Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sky Temple Haiku

The post from March 13 described our visit to Yelapa’s Sky Temple.  Eric penned the following Haiku while relaxing one afternoon in the courtyard below the climb to the temple:

Rooster crows; broom sweeps.

Sky Temple learning awaits.

Waves hiss on white sand.


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I honor my intuition.  I accept my path.  I am healing body mind and spirit.

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I connect with Spirit.  I invite sacred transformation.  I embrace the unity of all beings.




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Banderas Bay: The Rest of the Story

In addition to visiting friends whose travels brought them to Yelapa and the Grand Mayan, we spent our time in Banderas Bay enjoying LaCruz.  Highlights included time at Jardin de Pulpo (Octopuses Garden) enjoying jazz, salsa, and Huichole art; the Sunday market, and Eva’s Brickhouse a water sided restaurant presided over by former restaurant trouble shooter Kent.  Both the marina and anchorage at LaCruz are cruiser friendly.  We really enjoyed our time there.


The La Cruz marina offered a wide range of services and amenities.



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The La Cruz anchorage provided ample room for a host of vessels



Eva’s Brick House beckoned from its beachfront perch on our last full day in La Cruz.





Kent, the owner, head chef, waiter, and gardener served us mesquite grilled tuna caught that morning and gave Eulalie farewell roses.

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Brick House roses brightened Elizabeth Jean’s galley and cockpit as we sailed out of Banderas Bay

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The Grand Mayan

Our other objective in reaching Banderas Bay by early March was to taste resort life at its finest by crashing on Jeff and Cecilia Garrity’s couch at the Grand Mayan Resort.  The Garrities were also hosting John and Colleen Quinn and Tim and Violet Hancock (who flew in from England).  Rounding out the group were Calgarians Rob and Sue Depoe and Gordon and Susan Fache, who own a condominium in nearby Paradise Village.  After being on a small boat for 8 months, we quickly readjusted to the amenities and time with our friends, old and new.  Our visit included Oscar night at Paradise, regular beach walks, fine dining, and a sail on Elizabeth Jean followed by cockpit cocktails and a night of Cuban Salsa music at Octopuses Garden.




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The view of the pools, water slides, beach and other amenities from the Garrities’ balcony, what one cruiser described as “an adult candy shop.”

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The ladies poolside.


Rob, Jeff, Tim and John about to hit the links.


Eulalie and Eric on Elizabeth Jean after hosting the crowd for the afternoon sail, which included whales breaching near our bow.


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Banderas Bay: Yelapa

Yelapa is a small village at Banderas Bay’s  south end.  One of our goals in reaching Banderas Bay by early March was to rendezvous with Nancy Israel, a sea captain who Eulalie worked with at Salish Sea Expeditions.  Nancy  was in Yelapa for a yoga retreat at the Sky Temple, a remarkable spirtual high in the Yelapa hills.  Yelapa may be reached by boat, horseback, three wheel vehicles, or walking.  As a result of its isolation, Yelapa has a strong indigenous community.  As noted in an earlier post, Jesus drove us to Yelapa in his panga.  We returned to LaCruz by water taxi to Puerto Vallarta and bus to LaCruz.


Yelapa’s water front.


Horses and donkeys outnumber other transportation modes on Yelapa’s narrow, cobbled streets.


The beach beacons from the walkway from town.


Eulalie and Nancy Israel.  Two Salish Sea Expedition captains reunited in Mexico.


Nancy was in Yelapa for a week long yoga retreat at the Sky Temple.


The Sky Temple is perched high on the hill above town, where it catches the morning sun and afternoon breezes.


The Temple’s yoga room, catching the morning sun.


Perfect for getting one’s zen on.


We were fortunate to be able to rent the room off of the yoga floor for our night in town.


Judith Roth, the guiding spirit behind the Sky Temple.


A crazy good music scene exists side by side with the more contemplative spiritual retreat and local vibe.  We danced every song that Tarzana and the Ranters played at Manguito’s.  It was the Ranters last performance before their lead guitar headed to California.  They left everything on the floor, as did we.


Jenny Reed added her harmonica stylings to the Ranters’ blow out performance.


The high speed water taxi took us to Puerto Vallarta.

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Banderas Bay

We have spent the last two weeks in Banderas Bay, sampling the wide range of cruising delights the Bay offers.  These treats include stunning anchorages at Punta de Mita and LaCruz, Puerto Vallarta’s big city bustle, Nuevo Vallarta’s resort life, and Yelapa’s small village intimacy. Some of our time was based at Marina LaCruz, where we reconnected with cruisers from Seattle and other Mexican ports and enjoyed the lively music scene and excellent Sunday market.

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A Meeting with Socrates; A Ride with Jesus

We have found cruising to prove the maxim, “it’s a small world.”  We have run into a myriad of people we have met earlier in our travels, or earlier in our lives, walking down a dock in some foreign town.  However, some of our encounters have exceeded even this maxim’s bounds.  Encountering both Socrates and Jesus within a few short days illustrates the point.  Let us explain.

