon, the blog is being written in the Ikuai Sailor’s Pub www.marinarivieranayarit.com/amenities/ikuai-sailor-pub/ at Marina Riviera Nayarit, a beautiful marina in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a small village about 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. The temperature is about 85 degrees, hot when in the sun at 20 degrees north latitude, but perfect while sitting in the open-air restaurant with the breeze gently blowing. We sailed across the Pacific for 270 miles after leaving Cabo San Lucas Monday November 26, alternately sailing at 6-7 knots with perfect wind conditions, or having to motor because the wind dropped off to almost nothing. We were amazed to arrive on Wednesday at about 4pm, much earlier than expected. Our friends Jane and Tim from Midnight Blue gave us a forecast from their SSB radio before we left Cabo, and we checked out a website for wind conditions, but the combination of pressure, air temperature, sea temperature and some other factors that a meteorologist would know kept the winds constantly changing. Luckily, when I was on watch I only had to make a few sail changes from the cockpit while Nikk napped, and we both were able to sleep much more on this leg of the journey than on any other multi-day cruise. Thanks to the wrist bands with little magnetic bead, there was no seasickness, so I was able to cook, eat, and even read. Maybe it was the full moon that worked magic out on the ocean.
Last fall we helped Nikk’s friend Dick sail his boat, Que Sera Sera from San Diego to this Marina Riviera Nayarit, and we’d sailed from here in previous years while visiting Sayulita in February. The Bay of Banderas is about 24 miles across, and has wintering humpback whales that have just started arriving from up north. The juvenile whales will sometimes breach many times in a row, showing off their exuberance, perhaps, and often while sailing you can get close to a mother and baby whale. Whale watching tours come out from Puerto Vallarta, so we look for these boats because they communicate with radios about the whale locations. Supposedly a Spanish explorer came into the bay and was greeted by the natives waving bandanas, thus the name of the bay was created. Many cruisers stop here because of the beauty of the bay and the ambiance of La Cruz. We knew that this would be our marina home for a least the month of December. Our friends Dick and Mary Ann purchased a house here last year, and created a beautiful rental on the first floor, which comes with a soaking pool, huge tiled kitchen, and much more. They are completely rented for this season, but still have some weeks open for the 2013-2014 season, which runs from November to June. Check out pictures of their stunning renovations, painting, and art at this site:
La Cruz is not only blessed with marvelous weather most of the year (monsoons and sometimes tropical storms strike in the summer months), there are also many restaurants with mexican and italian food, including pizza, and live music (jazz, rock, country). We have gone out to listen to music on many nights since we arrived, and have also had dinner with friends at their home or on their boat. I’m thrilled that there is a yoga class at 8 six days a week in the marina lounge, and Nikk & I are taking a beginning Spanish class Monday and Wednesdays also at the marina lounge.
We learned so much the first day that our heads hurt, and that was just going over the different forms of To Be, one for description, one for location, and many adjectives.
So 2200 miles of sailing done since we left Portland September 11, we still feel like pinching ourselves when we look around and realize that we are truly tied up in paradise. Here is a picture of the marina to end this blog post.