Sweet sail into a new decade

I was minutes away from having to spend my 30th birthday here:

Battery compartment

As you may have read earlier, we were tied down at Paradise Village Marina for so long (3 weeks total) because we had to order new Trojan batteries from the US.  They were meant to arrive earlier in the week but the truck broke down on the road from Tepic. Of course it did!  On Wednesday we were still waiting patiently for the electrician Jorge to show up with the beasts that comprise the main battery bank for our boat. Plans were laid for a day trip to Yelapa for my b-day on Thursday, but we wouldn’t be going anywhere without those batteries.  The hours of the day rolled by and I was trying to come to terms with the idea of cancelling the plans and spending my 30th dockside installing batteries….   Luckily there’s a happy ending to this story – Jorge showed up at 4:30pm, we got the batteries in and hooked up, charged for an hour, untied and booked it out of the marina, and made it over to the anchorage in La Cruz just as the sun was setting. It was close!

On Thursday we woke up to a calm sea with waves gently lapping against the side of the hull.  Will jumped in the dingy to go pick up Conor and Lanea (S/V Moondance) and Jean and Stephanie (S/V Le Letty).  I enjoyed a shower on the swim platform where a pod of dolphins and a few basking rays came by to wish me a good morning.

The wind in Banderas Bay doesn’t typically pick up until mid-day so we had a pleasant motor sail over to Yelapa (15 nm from La Cruz). Yelapa is a small town on the southern shore of the bay and is only accessible by boat. It’s not a very good anchorage because it’s so deep but the local restaurant owners have set up mooring balls that you can use for a small and worthwhile fee.  We were visited by Raphael before we even entered the bay to secure our business on his mooring ball (and, by default, restaurant too).

Greeted by panga

Getting closer

What’s the first thing we do when we arrive? Jump in!  Well, I always do it the painful way by stepping down the swim platform. Either way, the water was beautiful.

Swim time

Shot of HYDROQUEST from the water

A nice temperature

Lanea swims out to sea.... but then comes back

After a snack in the cockpit we hailed Raphael on the VHF for a ride to shore (easier than the dingy). We walked through the little town of Yelapa and up to the nearby waterfall.

Heading into town

Sarah on the path

Woodwork art studio with pieces for sale

Even art comes with tequila in Mexico

Potted plants line the village walkways

The waterfall

A lovely rock shot

We explore a partially built house in the jungle. Will takes the opportunity to get in a workout.

Nice one!

Sarah's effort is minimal

Will ponders fruit. What is it?

The most stressful part of the day was when Lanea and I were almost run down by…. what other than a runaway white horse with styrofoam on it’s back ?!

What the...

Watch out you guys!

View of the village

View of the beach

After enjoying a few birthday beers on the beach, it was time to head back to La Cruz.  What a beautiful sail we had (as you’ll see in the video below)! Broad reaching in 10 knots of wind with the Hydrovane steering.  Conor put it well – on the trip back across the bay we graduated from “sailing” to “Yachting”.  It was too easy.


We anchored flawlessly by the light of the moon and went into town for an extravagant birthday dinner of street tacos!

All in all, it was a fantastic way to welcome in my next decade and it’s so nice that Will and I have made some great new friends who we could celebrate with 🙂  I really missed friends and family back at home too. Thanks for all the well wishes!

2 thoughts on “Sweet sail into a new decade

  1. Gina Lonsdale says:

    Sarah – we miss you so much and I am SO happy to hear your bday went flawlessly – what an amazing day you had and a perfect way to transition into the next decade. I am so thankful for your blog and will be your most avid reader 🙂
    We toast you both all the time and can’t wait to read about your next adventure

    Love you both


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