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March first found us back in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, our first big stop way back in 2003! It was fun to be back in our old haunts. We went to breakfast at Philo's o the old cruiser hang out. We wandered around town looking at all of the changes. The biggest one was that the whole waterfront had changed. There was a marina now. Land was added in front of homes and businesses that used to be oceanfront. Now they were a block off the marina and boat yard. That never would have happened back in the states! The marina is right where we used to anchor, now the anchorage is way down the beach almost to the next town. It was pretty rolly out there, but we stayed for a full month. We had plenty to do, as this is where we are thinking that we might stay for the next few years while we wait out the economic upheaval in the states. We found a school that we really like for the kids, and began to look at neighborhoods where we might like to live. We really like Sayulita or San Pancho, about a half hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Meanwhile we were still catching up on school from Nancy being gone in February, and getting ready for the kids to fly up to the states for a big wedding in Arizona. Of course we had to go shopping for some clothes for the kids to wear. They have grown so much in the last year, nothing that we had would fit them or was appropriate for a wedding. We spent a long exhausting day hoofing it around Puerto Vallarta trying to find the right clothes without spending an arm and a leg. Of course we had to walk the malecon while we were there and take another picture in front of the classic sea horse statue o to compare to the one we took in 2004.
One night, there was a fundraiser for a local school. There were some excellent musicians that performed in the new marina amphitheater o. Then the kids from the school performed some ballet folklorica dances. It was really fun. The whole community showed up. They were selling food for dinner that the mothers had cooked. They had all of the usual great Mexican specialties and the best chili rellenos ever... we were in heaven. Great entertainment, delicious food, in a beautiful setting, that is what cruising is all about. Plus the school raised enough money for some computers for the kids.
The time flew by and it was time to pack the kids up to fly up to Arizona. By now they are old hands at traveling by themselves, so this was an easy trip for them, just 2.5 hours, direct. While they were gone, Mike and Nancy did a seminar for the new group of cruisers about Central and South America. It was several hours long, but a whole lot of fun. People asked great questions and everywhere we went for days afterwards folks were asking us questions. We felt like celebrities! A couple of days later there was a fun sailing race to raise money for another school. Now, Mike and Nancy are not racers, but the word in the bay was that there were going to be some big catamarans that would need crew for the race. Nancy really wanted to sail on a big cat to see how her motion sickness would be. We have always talked about maybe getting a catamaran someday. Anyway, we got on a great boat. It turned out that it was from the north shore of Lake Tahoe and we had several mutual friends. What a small world. We had so much fun and ended up getting invited to crew on a boat called Profligate. This is the flagship of the California sailing magazine Latitude 38. Mike has always dreamed of crewing on this boat, so he was in heaven. The event was a three day regatta. The opening event was a parade of boats with participants in costume. Our boat theme was pirates o. It was very exciting and the boat ended up coming in first o. Wow! We will definitely plan on doing that again next year. Meanwhile, the kids were having a great time with family up in Arizona. There were three days of wedding festivities o and then the main group of the wedding party all went on the honeymoon, on a camping trip in Mexico o. We were cracking up, here we are living on a sailboat in Mexico. When the kids go on vacation, they end up camping in Mexico, and while they are there, when Mike and Nancy have free time, what do they do... go sailing! Pretty funny. The twelve days that the kids were gone flew by. We were so busy everyday. There were a couple of down days and we just totally crashed. Especially Nancy. She had a fever on and off for quite a while, and it was getting more on than off for most of the time the kids were gone. Finally, she went to the doctor and had some blood tests and it turned out that she had typhoid fever... no wonder she didn't feel so great and was tired and exhausted. Several days of antibiotics later she was back on track.
Once the kids returned, it was again time to catch up on school. We moved into the marina for a week or so to do some boat clean up, and to get some projects taken care of. It was our first time in a marina since 2005! Hard to believe. The rest of the month was spent cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Inside and out. We did take another day and go meet a fellow in San Pancho that might know about some available housing for us. We met some friends of his while we were crewing on the big cat for the regatta. It turns out he was from a big sailing/racing family. He introduced us to his next door neighbors who may be wanting to rent their house out. Again, small world, the neighbor and Nancy had a mutual friend in Tortola, BVI. What are the chances. We still don't know about where we will live, but it is fun making plans, meeting people, and looking around. We are also taking the steps and applying for our longer term visas that will let us stay in Mexico longer than six months. Busy, busy, busy, that is our life. So much for the myth of the kicked back, relaxing, cruising lifestyle!
Please click to enlarge!
Back in Banderas Bay: Philo's; the Sea Horse statue, a fun fundraiser in the new marina.
Banderas Bay Regata; Mike & Nancy in pirate regalia, Mike hanging with the captain, the big cats racing; fore deck crew; cockpit crew; awards ceremony.
Kids visit their Arizona family, in Arizona and camping in Mexico!
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