By Chris Foster. Tuesday – 3/6/19
Just woke up from a little nap down in my cabin and came outside. Flat seas and no more wind. It’s almost summer! Thank God.
We are about 20 miles south of the entrance to Mag Bay headed for a quick stop in Cabo for fuel, some lunch and then on to The Tres Maria Islands for a bit of fishing before heading on to Puerto Vallarta (PV). The journey down the rest of the peninsula should take about 19 hours putting us in Cabo early tomorrow morning.
After dinner we settle in for the upcoming overnight watches, Alex to 10PM, Roger to midnight, me until 2, Ted to 4 and Tebe to dawn.
Actually, what we are watching is not really outside, as you cannot really see anything on a dark night; rather we are watching the instruments: The chart plotter to make sure we are on course and not ready to run into an island or reef, radar for other boats/ships, the Flir screen for a shot over the bow with a nighttime camera, and the electronic engine monitors.
We reached Cabo San Lucas early on Wednesday Morning and pulled directly into the fuel dock.
After fueling and a quick breakfast on the Malecon we headed back out, but stopped for a jump in the ocean out near the arch.
The ocean was flat calm for the rest of the day as we passed pods of dolphin and turtles lazing in the sun on top of the perfectly clear water.
Tres Marias Islands – Thursday
We arrived just after dawn. When I got upstairs Alex was already putting out the lines. The islands were about 6 miles off the bow.
These islands lay about 90 miles northwest of Puerto Vallarta.
In reality we know we are technically not supposed to be within 12 miles of the islands, however the government tends to turn a blind eye to the sport fishers offshore so long as they don’t get too awfully close and don’t anchor. The latest reports are that the the prison is to be closed and converted to a cultural centre.
Today’s bite was to be epic. The action was centered just off of the west side of the very island housing the prison. Alex spotted a bunch of spinner dolphin and fish boiling on a school of bait underneath. Birds crashed the surface all around them. We approached from the side and were hooked up almost immediately. I was closest to the rods and line was being stripped off of the reel on the port quarter.
It didn’t take long to bring in a beautiful 30- 35 pound yellowfin. We quickly removed the hook and put it in the cooler and approached the school again. This time 3 rods started screaming at the same time. One fish came unpinned but Tebe and Roger soon had a couple more in the box.
As we approached the school again four rods went off all at once this time and pandemonium soon ensued as everyone grabbed a rod and began reeling as fast as possible while I kept the boat headed toward the swells.
With those fish on deck Alex and I decided to take to the bow with a couple of casting rods outfitted with poppers while the other guys worked to clear the cockpit and get the fish filleted since the cooler was overflowing by this time.
Alex fist cast his line into the middle of the school and we both watched in wonder as fish pounced on it but without a hookup. I cast mine in while Alex was getting reset. The hungry fish were once again on it as soon as I started reeling the popper back in. It seemed like that after the initial pounce the fish lost interest in the poppers until recast.
It was only a few minutes of this before Alex was reeling in yet another nice fish and headed back to the cockpit with his rod. I got another on in a minute or two but lost it on the way back along the rail.
The Big One. Within 90 minutes we had all of the fish that we could use so we abandoned this school, however Alex wasn’t satisfied. He wanted a big one, so out came the kite.
We brought it up to the top deck where Ted was charged with one rod connected directly to the kite and Tebe handled another attached to the main line with a clip designed to release when a fish got on. Alex tied on a jig resembling a flying fish.
As Ted let the kit out further behind the boat and a coupleof hundred feet in the air, Tebe played the jig so that it would skip along thesurface spending equal time in the air and on the water.
Alex soon spotted another school of dolphin and fish boiling up to the surface about 1/4 mile to the south. As we approached Alex yelled back, “get ready”.
Tebe expertly dropped the jig into the water and pulled it up and down a few times. As soon as we hit the school we watched in absolute thrill as a large tuna pretty much jumped all of the way out of the water and grabbed the jig. There were screams all around, but none quite so loud as Alex’s commanding Tebe to, “Reel in as fast as you can!.”
