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Ten Days in Yelapa, Our Shower Iguana, and a Bigger Airship

A lot has happened since I last posted (in May!) We lead the first flotilla from the San Juan Islands to Juneau, Alaska, then met our next flotilla in Port McNeill and headed down the west side of Vancouver Island, then made one full flotilla circle around Vancouver Island starting in Roche Harbor and ending in Victoria, BC.  We had a blast, and we have five more flotillas planned for the summer of 2019.

Toward the end of our last flotilla (while on the outside of Vancouver Island), we learned of a Nordic Tug 42 for sale out of Sidney, BC. Photos looked good, specs sounded good, and to make a long story short, we sold smaller Airship (our Nordic Tug 34) and have now moved up to a 42! If you want more details and photos, here they are.

We sold the airplane before we left for Alaska, and we’ll be selling the Airstream any day now (2010 27’FB International CCD with a ton of upgrades — let us know if you’re interested…it’s not listed yet but will be soon). So we’re putting all our eggs into the boat basket, since it has proven to be the vessel of choice these days. We spent over 900 nights aboard Airship/34 in the four years we had her, and I know we’ll keep up the trend on the new Airship, so why not streamline?

But right now, we’re back in Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico, enjoying the sun and sea (and tequila). Our friends Tiffani and Deke met us in Puerto Vallarta about a week ago and we water taxi’d to Yelapa where they spent a week with us (left yesterday, sad face). We’ll spend four more days before heading back to Portland and then up to the boat to help with upgrade projects that are happening now!

For Thanksgiving, we had the cooks from a local cafe (Cafe Eclipse) come to our casa and cook dinner for us: homemade guacamole and salsa, margaritas, carne asada, grilled fish, veggies, homemade tortillas, and coconut and chocolate pie from the Yelapa pie lady. It was delicious, and we even watched two humpbacks breaching out in the bay right from the dinner table. Pretty great!

Here are some photos from the past week:

Leaving Puerto Vallarta by water taxi
The view from Casa Pericos

After getting settled, we headed into town to grab dinner at one of our favorite eateries–Taqueria Los Abuelos. Tiffani and I had tacos (very good), and Kevin and Deke both ordered the special, which was a Chile Relleno con Camarones. It was extra delicious, and I wish it was on their permanent menu!

Sunset from Casa Pericos, first night in Yelapa
Path through town as it crosses the river
Local signage

We picked up a few things at the market for breakfasts and snacks (eggs, chorizo, stuff to make salsa, coffee, tortillas and chips), as well as a bottle of the locally made raicilla to try (which comes in this fancy bottle):

Raicilla is made from the agave plant, but is less of a mezcal or tequila, and more of a local “moonshine” specific to this area of Jalisco. Until recently, buying it here from the locals is the only way to get it, but there is now one distiller, La Venenosa, that has started to market a legal brand of raicilla. It got an interesting flavor and some definite similarities to mezcal, but it’s for sure its own thing (and there’s no way we’ll be able to really even dent this bottle we bought, so we’ll find someone to pass it on to before we leave).

Tuesday was the first of our two charter outings with Garcia Charters.
We trolled for about five minutes before we caught our first fish (a bonito). Today brought in 3 bonito, and about 30 skipjack. (We kept one skipjack that Juan Carlos made ceviche with, and threw the rest back.)
The lighthouse at the southernmost tip of Banderas Bay.
Back at Casa Pericos, we learned that we had a shower iguana (he’s still here).

The next day we thought we’d wander over to La Playa (the more touristy area of Yelapa). The moon is nearly full so the tides have been high, which means shoes off to wade across this area to the beach.

Heading to La Playa
We sat at a table and had some lunch, while this big iguana came a little too close to Tiffani’s shoes
Back at Casa Pericos, Tiffani and Deke heading out for a paddle (photo taken from our room).


We went out again with Garcia Charters on Friday after Thanksgiving: fishing first, then a stop out at Islas Marietas
Geared up and ready to swim through the sea cave/tunnel into “Playa del Amor” — a white sand beach inside a crater! Tiffani and Deke on the left, and one of our charter guides, Jonas, on the right.

This is such a cool thing to do from Yelapa (or Puerto Vallarta). Next time we may spend the first part of our charter snorkeling at the islands instead of fishing, since there’s much to see out here, but today we just had a quick swim into the crater with a great view of the local blue-footed boobies. (Two of them were positioned right at the sea cave opening, showing off their bright blue feet, just like Disney would have designed if this was a ride!) If you want to get a good overview of what this place looks like, check out this image search result.

Late morning view from Casa Pericos

On Saturday, we headed back over to La Playa and the far side of town. Deke decided that since Tiffani had never parasailed, today was going to be her day.

Making our way through town. We rarely get lost now after a few days navigating the winding cobblestone paths.
Looking down into the village/bay from the path above town
Local foliage

When we arrived at the spot to cross the river, it was WAY higher than it was the previous time, so we walked further on the path up river and crossed at the bridge.

Looking up river, taken from the bridge
The bridge across the river
Love this cool structure
Wood slat details
Kevin, Deke, and Tiffani

We arrived at La Playa and found the parasail guy, who he quickly got Tiffani ready, called the boat, and made it all happen!

Getting instructions for take off
There she is, flying over Yelapa
Coming in for a landing

Tiffani said she was super scared at the beginning, but that after she relaxed into a little bit that it was really fun and the view was amazing.

We had such a nice time with Tiffani and Deke, and we’re enjoying the last few days here just relaxing and cooking and watching the sea life from our balcony–the other day we watched a manta ray jumping out of the water over and over again just out near the rocks in front.