Happy New Year to all of you from Mexico! Hope your “Feliz Navidad” was memorable!
Most of the month French Curve was in La Paz, in the Sea of Cortez.  The weather cooled off from the blazing heat, so it felt more like pleasant San Diego.  The boat was at the Cortez Marina which allowed easy access to the city for walking around town, running boat errands etc. 
 
Mornings started with “The Net” on the VHF radio.  Locals & boaters would broadcast the weather, tides, when it was a good time to cross the Sea, etc. Medical emergencies, events, + people answered ?s, for those that called in.  French Curve witnessed the “Northerly Winds” where the cool strong winds from the North would blow down through the Sea of Cortez with knots of 14-20+.
 
Next on the AM agenda was walking down the “moving” floating docks, off to Yoga, at the next Marina over, a great way to start the day.  Coffee at the Cruisers Lounge, was a wonderful way to meet other boaters passing through the area.  As well as many Americans who chose to make La Paz there home most of the year.
 
Some of the Highlights of the Month were:  meeting others to go out dancing with, having Happy Hours together, and kayaking to snorkel with the Whalesharks – a scary but thrilling experience!  Winning a massage gift certificate at a Baja Ha Ha event was very southing, after the one hour walk each way to receive it at another marina down the boardwalk called The Malecon de La Paz.
 
Sunrises and Sunsets both very colorful were a joy to witness.  It inspired more of the like artworks, while Cheryl painted in the cockpit of the boat.  A welcomed break from the usual boat projects in and out.  Some ask what these are:  polishing stainless steel, washing the boat top & bottom, fixing equipment, or replacing parts, polishing wood work, cleaning, cooking, provisioning, oil changes, planning routes/tides etc. etc.  – Always plenty of projects for crew.
 
For a couple of weeks, Cheryl watched over the yacht, while Mark flew back to San Diego to help clients with projects.  Since the property manager assigned to lease the house, had not done so yet, Mark had a place to stay.  Unfortunately this income was planned as the cruising budget, so pray that the perfect couple signs a lease to watch over the beach home in San Diego, Very Soon.
 
Another set of Crew members had been expressing their desires to sail from La Paz to the Mainland Mexico, but they backed out last minute, disappointedly.  Many people have asked to crew on French Curve, who welcomes people that truly want to assist with sailing, the daily boat projects, fishing, and their basic expenses.   It’s a plentiful way to see first-hand what life on the water is like.   Those that are interested can send a yachting resume with available times.
 
It’s wonderful to have another two people / a couple to sail the 47.7 yacht, for overnight passages of longer distances.  The king size stateroom (which also doubles as Mark’s Music Room & Closet) is a comfortable space.  Having crew allows for rest, as the boat sails around the clock, with competent crew on watch.  It works well to do 3 hr. shifts, rotating the daily chores of cooking, serving, dishes, cleaning, sailing, boat projects and catching fresh food.
 
A wife offered up her husband to cross the Sea of Cortez, which is only appx. a 30 hour sail from La Paz to Mazatlán.  Unfortunately she had to stay home and work so she would have some spending money, he confessed.  He requested a vacation on French Curve for 8 days, promising to help with the many boat projects.
 
Shockingly once on board this crew guy did not live up to his words or expenses.  Which brings up – French Curve: is NOT a hotel on the water, nor a restaurant, a free vacation mode of transportation, or a laundry service.  Most crew are thankful for a chance to sail on the lovely Beneteau 47.7 and are willing to cover their costs and more.  Here are details of two very different crew members, we’ve shared time with.
 
Crew #1 brings 10 – 12 bags of groceries to contribute to healthy eating & sharing of good times, the yacht was provisioned abundantly as well.  Crew # 2 showed up with 1 bag of trail mix, & left no pesos towards his eight day’s worth of food & drink.   
 
Crew #1 not only helped with boat projects on French Curve, they also helped many other yachts that needed help in the BaHaHa.  Plus they helped catch fish, clean them & cook many meals.  Crew #2 expected the owners to cook & serve him, plus did not even try to catch fish, or contribute. 
 
Crew #1 leaves not only his fishing line but FM module for IPod plug ins.  Very Gracious !
Crew #1 made sure the bedding, towels etc. used aboard were washed/dried & paid for by them, appreciating that they did not need to fly them back & forth.  Crew #2 left them dirty on the boat, expecting the owners to haul them in to a laundry service, wait for them to be completed, & can you believe – expected French Curve to also pay for his laundry.  Who would you like to sail with?
 
Once French Curve arrived in Mazatlan, it was a quick re-provision of food, search for boat parts, clean up and leave for another port south.  There was a special couple Mark & Debbie, excited to share Christmas, in La Cruz with the owners.  A fast trek down the coast made this possible.
 
Thus began the sail to Stone Island, then a sail through the night of 12 hours, to Isla Isabella.  An Island of exotic birds, fish camps, a crater lake, & waves of volcanic rock.  After a quick rest, next on to a south San Blas anchorage called Mantanchen Bay for another spectacular sunset. 
 
It was an early morning motor sail south, heading around the Pt. for La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, getting in by Sunset.  Seeing whales, their calves, sea snakes, dolphins, and catching a Dorado where the highlights of this two person peaceful cruise.
 
La Cruz near Puerto Vallarta, is truly tropical beauty. There are Mts. all around that are lush & green, with Coconut Palm trees everywhere. Going south is an adjustment into the very hot & humid weather.  The rainy cloudy gray squalls bring a relief of cooler days.  In the Northern section of Banderas Bay is where the town of La Cruz can be found.  Marina Riviera Nayarit is beautiful, allowing easy access to the small town for & yoga in the VIP Lounge.
 
A huge circular body of water, with cities dispersed along the shoreline is the West Coast of Mexico’s largest bay.   Low clouds hanging around the Mts. across the bay are a spectacular sight to watch as the colors vary.  It’s here that a “surprise” wedding ring was discovered on Mark’s finger, (as well as Debbie’s).  Wow – married at 62 for the first time, as he says – “now he’s old enough to settle down”.  A nice Christmas was had by all, at Debbie’s brother’s famous restaurant, called Philos, in La Cruz.  Daily exploration walks & photography are the new highlights on board the Yacht French Curve.  Soon it’s time to be heading South again!
 
Hope everyone is at Peace, full of Love and appreciates their Health.
Enjoy 2014!!  Live Your Dreams and Set More in Motion!
 
Tales of “French Curve”