Chacala to Puerto Vallarta     

   It's so hard to get good pictures of the two of us, thanks to Robert we were able to get some.

   Robert and Matey

   Matey snuggling between Greg and I - I'm the lump on the left.  Mornings are always time for snuggles and belly rubs as Matey tries her hardest to get us up and out for a play on the beach.

It's after New Year's and we are finally in the calmest anchorage yet.  Unfortunately it's not an anchorage at all, but the boat yard where we are hauled-out.  How did we get here do you ask?  Well, it has to do with a boat, a new marina breakwater and an unmarked rock in the center of an entrance.  Christmas Day we decided to escape the rollies of the La Cruz anchorage and head into the breakwater where they are building a new marina.   All was going well until we discovered a rock or something similarly hard at about 5 1/2 feet.  Since we draw 6 feet, you can see this is a problem for us.  It was a pretty big thump (sort of a ride up then down) and we thought for sure it was just a gouge.  Upon further investigation (ie, diving on it during a snorkling trip to the tres marrietas) we discovered it's about a 4 inch split -- oopsy!!!!!  That explains why we are now resting on the hard - at least we'll get a good night sleep after we drink enough to forget how much of our cruising budget we are giving to Opequimar Boat Yard.  But even though they are gouging us, they so far are impressing us with the quality and speed of their work, so hopefully we won't be here that long.

Onto better things, our friend Robert came to spend a little time with us while he was travelling in the area.  While he was with us, we explored the Tres Marrietas Islands, Punta Mita, and Yelapa.

At Punta Mita we had the most fabulous dinner at Cafe Luna.  It's a small restaurant that features 2 fancy shmancy items a night for a fabulously reasonable price.  The night we went their tables were full, but we decided to wait and when we finally sat down were rewarded with a HUGE plate of fresh sashimi on the house for our trouble.  Then since we were the last table, and able to chat with the owner throughout dinner, he discovered we were cruisers and came out to chat for awhile.  What a great surprise when he pulled out his guitar and decided to play us a tune.  He used to work with Willie Nelson, and he was a great guitarist and singer.  I even thought it was worth every bit of worry that I had going back out through the big surf in the pitch dark.

   Robert giving Greg surfing lessons in Punta Mita.

   Surfer Greg

   Surfer Robert

We also visited Yelapa which was another treasure.  I remember before we left our neighbor, Skye spent the evening making us margaritas and telling us about Yelapa.  He was absolutely right, it's a bit of paradise.  It's not really a typical mexican village, but something unique to itself.  You can only get there by boat, so there are only cobblestone trails - no cars, but lots of horses.  It's so magical, and you (or I) feel totally at peace there.  Greg and Matey had an eye to eye 'talk' about not turning into a maniacal hyena everytime she saw the horses and by the time we left, she started to get it and was actually able to walk past them under control.  There were dogs everywhere - more so than anywhere else we've been.  Of course chickens everywhere, and I think there were as many Americans as Mexicans - but not the least bit touristy, at least once you get off the beach.

But the anchorage is another story, there is nothing relaxing about the anchorage, and you only wish you were someplace else - though I don't think that's why shore seemed that good :-)

Upon entering a panga roared up to us offering a mooring, but we had been warned that this mooring wasn't good and we'd rather just drop the hook, so we said we wanted to look around.  Then another panga roared up asking what were were planning, he asked about the mooring and told us it was no good, and pointed out the best place to anchor.  He even directed us with his panga to it and advised us exactly where best to drop it.  So we dropped anchor in 70 feet on sand.  Even though it was 70 feet (we usually anchor in no more than 25 feet) we were SUPER close to shore, so much so that we could have swum there if we wanted.  We backed down hard and felt we were secure, so all was good.  We decided we didn't want to take the panga to shore, so we just tipped him for his help and launched the dinghy.   Overall, it wasn't that rolly, but we were there on a calm evening. But it was freaky being so close to rocks and the shore with pretty big surf rolling in.  We also had our first real rain storm of the trip.  It was very different at 75 degrees instead of the very cold rain in the Bay Area.

We'll return to Yelapa again, but just not in our boat. 

   Notice the fishing rod precariously on the lifeline as Greg tries to get the hook out of an unwanted SkipJack...There is now a skipJack swimming around with not only one of our favorite wiggle butt Rapala lures, but our fishing pole and reel also....  luckily we have a backup, but it was still a sombering moment...

   Pacifica in Yelapa

  Yelapa, our new most beautiful anchorage (sorry, Chacala)

   Yelapa - we walked across this river to go to dinner, I don't think I have ever had to cross a river by foot to eat dinner before.  Actually there was a path, but this was much shorter and more interesting.

   Main drag of Yelapa complete with horses and Matey being a maniac.

   Greg, Robert and I in Yelapa

   Softball vases

   I've never seen rooster in the trees before, but can you see all of them above this horse?

Other than those two jaunts, we laid low in La Cruz and enjoyed the slow life.

   Romping in La Cruz with 2 other cruiser doggies.

  Church in downtown PV

   River in PV, we crossed a rickety swing bridge getting to this island, but I was a dope and didn't take a picture...I hate when I do that ;-)

   I love these Christmas decorations, it looks like designs kids cut into paper.

   hmmmm, massage with chocolate all over, ahhh, I don't think so....

   We hear this is fabulous, they cook the Rotisserie chicken and let the drippings drip on the potatoes and peppers below - it's not weight watchers, but we are hoping to try this before we leave.

  Pacifica signed the cruiser wall in La Cruz....

   A fabulous local band who we are happy to say we went to their 1st and 2nd concert.  They were wonderful!!!!

   One morning we woke to this fisherman unwinding his fishing net from our anchor.  For some reason, they like to string these fishing nets just under the surface through the anchorage.  But he was super nice about it quietly untangled it, but he didn't put it back there...

   New Year's Day, Greg had a poopie job, literally - don't worry, I won't go into details....