Celebrating Christmas 2009 & Bringing in the New Year 2010

 
Chamela Dolphins
Chamela swimming with the dolphins
In our last chapter, we sent everyone our Christmas & New Years greetings. Here's a quick recap of our holidays, then I'll back track to our visit in La Cruz & Puerto Vallarta.

Just before Christmas, we pulled into Chamela. We had seen a few dolphins as we were entering the bay, and they were playing around our anchor chain when we first arrived.

As soon as we got settled in, Merry and I decided to go for a swim ... we had definitely moved south, and it was hot and sticky and a swim would be very refreshing.

My early Christmas present was to swim with the dolphins, as one or two of them were still hanging around our boat, and one surfaced less than 20 feet away from us. They sure do look a whole lot bigger when you are right in the water with them!

 
Prairie SeaShell Dolphins
Prairie SeaShell with the dolphins
On Christmas Eve, as we were entering Tenacatita, we were radioed by the "mayor" of Tenacatita and invited to a cruisers raft up.
 
Also, we were greeted by Bill of s/v Optical Illusion and asked to go to shore for a photo op. There were five Canadian boats in the bay, all members of Blue Water Cruising. So, we had for photos taken, made a snack and headed over to the raft up.

Christmas morning, after opening our gifts from our grandsons, I made some pastry and baked a pumpkin pie for desert tonight. We had been invited over to m/v Sirens Call for a turkey dinner.

 
Opening Christmas presents
Christmas candy from the boys
Christmas baking
Christmas baking aboard the Prairie SeaShell - 2009
 
On Christmas Day, in the afternoon, the palapa on the beach put on a special cruisers dinner. Ceviche, shrimp and blacked fish with all sorts of salads.
 
Christmas baking
Pinata party
Beach landing
Beach landing
Beach landings in the surf are always interesting, but Don showed off his skills today, he just rode in on the wave, landed us gently on the sand, and I barely got my feet wet.
 
There were several boats in the anchorage with kids on board, so of course a piñata party was in order.
 
Whale
Whale
New Year's Eve also proved to be a very spectacular day.
 
As we were approaching our next destination, Barra de Navidad, a whale breached right beside us, he made such a noise when he first surfaced that I thought something had exploded! He stayed with us for about 15 minutes or so, more breaching, fin slapping and tail wagging!
 
This was the first time in the four years that we have been travelling down here that a whale has been so close, and so entertaining!

A New Year's Eve I'll remember for a long time!

 
New Year's whale
Whale tale
Barra de Navidad whales
Barra de Navidad whale
 
Now, I regress - back to the Puerto Vallarta/La Cruz area where we stayed for about 10 days.
 
Dia de Guadaloupe
Dia de Guadaloupe
Diego
Little Diego here is being held up to the altar
 
We went into Puerto Vallarta for Dia de Guadaloupe, a day when the locals pay tribute to the Virgin of Guadaloupe by bringing their children to church and having their photos with assorted backdrops and stages of the Virgin.

The kids are dressed in traditional costumes, and some enjoy the attention, some not so much. Little Diego here is being held up to the altar and I'm not sure if he is really too happy!

Along with the photos, prayers etc, there is an abundance of food and drink. We enjoyed an aqua de Jamaica, (water flavoured with the petals of the hibiscus) but unfortunately we had already eaten, so no room for tacos de pastor. Slices of pork cooked on a spit with a pineapple on top spilling its juice over the meat. Very tasty treat.

 
Marina Riviera
Marina Riviera
Marina Riviera, Mexico
Marina Riviera
 
Vallarta Botanical Gardens
On one of the many trails through the  botanical gardens, Don was in a hurry for me to get this picture taken...he was standing on an ant hill!
Fly catcher
Believe this one to be some kind of a fly catcher, but I think the spikes could do damage to more than just a fly.
 
While we were in the Puerto Vallarta, we treated ourselves by staying in Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz. We had stayed there two years ago when they just opened, and they were offering some special rates, no so this year, but unfortunately anchoring any where around here is not very comfortable, and of course, not conducive to doing road trips.

We spent one day at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens in the company of s/v Willow and s/v Pacific Voyager. The gardens had just recently opened when we were there two years ago, now many of the plants had matured, unfortunately, many of them had also lost their name tags.

 

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