We hung out at Espritu Santo till it sounded like we would be getting decent wind to make the 330 mile crossing back to Puerto Vallarta from Baja. We left late in the morning from Caleta Partida and headed to the channel between the island and the Baja. It was dead calm and we had a beautiful view of the Telcel tower on the mainland. This meant we could get some decent internet connectivity, so we slowed down and finally uploaded Chris’ Africa pictures. As soon as we headed into the channel to go South to Muertos the wind picked up straight on the nose. Some how we had missed getting this memo. It was slog down to the anchorage in Muertos. We spent the night and woke early to a strong north wind. Just what we needed to start across the Sea. It was blowing in the high teens to low 20’s most of the day and night. We did a bit over 160 miles the first 24 hours. Next day it was light and we had a great spinnaker sail. We stuck the asymmetric spinnaker on the pole and it behaved itself very well. We were going to stop at Isla Isabela, but we arrived around midnight and didn’t feel comfortable trying to get into the small rocky anchorage in the dark. We ended up motoring to the Banderas Bay entrance early in the morning then had a great little sail across the bay to La Cruz de Huancaxtle. From a sea life point of view it is a pretty impressive entrance. Humpback whales breaching about every 20 minutes. Boobies doing their rocket dives for fish. Turtles, porpoise and the ever present jumping rays.
Got into the marina at La Cruz. A pretty cool little town with a lot of music oriented restaurants. The main reason we came here was to let Siempre Steve know if the taco places were any good. He needs some up front scouting before he’s comfortable leaving a place with great taco selections and we don’t want to see him bungie corded to La Paz for too long. You’ll be in good hands here, Steve. There’s a place called “Tacos on the Street”. It has tables in the street (no parking). They don’t sell any beer or wine, so you are expected to bring your own. The tacos are great and cost 12 pesos each (1 buck). The only draw back is the hours. They are open Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun. If you want a Monday taco you are out of luck.
I had to re-torque the head bolts on the engine after it had gotten 20 hours on it. Also needed to fix a pretty significant leak in the raw water pump. This required hunting down some new pump seals. I looked on the dock here for some Canadians to help me hunt down the seals, but surprisingly there were no Canadian boats around. Three bus trips latter and we had our seals. Mexico is a country of shop keepers. There are specialty shops for everything. In this case we went to the Beleros Y Retenes store (bearings and seals). Actually we went two of them, as the first one didn’t have the right size. A little hammering and whacking on the pump and the new seals were in and doing what they are supposed to do – seal out the oil and the water. And no little white furry seals were hurt in the process.
No pictures for Banderas Bay/Puerto Vallarta/La Cruz yet– I guess we were lazy.