South to Puerto Vallarta! Sun/Mon 3/20-21/2016
Sunday at sea was one of those laid-back days. I, of course, was awake way before sunrise (no surprise). Today is the March Equinox, otherwise known as the First Day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Without the "Princess Patter" reminder, we would've forgotten! Neither of us was feeling tip-top anyway, with sinus or head cold issues, so we didn't do much. Only one notable item made it to my notes: From our balcony, way up on Deck 15, we spotted a sea turtle directly below, swimming in the vast sea ... with a gull riding on its back!
While watching the coastline on Monday (way before the sun came up), I spied Puerto Vallarta from afar. Later, it was neat to see Pacific dolphins cruise the ship's wake on our entrance to the bay. Despite ongoing "nose trouble," Jimmy and I are looking forward to our excursion today!
Closing in on the pier.
Okay, now -- you have to admit this is quite a sexy get-up. Right? This is my new wetsuit shirt, and it works, so there! I wouldn't recommend enlarging this picture. Yes, we are fixin' to go snorkeling! Monday's adventure is an excursion to Mahajuitas Beach and Yelapa Island.
We met on the dock at 8am, hooked up with the Vallarta Adventures crew, and cruised the shoreline of Banderas Bay on a great catamaran en route to two island paradises. The boat was large enough to accommodate a slew of us, and the crew? -- they were outstanding!
Morning was spent at peaceful and isolated Mahajuitas cove, which is situated on the southern coast of the bay. Its reef-filled coastline is accessible only by boat, making it one very desirable spot for kayaking and snorkeling. We jumped off the boat into the crystal clear water (options were snorkel, swim, kayak or SUP) and we played for a long time. Mahajuitas cove was much warmer than waters off the Baja Peninsula. We didn't go ashore here, but we had a grand time snorkeling. Some of the crew joined us in the water, diving down to bring up urchins or whelks for show 'n tell before returning them to their watery home. They were hoping (me, too) to find an octopus, but didn't.
Once everyone was back on board, the crew served up a delicious buffet lunch aboard the catamaran before heading on to spend the afternoon on Yelapa Island. Yelapa is a tiny, traditional fishing village, nestled in a cove of natural beauty and reachable only by boat. It's only recently that the village joined the 21st century with electricity and even wifi. I spent a day here way back in 1978 when the village hadn't even joined the 20th century!
Nice yellow socks!
We chose to hike thru the town and jungle up to Cola de Caballo waterfalls. The footing was iffy on the steep trail over cobblestones or packed dirt, but we did it. Along the way, enterprising vendors offered their wares for sale. We looked .... The waterfalls was lovely. A couple hearty souls entered the pool at the base and one guy stood beneath the falls, but that water wasn't very warm, either, so ... no thanx! After the hike to the falls, we returned to the beach to cool our heels in the shade at an outdoor cafe. We splurged for drinks: Jimmy had a coke and I had a lemonade.
It's a beautiful cove with a sandy beach. Trees were blooming yellow on the hillsides.
Great figurehead on Sueños Liquidos!
When it was time to board the cat for our trip back to Puerto Vallarta, we were in for a treat -- an on-board fiesta! Our unforgettable day was wrapped up with an open bar, music (the kind we knew the words to), dancing, and premier entertainment by the crew! Those guys were acrobats and could they move! Lots of guests grooved to the beat and as the piña coladas and beers flowed, more joined in! (not us, tho)
Iguana, anyone? The guy in the blue shirt (above, left) carried that huge boy iguana around Yelapa beach the entire time we sat in the shade, offering it up like a talisman for you to touch and have your picture taken, for a peso or two, naturally. Again, no thank you. That thing had to be heavy! The other iguanas were basking on the pier near Ruby when we got back from our excursion. Someone had thoughtfully (or thoughtlessly?) spread torn tortillas for their lunch. We counted five -- iguanas, that is. Mr. or Mrs. Iguana at top, left, was smiling. They had green feet!
Now I've seen it all. Really. On our way to Ruby, we encountered a big sea lion (this sea lion). It had a man and woman on either side and it was "kissing" each one, to the click of a camera and a peso or two. Unbelievable. The thing stuck out it's tongue to kiss these tourists via a word from its handler! Really and truly: no thank you! Who knows how long this poor thing was out of water?
Time to fess up. An open-air farmacia was located practically at Ruby's door, so we asked about cold meds, and the lady came up with this made-in-Argentina box: Gripe y Tos (Cold and Flu). I took two at (exceedingly early) bedtime and slept ten hours! I usually don't get sick, and colds are a rarity for me, but that's what must be ailing me. I'd been fighting sinus troubles for weeks prior to the cruise. When I told my sister I'd been on 18 different flights in the past six months, she said, "no wonder you got sick! People love to spread germs on planes." Jimmy, meanwhile, was on generic Allegra, which seemed to help him. I know, I know, we shouldn't have ( fill in blank ), but we had fun regardless!
This was Jimmy's dessert at Monday night's dinner -- cherries jubilee (and et cetera!)
I tasted it, and it was YUMMY.
We didn't have time to walk about Puerto Vallarta. When you only have one day in a city, you simply can't do it all. But, our excursion choice suited us to a "T" and we were happy with it. Ruby thrust off the berth at approx 5 pm, put her engines ahead and made a tight turn to port before following the buoyed channel out of the basin. Once out of the "Bay of Flags" [Banderas Bay], she set courses for the good ol' US of A!