Sailing Nakamal

Recapping June 2016 from Marina La Cruz

Gosh I haven’t blogged in a month – guess we’ve been too busy!

After my big adventure with Arturo and his family earlier in June, the social events at the marina started ramping up. If you’ve spent time here, you will know Katrina from Marina La Cruz and Mike from PV Sailing. They are the heart and soul of the cruising community and keep things lively even through the supposedly slow summer months.

TescalamaEvery Friday a small group gathers up at Tescalama (bar/restaurant newly opened in the late spring) for Mexican Train night. Tescalama’s has specials every night, and Friday is half price cocktails. Needless to say, the margaritas flow during Mexican Train night!


In June, Katrina started Saturday night pool volleyball. The pool at the marina is pretty small which makes for some lively volleyball games. Not being big on games that require hand-to-eye coordination, I usually volunteer to chase down the out-of-bounders and get John new beers.


Pool volleyball before we had a net. But we’re sailors, so someone tied some knots in a line – voila! Instant net.

Summer Sailstice is a group that organizes sailing events during the Summer Solstice. One Saturday pool volleyball was replaced by the Summer Sailstice Umbrella Downwind Sailing event. Mike set the course up to have a right turn and a left turn through the marina, requiring varying navigation techniques. The rules were crafts under 16 feet and no rudders (a paddle could be used as a rudder), no engines, no paddles (unless used as a rudder) and no actual sails – sails had to be something else. For example, last year there was a sail crafted from women’s underwear.

John used our inflatable paddleboard and raced with our friend Lynn from Aldebaran.  I volunteered to handle registration and the committee boat/ finish line along with Rick from Eyes on the World.



The littlest racer


Correction – THIS is the littlest racer!


The starting line


A couple young men from Sayulita joined us


One racer built the sail, the other brought the dinghy. Sail and Dinghy first met at the starting line.


Jorge from Alarife crossed the finish line sideways. Hey, wherever the wind blow you….

In another twist, Mike and Kat had a couple dozen coconuts with numbers on them. The racers could collect as many coconuts as they could carry and turn them in for  prizes. Interesting for a couple reasons – first, it took a lot of people off course and they ended up losing their position in the race, or even drifting out of the marina entrance. Oops! Secondly, a lot of the crafts were paddleboards with the participants either holding one or two umbrellas, or managing a paddle for directional control – their extra challenge keeping the coconuts on board while re-navigating the course.


Coconuts for prizes.


Racers needed to have a coconut strategy.


Hey guys, the finish line is on THIS side of the rocks! (and I wonder what those fishermen are thinking about all this).

After the Downwind Event, the Starship paddleboards went out – these are eight-person boards requiring team coordination when paddling. We had three teams – a family group, the guys who brought the boards, and some of the middle-aged guys from the marina. We on shore named the teams La Familia, Los Expertos, and Los Ancianos – The Family, The Experts and The Old Guys. Prizes included passes to a casino, meals and drinks around town, lots of pizzas, and other fun stuff collected by Kat. Everybody won something and fun had by all.



Judy from Wings spins for a prize.


Los Ancianos await their prize award (Tim, Fred, Rick, John and Mike)

The next day (Sunday) the Marina hosted a VW event – Volkswagens of all sorts lined the marina.


Cars arriving Saturday evening – it’s the VW pre-party.


It’s a display .. AND his home. Complete with dog (who was napping inside).


Lots of polishing was going on that day.


This guy had a tequila holder in his trunk!


Doesn’t everybody carry a keg like this?


Complete with small cooktop, sink and fold out bed. I told John this is our next step in downsizing.


Karmen Ghia! Beautiful car.


John wanted me to take this picture. Could you have guessed that?


Of course there was a souvenir stand.


What wardrobe is complete without VW thong panties? Well, mine for one. Probably yours for another.

