San Blas (21 degrees 32.617 minutes North, 105 degrees 17.612 minutes West) was a cute little town where we spent two overnights at a marina. Many cruisers bypass this town as it is known for the jejenes (known as the 'no-see-ums'). True to its reputation, we got eaten alive and were still recovering from several of the bug bites several weeks later. Nonetheless, we were there during a town Christmas celebration which took place at the central plaza with jumpees, sparklers and poppers, food and local artisans selling their wares. It was a lot of fun participating in the festivies with the locals. We visited the cathedrals - there are two side by side - one much older than the other and which was made famous in a Longfellow poem about the town and its church bells, only days before the poet died (another useless fact you may be interested in).
We anchored in Chacala Bay (photos above) and it was so beautiful that we decided to stay there a couple of nights. Only two small issues arose while we were there. The first is that the bay is only about a half-mile inland so the waves roll in when the seas have even a bit of swell. This made getting into and out of the dinghy a bit tricky at times - when there are waves, the boat is up when the dinghy is down, and vice versa. It's a lesson in patience to get the timing just so. The second issue arose as a result of the first: I thought I broke my toe getting into the dinghy on our first day there in order to get to shore. By the time I got to shore, a fisherman had to help me get to a rock where I could put on my shoe, and Michael had to carry me the rest of the way. It turns out that my toe is not broken, but I had a tough time walking for several days.
Next stop: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (20 degrees 44.92 minutes North, 105 degrees 22.83 minutes West), where we made our home base for several weeks. We arrived at the marina by mid-afternoon on December 24 to a fabulous greeting from both old and new friends. It was an incredible feeling seeing the Rebitzer/Arfin family waiting for us on the dock - coming all the way from Palo Alto, CA to visit with us. In addition, we learned that our friends from Gypsy Wind and from Meshach had also arrived that day. We had a happy reunion with them as well.
The first week of January was a bit challenging for us. We all got sick and got stuck on the boat, a very smaaaaaalllll space. After day four, we clearly needed some personal space. Michael took Danielle to shore to run some errands and Harrison and I stayed on the boat. Good decompression time. Took me well into last week week to feel 100% again due to my asthma that seems to crop up after a cold, and is much worse in the humidity. And it wasn't until the second full week of January that I felt well enough even to begin homeschooling again. Now that we have, however, it really feels good to be back in the routine.
In one of my next posts, I'll write about my mother and step-dad's visit, which sadly is coming to an end tomorrow. And we are expecting more visitors this and next month. Given the number of guests needing to make plans, we decided to stay put in the Banderas Bay area until mid to late February - there's a ton to do around here, and several different places to anchor or dock, so we certainly won't be bored. It's actually so wonderful to share our experiences with family and friends, to allow them to experience first hand what we do, how we live, what we see and experience.