Spring push north

The Seawind err, Multihull rally in Puerto Escondido was calling, making the push north necessary. Two new crew members would be joined me for the trip, Sabrina and Jess. Both had been traveling for the past nine months, in separate but with shockingly similar itineraries, visiting South-East Asia, Central America, and now Mexico. And both women were ending their long travels aboard Strikhedonia before heading home and back to the reality of work, ugh. But first some sailing!

Jess arrived a day before Sabrina and together we rushed to get provisioning and a few minor tasks checked off before quickly clearing out of Nuevo Vallarta. The added bonus of arriving a day early was a fun dinner with Brian and Liz (SV Halfmoon) at Sonora al Sur. Steaks polished off we weren’t ready to call it a night yet and wandered down the road to La Condesa. After sitting down, the evening’s entertainment was Jess attempting to order an IPA beer. Time and again she would pick a beer only to have the server come back and tell her they didn’t have it – probably due to reducing inventory for the summer. At one point he suggested a beer she had already picked, which of course they still didn’t have. A fun tipsy time was had before calling it a night.

Sabrina’s bus from Guadalajara arrived the next day and boom just like that we were headed out to Punta de Mita. So fast in fact that I forgot to return the marina keys. Fuck, really. We were already nearly an hour away before realizing it. A plan was needed to return the keys, with a flurry of WhatsApp messages to my friend who works in Punta de Mita (but lives in Nuevo Vallarta) the dilemma was solved, I’d drop the keys off at with the security guard at his office and he would get them back to the marina. Whew. Disaster adverted. We had a nice dinner and beautiful sunset, and the calm night made for the perfect goodbye (until next) year to Banderas bay.

With only a short hop to Chacala we didn’t rush to get out moving in the morning but with light winds it proved to be the perfect day for an introduction to sailing lesson. By early afternoon we found ourselves anchored with time to spare for “linner” ashore. Before jumping in the kayaks Sabrina shared that she had some trauma in her childhood about kayaks. No details provided but I thought this could make things interesting, since kayaks are our only mode of transportation to shore… But she was up for getting over it. She and I took the double kayak and to avoid a beach landing (there are always waves breaking in Chacala) we sneaked around to the small cove near the port captain for a mellow, safe arrival.

It took a bit of hunting but I located the beach restaurant with amazing pescado zarandeado. It was packed. Well being a Sunday I shouldn’t have been too surprised, thankfully chairs were rounded up for us at an empty table and our 2 kilo fish order was placed. We were not disappointed. For desert Jess had been eyeing the fresh oysters on the beach, which quickly made there way into her belly.

The weather was good to push north so the next morning up came the anchor for Mantachen. Another good day of learning with changing winds that gave everyone practice making sail changes. After cleaning up the boat we paddled to shore for a trip up the fresh water river to view wildlife and for a swim. I had visited the swimming hole/restaurant in December where the server and I had talked about his plans to move to Finland with his girlfriend so I was surprised to see him again. Even more surprising, he remembered me. Not sure if that means I made a good impression… Oh and he filled me in that he wasn’t moving until November. Snack, drinks, and a few rope swings into the cool water before it was time to head back. Of course on the walk to the kayaks we couldn’t pass up buying some original pan de platano (banana bread) and fruit empenadas.

Well before sunset we put up all the bug screens to protect against the jejenes (biting gnats). The screens worked pretty well, with only a few bites on my ankles the next morning. Having the new addition of a door screen kept the air flowing much better than in the fall. Which with the increasing temperatures was greatly appreciated. Early the next morning I let the ladies sleep in while I got us moving towards Isla Isabel.

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