In addition to the Marina activities, John and I went into the city (Puerta Vallarta, also known as PV or Vallarta) for a change of scene. Now that the winter crowds are gone, we pretty much have the run of the place, especially on weekdays. Every Tuesday there is a ceviche tasting near La Playa de Los Muertes so we went in for that one Tuesday. John found a cool app that shows what happy hours are in effect RIGHT NOW so we hit a couple of them as well.


John looks over the goods. To find the market, walk the malecon to the pier at Playa de los Muertes, and look up the hill. Tuesday afternoons from 12-4. Click here for more info.


Some of the ceviche options.


The one on the left has pineapple and fresh coconut – yum!


If you are in PV, try this app on your smartphone or tablet. The locations appear to be up-to-date but some of the prices may have changed.

And we have had other food and drink adventures, since after all, our goal is to eat and drink our way through Mexico and the Caribbean…….

One “date night” (we had those before pool volleyball started up) we went up to Roberto’s Xocolatl (pronounced shock-o-lot) for dinner. Excellent fresh fish and a little tequila shot to round out the evening.


A caballito of tequila to round out the meal (in Spanish, caballito is “little horse”, or a shot glass).

For someone who doesn’t like flaked coconut (it’s a texture thing) I sure do like coconut water and fresh coconut. This is one of the most interesting lunches we’ve had here – they lop the top off the coco, use the water to mix into a drink, then fill the shell with a beverage (I had coco-lime water and John had Clamato), then construct a platform of spears of mango, cucumber and fresh coconut meat over the open top. After that comes a pile of chilled seafood topped with some chile spices. You drink the beverage through the straw and chow down on the seafood – yum! All for the princely sum of $6-9 US (100-150 pesos).


A pile o’ fish on a coconut. Eating it was little like playing Jenga.

Other random events/sights from around La Cruz in June:

I officially became “The Cat Lady” in June, having volunteered to feed the dock cat while her regular slave went back to the States for the summer. Her name is Chulita and she is a pretty nice kitty, not too afraid of people. But she doesn’t eat unless someone sits with her, so it’s a 30-minute job every morning. After she chows down, she wants to be petted.




How she tells me she’s done eating


A lick, then a nip – her way of saying I love you. Or maybe it means “Where’s my soft food, slave?”

A friend bought a little piece of land at the top of a ridge on the edge of La Cruz and built a shelter on it. She calls it “Rancho Starfish” after her former sailing home. The living space takes the open design concept to a whole new level, but has a shower and enclosed flush toilet so it’s not exactly like camping. She lives there with her six dogs and one horse. She had a small group up for a weenie and potato roast one evening, great views.


The view from Rancho Starfish’s living room couch


Sunset at Rancho Starfish

And now just other random pictures:


So many mangos!


Hijan at the fish market


Tuna waiting to be cleaned and sold. It doesn’t get much fresher than this!


Flaming poinciana tree


Lunch view in Puerto Vallarta. Nope, still not tired of this.


The iguana herd descends every day to forage.


Granddaddy Iguana


Poor Chulita after the first rain of the season. She was glad to see me that morning!



You know it’s summer when the dinghy dock is completely empty at 11:30 in the morning. During high season there is hardly and empty space.


In June we started trying recipes for the 4th of July Wing Cookoff (more on that in a later post).


Sunset as seen from the 3rd-floor La Pesca restaurant windows. Nope, still not tired of this either.



This entry was published on July 11, 2016 at 9:38 pm and is filed under Mexico. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Recapping June 2016 from Marina La Cruz

  1. Mike and Judy on said:

    Thanks for keeping us up on what’s happening in La Cruz and Banderas Bay. We’re a little envious of your adventures and enjoy seeing and hearing what is going on. We’ll see you in November when we return to HONU, meanwhile, thanks again.

    Mike and Judy
    S/V HONU


  2. Juanita on said:

    glad to see you back online! Had a great birthday with Rich & family and all the greetings from family and friends online. When will we see you two again?


  3. Glad for another episode! Hiked in the San Francisco Peaks this weekend near Flagstaff. Can’t get tired of those views either! Saw Lisa Cutts and Grace Didio on flights last week and they are great


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