January 02 Puerto Vallarta
A busy week swirls around Raven’s Dance here in this Bandaras Bay playland. An old and valued friend, Debra Swain, and her two teenage daughters, Jenai and Rychelle, are our visiting guests from Colorado this week. RD is a full ship with a complement of three females and two males on board, so the first order of business following greetings is to determine who is going to sleep where. It all worked out.
Deb noted that it’s my dream to have an all-female crew. She hazarded a guess that it’s also my dream that the crew is bikini clad. She knows me too well; guilty as charged. Some dreams come true.
Highlights of our week together include:
Los Arcos Marine Park and Yelapa
Lots of activity this morning. Deb and Jenai and Rychele are scrambling to get organized for their day’s tour of a jungle zip line and water boardingactivities. The din awakens me, but I am slow to arise, with my first hand reaching for the coffee switch. POOF. Deb and the girls are gone for the day and Donn arrives next to buff up RD before his guests arrive for a planned day sail.
I captain and Cody crews as we host Donn and Jee and friends on a day sail to Los Arcos Marine Park and Yelapa and return. It was the most pleasant of days.
Tuesday night at Philo’s:
Philo’s Bar in Rivera Nayarit (La Cruz) http://www.philosbar.com/
La Cruz is my favorite spot in Bandaras Bay. PV has grown into a big city, choked with cars and crowds, whereas La Cruz is a small town with few sidewalks.
You stumble along the cobblestone streets and if it has feet, hoofs or wheels it is “street legal.” Turn signals are optional, seat belts are non-existent, parking is always in dissaray, and ATV’s outnumber autos. And no one gets a ticket.
Philo’s is king of “all -the-ribs-you-can-eat- dinner on Tuesday nights. We sailed from PV Marina to the La Cruz anchorage and continued to shore piled five high into the dinghy. It was a success, not because we reached our goal, or becasue we ate our fill plus a little more, but because of the joy of sailing along with a crew of three girls, all of whom warmly receive life.
Snorkeling at Las Tres Marieta
Three and one half miles off the coast lie three islands (rock out cropping) that comprise a national park. We spent the afternoon moored aslong the cliffs and small beaches and enjoying the beauty of the islands and snorkeling to view the profusion of fish that inhabit the shallows.
No visit to PV could be complete without a visit to Old Town – and the closer to New Year’s the more festive it becomes. The Mexicans are a warm and peaceful people, and walking along the malecon (esplanade along the waterfront). feels safer than Central Park.
New Year’s Eve
At 11pm on New Year’s Eve I eased RD out of the PV harbor to float in the middle of Bandaras Bay to view the midnight fireworks. It far exceeded our expectations as we “ooed” and “aayed” at perhaps twenty separate firework displays along the coast from La Cruz to Yolapa.
I have no original pictures, and I doubt that I shall ever see such a sight again.
No matter. It is burned in bursts of colors into my memory. We returned to our slip at 2 am amidst the low-hanging haze from the fireworks. The Mexicans love their fireworks! And our orchestra seats drifting in Bandaras Bay made the show is unforgettable.
We often passed the evenings with a deck of cards for entertainment, and I have been warmly received as someone new to beat in cards. Once again my eyes and heart have been opened as I am surrounded by a joyful, loving family. Likely they feel lucky to be aboard Raven’s Dance with me as their host. But when I put my head down on my pillow, I smile that it is I who am the lucky one… taken in and freely included in their family sphere. It has given me more pleasure than most any other activity of this adventure. And I don’t even remember who “won”.
When “the girls” prepared to leave I felt like a golden retriever displaying all the sadness he can muster to express his displeasure as his owner exits the front door. Words like “goodbye”, “travel well” and”au revoir” came to mind but what came out of my mouth was a whimper:
“please don’t go.”