Paraiso to La Paz

I apologize in advance for what will probably be not my best writing, as I am sitting in a palapa restaurant in La Paz after having been trying to download pictures with bad internet to prepare for this blog for the last two hours. About an hour into it, I felt sufficiently guilty using the restaurant’s internet that I finally broke down and bought something: a margarita. Unbeknownst to me, it was two for one so they brought me two. What can I say.

I am also covering a lot of ground: over a month of traveling, eleven different anchorages or marinas, and three overnight passages. We first anchored at Tenacatita, where we drove our friend Nancy’s dinghy up the mangrove canal to a beach where we went snorkeling, and dinghied into La Manzanilla for grocery shopping and to see the crocodile refuge; then we anchored at Paraiso, where we explored the coves and sea tunnels by dinghy as well as snorkeled; then we anchored in Chamela, where Nancy’s friends showed us a good time in their disco-turned-home; then we left Nancy and Derek behind and sailed overnight to Puerto Vallarta and got a slip in La Cruz and then Paradise Marina.

The highlight in Puerto Vallarta was the visit on short notice from my sister Kim and her husband Pete, after we discovered we would be staying longer there to get some work done on the boat and for Rick to recover from an infected pulled tooth. Then north to anchor in Chacala one night, and on to San Blas Fonatur Marina for a night: we couldn’t pass up our habitual stop at San Blas Social Club and a loaf of banana bread. Then another overnight trip to El Cid Marina in Mazatlan, one of our favorite places, where we got a lot more work done in a short time, and then another two nights at sea to cross the Sea of Cortez to Los Muertos. We stayed there and discovered a new place to visit in this large, comfortable anchorage before sailing to La Paz, where we are now. Tomorrow, we leave on a road trip up to the California border in a rental car. What a whirlwind!

Tenacatita, La Manzanilla and the Crocodile Refuge

The mangrove canals near Tenacatita

This is the yellow-crowned night heron; they were beautiful and everywhere in the mangrove canals. She has a crown!

Rick driving Nancy’s hard-bottom dinghy through the mangrove canals. Good thing for the hard bottom – there are crocs there!

Crocodile Refuge: Babies are kept for four years or more in a protected area before being released into the refuge; otherwise, the adults eat them!


Relaxing on a private beach in Paraiso, before we went snorkeling there

This cove and beach near Paraiso is privately owned. Workers were raking the grounds in anticipation of the owners’ arrival. Idyllic!


Our friend and female skipper Nancy had friends who bought a disco 20-odd years ago on the beach in Chamela and have been updating it as an indoor-outdoor home ever since. They were very welcoming to us. Party time!

Nancy’s friends’ bar and kitchen table!

Puerto Vallarta

After an uneventful rounding of Cabo Corrientes and an overnight at sea, we arrived at La Cruz Marina for some boatwork and then moved to Paradise Marina for more boat projects and a wonderful visit from my sister Kim and her husband Pete.

Pete and Kim behind the wheel while sailing on Cool Change

Rhythms of the Night, a Cirque-du-Soliel- type performance in an exotic setting, dinner included, was a highlight of Kim and Pete’s visit.

The requisite group photo at Rhythms of the Night. It actually came out pretty good. Thanks, Pete!

The tour director on the boat ride over to Rhythms of the Night took a liking to Kim and asked her to give him a call!

One of the reasons we delayed in Puerto Vallarta: Rick lost a tooth and had to have the root pulled

Rick climbing the mast to change some light bulbs. One of the many jobs we got done in PV

… while Cindy caught up on some canvas projects on Mom Poppy’s mother’s ancient but trusty sewing machine

We also bought a used Trysail from a friend in PV – a handy thing to have on hand in a storm

Chacala and San Blas

We only stayed one night at anchor in Chamela, but the sunset did not disappoint

We couldn’t resist a stop at the San Blas Social Club for our one night in San Blas. Mostly just a storefront bar with rooms in the back, and customers who start drinking at an early hour, the decor is out of an Austin Powers movie and the ambiance is like “Cheers” for the Father-Knows-Best era.

Some of the regulars as the Social Club

To Mazatlan

Our routine for departure on an overnight always includes putting everything that had been stored over the propeller shaft onto the v-berth instead, to have quick access to the propellor shaft in case of emergency, and set up the lee clothes for each of our sea berths to ensure a restful sleep, even in rough weather

Finally, our no-fish curse has been broken! This was a tasty white meat fish, a mackerel.

And after that, a huge, tough Corvelle Jack. Not good eating, but good practice for the big tuna that is coming, we are certain!

Sunset on the overnight was too awesome for words. The reflection on the water took my breath away

We also practiced reading the sextant several times on this trip. It is harder than on land to get a good reading, when the horizon is constantly moving!

Finally, arrival at Mazatlan and one of our favorite restaurants, Los Zarapes, where they make salsa at your table

Mazatlan to La Paz

After two more nights at sea, we arrived in Los Muertos and found a new hotel called Gran Sueño on the south end of the beach. A good place to go back to!

Another view of Gran Sueño. They let cruisers use their pools and showers for the price of a drink

Well, here I sit after 5 hours in the same restaurant and I fear I will get kicked out for the dinner crowd if I don’t leave soon! Tomorrow we are leaving for a road trip to San Diego so it is time to go get ready for that. Until soon, happy sailing through life!

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