Even though it really sucks to have to destroy the colony in my mast, there really is no choice. We can’t sail the boat with the bees in it because the halyard movement freaks them out and gets them in a “stinging mood”. Trying to leave during the day when most of them are away will leave all the foraging bees on land with no place to return and that is death sentence to them. On top off that the hive HAS to go or new bees will move in within days.
Tomorrow the exterminator will show at dusk and snuff the poor little bees then on Thursday there is a chemical clean up company that has a high temp pressure water/steam system similar to a sewer jetting machine with a long hose that will get shoved up the mast and dissolve the wax and honey hive and clean the inside of the mast.
Sometimes there are no good choices but you have to make one anyway. at least we will be on our way South Friday morning.
Bees are harder to get out from the masthead than we had figured, besides removing them you also have to get rid of the honey laden hive inside the mast or new bees will move right into this empty home. Rick from Mazatlan Marine Services has dealt with this on many occasions and the plan is to get a steam cleaning outfit with a high pressure steam hose steam clean the inside of the mast after the bees are gone. This will probably take several days to put together and our plan to start moving south tomorrow is scrapped
Before leaving for Baja from the mainland I was in touch with our friend Joe Cool. Joe left San Francisco several months ago for La Ventana. I had heard about it but had never been there so we arranged to meet up there. We set sail for the anchorage in “Bahia de los Muertos” Bay of the dead or “Bahia de los Suenos” Bay of dreams they are trying to change the name to.
Joe came out on his SUP or stand up paddleboard and took us to La Ventana in his van, it is a great little place with a heavy focus on wind surfing and kite boarding so the average age dropped substantially from the more retirement age folks in the cruising communty.
The bright yellow building where Joe has an office houses a pizza place where they do wood oven fired pizza and it has a kite surf school in as well as yoga classes in the day, the pizza was really great, the folks were very nice and welcoming
On the way back to the anchorage we went to this place called “Casa Suena” for a cocktail. It is a resort on the same little bay where we were anchored so we could see the boat. However this was a little more then just a palapa on the beach. We arrived at the front gate where we told a guard we wanted to come in for a cocktail, he called in and we were allowed to pass. After driving about a mile down a clean well maintained dirt road nestled in between the desert and immaculate golfing greens we arrived at another gate with another guard where a huge and beautiful ornamental steel gate rolled out of the way to allow us access to the grounds. We drove a little further (All of this is in Joe’s old van) where we were met by a valet who took the keys and a very nice lady who introduced herself as Lopita. She walked us to a stretch golfcart and drove us a small distance to a very elegant club house with pool tables old arcade games, a shuffle board table and a magnificent bar.
We had cocktails contemplating the difference between the aroyo where Joe stays for free and this place where you could rent a bungalow for $1400 US a night, quite the opposites. ohh, and the beers were $4.00 and the Margarita’s $6.00
The back bar
This is the mezzanine where they have three levels of model rail road tracks that are all operable and the guests are encouraged to use them if they feel they need to.
I woke up in San Blas yesterday morning and found out about the Tsunami warning. Being in an estuary as small as in San Blas is not be the best place to be so we took off, even though the port captain had closed the port. We pretended to not have the VHF radio on and just dumbly waved at all the people gesturing us and got off without a hitch for the safety of the sea. About 20 miles out we were pulled over by a Mexican Navy patrol boat that pointed us back towards San Blas and then took off in a big hurry towards the port. We went very s l o w l y towards San Blas contemplating how to handle this and trying to figure out how much trouble were in.
I then talked to another sailboat in our vicinity on the VHF and they had had the same experience so we decided that they were just looking out for our safety, albeit by trying to make us do unsafe things like returning to San Blas where we would not be able to get until hours after the Tsunami was supposed to hit.
We arrived at Isla Isabela mid afternoon and when to shore shortly afterward, this tiny island is a marine reserve and the birds are not afraid of people at all.
Joe looking at a baby boobie
The female is admiring her man, they inflate their necks do display these brilliant colors.
One of the kids.
A couple of blue footed boobies.
Well, these alligators are actually crocodiles. Joe and I took a tour through the mangroves in a panga. It is better to do it that way then to take our own rubber inflatable to go find some crocodiles with really sharp teeth, that just doesn’t seem prudent. This one is about 8 foot long
The biggest one we saw was about 12 foot, it disappeared in the brush before I got a chance to take a good picture. There were a ton of interesting birds as well.
