Cabo San Lucas to Banderas Bay……..

Dear F&F,

February 10th
Right now we are anchored at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. There are about 40-50
cruising boats are here. There is a brand new marina, but hardly any boats
are inside at those new docks. Why pay when you can anchor for free? The
docks are not attractive because you can\’t easily walk to the town from the
new marina. And apparently the water there is not potable. There is a lot
of construction along the coast everywhere we go. More and more condos &
hotels. I am afraid Mexico is becoming Orange County & ruining much of its
natural beauty. Anyway, we did not go to shore yet here because we didn\’t
realize it required a \”wet landing\” from the dinghy. Meaning we need to be
in shorts & water shoes in order to beach the dinghy & pull it up with its
flip-down wheels & drag it up (heavy) out of the surf. So we just cruised
around the anchorage & met another couple we had spoke to on the radio –
friends of friends that we had helped do a radio relay for. When Boat A
can\’t hear Boat B via VHF (short distance) radio, sometimes we can act as
Boat C & relay the message between A & B. Scott is very big on boating
communication & loves to help whenever he can. Anyway, I had really been
looking forward to a walk onshore, but it was getting late & instead we came
back & had dinner.

Last night we arrived at 11 pm into Punta de Mita after a day/night/long day
at sea after departing San Jose de Cabo where we were at a dock for 2
nights. It is just 15 miles north of Cabo. Prior to that we had anchored out
in Cabo (open roadstead) for 4 days. Cabo was quite a culture shock after
the isolation of Magdelena Bay. The good part of Cabo was being able to take
the dinghy to a dock & walk around (dry landing). The bad part was the daily
cruise ships with their tourist shuttle boats zooming by & then all the
people in jet skis, parasailing boats & glass bottom boats & day fishing
charter boats zooming around & through the anchorage making for a really
rolly anchorage during the day. At night it was just fine. We were far
enough off shore not to hear the noise of the bars & restaurants & I enjoyed
seeing the lights of the hotels & condos. It was quite pretty. Kind of like
Palm Desert at the beach. They have kept the height of the buildings down,
so it is not (yet) Miami Beach or Vegas. But very developed with much
construction still going on.

So the 15 mile trip from Cabo to the marina at San Jose de Cabo should have
been a piece of cake, but instead we had wind of 20+ knots on the nose &
pounded into pretty big swell for 3 hrs. It was pretty tiring & we felt kind
of beat up upon arrival. There was a lot of current & surge even at the
dock, so I didn\’t enjoy a good sleep there even though it cost us $50 a
night to stay there. And they didn\’t even how power or good internet
connection. We did however get to use the dock hose & gave the boat a good
wash down. The main reason we went there was to pick up our resident visas
that we had shipped by our agent in Ensenada. They took longer to process
than we anticipated, but Carlito (from Ensenada who helped us with our
Visas) sent them to the DHL office & that worked out fine. We also got some
generator spare parts sent there. We took advantage of the cab ride into
town to do marketing. There are a lot of gringos living in that area. There
was a huge (Costco size) store called Mega, that had very nice produce,
panaderia, tortilleria & I spent $350 in 2 hrs. So we are well equipped for
a while.

The weather reports indicated decent conditions to make the passage across
Banderas Bay to Puerto Vallarta area. Well, so far we have always had more
wind & rougher seas than indicated on the weather charts. The sea was
hitting us from the side, which makes for a very uncomfortable & wet ride.
We were a bit slow to reef the main & put up our side isinglass which can
protect us from spray into the cockpit & I got a complete baptism with a
breaking wave into the cockpit. It was still cold & I was pretty crabby &
just not entirely psyched up for the conditions that we were in. Nothing to
do but press on. Scott described the conditions as \”boisterous\”. I had other
words…Eventually the wind & sea subsided and by morning we had to motor.
It really warmed up the 2nd day. We had crossed the Tropic of Cancer on our
way from Magdelena Bay to Cabo, but only as we crossed toward mainland
Mexico did we start to feel the chill in the air lessen.

We never like to enter a new place in the dark, but we had talked to s/v
\”Fantasia\” (Jeff) and he gave us good landmarks & guidance for entering. We
were here eleven years ago, but approached from the South and now we would
be approaching from the North. We did not feel like bobbing around outside
the bay for another full night, so we made our way cautiously into Punta de
Mita. Our night vision scope really made the difference as we could easily
see the detail of Tres Marietas Islands approaching in the dark.

Many people had told us how beautiful this place was. It is pretty but
again, with overdeveloped. I think it has lost some of its appeal. There
was no easy place to beach the dinghy, too much breaking surf, but we did
take a tour along the coast. Many gorgeous gringo homes. Reminded us of
Montecito/Santa Barbara area. We can\’t imagine how it is for these Mexican
construction workers building mansion after mansion on these beautiful
beaches & then returning to their humble domains. The contrast between the
haves & the have-nots is definitely in your face down here.