We get word my mom 91 years old is in the hospital in Denver. We talk with her and find out that she is okay and she says she is not in need of our help (or my sister). Thankfully she  has a wonderful network of friends. ✨It was hard to decide to leave as we will be out of airline travel hubs  for awhile.

We anchor at Bahia San Gabriel (close to La Paz just in case) for the night. This anchorage is breath taking. This picture was taken by fellow cruisers anchored at this bay. We think this bird is in the crane family.We also got to catch up with some friends Eric and Ana before she went home (CA) and he is to stay in La Paz. We will look forward to meeting up with them again in March.

Once again talking with my mom in the morning we decide to move on south.We retrace our sailing coordinates and make our way to anchor at Muertos, this time a much easier sail 👌.

Our friends Kathy and Greg on SV Friendship are anchored here. We firm up our plans to make the crossing (250+miles) of the Sea of Cortez together. We decide with the weather window to bypass Mazatlan and go directly to Isla Isabela. The weather can be tricky and we are blessed we made this decision.

This island has been called the Galapagos of Mexico. Jacuques Cousteau and National Geographic have done a special on this island so we are very excited with this opportunity at hand.

It is December 2nd and we are leaving Muertos at 10:00 am in shorts something we don’t take for granted. We catch a tuna right away so this makes dinner once again a bit easier. We are back to our 6 hour watches at night since it is just Risto and I onboard. This will take around 50 hours to get to the island.

The next day in the afternoon we are in the cockpit and I see something black /white right off of the starboard stern. Actually we felt a little bump and looked back to see three orca whales in our wake swimming off in the opposite direction. We love seeing wild life but not that close!

It is a wonderful feeling when navigating to actually see the land pop up in the horizon. We have made it to the island around mid morning and anchor on the East side.of these 2 spires. The island is directly to the west. The afternoon brings a spectacular show of a pod of whales that not only went by very close once but four times.

The next day was one that we will always remember as a perfect day. 🌺We take our dinghies to the south entrance of the island where there is a fish camp. We hike along and Kathy and Greg had fun watching all of the iguanas. They were all lined in a row sunning themselves.We hiked to the top of the island by finding the overgrown path (thanks to Margarite and John). Along the way the path was dotted with thousands of nesting blue footed boobies ,frigate birds and iguanas.   There were thousands in the air and on the ground. We enjoyed the view of the entire island . Then we hiked back to our dinghies (South anchorage) and took a swim and a short snorkel.With the serge we decided to take the dinghies and anchor between the Mona’s or spires. This was spectacular snorkeling very clear and the best we have seen so far.We enjoy a meal together that night and decide after 2nights the weather is changing and we should head out in the morning.

We sail along and our goal is Matanchen about 45 miles away (a long day not an overnight). We are getting closer as the sun was starting  to dip.

I asked why we hadn’t used our fishing pole just the hand lines. We had thought maybe using it in the dinghy but hey why not? As soon as we put the line in we started catching 🐟 fish 🐟 🐠.We had to get on the radio and let Fellowship know we were okay as we were lagging behind. We caught Sierra, Crevalle Jack, and  had to put the rod away after 5 fish and also the beginning of twilight.

Sierra we turned into ceviche while the Jack made great tacos.

We had to be mindful of the fishermen’s nets all across the entrance to the anchorage. We had to zig zag through motoring and finally got to the anchorage. This anchorage is the winter anchorage with San Blas being the summer anchorage of choice. It all depends on wind and waves which change over the year.

Matanchen had no see ums and was quite smoky. The town probably burns things for a reason. There is a lot to do here go on jungle excursions, enjoy the local art etc and hopefully on the way North in the Spring we will stay a bit longer.

In the morning we decided to move on and Friendship decided to stay. This is what is so great about cruising everyone making choices and we would meet up again in a couple of days.

We were only sailing 20 miles to Chacala. This is a nice hop rather than a long day. We were so pleasantly surprised by a total gem 💎 of an anchorage. The holding was great and everyone uses an additional stern anchor.

The town along the beach is colorful. There is an easy dinghy land7ing which is important to us. We end up staying for 5 nights and Fellowship joins us in acouple of the days. We enjoy the local restaurants friendly people and walking through the town.One night as we are walking along the beach we happen into a beach party. It is a celebration of the artists in residence that Chacala is hosting. There were poets, musicians and authors. We stayed and listened to the music, then got in the dinghy and rowed back to the boat.

We take a bus into Las Varas in search of boat bits and to provision. This is a lively and busy place. Of course we found time to eat and this was one of the best meals yet. Street tacos.

This is definitely a happy place for us and we can’t wait to re visit on the way North in the Springtime. It is really hard to leave.

Leaving early out of Chacala a fish struck our fishing pole line and took all three hundred feet with it. It was a big fish but we don’t know what kind, so back to using just the hand lines.

We see lots of whales and have a sloppy sail all the way to Punta de Mita.

Punta de Mita is the northwest  tip of Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarata Area). Greg on Fellowship is a 🏄 dude from CA and is heaven as we anchor right by the surf. He is the only one surfing and grins from ear to ear.

The next day Risto tries his hand at surfing. Greg is a great teacher but Risto fails to catch a wave and is exhausted after and hour of trying. We figured since Risto has skied since he was four he’d be a natural. Apparently not. Kathy and I meanwhile get massages👍.

The town is very clean and has great restaurants. We go in search of new fishing line and are happy to get through the language barrier and find a lady who sells us some.

We now sail to La Cruz and anchor. We spend a couple of nights and then we sail to our destination Paradise Marina Again my pictures are not as great as going to their web site. It is December 17th. We have secured a slip for 6 weeks as we will be flying to the States for three weeks.

La Paz to Puerta Vallarta

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