First, the J-24s (a type of racing boat – small, but very sleek and pretty) showed up -- 55 of them! They were lined up along the waterfront, and then dropped, one by one, into the water for transfer to slips from which long-term tenants had been vacated.
Dock B (“our dock”) became more crowded with boats shifted off the newly established “racing central” dock. More neighbors and more people to observe = more fun for us.
Then came the Mexican Navy and Marines. The Marines were armed with fairly intimidating looking machines -- the Navy guys looked a little friendlier. See?
Despite some cynical cruisers (Tom Sheldon?!) suggesting that they were there to protect the national treasure that is the Mexican J-24 fleet -- we actually think the point of all the security was that the President was rumored to be planning an appearance in relation to the races. We never saw him, but we’re sure that if he does show he’ll be well protected. We know we were.
Then the J-24 crews came – from Germany, France, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, the US and places beyond. The Mexican Marines fielded several crews – some including female racers! Some of the J-24s are charter racers, available to crews that can’t or don’t want to transport their own boats to the race site. It was fun to have the energy of racing crews around the docks and in town.
Then came the big boats – those that had just finished the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race. The big boat crews were almost exclusively male and were significantly beefier and more sunburned than the J-24 crews. Like most groups that had just been through a tough haul, they ignored everyone but each other. We didn’t get any good pictures of the big boats – though we admired their expensive sails and sleek hulls.
Convivia Coffee – On Shore: Our former dock-mates from Emeryville, the Bradford family of Convivia, had their boat hauled for a final check at the La Cruz Shipyard before they head off to the South Pacific. While Convivia was up in the air, the four Bradfords lived in a charming little one-bedroom casita on land – which seemed extremely large to all of those of us that live in small sailboats (Convivia is a Cal43)! One afternoon we joined them for some home-roasted coffee. The parental Bradfords are the ultimate in foodie self-sufficiency – they roast their own coffee in their bar-b-que grill! We spent a very nice afternoon enjoying coffee, conversation, and space.
Company / Crew / Wine Arrives: Our friend Bob Romano arrived on the 5th to crew with us on the portion of our northward journey from PV to Mazatlan. And like all truly good visiting crew he came bearing California wine. After months of drinking Chilean, Argentinian and Mexican wine (which is fine – but not Napa or Sierra Foothills!) it was wonderful to join him in a real, honest-to-goodness California Pinot Noir! Oh yeah – and we were glad to see Bob, too. J
Our first outing with Bob was to PV to perform acts of tourism – the requisite trip along the PV Malecon . . . see pictures of Malacon posted previously . . . and dinner out in PV. Once again guided by our new friend Tom Salmon, who joined us (thanks for the introduction Frank and Irene!) we dined at Coco’s Kitchen. If you are in PV, put it on your agenda – it might be even a lovelier place to have breakfast, as it is in a spacious, calming courtyard that calls out for relaxing with morning coffee and conversation. From there Tom introduced us to a fabulous chocolate store that makes the best chili-flavored dark chocolate truffles in the world. And we say that knowing we haven’t yet had all the chili-flavored dark chocolate truffles in the world . . . we’re that sure. Unfortunately we ate them all and lost the bag that they came in, so we’ll have to check in with Tom about how to find this place again when we return next year (more on that soon). So – good company, good food, and dark chocolate – Molly’s idea of the perfect evening.More on our trip northward with Bob in the next blog. Join us as we consume California wine in a variety of beautiful bays!