Hasta Luego, La Cruz

Posted:  June 30, 2023
👁 2531   9

Life in La Cruz

The Huanacaxtle Cross

The morning light had come all too soon – didn’t we just crawl into bed a few hours ago? It was 9:00 am, and our days of waking up with the sun were seemingly behind us as we settled into our “routine” in La Cruz which consisted of hanging out all day and all night with our friends from SV Sitka and SV Lusty, and subsequently getting “Lustied” – if you know, you know. With the long fun nights came the crucial recovery days filled with hydration, good food, some productivity and above all else: solidarity with our pals and the understanding that the revolving door wouldn’t stop so soon. It was Samano Santo afterall. 

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the week leading up to Easter Sunday and since Mexico holds a large stake in catholicism it is a pretty big deal. This enormous holiday includes some unique traditions such as: acts of physical torture, public displays of political or social ridicule, or displays of resolutions however I was particularly intrigued by the “burning of Judas” which is exactly what it sounds like. Max described it as follows: “they make a Judas and burn his ass to the ground while I yell F*** YOU JUDAS from the Green Tomato. It’s a good time” After they burn the Judas that hangs from a Huanacaxtle tree in the town square, they shoot off fireworks and the party continues well into the next day. It sounded like a fun opportunity… which is why I was so gutted that we would likely be missing it. 

The Judas Burning tradition originated in Spain, but when the Spanish burned people at the stake for heresy during the Holy Inquisition, Mexicans protested by making Spanish inquisitors into dolls and burning them instead. This carried into a new tradition where now, Mexicans will make Judas dolls and dress them up as unpopular political and public figures. These dolls are then hung up and destroyed with fireworks.

Our days in La Cruz were numbered (or, so we thought) so we did our best to fill our time left with memories made alongside our new favorite people – but first we had to move back to “hells anchorage” because the cheat code anchorage was being evicted by the port captain due to the holiday. *Sigh* how I would miss the less-rolly nights! 

hells anchorage during a calm moment featuring Sitka

Pool Party

The height of the cruising season was coming to a poetic end in La Cruz as more sailors embarked on their sail across the sea to French Polynesia, while others tucked into a marina or boatyard for the summer. We were amongst the last sailors standing (or anchored?) in the anchorage and after spending two months in the area we were finally ready to begin our sail into the sea. However, our friends wouldn’t let us leave that easily and had one more day jam packed full of fun in store for us. 

Since the red tide in Banderas Bay pretty much nixed any ideas of a proper beach party, Karen organized a pool party to soothe our longing for clean water to swim in. We started off the morning with Jugo Verde from Cafe Shul’el in town then loaded up the taxi van with the crews of SV Sitka, SV Eyoni, SV Double Deuce and of course our ring leaders SV Lusty. After a 20 minute drive into the hills of Bucerias we arrived and had the entire Terazza La Negra to ourselves. 

Please, send this man sunscreen. and aloe.

We swam, played cornhole, listened to music and soaked up the moments with our sweet friends while Jay soaked up the sun and animorphed into a lobster. He does not believe in mass produced sunscreens so please, if you are an organic sunscreen maker or representative, sponsor SV Sitka and save Jay from himself. 

The Double Deuce kids had fun playing with Chris; Johnny tried to dethrone him from the floaty chair he sat in. It was like watching Chris play with our nephews who have a similar affinity for being launched across the pool. “He’s so good with kids” Amy said as she watched Chris catapult her son. Giggles were heard as soon as Johnny resurfaced and came back for more. Someday we will have our own little ones, but for now we are very happy with our Cleocat (who hates small children) and borrowing other peoples kids.  

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It was a long day in the sun, but our day was far from over. Back in La Cruz we changed clothes and hit the town carnival starting with the precarious “Mexican Wheel” which we had watched be assembled over the span of two days by some very interesting characters. Up, up, up we went as the glow of the carnival filled the dark streets. From the top of the wheel we could see the lights in the anchorage, which helped distract from the various squeaks, creaks, and other unconvincing noises coming from the ride. Chris and I looked back at our friends, Jay, Kenna, Max and Karen, who shared the capsule behind us and knew that this “see you later” was going to hurt. Bad. 

The rest of the night was spent playing ridiculous carnival games that you would truly only find in Mexico, eating street food and trying to make the moments last as long as they could. “We should get going” Chris said as he took my arm and led me back towards the marina where our dinghy, Winglet, was waiting besides Lusty. Besides the outboard, it was a quiet ride back to Avocet.

Our people

Hasta Luego, Amigos

The La Cruz Inn has a pretty decent breakfast as far as I’m concerned, and was a good place to share our final meal with our friends before departing into the unknown. Although we are usually a talkative bunch sharing sarcastic remarks and stories with each other there was a silent sadness looming over us as we sipped coffee and enjoyed our meals. When the check came we lingered a little longer, anticipating our final hug outside before we returned to Avocet and set sail.

Mi Familia

The anchorage shrank the further we got before disappearing from sight entirely. I could no longer make out Sitka’s spruce masts bobbing along in the rolly anchorage. We were finally north bound. “I miss them” I said as the sun dipped lower in the sky. My eyes began to well up with tears as I tried my best to conceal them. Chris was across from me in the cockpit, and didn’t need to ask “who” to know the “them” I was referring to. “I know you do.”

The hardest part of cruising is meeting the coolest people then sailing separate ways – it is especially hard when you are the one leaving while everyone else sticks around to continue the party. I was sad to be leaving before I could see Judas burn, Kenna’s parents fly in and surprise her (a secret we kept for weeks), Max’s birthday and more… “We will see them again soon”  Chris said, with his arms around my shoulders. If only we knew how soon it would truly be.

Our course was set for Isla Isabel and we were excited to finally get a taste of the sea but first we had a two and a half day passage ahead of us, and settling back into our routine of moving would definitely be an adjustment. This blog post may seem a little shorter than the others – which some may rejoice over while others may be disappointed about – but I promise you will have much more to read soon. Truth be told I stopped taking notes (that I utilize to write blogs) in La Cruz about a week or so into our stay because I was so settled into our homeport away from homeport. There are also a lot of memories that go unwritten for one reason or another, and most of all the days just blended together by the “end”. By now you may have noticed how I keep alluding to the fact that our time in La Cruz was far from over… but everything will make sense in the next blog post. Stay tuned!

Fair winds,

Marissa (and Chris and Cleo)


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