Hurricanes in Paradise
Trip Start Dec 01, 2010
35Trip End Ongoing
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We've been here 3 days and we are already tracking the first hurricane! We are currently located about a 1/4" from the nasty critter in that small notch just above it. Not yet named, and currently predicted to hit land south of us... that bad boy is nevertheless a potential threat. Note the date at the top of this screen shot photo: this rendering is a forecast prediction... could be a complete fabrication. This forecast is available from passageweather.com
There are pros and cons to weathering the summer in La Cruz as opposed to the other 2 marina's in Banderas Bay and it's been interesting interviewing for popular opinions. And trust me, everyone has one. The difficulty is getting info where there has not really ever been a history of hurricane landings in Banderas Bay.
There are two gigantic mountain ranges that protect the bay; the Sierra de Vallejo mountains that extend to the northern point (Punta Mita) and the Sierra del Cuale mountain range that ends at the Southern cape (Cabo Corrientes). These mountains have been doing a rather nice job of keeping hurricanes out, in fact, there has never been a recorded hurricane landing directly in the Bay. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees from Mama Nature and she has inflicted her share of storm surge and high winds in this slice of heaven. But we think the odds are good that we will survive bad weather, and our insurance company seems to have the same opinion.
There are three marinas to choose from here... the one we are currently in; La Cruz, one in Nuevo Vallarta called Paradise Village Resort and the one in downtown Puerto Vallarta called the City Marina. Each has it's merits, but the decision comes down to where do we think we will be the safest. No hurricane history makes it difficult to sort out, and everyone we talk to likes where they are and believes it is the safest place. We found that to be true all over Mexico, where ever cruisers are, that's the best place.
We are leaning towards staying here. It's beautiful, we could windsurf here, the rent is cheap, the town village is charming and there is a huge fish market on the quay every Saturday. We love it, but is there a better choice as a "hurricane hole" at the other marinas? Paradise Village is a resort, through and through. It has 4 or 5 pools, hotels, room service to the boat, a mall, a zoo, and sits in an estuary. An estuary makes a great place to sit out a hurricane because there are tributaries that can take all the extra water and wind. But there are mosquitos in estuaries and it's hotter. And it's a resort compound, controlled, read the dogs may not be as welcome as they are in La Cruz. There is another choice right next to Paradise called Nuevo Vallarta Marina, but it was wiped out in 2002 by Kenna's storm surge. I think it's been recently rebuilt, but we have better choices so we haven't considered this marina.
Our third choice is The City Marina downtown. It's the oldest of the three and probably has the best protection. It's located right downtown Puerta Vallarta, close to everything and protected on all sides by high rise condos and hotels. But it is a roaster. If we weren't staying on the boat, and the price were closer to the other bargain summer rates, I would cast my vote here.
Feel free to vote for the marina of your choice in the comment section... we'd love to hear your opinions!
Keep those cards and letter's coming! The only thing wrong with this place is you're not here! We miss you!