La Cruz Marina – 28Jan – 14Feb, 2021
As we have said before, staying on the hook is always cheaper and provides a bit more solitude. However, when the anchorage gets rough and you plan to stay in the area for a bit, you move to an available marina. We had planned for this already when we got back to Banderas Bay, but came in a couple days earlier. We had stayed out in the anchorage until we found ourselves holding onto the settees to keep from falling off of them while watching a movie. Funny. Not Funny. It is funny now that we are in the marina.
So what else does the marina offer along with a calm boat? You are protected from any inclement sea conditions. There is the convenience of dockside electricity and water; though Dharma Girl is self-sufficient in that we can make our own fresh water and charge up our batteries with our strong solar panels (more on being self-sufficient in a later blog). There is the comfort of stepping off the boat onto the dock and immediately walking to your desired location. Though not free to stay, your moorage fee often includes getting hot showers, flushing toilets, free wifi, immediate access to town, and more often than not, cool dock neighbors. In the warmer months, we do have the luxury of running the air conditioner that came with the boat. And yes, we have taken advantage of that a couple times.
We also arrive at the dock with a long list of boat chores and projects. We aim to get one or two completed each day, leaving the rest of the day to play, visit, shop, or chill out. Our typical big boat chores are cleaning the canvas, having the rig cleaned, polishing the shiny parts on the boat aka brightwork, polishing the hull of the boat, sewing a few new pillow covers, purging more clothes and books (this seems never-ending), and heavy-duty provisioning at Costco.
But it’s not all work and no play. Our days included a lot of fun activities too. We attended the Sunday Market each week, paddle-boarded to the anchorage (alone or with friends), hooked up with our dock neighbors from Portland at La Cruz Inn (with Friday night Horse Dancing), reconnected with dock neighbors of last season. Carrie completed painting a seed pod, we did some more reading, took beach walks, watched the ‘beer can’ sailboat races. We also walked the town several times and ate at new to us restaurants; last year was only take-out due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Carrie celebrated her birthday while we were in La Cruz. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Cafe de Don Simon. And after another scrumptious meal, a favorite of mind, Crème Brûlée at La Madera for dinner; both in La Cruz.
Carrie discovered the small plantain grove near the marina entrance. We picked a few green ones off the marina trees the morning we left. Three weeks later – they are yellow and slightly brown – time to eat.
Plantains. Let us share with you what we have learned about this beautiful fruit.
The plant in this photo is one of 20 or so just before the Marina Entrance from the town of La Cruz. Last year, Carrie noticed a large red hanging flower. And she went over to take a closer look to find attached to the top of the stem/vine was a bunch of plantains. This year she cut a couple of fruits off the bunch.
After a little research, it turns out that these tropical fruits are packed with a rich source of nutrition. These starchy fruits are best cooked. And contain more vitamins and minerals than bananas. What!? They are a great source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium and potassium. Carrie has yet tried one in her smoothies.
A little marine life excitement in La Paz. Before we arrived, there were two crocodiles taking up residence in the marina. As cool as it is to see it is unsafe. The first one was capture before we arrived in the marina but the second crocodile, who befriended a turtle, played around the set floating cage and took three weeks before it decided to enter.
We learned the importance of having a local buddy and boat guy. In La Cruz, ours was Pancho. We met Pancho last season during our first visit here. He was reliable with the services provided and affordable pricing. And he went over and beyond with caring for us, as well as others on the dock, without any expectations. Another example of Mexican hospitality and kindness. We can’t believe we don’t have a photo of our amigo. 😦 And Pancho and his family have relocated to the San Diego area.
Red Tide – aka Algae Bloom. The blooms are caused by microscopic algae that produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat. Unfortunately, this season saw more red tides than in past years. Some lasted 2-3 days while others lasted 10 days. Preventing many to go fishing, swimming, even paddleboarding to avoid the possibility of falling in.
It’s time again to say hasta luego to La Cruz. We are heading south again to visit a few anchorages.
Then just like that, an hour after we depart from the dock, nature provides a humpback whale and its tail.
Thank you for reading our blog. We hope you enjoyed our travels and learned a little something along the way.
Chris and Carrie