Cruising

The Nature of Mexico Page 2

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If birds make me think of Isabella, then sea life must mean Tres Marietta. Lying right at the entrance to Banderas Bay, these islands are often ignored by yachties heading for the “high life” of Puerto Vallarta. As the anchorage was not suitable for an overnight stay, we took a couple of day trips from Punta Mita, just four miles north. On each of the four days we offered to take anyone who wanted to go with us. We met a lot of interesting people this way, and it also helped in a tiny anchorage to have only one boat, with the crew from three or four. A couple of times the water was full of tiny jellyfish, which required swimming in a Lycra suit. Every day we found a new spot to explore—all with a great variety of fish and different colored corals. Almost every time we were rewarded with the sight of huge (15 feet across) manta rays leaping out of the water, or else lifting up the corners of their wings as they swam in lazy circles. We would often jump into the water, hoping to swim with them, but they would just as suddenly disappear.

Another magical thing to do at Tres Marietta was to dinghy ashore and wander in and out of the huge caves. Some were connected to others by tunnels, and others had strange piles of bones that got the children telling scary stories. We all enjoyed following paths through the long grass and then, when we got too hot, would duck into one of the caves to cool down.

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Most of Mexico could be visited by daysailing from one anchorage to the next, with just a few overnighters thrown in to add a bit of a change and remind the crew what night watches were all about. We enjoyed wandering the countryside and hiking to waterfalls—in fact any fresh water held a certain fascination for us. In San Blas we played tourist and took a ride up the crocodile-infested river in a panga to a fenced off area where one can swim. It added a measure of excitement to have someone yell “crocodile” every once in a while.

It sure felt good to be out cruising again. Lying in a hammock, reading a book, and stopping only to catch a fish for dinner or to take a refreshing swim. Mexico was turning out to be a tightly woven blanket which we were slowly unraveling, thread by colorful thread.

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