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Punta de Mita is the northwest point of the large Bahía de Banderas (about 15 miles wide and 20 miles long). The actual point is covered by a resort and golf course; a town has grown up nearby, filled with mostly foreign tourists, snowbirds, and plenty of realtors selling condos. The long surf break near the point makes the area very popular with those who like to catch waves and the anchorage can hold many boats well spread out along the lengthy beach.
A cause for celebration! Since getting our boat we have had what we called a "mystery marble" rolling around intermittantly under a shelf that was not easily removed. Bjarne dismantled the shelf and discovered a small pesty pestle. Yay, peace and quiet when we roll...except for the creaking floor board, shifting cups and plates, the ticking of anything left dangling...oh, never mind.
You may not find it surprising that La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (pronounced wah-nah-KAHSH-lay) is often referred to simply as La Cruz. La Cruz is farther east into Banderas Bay but still on the north shore. It is very popular with cruisers and there is an active community of boaters. The sailmaker in town has provided a sheltered outdoor space for a cruisers lounge which contains many charts and reference manuals. On the local VHF radio net one hears announcements about up-coming talks, social events, or meetings for those planning trips to the south pacific. The anchorage, which is protected from the north, could hold probably hundreds of boats if they spread down the coast. There were maybe 50 when we were there. Several folks also stay at the large marina; it has a dinghy dock so those at anchor can get ashore in a protected area, but the price for that pleasure (with no other services) was a ridiculous 80 pesos (to compare, Marina De La Paz charges 20, will take your garbage and has drinking water included). As our weather was OK, we used the beach, but that can get tricky, especially if the waves are rolling in.
While folks gathered for the tour we chatted with Marco, a descendant of one of the founding families (it is a fairly new town, starting sometime in the 20th century). In his younger years Marco had been an Acapulco diver; the cliffs are so high that his chest would be numb for a couple of hours after a dive! Now he seemed to be making a splash in town as a mover and shaker, and was very proud of this project that brought international artists in to brighten things up. Since the official proceedings were in Spanish and looked to be taking a long time to get going, we did our own shortened tour. Here are a few of the works of art.
La Cruz is a happening place and apparently great for music lovers; we didn't take advantage of the live music at the pubs since dinghying back to the boat after dark doesn't usually appeal to us. We did come in one evening for a movie at the breakwall amphitheater. There's something extra special about a movie where you can look at the stars. It was that night we learned we were not when we thought we were. Our 30 minutes early ended up being half an hour late. Apparently the time zone border is not the same as the division between the two states (Nayarit and Jalisco). We also saw fireworks a few times, probably because the whole area is full of people on vacation with lots of celebrating. One night there were three separate sets, each one closer than the next. We had a great view from Hoku Pa'a. La Cruz has a regular market and even a Pickleball court! Like I said, a happening place.
For excercise we did some lengthy swims (towing a float to be noticable) and used the stand up paddle board. The water was much too full of nutrients to be any good for snorkelling. All that yummy green stuff is probably one of the reasons that Banderas Bay has so many humpback whales. One day while I (Barb) was on the SUP, three whales were tail-slapping in the distance. Although it seemed a long shot, it was worth the effort to boot it out there. The whales continued their activity, and the young one was especially entertaining with its leaps out of the water! Simply wonderful, although when the baby burst out of the water less than 50 m away, I backed up with alacrity. Bjarne was almost as fortunate and saw several dolphins and a ray when he was paddling about. The sky may have been overcast but there were good shows at the water level.
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