Tomorrow we are taking off for Isla Isabella, a little island about 45 miles outside of San Blas and a bit like the Galapagos, you can get very close to the birds since they just don’t think that people are a concern.
After getting to La Cruz life has been busy, we sailed the pirate for pupils benefit on Sunday and the next day we took my friends Marlene, Jennifer and Zhen for a day sail to Yelapa on the other side of Banderas Bay. We had a great time, we ran into, well not really ran into but we got pretty close to a humpback whale and later on we sailed through a school of large Manta Rays maybe 6 to 8 foot wingspan. Now if Zhen would sent me the pictures I could show the proof……….
This morning we started our slow trip north with San Blas as the first stop, We motored for the first few hours and after that a fantastic beam reach all the way up there. We ran into a group of turtles, this is one of them. I don’t know if it saw us but it was completely oblivious of our existence until we were about 6 feet away, it looked up with a “oh….shit where did this come from” look in its eyes and rapidly disappeared under the surface.
I flew back down to Puerto Vallarta on March 5th After we got to la Cruz we found out that we were volunteered to join “Capricorn Cat” in taking some paying guests sailing for the “pirates for pupils” sail from Punta Mita with the proceeds going to the Tea Lady who helps the local schools getting supplies that they don’t usually have the funds for. Nancy and Warren joined Joe and I for a lovely afternoon sail in flat water and moderate breezes, what a great way to get back on the boat.
The picture below is our friend Carol Baggerly on Capricorn Cat. We sailed along side for pretty much the whole afternoon
Sadly we are at the end of our trip, after about 800 miles we have arrived at the little town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, about a half hour by car North of Puerto Vallarta. I am leaving RotKat here for the winter.
Leaving a boat in Mexico is safe, the marina’s are generally secure and are similar if not better then US marina’s. In Banderas Bay there are three choices, all cost about the same. There is Marina Vallarta, a filthy marina close to the airport in PV, The next choice is Marina Nuevo Vallarta in the middle of a resort area with large hotels the problem there is that Mexico is missing, you can’t find a taco stand or anything real unless you have a car and drive out of the complex to Bucerias or Puerto Vallarta.
The third and IMO best choice is Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz, the place is brand new with fast internet, good showers, friendly staff and best of all a real town only a few hundred feet from the boat.
La Cruz probably has a population of somewhere around a 1000 I would guess that 10% if the inhabitants are retired from either the US or Canada the rest is all real Mexican. There is only one paved street the rest of the streets use small river rocks set in sand for pavement. Most things are cheap here (The marina is not one of them). Dinner last night at “Tacos on the Street” for Kathy and I both was 84 pesos or about $7.00 including desert for Kathy and 2 drinks and was absolutely delicious!. Andy wasn’t there with us, he had another gig lined up in Bucerias, the next village over. He played with some local musicians at La Otra Bar and will do so again tonight. Afterwards Kathy and I went over to Philo’s the local cruisers hangout for Pacifico’s and some Rock and Roll. Tomorrow we may sail over to Punta de Mita to rent some surfboards and do some more surfing.
My camera battery is empty and the person in charge left the charger in San Francisco. Kathy’s camera does not seem to work anymore after dropping in the water so no more photo’s I guess it really is time to go back to the US.
San Blas is a great little town about 60 miles North of Puerto Vallarta, It is surrounded by mangroves that house a large variety of birds, crocodiles and bugs in all shapes and sizes. The smallest ones are called jejenes or no-see-ums, they are barely visible flying bugs that have a nasty bite. These little bugs are probably the main reason why the place doesn’t have mass tourism with chain restaurants and large hotels like Puerto Vallarta to the South and Mazatlan to the North and that’s also why everyone around here loves the little pests. One local restaurant “El Jejenero” tries to use it to their advantage with cartoon like images.
We entered into the river that leads to the town a couple of days ago and the folks here were nice enough to have a parade and fiesta in our honor, we later found out it wasn’t really for us but instead to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the revolution of 1810
The beauty queens were all riding on the roofs of pick up trucks:
There is a small navy base in town and it looked like all the soldiers were in the parade as well as these two here staging a knife fight:
There are a couple of cool ex-pat bars in town, The San Blas Social Club run by Augustine and his girlfriend Laura. They are from Brooklyn and also have a little restaurant above the bar with killer steaks. Their bartender Pompeo creates the best margarita in town.
And then there is Billy Bobs, a pretty cool place. Their 8′ pet crocodile “fluffy” lives behind the barAll photo’s by Kathy Wheatley