Saturday, March 28, 2015

La Cruz - Banderas Bay


La Cruz, Banderas Bay

The weather was definitely changing as a trough moved over us on our trip down from Chacala. As the morning progressed, the winds diminished and clouds increased. By noon the wind had died and by 15:00 the rain started with squalls hitting us both north and south of Pta. Mita as we rounded into Banderas Bay.

These are huge birds in this maze

Pelicans, Boobies and Frigate birds
There was an amazing frenzy of birds and fish feeding as we passed the small resort village of Pta. Mita. Not certain what the big fish were that were driving the schools of bait fish but no whales were evident. With visibility clearing between squalls, views south to Cabo Corriente and east to Puerto Vallarta confirmed the chart plotter and radar. Then just as suddenly, visibility was reduced to 200 feet or less in more squalls. Lightning and thunder added to the concerns.

We pressed on to La Cruz as the anchorage there provides the best protection if you want to stay out at anchor. Through the night winds gusting into the 30’s buffeted the anchorage. There is always a silver lining; the torrential rainfall did a great job washing the salt from the decks. A big schooner had to re-anchor after dragging in the early hours of the morning. We held well and in the morning got to appreciate just how popular an anchorage La Cruz is. Forty-five boats were at anchor and 78 boats checked in on the morning cruiser’s net. Various reporting stations measured up to 4.5 inches of rain in 24 hours and we later learned that Music III had anchored at Pta. Mita and had experienced winds in the high forties with gusts into the fifties.

After a day just relaxing on the boat and doing a few boat projects, it was good to get out and see some friends and meet new ones. Namaste, with John, Cindy, Journey and Nanuk aboard, who we first met on Catalina Island, California, were in the marina and had lots of information on the boats we had lost touch with while we were in Thailand.

There is a little outdoor café beside the Plaza that has the best Mexican lunches and the trees that overhang and give great shade are the source of the entertainment. There are a bunch of iguanas climbing all over the trees. The biggest ones are 1.5 m, (5 ft.) from nose to tip of their tails and they are really active.


The music scene in La Cruz is amazing. Although it is a sleepy fishing village with cobble stone streets there are 5 or 6 open restaurant/bars who regularly have live music. Bryan and Sharen, Music III, got us reservations for a night at Philo’s to see/hear Oscar Fuentes play with Philo and the band. The next night we were at the Britannia Restaurant for another band, missed a good night at the Geco Rojo but did get to see another very tight group play at Ana Banana’s. Would have loved to see the Gypsy duet at the Black Forest and we never got to Charlie’s Place when a band was there but there are only so many hours in a day!!
The Music III and Kanilela Ladies

The Skippers

La Cruz/Nuevo Vallarta is a popular starting point for cruisers doing the “puddle jump”. The first leg is to the Marquesas Islands which takes about 35 days and the ideal time to depart is now. On one day, seven boats left with many others leaving the day before and the day after. There are several others waiting for the next ideal weather window. All of this activity has kept us focused on going south to Panama, the clock is ticking and weather windows are not to be squandered.
Leaving La Cruz

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