Monday, March 30, 2015

March 26, 2015 - Nuevo Vallarta, Paradise Village

Family is coming, the family is coming, THE FAMILY IS COMING!  Excitement was in the air as we headed toward Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta.  Two days after we arrived some of our family is flying in for a vacation.  Although I called the marina three times in four weeks prior to our arrival to arrange and then confirm our reservation, as we arrived and hailed on the VHF, we would be asked the same questions about length and beam and draft.  They did know we wanted in and the dates of our request.  I was concerned as there is a large regatta starting the day we wanted to arrive.  We floated outside the entrance for a while waiting for a better possible dock location after I heard that they wanted us on a dock way, way, way, far away from the resort.  I had stated that we had family coming in and did not want to be walking to a far away slip.  The marina slips near the entrance have more sea surge, the inner docks have more bugs since it is an estuary.  The slips near the entrance are closest to the resort rooms, which is where we wanted to be, which we have been requesting for weeks.  Now we hear they are going top put us way far away on 'E' dock near the estuary, and the bugs.  We got back on the VHF and asked if there was anything on 'B' Dock.  After a few minute wiat they told us another vessel had just left 'B' dock,  We were very happy to hear that we would be on "B" dock near the main area of the resort and away from the bugs. They had us in a holding pattern for a while they checked the width in the available slip.  That was our first warning of possible bumper boating as we tried to dock.  The marina staff here is great and had two people waiting on the dock to catch lines. We were on a port tie and we have our dinghy on that side of the swim step so that is the WRONG side for us.  But that's the only slip closest to the resort.  The fairway is not wide so to turn around and back in was possible, but would be a tricky maneuver.  We pulled in bow first, and decided to later take the Walker Bay dinghy off the swimstep and tie it to the dock so we would have easy access to the dock.  Well, Steve did a great job getting into the slip, but with only about 3-4 feet of clearance between us and our neighbor it was tight.  The current was draining out of the basin which sent the stern ever so slowly toward the vessel next to us.  We had the fenders up high at the gunnels and we got quite close to the other boat before Steve could maneuver the stern in and get it tied off.  We observed several other boats having less than perfect landings that day.  The current is a bit stronger than it looks.

Adagio in the slip, toward the left of the picture here.....
My parents (Kathy) who we have not seen since our departure from La Conner in September, and my brother's family from Colorado who we haven't seen since last summer, are both flying in for a visit.  My brother Les (Colorado) could not make it but that did not stop Laura, Ayla and Bekka from spending a few days in "paradise" with us during their school's spring break week. We did notice that the resort is much more crowded now compared to January when we were here last.

By shear coincidence, a boating friend of ours from back home was also in Puerto Vallarta at exactly the same time as our family.  Andy arrived just 2 hours after our family and caught a cab to get to Paradise Village to deliver a box full of boat parts to Steve.  Thanks Andy for the great delivery service; much more reliable than any other service in Mexico.  Highly recommended :-)  Well, besides the box of parts, we also wanted to see Andy!  He walked up to our boat a few hours later and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening all together.  It was great to see Andy.  We know his family from boating in the NW.  We've been meeting up with Andy, Cindy, and children Sailor and Hudson for many years in Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island for the 4th of July fireworks and festivities.  We have spent time with them other places as well.  We wish the rest of Andy's family could have been here too.  It would have been like old times, just a bit warmer.

The family has arrived!  We waited anxiously in the lobby for them
Laura, Ayla, Bekka and Cindy (snacking) in the lobby
Bekka and Cindy
Ayla, Barbara and Laura 
Cindy, Ayla, Bekka and Kevin walking up the dock.  The kids are growing!
Kevin hanging out at the resort's pool
The day after everyone arrived we took a panga ride on one that we scheduled for just our family.  It was a six hour tour and we went from Nuevo Vallarta, Paradise Village, to Los Archos for snorkeling, some nature stops, a ride past Yelapa, and to Los Animas for lunch.

Before we leave A-Dock in Paradise Village.
Kathy's PopPop (Bob), Laura, Kevin, Cindy, Ayla, Bekka, Steve, Grams (Barbara)
Ayla, Cindy, Kevin and Bekka - as we exit the breakwater for the bay
Whale out there.............they stopped the motor so we could hear it breathe!
Mom whale and baby whale.  Bekka and Ayla in the picture
Los Arcos
Snorkeling was our first encounter off the boat.  There were several other pangas there and people snorkeling. They throw out tortillas and the fish are there instantly.  Beautiful fish and fun except for those very small and invisible jellyfish that started to sting everyone.  Snorkeling ended up being about 10 minutes but really pretty.
Getting ready to snorkel.  Easier to float with lifejackets around your waist.  Cindy and Ayla
Laura getting ready for her jump
Kevin - the water is cold (about 74 degrees)!