We all waited breathlessly as Tebe pulled the slack out of the line before the big fish began to take line the other direction and the clicker screamed in response.
After fighting the fish for a few minutes, Tebe handed the rod down to us on the deck below and ran back downstairs to get back on it as we strapped a rod belt around him.
The fight was in full swing now. Every time Tebe got some line in the powerful fish would take it back. About 15 minutes later we could tell that the fish was losing momentum as it began to move in circles around the back of the boat. At that point it seemed that Tebe and the fish were at a stalemate with the fish hardly moving below the surface and Tebe unable to get any line in. Finally, Tebe began to regain some line and we could see the fish below with everyone calling, “I can see color,” as we opened the tuna doors at the back of the cockpit.
Alex ordered me to get another gaff ready. “I’ll gaff it first and then you get anotherin it as soon as you can.”
Soon we had the fish aboard which we all avoided as it flopped violently on the deck with the hook sticking out of its mouth. Alex finally subdued the creature and got the hook out as I went back upstairs to point the boat back toward Puerto Vallarta, leaving the guys to clean up, fillet the fish and get the precious meat into the freezers.
Of course, there was some vociferous complaining as I headed the boat away from the action leaving a lot more fish behind, however we had plenty to eat in the cooler and we had a long way to go before arrival in PV.
About 30 minutes after we passed the southernmost island we pulled in the lines, stopped the boat and once again all went for a swim in the open blue water. Geez, what a morning it had been!
Back On Shore. The cruise in was smooth and uneventful. We got into Banderas Bay about 10 miles outside the marina close to sunset.
When we pulled into Riviera Nayarit Marina it was pretty dark. Alex radioed the office and as luck would have it, our favorite slip was available. We have been visiting the marina for at least 5 years and like to stay near the gate closest to town. 2 years ago, Alex spent 3 months on Coastal Estate in the same slip as Ted’s old boat, Acacia, had years before when I first visited PV.
The sleepy village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle just outside the marina gates hosts restaurants and bars of all sorts; relatively upscale to the most basic. We didn’t need to venture out that night however, instead enjoying more fresh sashimi and cold wine on the California Deck reminiscing about the day.
There are 3 marinas in the PV area, starting with Riviera Nayarit on the far north-west end of the big bay out toward Punta Mita and the upscale hotels there such as the Four Seasons. Closer to town is Nuevo Vallarta and the various small marinas within that small breakwater area at the end of a mangrove river. Finally the downtown marina is located in yet another enclosed waterway.
The small village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is laced with cobble streets laid out in grid fashion. The main street ends right at the marina with a town park immediately just up the small hill running down from the main highway into PV. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights are celebrated with music offered at many venues until late at night. The mornings are my favorite though when you can wander around the quiet dusty streets sampling traditional Mexican breakfasts at numerous small street cafes.
Bucerias, about 1 ½ miles to the east toward PV is a little bit larger town and sports more places to eat and dance the night away. The mornings belong to street venders and the Mexican market. Tebe and I rode our bikes through both towns Friday morning stopping for breakfast in Bucerias.
Heading the other direction from Nayarit the highway slims down to a two-lane road which runs through a rain forest and eventually up to Punta Mita, a very swank little town area with plenty of upscale places to dine. Roger and I rode the bikes up that direction late in the day twisting through the hills lining the beach on the point.
The End For Now. Saturday morning brought us to the last day of this part of the Embajador Adventure and the weather did not disappoint, tempting us to stay under the clear blue skies and swaying palms. However by 2 PM we all departed for the airport leaving Alex to tend to and ready the boat for our return in about 10 days.
We hope that you will continue to follow our adventures at: EmbajadorAdventure.com. and that you will support our sponsors at Black River Caviar (www.BlackRiverCaviar.com) whose fine caviar makes any adventure or event extraordinary.
Bye for now,
Chris, Ted, Roger, Tebe and our captain, Alex.
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