Friday, July 11, 2008

Shiriri Saga #30 Y2K in Banderas Bay.

                         Sailing south off Cabo Corrientes.

Punta Mita, Punta Mita, where are you! Shiriri sails along quietly through the darkest hour before the dawn as we look for the northern point that will welcome us to Banderas Bay with Puerto Vallarta at it`s head. Normally our GPS would give us our place on the chart, but our cruising guide warns that the chart does n`t co-ordinate with the GPS position. The radar shows something out there to port but the land is so low that the image lacks any definition. There are islands, reefs, and isolated rocks ahead and we really should stop and wait for daylight!

Rosy fingered dawn arrives hurriedly and a little late and the morning light resolves all our problems: we can see the low cape, the little islands off to starboard, and are able to plot where the troublesome reefs and isolated rocks will be. A couple of local fishing boats are headed home after a night`s fishing so we follow them to the little town of La Cruz and drop anchor beside the boat with whom we hope to spend Christmas. Our three day crossing of the Sea of Cortez has been uneventful and mostly under power in calm conditions so we are quite ready for a holiday!

Poor Anne has been counting on getting together with some people near her own age on Astrolabe a yacht we had met in San Diego and that is why we have been hurrying along, but we find they are going into a marina for several days over Christmas and, unfortunately, Shiriri`s cruising budget determines that we will remain here at anchor for free! Mexican marinas are not cheap. Fortunately, her navy friend, Nancy, is flying down soon to join us for a week. We will just have to enjoy the friends we now have on the hook beside us: Wylie E. Coyote and Victoria have arrived soon after us. This is the time of the end of 1999 and the big Y2K scare. Will life continue? Will our computers work? Oh my Gawd!!

In fact, Christmas goes down very well with lots of visiting back and forth between our boats as we cement friendships with our cruising comrades. We explore the village and take the local bus into Puerto Vallarta. Travelling back and forth on this bus will feel a lot more like clear and present danger than sailing down the coast! We peer into marinas and decide that our little village gives us a much fuller experience of Mexico that those artificial enclaves. “Hola! Hola!”, we call to the folks on the dusty streets as we walk back down to our boat.

Heather has contracted to write a sequel to The Patti Stories and needs a span of time and a place to write; away from the boat and the distraction of her companions in such close proximity. We must also wait two more months in Mexico to be sure the hurricane (cyclone) season is over in the South Pacific because that`s where we are headed next. But first things first: our friends on Astrolabe recommend a lagoon farther down the coast where we can anchor, close to little towns where Heather might find a room to rent for her writing project.

We enjoy Nancy`s visit and see in the New Year around a fire on the beach where we can watch the fireworks all around Banderas Bay. Then it is time to head south across the bay and around Cabo Corrientes. We are so conditioned to the expectation of windy conditions off capes that we up anchor and leave in the dark to get to the cape early in the day. We do not know whether to be disappointed or not when we sail around it in the lightest of breezes with our big light air genneker barely filled. It is about this time that we coin the phrase “Boring is good!”so as not to tempt the weather Gods into fulfilling our foolish wish for more exciting conditions.

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