After checking in with the Port Captain in La Cruz we met our friends, the “Flathead Lake South” group, for lunch at the marina restaurant and had a great time sharing information about the boat and stories of our adventure. There was going to be a live band playing covers of 60s, 70s, and 80s music that night at a local bar, would we like to go? Go out with friends, listen to live “old people’s” rock and roll? Heck yeah, our favorite! We made plans to meet at The Treehouse at 6:00 for dinner and dancing. On our way back down the dock, we met up with Chaos and Pasargada so we invited them as well. We let Flathead Lake South know and another 4 were added to the reservation. We napped, showered, changed into party clothes, consulted Google maps, met up with Pasargada and Chaos, and set off for town. The Treehouse is exactly that, a restaurant and bar built around a giant Huanacaxtle tree. The roof is the tree except over the bar and kitchen where a tin roof is set. The couple that own the establishment said that when they saw the property, it was an empty lot with some junk in it. They had a vision and made it into the Treehouse. A fabulous place! When we got to the entrance we saw the Flathead Lake South group in the middle at the longest table in the place- a twenty-seater! The food was great, the music was fantastic, and we all laughed and danced until the band, “Us Two and the Band”, was done. They put on a great show!
February 1, anyone up for a 4-wheeling jungle trek? Why not, yikes! We were all picked up by a fifteen-packer van for the ride into the jungle to Jaguar Ranch. Yes, there are jaguars here. We got fitted with helmets and scarves for the dust and bugs. Off we went! This tour was not a simple cruise on nice dirt roads but rather a trek over steep, tilted, rutted, trails. This would have been a challenge on a mountain bike let alone on a big machine, which our friend proved by flipping her quadrunner over along the way. Luckily she was fine and we all had a blast! After the ride we had lunch and some much-needed beers. The ranch is owned and operated by a chef and tequila distiller. We ate the best burgers I have ever tasted. They were seasoned well and cooked in a wood fired oven. The chef then gave us a lesson in tequila distilling and drinking. He poured each of us a four ounce GLASS of tequila and had us drink it in one pull, like water. It was so smooth and tasty, with no afterburn, we almost didn’t believe it was tequila! He went on to explain while we sipped on a second pour the process of creating the best tequila. First, grow high quality agave and harvest it at the right time. After carefully charring and juicing the plant, begin the fermentation. Triple distill the mash removing all of the heads and tails, then age in charred barrels. He tried tequila aged 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, and 20 years. The 13-year aged was the best in his opinion. Of course we all bought several (or five!) bottles. You will have to come visit us on the boat to try it! On the way home we serenaded the van driver with our finest renditions of American rock and roll. We sounded fabulous!
February 2, we took everyone out for a day sail in Banderas Bay and had my retirement party that never happened in 2020 due to COVID. We had planned a big party in Caras park with a band, food trucks, kegs, and no host bar. We had planned a smaller party at the dock of Dayton Yacht Harbor with a local band, beer and wine. Bill had bought two 5-liter bottles of wine for the two occasions. One we drank in Montana on a ski trip with friends, and the other we carted with us this whole way just for this day! The weather was perfect, a light breeze and not too hot until after lunch, then the breeze picked up and we had a sporty sail back to the dock. It was really fun to just go out for a sail with no destination. We saw so many whales and dolphins! Every day this time of year the Humpback whales put on shows of breaching and flipper slapping and tail slapping all over the Bay- it is amazing! At one point during the sail a pair of whales came so close that Bill had to turn hard over in 23 knots of wind to narrowly miss them. By “narrowly” I mean one went under the bow sprit and as we peered over the side of the boat straight down into the water to see it go past, its tail appeared to brush the hull the length of the boat! We made it back to the dock and opened that bottle of wine, whew! Our thoughtful friends had selected some special retirement music and toasts were made round and round until well after dark and the bottle was empty. Time for Tacos On The Street! This little place started with a mom trying to make a buck selling tacos out of her kitchen. She was so successful that she now has a restaurant. There are about 10 tables in the street and another 15 on the covered porch. There is no menu. Just choose how many tacos and if you want cheese or not and if you want the toppings or not. That’s it- they are chopped steak and delicious.
February 3, pool and beach day! The crew was staying at a nice hotel on the beach with chairs and umbrellas on the beach, pool with swim up bar, restaurant, the works! We could see the place from our anchorage spot, so we took Pomp. We landed the dinghy on the beach in the late morning and stayed all day going nowhere. Perfect! We were introduced to the resort day pass concept; In most resorts in Mexico, you can buy a day pass to use all of the resort amenities some include the all-you-can-eat-and-drink feature and some include a credit that covers pretty much all you can eat and drink. We only owed an extra 200 pesos (about 10 dollars) for the both of us by the end of 8 hours of fun. Fabulous! The dinghy lights came in handy for the trip back to Sacagawea.
Our Flathead Lake South friends were prepping to fly home and we were prepping for a short cruise with another set of friends from Missoula (who are also Flathead Lake sailors!). Over the next couple of days we had time to wash the boat, provision at the local farmers market conveniently located along the wharf next to the marina, and research a short itinerary. We installed our new dinghy wheels, finally! There is a list of projects to do and that one kept getting bumped down. Here the beaches are flat and the tides come 30 feet up the beach. Dragging the 150 pound dinghy (250 with the motor) ten or twenty feet is one thing but more than 50 feet, no thanks! Our cruising friends from Maya dropped by and invited us to go see the dancing horses in the square and have some dinner. We hurried to get to the square in time to see the horses figuring it would be a show for an hour give or take. Loud, very loud, Mexican music played as the horses with rider danced up then down the street followed by another horse and rider etc. for about 4 hours. We stayed for dinner and it was still going when we left!
The next evening we went into the town of Bucerias for a good bye dinner. Up to this point we had just been walking into La Cruz from the marina dock. A short car ride away was a whole different charming town. We walked along the streets lined with little shops. I actually bought a dress from a street vendor! Also, Bill bought me a lovely opal necklace in the shape of a whale tale from a reputable silver smith. We all went for a fancy dinner in a beautiful restaurant on the beach. What a wonderful end to a fabulous week!