Ayla, Cindy and Bekka out there
They call this "Turtle Rock" - see the resemblance?
Back aboard the panga after snorkeling.....
Steve and Kevin
My Mom and Dad:  Bob and Barb
Los Animas lunch - Starting lower center:
Cindy, Bekka, Steve, Laura, Barbara, Bob, Kevin, Ayla
After lunch and swimming in the water at Los Animas and a quick dip to get rid of sand......
on the taxi to the panga (just to the left) that we rented, tied to a buoy just offshore

Bekka bogie boarding back at the resort

We spent the second day at the resort and relaxed.   The day started after breakfast with a stroll to the Tuesday market.  Not quite the same caliber as La Cruz but we were able to find a few things.  Following the walk there and a stop by the mall/market for some Gelato we strolled back to the room to get into swim clothes and head to the beach for some swimming and boogie boarding.
Kevin, Laura, Barbara,Cindy, Ayla, Bekka
(Bob and I taking pictures)
At the mall for Gelato.  Cindy, Bekka, Ayla and Sofie from sv Stochastic
Gelato on this table too in the mall, Barbara, Bob, Laura and Kevin
Laura and Barbara - at the palapa on the beach
Bekka, catching her breath after going under....
Kevin heading in

High fivin' boogie boarding
Bob/PopPop and Laura taking pictures, resort behind.  Lots of thatched roof
palapas for relaxing in the shade.  The beach here is very nice.
Sophie, Bekka and Cindy
Steve catches a "monster wave".  Not really.
Kevin, Cindy, Ayla, Bekka and Sophie from sv Stochastic playing Bingo
at the resort's pool.  They call out the squares first in english, then spanish.
It really helps with learning the spanish alphabet and numbers.

To end the day we went to a restaurant called Sonara el Sur.  Friends had highly recommended this to us even though it is a steak house rather than traditional mexican.  In this restaurant you go to the butcher and choose your cut of meat and size, then pick two sides and they cook it to your liking.  It was wonderful!
The presentation of how to order......butcher in the back, left side
Fooling around..................

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to order:  Barbara, Bob, Steve
and the order taker from restaurant.  There was definitely a bit of a language
barrier and confusion going on here :-)
happy people!  

The taxi van ride and the crazy family.....................
We felt sorry for the driver.
The last full day we started out with a fishing trip.  Steve stayed back to work on the boat since we would leave soon after the family.  Three fish within a couple hours after we left but then the fish decided to take a break.  The family brought in three yellowfin tuna between 25-35 pounds each!
Leaving and ready to catch some fish!
Kids on the bow!
The sign that tuna are around.  Birds after sardines and tuna driving sardines to surface,
Life as a sardine must be challenging.
Dad/Pop' with the first fish on.  Exhausting work bringing one of them in

Start of the trip, Kevin and Laura - Kevin's jacket was not on long!
Dad/Bob with a big tuna!  Chilo the helper helping hold it up
Kids watching from the bow, Bekka is bringing in her fish

Chilo estimating the size of the fish for Bekka
Bekka's big fish!
Bekka saying this is not that easy!

After catching the big tuna and having Chilo filet it all, we had the Vallarta Yacht club cook us some for dinner.  They will cook your fish and provide sides and how you like it cooked.  We enjoyed it grilled and deep fried with sauces to dip.  It was a wonderful meal.  Tom, Kelly and Sophie from sv Stochastic joined us as well.
The big tuna dinner, the fish we caught!

The time with our family was way too short!  But it was great fun and everyone has busy lives back home.  We are ready to start our trek north now and may have started a week or two ago but were happy to stick around so we could catch up and spend time with family.  Thanks for coming down family!!!!

The following pictures are from the Wes Mex sailing regatta.  Hundreds of kids from many countries participated during the 3-day event, and it was great to see them all out there having so much fun.

Filling the parking lot next to the Vallarta Yacht Club
The event that brought so many young sailors to Nuevo Vallarta/Pardise Village
This young girl is with Team Australia

One at a time.  It takes a while to get them all launched.

One boat ramp = long lines.

Two older boys in a bigger boat, and in a different class for the regatta.
I don't think we have any pictures, but there was also a windsurfing class with
lots of participants.
Nope, not Adagio but a sister ship. They were out helping with the sailing regatta.
Did I trick ya?  Only 49 of these boats were built, and two of them are here in the
Paradise Village marina almost 40 years after being built in North Carolina.
Small world!

There is more to post and some things we missed from being here that we know of and that we may post as a second blog.  We want to post this as we may be a bit off the main circuit for any internet until Mazatlan and our voyage north.

We hope everyone is well.  More to come in the next blog.

-Steve, Kathy, Cindy, Kevin and Zappa cat

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