Forecast winds from the south for the trip to Nuevo Vallarta

Joining me for the last few days in Barra were Aaron and Marketa. They were even crazy, err adventurous enough to come to the St. Partrick’s day festivities. When flaming explosives were nearby, and Marketa and I ran for cover, Aaron would rush to get closer to the action. Clearly this was going to be a fun trip north.

Our first stop was back in Tenacatita – I should put out there that Aaron is a big time fisherman and did all kinds of research and brought a ton of fish gear. So hopes were high for some fresh fish on board. We did our standard trolling setup with the addition of an additional line but the fishing gods did not smile on us this day. Oh well, Rollo del mar is on the menu at the Palapa.

After getting the boat anchored and hanging out for a bit we dropped the dinghy for the trip into shore. The breaking waves weren’t too crazy and with some good timing we slipped into the small estuary by the palapa restaurant and got out order in. It turned out to be a good think we rushed over as there as many people showed up right after we got our order in. Guess who realized they forgot their camera…

After lunner we decide to dinghy up the estuary pushed by our new propeller. Clearly I was not meant to have a nice things because a couple of bumps over the rocks and BANG down comes the outboard taking a chunk out of the propeller. Duh. Finally heading up stream we are called by a local, “Don’t get out of the boat there are crocodiles!” This could be interesting.

We motored up for nearly half and hour enjoying the overhanging branches, birds, and narrow twisting river when I decided to check the fuel can. Um, yeah not much left. Oops. We turned around before getting the lagoon at the end and at fuel economy speed headed back to Strikhedonia. The mood on the tense trip lifted as we got closer to the beach. Feeling overconfident I decided to not partially raise the dinghy engine. Duh. BANG again. I am an idiot. After restarting the engine I could not get it in gear. Double duh. Guess we are paddling out across the breaking waves… Thankfully with good timing, three of us paddling, and my jumping in the water (it wasn’t that deep) we managed to get past the break and safely back on Strikhedonia. Certainly an invigorating day!

The next morning we hit the water earlier to give us more time in Chacala

After getting the boat cleaned up Aaron jumped right onto fishing. He spent a good chunk of time experimented before figuring out the trick. He would use his Sabiki rig to catch small bait fish and use them to lure in the large Crevalle Jack. And let me tell you, the Crevalle Jack are a VERY fun fish to catch on a smaller pole. They fight like crazy for 15 to 20 minutes moving all around the boat (adding some acrobats to getting the pole around the bow sprite), before tiring out enough to be landed. After Aaron caught us dinner it was Marketa’s turn next and it didn’t take long for her to hook up a nice fish. Once landed it was my turn and boom not two minutes putting it out I had a bite from something different than a Crevalle Jack. Sadly they got off but shortly later I had my Crevalle Jack and got my arm workout bringing it on board. We only kept the Aaron’s fish (it was probably in the 15 pound range with plenty of meat for us) and it was good to see that when returned to the water they swim off immediately without any need for revival.

Strikhedonia patiently waiting for everyone to return after a Tuesday afternoon of exploring Perula.

Wanting to explore the islands near Perula, Wednesday morning we motored the three miles over to Isla Cocinas for kayaking and beach combing. Sadly the “hidden” beach was trashed from panga visitors leaving toilet paper and trash everywhere.

When we left Isla Cocinas the wind was ripping pretty well, much higher than forecast. We moved back to Perula so that I could visit with my friends on NellieJo whom I hadn’t seen since we were decommissioning last summer. It was great to catch up and spend some time visiting before our overnight passage, I just wish we could have hung around a few days longer.

As we headed out of the Perula and around the point it looked like we might be able to get a little help from the wind since it was 30 degrees from port. Of course that lasted less than an hour until the wind shift to directly on our nose. Ugh. Down came the sails. The positive was the waves were pretty mellow even with wind in the 15-20 knot range. Overnight there was an incredible show of bioluminescence. Best we could tell it was from jellyfish or squid what would pop up all around the boat and we cruised by. It was memorizing and otherworldly.

We cleared cabo Corrientes around 5:00am, given that we had no big plans for the day we shutdown the engine and sailed the last 20 miles at a leisurely 2-4 knots.

The next few days were spent in Yelapa enjoying the waterfalls, hiking, and of course beach time. A bonus to a wonderful days was the swell coming into Yelapa was almost non-existed making for each kayak beach landings and peaceful sleep.

With only a few days remaining we made our way North to Punta de Mita for a couple nights and some great food at Si Senors. Aaron was bummed we didn’t have wind to sail, but I have learned it is difficult to stick with sails only unless you can accept sailing at less than 3 knots.

Marketa and Aaron’s visit was winding down so for our last night we headed in to Puerto Vallarta to take in a bit of the touristy side of Mexico. As luck would have it, they not only found some great gifts for family but also the experience of being overrun by a big motorcycle rally (there were at least 50 motorcycles and tricycles).

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