I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Fool

Or rather a day in the life of a cruiser. This varies from day to day, some being the longest and slowest of my life, and some, well, I will just have to let them speak for themselves.

Today I woke up around 7:30 a.m. to Dad's booming voice over the cruiser's net. I couldn't really complain about it as I went to sleep around 9:30 p.m.. 10 hours of sleep, albeit slightly uncomfortable due to the multiple jejene (blood thirsty demons from hell, also called no-seeums) bites I have, as well as it being rolly due to the fact that we are anchored a few hundred meters from Punta de Mita- a very nice right point break. I can't really complain about either of these afflictions either, because they both mean good things.

The bug bites are from when we stayed in Matanchen, which despite the biting demons was a pretty cool place. It allegedly has the longest wave in the world, but I am sure there is more than one claim to that. I saw a wave breaking at the rivermouth but once I saw what was in the river, I decided against surfing it. Rrivermouths produce good waves because the rivers deposit sand bars on the beach, and they also deposit things like crocodiles, snapping turtles and anything else that swims in mangroves on occasion.

We saw the aforementioned creatures on a jungle tour of el Rio Tovara. With our guide Joel (pron. ho-el), we glided through the mangroves over sheet glass water, stopping to look at interesting birds, snapping turtles sunning themselves on logs, and lots of little crocodiles. Crocodiles like to lay in the sun with their mouths open. Why? I do not know. Not very friendly looking. At one point we were taken to the "crocodile sanctuary" which was flimsy looking cages holding huge, 8 foot long crocodiles. These things were so gnarly looking... one of them looked like the one in the movie Hook. Except this one was alive.

Along with the crocodiles were some warthog looking animals, a few frightened deer (go figure) and a very pissed off looking jaguar. I could have touched this magnificent animal if I loose a finger. It even hissed at me, but it was very tempting.

Ok, out of the jungle and back to the boat. I need to hurry up because burgers are on the grill.
Tough life, I know. It gets better.

Two days ago we pulled into Punta de Mita, the northern point of Bahia Banderas, also home to Puerto Vallarta. It is a kind of a rolly anchorage because it is not very well protected from the swell, but I have learned to sleep hanging on and when I can't sleep because the boat is rocking so much I remind myself that these are the waves I surf.

A friend of the family, Antonio, owns a little surf school called La Escuelita on the beach here. We met up to surf yesterday morning; I was so stoked to have a buddy to surf with, not to mention he knows every wave in a 50km radius, is a local everywhere, and rips. And he is a really nice guy. (Y guapo tambien.)

He took me to surf Litibu, an open, steep beach that had thick, fast, heavy, semi-closed out, shore-breaky waves. Not my favorite, but I got a few waves...and took a few on the head. After that I told him I wanted to surf a nice, easy wave (my reward), so we drove to a beach and hiked down a muddy, jungle ravine (in flip-flops and boardshorts, of course) that opened up onto a beach with perfect little waves peeling across the reef. Quite a contrast in waves, but I was stoked on both. Beers on the beach under a palapa, la comida, a game of Scrabble, and then a dormir.

Today I wanted to surf and watched waves at La Mita (what the locals here call Punta de Mita), and I watched them with binoculars from the boat for an hour. I was hesitant to go because there was nobody out and the waves were breaking over dry rocks. Mom told me she saw people from another boat go over there yesterday to surf so she and I went over and introduced ourselves. We met the guys on the boat: Mattie, a 20 year old Aussie, Tommy, an eight year old boat rat/surf grom, and his dad, Eric. They told me they were going to surf the point in a few hours, and would come by our boat before they did.

Mom and I headed back to Rutea, did cockpit yoga, and then I made chilaquiles for lunch. Just as we finished eating the guys arrived and I hopped in their dinghy with my board, conveniently excusing me from doing dishes. Now I'm stuck doing them tonight.

Punta de Mita. Today: 2-3 feet, fair form, strong off shore winds, 72 degree water, visibility 15-20 feet. Reef covered with moss and the occasional urchin. Best to stay off it, but hard considering the water was about 4 feet deep where we were surfing. Not to mention the dry rocks sticking up everywhere. Good practice for turning. Aside from losing my fin and stretching my leash 1 foot longer than it used to be, good sesh! Fortunately I have a back up.
After surfing Mattie and I had the obligatory post-session cold beer and chips on the boat. Went for a swim in at the beach, said 'saca el churro' to Antonio, and then ate a delicious dinner of hamburgers. Now I have to do the dishes.

This all sounds like a blast, and it is. But its not all fun and games... I promise. I write about the good times because they are more fun to recall and write about than the not-so-good times. And, because nobody wants to hear me complain about feeling insecure about living with my parents, missing my friends, my total independence, feeling lazy and unproductive, etc. I try to keep in mind: the salty makes the sweet all the sweeter.


  1. Umm I cant believe you saw a friggin jaguar....rad

  2. Awesome about the Jag encounter! Glad you met someone ~20 yrs of age. The weather and sights sound amazing. If it's any consolation, no one is really experiencing all fun and just so happen to be venturing around the world nowadays. Miss you a ton! It's nice knowing what you're up to and where in the world Corie Schneider is!

  3. Antonio, Antonio, beach scrabble, jungle climbs, and your parents. If dishes are all you've got to complain about, life is good. Keep living it up, my dear friend! :)