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April 2009

photos at bottom of page (text that refers to a photo is followed by o)  

The first week of April was spent doing sort of normal life things like school, applying for our longer term visa's to stay in Mexico past six months, Izzy going to the vet, and Nancy to the doctor.  We were tied to a dock for the first time in a couple of years, so there was lots of cleaning to be done while we had water available.  Now, don't get us wrong, we do clean the boat, constantly, but, once in a while, it sure is nice to have unlimited water to really clean.  We did the blinds, the carpets, the wood work, and the floors.  Then, after we cleaned, Nancy oiled all the wood, basically the whole inside of the boat.  It was a good thing too as the very next day, we got word that Mike's sister and her family were coming down for a last minute spring break trip, the next day!  Wow, was Nancy glad that the boat was looking spic and span.  Nancy and Mike went and did a big provisioning trip to stock up for extra bodies on board that would need sustenance.  The next morning we excitedly boarded the bus to go to the airport to greet the family.  Right before we left, we checked the flight schedule and it was coming in a half hour early.  Yikes, and wouldn't you know it, we got on the slowest bus ever.  By the time that they got through customs, they only waited about five minutes before we appeared.  We jumped right back on the bus going the other direction and had a nice lunch in La Cruz before showing them their comfy, and quite cozy, accommodations for the next two nights.  Nine people on board Desiderata, plus a cat, a dog and four suitcases.  We had never had such a crowd.  Amazingly, it all worked quite well, even the cooking and keeping things organized.  We had a fun dinner on the plaza at a favorite taco restaurant o before hunkering down in our bunks, berths and cockpit for a nice sleep.  The next morning we were off early as Captain Mike steered us across Banderas Bay to a cute little town on the south side.  This town is only accessible by boat or horse, and has a great waterfall hike.  We had a wonderful sail across the bay o, and even saw a humpback whale.  That was a  highlight for sure.  Once in Yelapa, we went by a friend's home o to see if they wanted to join us for the hike or for dinner later.  Then it was on to the long walk up the valley to the swimming hole and falls.  We all had fun getting massaged by the strength of the water under the falls o, and swimming around in the water o.  We had a nice picnic lunch o before heading back to the beach.  Funny thing how the walk back always seems to take half as long as the walk there.  After hanging out at the beach for a bit, we met our friends at a cute local taco restaurant.  The tacos are great, but the really delicious thing there is dessert, a frozen avocado pie.  We offered to find a hotel room for some or all of the visitors, but everyone opted to stay on board again.  This anchorage is pretty rolly, so the seasickness meds were passed out before bedtime.  Everyone did fine.  The next day, we were underway before breakfast.  Our next destination was the Tres Marietas Islands that are at the mouth of Banderas Bay.  We again had a beautiful sail, it was very relaxing for the guests, and there were fresh, hot banana muffins along the way.  Once there, we went ashore and played on the beach for a bit.  We then went up onto the main part of the island where there are nesting Blue Footed Boobies and some great big caves to explore.  After a couple of hours at the islands we headed for our next destination, the small beach town of Punta de Mita for a  couple of days of surfing and hanging out on the beach o.  We found a great place for the family to stay with a pool, jacuzzi, a phone to call the states, and plenty of room for everyone to sleep!  For two nights, it was only Mike and Nancy on board, everyone else stayed at the guest house.  The first night, we got pizza for the kids and they stayed in the room and watched TV, while the grown ups went out for a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant on the beach.  After two days of surfing, we headed for the grand finale of the week, two nights in a luxury hotel for the visitors, and two nights at a luxury marina for us o!  There were multiple pools, great waterslides, jacuzzis, hot showers and an American style supermarket!  The first night we had a big barbeque and ate a sunset dinner out on the balcony of the room.  The next day was Easter, so we had egg hunts, church, activities at the resort, and tamales on the beach.   That night, after a full day of pool, beach and waterslide activity, the kids went to the mall on their own and got Subway sandwiches for dinner followed by ice cream.  They were going to get "31 Flavors", but then prudently decided that it would be a much better value to go the market and just get a gallon to share.  They had fun making a group decision on where to eat, where to eat it (back in the room), and about the ice cream.  Meanwhile, the grown ups again had a night to themselves.  It started with a sunset cocktail hour dingy ride while we cruised around the lagoon looking at dolphins and the fancy homes, followed by a great Mexican dinner out.  After dinner we bid farewell to our guests as they had an early departure the next morning.  The next day seemed very quiet as we got back to our normal routine.  We did have one more day of  fun at the resort before we had to pull the dock lines at 4:00pm.  We visited the small zoo that they have at the resort where we got to pet a baby tiger o and a cheetah .  We also played at the pool and waterslide, played shuffleboard, jacuzzied, and had some last hot water showers for awhile before heading back to the rocky-rolly anchorage at La Cruz.  It was so fun to have guests, to have the opportunity to show them so much of the bay, and to have a vacation ourselves. 

