Saturday, March 28, 2015

Flying high on beer donations

One concept of cruising is the understanding both financially and mentally that you are not on vacation. 
The past two months has provided many opportunities to own Mexican treasures, masks, jewelry, handmade pieces of clothing, among other enticing items. The beaches of Mexico have also provided the opportunity to try our hand at kitesurfing, sport fishing, parasailing or tearing it up on a waverunner.  All mementos and activities perfect for the vacationing family with money to spend. That is not how one would define a cruising family. While we've done a thorough job of explaining to the girls why we're not indulging like the other families they've seen on the beaches our words are still met with some unhappy grumbles. 

I had the idea before we set sail that if possible I'd love to parasail for my 40th birthday. I still remember the first time I parasailed at an age younger than Emma. I knew that if at all financially possible I would want to share this experience with my family. 

We'd like to thank the many of you who used the "Buy us a Beer" button.  While the button states that we'd be using your donations on beer, I hope you don't mind that I used the majority of funds to pay for our family's parasailing adventure. Many thanks to those who donated and made my birthday unforgettable while also giving our kids the time of their lives.

Teague Family from CA
The Legendary Ben Hungerford
Jim G. from CA
Aimee's Parents
Bolle Family from CA
Nana and Grandaddy
Peter K from FL
Aimee's Grandma

Flying high for the First Mate's 40th!

  Literally within 3 minutes of exchanging money Emma was stuffed into a harness and up in the air. 

The first time in Emma's life where she's admitted to being nervous.


Jess the Mess, who's a constant nervous wreck (that's a whole other blog post..sailing with a kid that has anxiety) was ready for flight after watching her little sister take off. Jess originally didn't want to parasail and was planning on watching from the beach while the rest of us took off.  She's clearly still struggling with the Nance "mandatory fun" policy we have onboard. 

Like his daughters, Phil too enjoyed his first time parasailing. A great time was had by all. 

With the remaining donation funds we did what anyone would expect our family to do, we Nancebombed a resort and used their facilities. Cold beer and nachos to top off our perfect day.

If ever in doubt, always check out pool towels using suite B134

Thanks to those who've donated. We appreciate it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beers, Bananas, Bums and Bonfires

Yeah. So, we're still in La Cruz! We rolled into La Cruz with the intention of being here just long enough to have the outboard fixed and then we were to head south for a Saint Patricks day party in Melaque.  Then reality hit. Jessica came down with a high fever for 3 days,  I needed to have a tooth pulled, Emma has a perforated eardrum and we had a spell of crappy weather. A few days after we thought we fixed the outboard, it took a dump and is now in the shop. 

While La Cruz hasn't gone as expected, we've still managed to have a great time. We've enjoyed meeting up with friends we made while in San Diego. Last October our marina hosted a handful of boats (many kid boats) that we're sailing the Baja-Ha-Ha, it's been great meeting up with these families as well as making new friends. 

Beer tasting at the Black Forest restaurant

                    Many great times and good laughs with our friend from SV Stochastic

Our newest friends at SV YOLO are a real treat.  We loaded the kids up and went to Sayulita for a good time at the beach and to enjoy their famous Choco Banana's.  As soon as our outboard is fixed we plan to head south and meet up with this fun bunch again. 


Chicken fights at Paradise Village with SV Stochastic and SV Apropos

Hands down the BEST and cheapest place in town. Just up the street from Philo's, El Rey Bombon has some of the best tasting tacos in town. For a whooping 25 pesos you can get either fish, carne or shrimp tacos with enough to make two tacos out of one order. Eating at El Rey Bonbon was the only time that we had enough leftover food, Jessica was able to share some of her carne asada with the stray dogs. 

Lunch with Bumfuzzle and SV YOLO. One of the many blogs we have been following for years is Bumfuzzle. Pat and Ali are true adventurers and their blog is amazing. It was great to finally meet them in person as they helped inspire our adventure from the beginning. 

Attempting to light lanterns at the kids bbq the night before many boats in the area left for the Pacific Puddle Jump.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Worth every drop of deet

After a fantastic stay on Isla Isabel we made our way to San Blas on the mainland.  Toto, I've got a feeling were not in Baja anymore.

San Blas is an older colonial city that was a major Naval port for the Spaniards in the 16th and 17th centuries.  San Blas is also very tropical.  It is everything you would think the tropics to be complete with jungles, mangroves, coconut palms and all the biting bugs one can handle. Actually we loved San Blas and all that it had to offer. We had originally planned on anchoring in the estuary next to the city but aborted this mission after evaluating the slim approach with breakers and a whopping depth of 8 feet.  We ended up anchoring next door in Mantanchen Bay.  The bay offered bioluminescence which was a real treat to swim in at night was lined in palapa restaurants and was a short taxi ride from town.

If you ever find yourself in San Blas DO NOT miss going to La Tovara Springs.  You can hire a panga to take you up the estuary under the canopy of mangroves where you can't miss seeing the crocodiles, turtles, beautiful plants and endless amounts of birds. At the end of your tour if you pay a little more, your guide will take you all the way up the river to a fresh water spring that is fenced off from crocodiles. At the the spring is a little restaurant and a rope swing where you can fling yourself into the water. Although I knew that there was a fence to keep out the crocodiles it was still nerve racking to swim in the same water shared by crocodiles. 

We had a blast in San Blas and was worth every drop of deet!

Bay side restaurants fill Mantanchen Bay

Fresh coconut water

Which way should we go?

Relaxing in style

Delicious empanadas filled with various fruit

San Blas is known for their beadwork. The girls picked up gifts for their BFF's

A view of the surrounding area from the fort on the hill

La Tovara Springs Tour

Beautiful mangroves

We've seen ospreys all over Mexico

Plenty of crocodiles throughout La Tovara

Rope swing at the freshwater springs

Friday, March 6, 2015

Snorkeling with Humpback whales at Isla Isabel!

At Isla Isabel, we watched a mother Humpback and her calf swim around all morning no more than 100 yards from the boat.  What was I supposed to do but grab my snorkel and fins and head out there with the GoPro!  Check out the video here and some other highlights of us snorkeling around the island.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

An island covered in boobies

Isla Isabel, a slice of natures paradise you've never heard of. This isolated volcanic island is a World Herritage Site and is home to the blue-footed boobie (they're not just found in the Galapagos) and many other nesting birds. We reached Isla Isabel exactly 48 hours after leaving Cabo and hope to be back before  leaving Mexico. We literaly couldn't take a step without the worry of stepping on a reptile, bird's nest or other animal. Isla Isabel offers a caldera in the middle of the island filled with water, the shores were covered in both white coral and volcanic rock offering a beautiful contrast. Because of the islands isolation, the water is a spectacular blue and offers amazing snorkeling. We must of come at the perfect time, there were bird nests everywhere! We were careful when hiking the island to avoid the many female boobies who were sitting on their nests. 

Blue-footed boobie.  So Cute!!

Coral and volcanic rocks along the shore.

    Watch your step!

   Many different shades of blue on their feet.

   Good mama, sitting on her eggs.

   Mom and baby frigate bird.

   Stunning Isla Isabel

  Frigate birds

Male frigate bird attempting to impress the ladies

After a strenous hike to the top a great view of the caldera

   Handsome blue-footed boobie

82 degrees and crystal clear water makes for great snorkeling

Poor Murphy can't snorkel, so we bring the sealife to him.