Thursday, March 6, 2014

In the La Cruz Vortex

Sunrise from near the center of the Vortex

We've been here about six weeks now and probably won't escape what I call the La Cruz Vortex until sometime late in the month of March. The problem is that there is so much to do, friends, projects, inland travel and just relaxing, that it is difficult to leave. Here are a few news items:

1. We spent about ten days anchored outside La Cruz, in mostly picture-perfect conditions. Then a few days ago a large Pacific swell rolled in from the northwest and converted the normally peaceful anchorage to a lumpy, bumpy place, and we decided to return to our old slip on gangway 10 in Marina La Cruz. Here are some interesting boats that were anchored near Finisterra.

This steel cruising yacht is named "Go For Broke".  Notice the outboard motor mounted on the transom bracket. 

Look closely and beneath all the stuff on deck you can just make out what looks like a Newport 41

Much has changed in the anchorage since we were here three years ago but this fine vessel has been here the whole time. I guess it's having a little trouble escaping the Vortex. I hope that's not the fate that awaits Finisterra.

 This Dencho-built Peterson 43, a former IOR racer, has found new life as a high performance cruiser.
"Pied-a-Mer", a Seawind catamaran, looks shipshape and seaworthy.  

2. For the first time that we know of, a cruising couple was attacked while walking home from a local waterfront cantina late at night. There were no injuries and the would-be robbers didn't get any money. Still, it was a wake-up call for those of us who assume that our little community around the waterfront is perfectly safe. Now, before everyone jumps to conclusions about the dangers of life in Mexico it should be noted that this is the first and only time we know of that anything like this has happened around here, and muggings, robberies and worse are daily events in Orange County. I still feel quite safe here.

3. We learned that cruising yachts need to have a liability insurance policy from a Mexican insurance company in addition to your regular boat insurance. A standard policy from Novamar Insurance runs about $200 USD. It's important to have this insurance because Mexico's laws are based on Napoleonic Law, which means that you are guilty until proven innocent instead of the other way around. If you don't have Mexican liability insurance and your boat damages another boat or causes some other property damage, you're likely to be calling home from a Mexican jail.  I never liked Napoleon anyway.

4. Since we're going to be here in Mexico quite a lot this year, we decided to join the Vallarta YC. It's the racing club here in the Bay so we'll be doing some fun racing, and we're looking forward to spending lots of time in the club's swimming pool this summer, and perhaps in the bar as well.

5. The Banderas Bay Regatta is coming up March 11-15. This is a cruising boat regatta, but the top boats in the event take it quite seriously, with some boats flying in crews from the States. I'll be sailing aboard Snapdragon, a Beneteau 473 for this event.

6. Sirena, the boat that was dismasted finally had the stump removed and is awaiting a new rig from the states. Fortunately SeaTek rigging is based at the La Cruz shipyard so we're confident that the new rig and other repairs will be first class and it won't be long before Sirena is back to her cruising ways.

7. After the regatta, we may stick around for Mexorc, which starts around March 23rd, or we may take a road trip to Gudalajara, Morelia and Guanajuato, or maybe both, or neither...

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