Hey guys, it’s Toby. I know it’s been a while, but I’m going to try my hand at some bloggage again. In case you didn’t already know, we are now in a town called La Cruz. We actually just got here this morning after about two days of motoring/sailing down from our previous base of operations, Mazatlan. We knew that we were going to be heading out soon, we just didn’t know exactly when. The plan was to leave Mazatlan shortly after getting back from our trip to visit family and friends back in the states, but that didn’t quite work out. We got back to Mexico at the beginning of January, and we didn’t actually leave until two days ago, February 15th. After a very nice send off from some of our closer friends in Mazatlan, we motored out of the harbor, past the islands, and south towards our next destination. At that point we still weren’t sure exactly where that was going to be. There were a few options. Closest was the little town of San Blas. We knew a couple of people that had been there before and said that the “No see um’s” were really bad there. We decided that we would prefer to skip that if at all possible. Next after San Blas was a little spot called Metanchen Bay. After that was a town we had already stayed at when we drove back to Mazatlan from Puerto Vallarta called Chacala. Finally, the furthest option was La Cruz, which is basically the same as Puerto Vallarta. Both are in the same large Banderas Bay.
When we were looking at what would be the best time to leave, we purposely picked a couple of days that looked like they were going to have some good winds. Many of the other times we have gone on days where we knew that there wasn’t going to be very much wind, and ended up motoring the whole way because there wasn’t enough wind to sail in. This time we wanted to make sure that we would have enough wind. The morning that we left actually didn’t have much wind at all, but the morning hours are usually like that anyway. We motored until about three o’clock, then put up the main, mizzen, and jib as we felt the wind start to pick up a little. As the afternoon wore on, the wind increased gradually. Never so much that it got out of hand, just enough to get us sailing nicely. Also as the day progressed, the wind shifted from our starboard side to nearer the stern. For dinner we had some tasty stew that Mom had cooking for most of the afternoon in our wonderful thermal cooker. After dinner, we decided to shorten sail, as it was getting dark, and it’s always smart to have less sail up during the night. After downsizing to just our mainsail with two reefs in it, Dad and I headed to bed to get some rest before our watches started.
Dad was up by eight or nine-ish and steered until 12:00, which was when I took over. Both nights there was no moon at all, and the first night had no clouds at all either. Because of the absence of clouds and moon, the stars were way brighter and easier to see than they normally are. It’s amazing how many more stars you see when there aren’t other lights around to distract you. We sailed through the night, with the wind steadily getting lighter and lighter as the night wore on. By morning it was too light to continue sailing, so we fired up the engine and motored for a while. That morning we passed a little island by the name of Isla Isabella. We knew that we would have to decide where we were going to go about then, because if we were going to head to San Blas, we would have to start heading towards the land at that point. We decided on La Cruz at that point, because everything was going pretty well. We knew it would be another night before we would get to La Cruz, and it looked like we probably wouldn’t get to San Blas before dark either anyway, so it seemed like a relatively easy choice.
We motored for a good portion of that morning, waiting for enough wind to sail. Around noon, the wind had kicked up enough for us to put up some sails. A little bit later we came across a very large pod of dolphins headed further out to sea at a quick pace. They must have been on the trail (so to speak) of some fish.
Dinner that night was the same stew from the day before, with Mom’s addition of some coke that she had smuggled aboard without any of us knowing. We also were able to watch an episode of Star Trek that evening. I’m pretty sure that it was the first time we have ever watched anything while under way. We had been sailing that whole afternoon, but after finishing the episode, we decided that the wind had gotten too light to keep sailing. It was a bit of a bummer, but we took down the sails and fired up the engine and got ready for a night of motoring. At that point we knew that we were probably going to be getting to La Cruz either sometime during the night, or early in the morning. We usually prefer to get to a new spot in the daylight for the first time, just because it makes things a little bit easier, so we throttled down the engine a little.
Part way through my watch we passed the rocks that stick out from the mouth of the bay, and started making a slow curve into the entrance. By 3:00, when Mom comes up to take over the steering from me, we had rounded the point and rocks, and were headed further into the bay towards the La Cruz area where we were planning on anchoring. I went back down below decks to go back to sleep at 6:00, but only slept for about an hour before we were at the anchorage and they needed my help with the anchoring process. We anchored in about twenty feet of water on a nice sand bottom. After cleaning a few things up, we went to sleep.
I think all of us are looking forward to spending some time here. It’s always fun exploring a new area and getting to know some new people. I think that’s all for now, but expect more posts soon about what’s going on here in La Cruz! See you guys next time!