Saturday, January 26, 2013

Herb and Michelle Explore Banderas Bay

We had a very exciting week exploring Banderas Bay with Herb and Michelle.
Sunday Market in La Cruz
In the past when visitors had come to Starship, we had the opportunity to stake out the best places to take them ahead of time. This time though we had just arrived in Banderas Bay, so we were all figuring things out together for the first time.

Standup Paddle Yoga at Sunday Market in La Cruz
The trip got off to a bit of a rough start as Michelle's luggage did not make her connection. After one failed attempt to have it delivered to a restaurant near the boat, we decided it would be easiest to take a taxi back to the airport and pickup the luggage ourselves.
Trying to relax, waiting for the luggage which never came...
Finally with Michelle's luggage onboard we decided to set out from La Cruz to Punta de Mita, a small tourist town near the mouth of the bay which is famous for surfing.
Herb and Michelle experience the finest street dining La Cruz has to offer!
Enroute we observed quite a spectacular show put on by the Humpback whales in the bay. We had heard from a lot of cruisers how amazing the whales are here, and they weren't kidding! At one point we had to take evasive action to avoid a pod we had been watching.
The best breeching photo we captured
Trying not to hit the whales.
After Punta de Mita, we headed for Puerto Vallarta where we stayed in Marina Vallarta. The state of the marina facilities was very disappointing. Missing cleats, no power, questionable water, and disgusting showers. Luckily the area around the marina was bustling and interesting. It was also a short, bumpy bus ride to the downtown core.
After leaving Marina Vallarta, we went for a lunch stop at a place called Los Arcos, or "The Arcs". Named after it's islands with arcing sea caves, it made for a great snorkelling stop for Anne-Marie and Michelle.
Michelle summoning the courage to jump from the boat. 
Michelle and Anne-Marie ready to go exploring.
View through one of the arcing sea caves.
Our next stop took us over to Paradise Village Marina in Nuevo Vallarta, which is affectionately referred to as "Disney Land". Paradise Village was miles above Marina Vallarta in terms of facilities and service! On top of that, it was 40% cheaper, with full access to the resort facilities.
Michelle riding the Crocodile slide
Anne-Marie on the Crocodile slide
They have two tigers! And lots of parrots that say "Hola" & "Agua"
Paradise Village was a perfect place for Herb & Michelle to end their stay. The shower facilities were excellent so they could prepare for reintegration with the civilized world. And there was a really interesting mangrove that you can tour in the dinghy behind Paradise Village. On the tour we got a close up look at Green Iguanas, various birds, and crocodiles!
The African Queen! 
Iguana Ménage à trois
Check out more pictures in our Picasa photo album, and our video (only on the website, not in email) below:
La Cruz

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