It took me a few days to get over saying goodbye to Son. Anyone that knows me knows I hate goodbyes. With all of our comings and goings these last few years I've had to get better at it. Everytime I saw something cool I would think, Son would have loved this. I know... I'm such a Mom!
It was quite a contrast being in a resort hotel marina and having the charming village of Barra de Navidad close by. Barra is about 20 miles north of Manzanillo but a world apart.
The panga taxi service to town was amazing.
We would call them on the radio and they would be at our boat within minutes.
Barra felt local enough but they knew how to cater to the tourists as well. Hubby couldn't get over the pride they had in their little village. There was not one bit of litter in the streets.
These little Mexican Chihuahuas were just as friendly as the people.
Fresh local Pacific shellfish sold right on the street.
This was Barra's townsquare. It seemed like every village we visited had one.
There were plenty of trinkets to buy. Trinkets are definitely not my thing... I just think of clutter. I did buy a Mexican table cloth and glassware from this nice guy. I have big plans for a Mexican themed night on Green Flash.
How could we not buy a crepe from this friendly face?!
Barra had a beautiful beach on one side of town and a bay on the other side.
Next stop... Chamela, a charming and remote fishing village.
We were the only boat in the anchorage, which was the case many times on our journey. We are headed north and most people this time of year are headed south.
These sweet little faces were our welcoming committee. They were so eager to help. At one point when we were eating at a restaurant, the tide came up, our dinghy was washing away and they were there to save it. Sooo cute to watch!
We took a long beach walk and headed into the center of town.
We took a little break along the way.
We found Hubby's favorite... Mexican pastries!
Crossing the river to get to this little restaurant was well worth it. Watch out for crocodiles. Yes, there's a reason Hubby went first!
These shrimp quesadillas were our most delicious and the least expensive meal so far. The meal was awesome, but something I will never forget is a lady sitting behind us who noticed we were eyeing her fresh grilled fish. Next thing we knew she brought us a large portion on a plate. So generous and kind. This was just one of many amazing gestures we experienced from people all over Mexico. It's always the people that make the experience!
It was hard saying goodbye to Chamela.
Off again... headed to La Cruz, just outside of Puerto Vallarta in Banderas Bay. We stayed close to this beautiful coastline. We had favorable currents and lighter conditions close to shore. It was a bit of a relief getting around the often rough point of Cabo Corrientes and into Banderas Bay.
We anchored outside the La Cruz Marina after about a 14 hour motor sail.
It has a very nice and modern marina.
They had a great fish market right there. Look at the size of these prawns! I was so tempted to buy, but we have a freezer full of fish thanks to Son.
In town we stumbled upon The Little Hot Grill. Another great surprise! Hubby and I both had these chilaquiles. She made all of her salsas from scratch.
A cute little tortilla factory in town.
I stocked up on some fresh produce at this little tienda.
It was fun to check out another quaint little village. They are all so unique.
The conditions to Isla Isabella were incredible...glassy water and no wind. The tricky part were the fishermen in their pangas. They put out long fishing lines that are miles long and held up with soda bottles way offshore. We had to spot the floating soda bottles and try to avoid the lines which meant sometimes going off course a few miles. After about the third one we started going over them by pushing the lines down with our pole to clear the boat.
It was an unreal day with so much sea life. We saw everything from several pods of dolphins, turtles, all kinds of fish, whales and a huge manta ray that spanned at least 8 feet wide. It's hard to describe the feeling of being out on the open water for hours at a time with no other boats or land in sight. You really have to learn to be content for long periods with only your own thoughts. And... you better like who you're with!
Isla Isabella is an uninhabited island except for the warden who oversees the bird sanctuary. Jacques Cousteau featured Isabella on a TV special. We could see why. It was the epitome of a totally unspoiled island.
Anchoring was tricky due to the very rocky bottom, hence the serious look on Hubby's face.
A very surreal anchorage.
With nothing to do ashore at night we had a grilled dinner and broke out the cards.
We had another pre-dawn departure from Isabella and headed to Marina Mazatlan.
It was a fairly uneventful passage until we got to the entrance of the marina and realized it was a lot more shallow than the marina had said. It got a little gnarly at one point with only a little over four feet of depth. Thank goodness it all worked out. Let's just say we timed our exit according to the high tide.
We didn't venture out too far from the marina in Mazatlan. We just didn't feel like we could take the time to see the Old Town of Mazatlan. We had a lot to get done before crossing the Sea of Cortez to Baja.
We left at 7 am and arrived at Los Frailes, Baja the next day at 4 am. Night time crossings are not my favorite, especially when the conditions are crummy. We had a small swell and lots of wind chop coming from a few different directions, making for a very awkward motion. It was a long night! At least we got a couple hours of sleep after anchoring.
The reward was waking up to this!
The landscape in Baja is totally different than the mainland. The air was definitely drier and arid feeling.
If you're into camping, which I am not, this could be pretty cool setting up right on the beach.
After running the water maker for awhile and a swim, we were off to Los Cabos, a quick three hour sail.
This whale put on a spectacular show for us. Took my breath away!
Arriving in Los Cabos was bittersweet for me. We had come so far but it meant I had to say goodbye again. It was time for me to go home and Son would fly in to do the last leg with Hubby to Santa Barbara. Just when we thought the plan was all set, Hubby called Commander's Weather, the expert forecasters, to get their opinion on timing. There is a series of very large storms coming down the Pacific Coast and Baja preventing them from leaving Cabo anytime soon.
Oh well, if there's anything I've learned these past six years, it's to be flexible and adaptable. We really aren't in control like we all think we are. The new tentative plan is Hubby and I will go home for the Christmas holiday then go back to Los Cabos to get Green Flash when we get a weather window. I have that feeling like never before of being, "so close, yet so far"!
The good news is I won't have to say goodbye for awhile!