The next day was business as usual, school, emails, phone calls, organizing, etc... Nancy was trying to get flights to go back to the states to help with her dad again, but since it was spring break, there were not any good options.  About a week later, we got word from another boat family that is staying up in Mazatlan, that they would be coming to town for a couple of days.  We found a great room on the beach for them, and had fun showing them the school that the kids would be attending, and also the beach town of Sayulita where we may end up living.  The last night that they were there was the first night of La Cruz days.  This is a ten day festival for the little town that we are anchored off of.  There is music, fireworks, carnival rides, food booths, a rodeo, and lots of people.  These carnivals are always lots of fun and you get to see things that you would never see in the states.  One thing that we are still talking about is coming back from dinner on a busy Saturday night when a truck passed by spraying gas out a nozzle o.  There is a sign on it about stamping out Dengue, which is a good thing, but, to do it on a busy Saturday night when there are tons of food booths open and lots of people out on the street just cracked us up.  We spent the next few minutes trying to dodge the fumigation truck as it wound through the streets.  We would try to avoid it by going down one street, and then it would come at us from the other direction!  There were lots of laughs as we ran around with hands over our faces trying not to breath.  At the carnival itself, there is an activity booth that was also quite amusing.  There are glass beer bottles set up on shelves and a pile of rocks in front o.  If you hit (and send glass shards showering everywhere) one of the bottles, you get a beer, if you hit three bottles, you get a six pack!  Mike in particular liked this one.  There are also fun carnival rides of all sorts, but the favorite is always the bumper cars o.

The next day, the immigration papers finally came through, so we packed up and headed out.  We first stopped back up at Punta de Mita for Fletcher to get a couple of surf sessions in before we head up into the Sea of Cortez (where there are no waves).  Our next destination was Isla Isabella, a bird refuge and National Park.  This was where we intended to spend Dana's birthday.  After an overnight sail to get there, we pulled into the main anchorage.  As soon as we dropped the anchor, a small boat came out to let us know that they were about to begin rat eradication and that we could not go onto the island, and had to anchor at least 300 meters off shore.  We were bummed!  We pulled anchor and went around to another side of the island to at least go for a snorkel before we headed out for another overnighter.  Dana was bummed because one of her things is that she does not want to be underway on her birthday!  Well, we went to the other spot to snorkel and have lunch, and it was so beautiful and completely flat calm, that we decided to go ahead and spend the night and still do a scuba dive for Dana's birthday the next day.  It was a great way to wrap up the month of April.


Please click to enlarge!


Mike's sister and family drop by for an unexpected visit!  Sailing to Yelapa and a day at the waterfall.


Punta de Mita surf days, followed by a couple of days of luxury at Paradise Village.  A cute baby tiger at the "zoo" at Paradise Village.


Some things you would not see in the states... and a carnival for La Cruz days with another boat family.

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