November 11, 2004

We Arrived in Paradise

The Paradise Village Marina in Nuevo Vallarta that is ;-}

Nuevo Vallarta is just across the other side of the airport and river from Puerto Vallarta. It's a newer area with a hotel, condos and very nice shopping center, It's a short taxi, water taxi or bus ride into PV.

It's also in the Mexican state of Nayarit (PV is in Jalisco). PV is in the Central Time zone, Nayarit is in Mountain Time - but everyone except the government goes by central time. So right now its: 944 AM (1044 Eastern and 744 Pacific).

The sail down was quite nice the first day and night with great sailing. We had a really nice breeze (around 15 to 18 knots) and we were zooming along nicely at 7.5 to 8 knots doing a beam reach (winds from directly off the port side). After motoring for 2 hours out of Cabo in absolutely dead calm conditions, we picked up the wind after getting out of the wind shadow of the Baja California landmass.

Our biggest concern was going to fast and getting to the Marina before dawn on Thursday morning. So that night we thought it would be good to slow down. We put a double reef in the main with the intent of slowing down, but with a full jib, we were still doing 7.5 knots! Anyway the seas were a bit lumpy and it was more comfortable going faster rather than slowing down even further by using the staysail.

By morning the winds diminished and with the lumpy seas, it was more comfortable going a bit faster so we fired up the engine and motor sailed the rest of day 2. The winds died down to only 3 or 4 knots by mid day, so we just kept motoring. On night 2 the winds picked up a little and got our speed back up.

In Cabo we were told to watch out for fisherman who sleep in the Pangas (fiberglass open fishing boats about 20 feet long with a large outboard) over fishing banks as much as 200 miles out with no lights. It was a moonless night and we didn't run across any.... but we did come across a fleet of about a dozen large fishing trawlers with very bright lights trawling over the fishing grounds about 40 miles outside Banderas Bay. They were very easy to avoid.

Banderas Bay is a very large (about 20 x 20 miles) protected and open area with great sailing. After we entered it we were still plenty early, so we took a long tack across the bay and back to kill about 2 hours. Sunrise here was at 7:08 AM and by 7:30 we were in and tied up.

We spent yesterday doing some close in exploring, doing laundry, checking out the local supermarket, going to the Yacht Club (100 feet away), etc. We hired a very nice local BMW (boat maintenance worker) to wash our boat, clean up the stainless and get off the salt spots. We're also using "Paperman" as our agent to handle the famous Mexican paperwork "Cha Cha" (checking in with each of the government offices.

After an early "Cheeseburger in Paradise" we turned in at 8 PM and slept until 9 AM.... We were a bit tired and punchy yesterday ;-}

Today, more exploring.... This time awake!

Regards to all,

Bill and Mary
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