Wednesday, January 18, 2012

La Cruz Retrospective
By Michael

This is the main artery of La Cruz,
calle Langosta. Note the wood
cross in the center of the roundabout.
This cross is made of huanacaxtle,
a type of hardwood. In the
distance, you can see some masts
against the blue water of the bay;
this is the marina.
We left La Cruz de Huanacaxtle on December 27, nearly four months after we moved aboard there, not an insignificant period of time. It is the kind of time that allowed us to become quasi members of the community, recognized and greeted by the people who live there. We bought sundries, we had our laundry done, we sought medical care—all the domestic stuff not associated with tourism or transience.

La Cruz is small, walkable. This accessibility is enhanced by the Mexican culture (and climate) whereby much of life is lived outside, literally on the streets. In the afternoon and evening, doors to homes are wide open and occupants sit outside, in chairs shooting the breeze, watching the world go by. And we become part of that world that goes by, on our way to the market, the bus stop, the paleteria, the lavanderia, or a taco stand (set up in the street). Over a short period of time, greetings became more familiar and we came to learn that the lady who made our tacos is married to the diver we saw on our docks every day preparing to clean boat bottoms. We came to know the names of the dogs we passed. We enjoyed long conversations about Mexican politics and local development with Claudia, owner of a local eatery. We long ago stopped telling the women at the lavanderia our boat name. La Cruz was our first home as a live aboard cruising family and it is well suited to that role.

The modern marina on the banks of La Cruz was both a stark contrast to the town, and a tightly integrated member of the community. And the marina is filled with pleasant, helpful employees and cruisers who arrived long before us and who helped us to transition. The crews of Ballona, Cactus Tree, Happy Nest, Katrina Liani, Kenta Anae, Maluhia, Sababa, Sourdough, and Ulalena were our first neighbors in this new life, and became our first friends. And finally, there was Tami on Andiamo III. She was the resident den mother who somehow found the time and energy in the summer heat to organize a La Cruz Kid’s Club event every other weekday. Her sense of humor and enthusiasm was welcome and always appreciated. She and her family are headed to El Salvador for a season and eventually to the East Coast; we wish them fair winds.
This is the billboard outside the marina advertising its snazzy rooftop restaurant. The
Spanish is nice, it roughly translates to, "Where the seasoning enhances the view!" How
could so much money be spent on a sign without employing a better translator? You see
this all over Mexico, and it makes no sense, given all the English speakers.
While in La Cruz, I had the opportunity to play a minor role helping the crew
of  Nylon Nyon re-step their mast after they lost the top five feet during a sail
in the bay and their subsequent repair. Nyon was one of the many boats that
arrived very late in our stay and added to our La Cruz experience.
In our final weeks in La Cruz, the number of cruising kids grew and grew. This is a gaggle
of giggling girls on the foredeck of Convivia. Frances is among them, in the turquoise shirt.


  1. I love to see all those awesome sailor girls on the boat!

  2. Hey! Good write-up on La Cruz! Hope you guys are having fun up there, we may see you again soon - we're planning on being in La Paz mid-march - signed the NYON crew ;-)

  3. Enjoyed reading/learning about La Cruz. I bet your Spanish is great by now, Miguel. Wind, how are you and the kids doing w Espanol? what a great adventure! love ya, von


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