Eulalie encountered Socrates in LaPaz.  While walking in Marina La Paz, Eulalie happened upon a sailboat that looked particularly familiar.  The vessel’s name, Nereida, also sounded familiar.  A gentleman near the boat noted Eulalie’s interest and explained the boat belonged to Jeanne Socrates.  This Socrates recently entered the cruising record books in July 2013 by completing her unassisted single handed circumnavigation at age 70.   Ms. Socrates later invited Eulalie to come aboard for a chat.  For those interested in more information about this inspiring woman check out her blog, which you can access through this link:

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Nereida caught Eulalie’s eye because of the hydrovane self steering on the stern.  The more she looked at the boat, the more familiar it appeared.


Jeanne Socrates and Eulalie in Nereide‘s cockpit.

“Riding with Jesus?,” you ask.  In Mexico, Jesus, pronounced “Hay-zeus” is a fairly common name.  After arriving in Banderas Bay we were looking for a boat faster than ours to get us over to Yelapa for a visit.  A young woman who works at the marina introduced us to her father, Jesus, who runs a panga for hire.  Jesus made short work of the passage, which included several sea turtle and whale sightings.


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From the desert to the tropics: LaPaz to Banderas Bay

On February 22 we left LaPaz to begin the 300 mile crossing to the mainland.  We chose to head directly to Banderas Bay, where friends were arriving, rather than take the shorter course to Mazatlan.  After three nights, including some great sailing, we were within a half day of Punta de Mita, the Bay’s northern boundary.  Eulalie noticed an orange float (a plastic coke bottle painted orange) trailing behind.  The float turned out to be part of commercial long line.  Eric went over the side and was able to clear the line from Elizabeth Jean’s rudder.  Later that day we arrived in Banderas Bay.  During our passage we crossed the Tropic of Cancer, putting us squarely into the tropic’s heat and humidity.


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Sea of Cortez: Walks on the Wilder Side

In addition to visiting fishing villages, the Sea offered a variety of stunning unpopulated anchorages which provided an opportunity to stretch our legs and strengthen our snorkeling skills.  These anchorages included Caleta Los Lobos, Ensenada Grande, and Isla San Francisco.

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Andy Brooking from Discovery making his way along the trail on Ensenada Grande.

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Eric overlooking the Sea of Cortez from the cliffs on Ensenada Grande’s east side.

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Ensenada Grande is on the Isla Espiritu Santu.  Part of Mexico’s park system, the trail is well signed.  This sign marks the overlook from the trail’s east side.

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Ensenada Grande’s anchorage from the trail.


We arrived at Isla San Franciso, about 46 miles north of La Paz, at 11:00 p.m. under a full moon after a great sail south from Agua Verde.  The island has great ridge hike.


This shot shows why we felt comfortable coming into the anchorage at night.  The bay is large and the bottom sandy.  If you look carefully half way down the picture in the right hand third of the picture, you can see Eric walking towards  the bay with his snorkeling gear.

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Sea of Cortez: Agua Verde

Agua Verde, approximately 90 miles and our furthest anchorage north of LaPaz, provided another window into the Sea’s village life.  Our first stop in the village was for fresh goat cheese.  After visiting with the children (and the goats) we looked for the local restaurant.  At our first stop, the owner sadly told us she had nothing to serve us.   At our next stop, our hostess prepared fresh tortillas, beans, goat cheese, fried eggs and salsa.  We savored the warm food and delighted in meeting our hostesses’ grand daughter and hearing about the rest of the family.  As we settled the bill, the owner expressed her appreciation for our visit and noted how limited provisions were because of the poor fishing so far this season.  Nothwithstanding the limited supplies, our lunch was a most poignant and memorable experience.

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A neighboring boat at our Agua Verde anchorage.

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Eulalie steering Schooner to shore with Elizabeth Jean in the back ground.

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Schooner on the beach with the Agua Verde anchorage in the distance.

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First stop, the goat place.  Not exactly a farm or ranch;  simply a goat filled yard.  Here are two of the cuter ones with their mother.

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The ram and the ewe at opposite ends of the leaning tree definitely had different ideas about how they wanted to spend their afternoon.

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Two children at the goat cheese emporium.

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Eulalie showing the children their photograph.


Eric showing children their picture.

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The view from the restaurant.

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A marine mammal skeleton decorated the shaded yard where we waited for lunch.

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Our hostesses for lunch

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Sea of Cortez: San Evaristo

San Evaristo is a fishing village of around 20 families a good days travel for us north of LaPaz.  It’s protected anchorage sheltered us as we waited for another round of northerlies to die down.  We walked the village from one end to the other, buying fresh eggs at one end of the cove and fresh fish from a panga at the other.  In San Evaristo we learned that the fishing had been poor this season and the villages were feeling the pain.

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San Evaristo seen from Elizabeth Jean

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Our friends from Discovery, who visited the village weeks earlier, told us to make sure to pick up fresh eggs.   Although not marked, it was easy to find the house with the eggs just down this dirt path.  

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Whale vertebrae decorate this simple fish cleaning station.

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Elizabeth Jean, looking sweet at anchor, as we walked the beach.

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We caught these fishermen just as they landed on the beach.  They quickly cleaned the fish, which provided several meals for us.

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