Our plan a year ago when we started this adventure was to be through the Panama Canal and in the Caribbean by now. Maybe even take our boat up the East Coast to Annapolis for Dan’s 40 Year class reunion…. But with all things, flexibility is key when things you can’t control impact plans. Our January shipyard work took longer than 4 weeks and this put us into a situation where we would be hurrying down the coast to get out of the way of hurricanes….. (not an ideal situation) So we made Mexican lemonade and went to The Sea of Cortez – Blog about this adventure = Sea of Cortez Anchorages & Marinas, A Nautical Travel Guide… #29
After our adventures north we stayed at Marina de La Paz. The temperatures were 90 to 100+, so we decided to head to Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta (a suburb of Puerto Vallarta) sooner rather than later, where it was a bit cooler, so off we went.
Out trip to Puerto Vallarta would be our third and Dan and I decided we would do this alone without the help of our friends. Our plan was:
But with all good plans….they change. We departed LaPaz as expected, fishing along the way, with no luck. Totally uneventful trip throughout the evening. We had a great sunset, moonrise and moring blue sky.
We arrived at 7am at the mouth of the land where we would enter into the marina de yates. (we had never been to this marina before) As you can see the entrance into the marina was very tight and was very hard to see visually. As we approached the opening (or where we thought was the opening) the waves were building up behind us and it was not a comfortable situation to be in. We could have been pushed into the rocks/land very easily. So we abandoned the idea of staying at this marina near Altata. We had already been underway for 20 hours and now we were heading down the coast for who knows how long. We looked for a bay we could anchor in overnight. We found a good looking one about 7 hours away. So we headed toward “Barras de Piaxtla”.
Arriving at a great looking bay with hotels/pangas/beach front and seemed to be popular location. We anchored and I started to cook some dinner. As we were eating, the waves and wind were hitting us from different directions, competing with each other. The wind was blowing and holding us north/south but the waves were hitting us from the west. So we were getting hit broadsided and rolling us side-to-side. It was not comfortable at all. While this was happening I could see lightning stretch across the sky over the land. It didn’t take us long to decide to pull anchor and head towards Mazatlan. We had just completed 27 hours of cruising and really wanted to get a good night’s sleep. But it was not meant to be…. we were back cruising.
“Dan and I trade off the watch schedule with 3-4 hours of watch while the other sleeps”
As we headed to Mazatlan we had 5 hours of cruising and realized that we would be arriving around 2am, not an ideal time to go into the marina. Our plan was to anchor close to Isla de Pajaros Just outside the marina entrance. So after a total of 32 hours cruising we finally arrived, anchored and got some sleep. We pulled anchor and arrived in Marina Mazatlan at about 10:30 am and we stayed 3 nights. This gave us plenty of time to recover and be prepared for our 20 hour run to Puerto Vallarta.
We left Marina Mazatlan 3 days later at around 2pm due to the tide and currents. We planned to be in Paradise Village at around 11am if all went well. We had a pretty rough start but the sea settled down just after midnight. I took over watch from Dan at approx 2:30 am. The cloud cover was heavy and the lightning was surrounding me but was far away. At approx 4:30 am I could see a huge storm right in front of us. I needed to go around it but wanted Dan’s opinion first. So with hesitation I woke him up. We agreed to track the storm as we slowed down a bit to see which way it was going. An hour later I was making my move and decision to go around the storm as Dan slept for another couple hours.
By sunrise I was back asleep and Dan could get a better view of the storm and he cut through the center where the clouds and storm had parted.
We did hit a small corner of the storm as we got close to Banderas bay which gave us considerable amount of rain. With this slight deviation it increased our time by an hour and we arrived safe and sound in Paradise Village Marina at noon.
The evening we arrived, in one of our favorite towns/marina, we were invited to an event at the Vallarta Yacht club for drinks and dinner… and got to meet lots of boating new friends.
We are truly blessed to be able to live this life!
Thank you for following us and reading our adventures!
Dan and Angela on Angelique