Thursday, April 15, 2010

MmmMm... Peanut Butter Pasta...

"Ressurect it! Bring it to life, please!?"

Think you know what I'm talking about?

Yup. My cooking. Again.

Background story:

Last night Eric and I sailed into La Cruz from Punta Mita. We had been planning to do the quick 9-mile hop between anchorages for awhile, after Eric had glanced at our propane tank and realized it was just about empty. It would be the end of the WORLD if we woke up one morning and didn't have enough propane to heat water for coffee!

The sail was splendid! A good 15-knot wind was finding it's way into Banderas Bay and we sailed downwind into the anchorage going a steady 5.3 knots with only the main up. I snuggled down on my spinnaker seat and dug into my Wilbur Smith novel (thanks Greg and Deb!) while Eric went between enjoying the sail and then trying to get my nose out of my book. He will be very happy when it's done.

Arriving in La Cruz, it was my turn to make dinner. We didn't have meat so, recalling a vague recipe for Pad Thai from Eric's vegetarian sister, I plopped some peanut butter, vinegar, sugar and other fun things in with some sauteed veggies etc etc... It was not Pad Thai. Not at all.

When we opened up the leftovers this afternoon all Eric could (sarcastically) say was, "MMMmmmMMmm... peanut butter pasta." Another failure in the Galley of Rachael. Really, I'm not a bad cook. I'm just on a losing streak with the pots and pans these days!

It was only a few weeks ago after trying to make a radish salad when Eric sat back and said, "Rach, I'm so glad we're past the stage in our relationship that I have to pretend to like this..." Another one of those "Please ressurect this gross-looking leftover?"

Galley: 2
Rachael: 0

Enough on food though!
We are BACK in Banderas Bay after our adventure down to Zijuat...and back...

Margie and Bob (S/V Noname) and Eric on the trail to Revelsito from Tenecatita... a lovely walk!

Banderas Bay has been FUN for the past few weeks!

Hikes up freshwater rivers, dinner parties and surfing have dominated our lives since we arrived in the cruising mecca of Banderas Bay... Where to start?

Only a few days into being in La Cruz we went hunting for adventures elsewhere. I dragged Eric kicking and screaming into a bus labelled "Puerto Vallarta," and we were dropped off in the tourist hub of "Zona Romantica." Dodging the street vendors and gringo-hungry timeshare representatives I dragged Eric eastwards until we had left the loud, busy streets of the city and were plodding along a dirt road lined on one side with steep hills covered with palms and other exotic flora ad fauna. On the other side, a crystal clear river wound its way from up in the mountains...

We walked for a couple of hours before finding our own swimming hole (they were in high demand)- sandy on the bottom, and lined with river boulders and filled with freshwater. It was wonderful! I had brought soap and shampoo and we spent the afternoon in the river.

Eric trying out the freshwater river... it was an experience neither of us had felt in months and months...

...No salty taste in my mouth, no sharks, no human-eating octopuses and no jelly fish stingers to worry about... I felt right at home! C'monnnn all you swamp donkeys!

No sharks, no jellyfish and no man-eating octopus... I was right at home...!

Eric was lucky enough to have his birthday in La Cruz, and we reserved Ana Bananas on a closed night... and enjoyed the tables to ourselves before heading up to a neat restaurant for dinner. Oh, the cake I made him... that was a galley success. Chocolate marble cake in a pressure cooker.


My lovey pressure cooker cake- for Eric's birthday... my only problem: It was so hot out that the icing melted!

And now we can all tease Eric about grey hair...

Moreso our life has recently been revolving around Punta Mita.

Our life has been measured in how big the surf is, and where it's coming from.

Every morning the VHF booms, "Nanu, Nanu this is Tao..."

And then Eric perches himself on the companionway steps and him and Chris (S/V Tao) have a few minutes' conversation about where the surf will be best and then a rendezvouz time.

Eric originally met Chris on the outside of the Baja over a year ago and Eric was heading north, and Chris and his girlfriend, Shawn, were heading south. It was an exciting reunion when we anchored in Punta Mita and Tao was sitting only a few hundred more feet away from us!

Eric the unstoppable kiteboarding at Tenecatita...

Chris is an avid surfer and his commitment to the waves has been a positive influence on both Eric and I. Mind you, we no longer need influence though, and now crave to be back in Punta Mita.

The two guys (Eric and Chris) have seen me go from a butt-over-tea-kettle surfing wreck to a semi-competent wave-catcher... and THEN butt-over-tea-kettle wreck. But my surfing skills have been honed and are beginnning to work in my favor with all the practice that Punta Mita allows.

With four easily accessed breaks, it's a rare day when we're not out in the water.

Proof that we dreamed about surfing, went surfing and ATE surfing...

Chris's girlfriend came down from working in California last week and when they finally arrived in Punta Mita (after cruising other places in Banderas Bay), we hung out alot.

Shawn is a surfer chick and it was fun to have someone who wasn't quite as "Rawwwwrrrr... me man. There is wave... must catch..." We traded boards for awhile and I got to try my hand at a 9' board and she tried my little 6'.

I think I like my shortboard better.

We joined Shawn and Chris for a night out in La Cruz with more friends of theirs (and Eric's) from S/V Carmela, S/V Estrella and S/V Pisces. It was splendid meeting everyone and we had all kinds of fun conversations at a little local taco joint. I never knew what a "gringa" was until we went there.

Gringa: Oversized flour tortilla with your choice of meat... AND cheese. Marvellous. Ingenious. Quesedilla y taco de carne asada en uno.

What a wonderful night in La Cruz with a younger crew of sailors and explorers...!

Another thing I noticed: I think Eric and I are the only ones who are not fluent in spanish out of that entire group. Time to crack open those spanish books.

Chris was very sad when Shawn left. Waving goodbye to them as they dinghied to shore to catch the bus to the airport gave me watery eyes and I thought about what was happening. I had done the exact same kind of visit a year an a half ago to the exact same place... there's never enough time... come back, Shawn!

We spent that day cleaning the bottom of Nanu. She had begun to host her own little ecosystem of flora and fauna along the waterline right down to her keel. Diving on her, Eric and I came back wide-eyed and horrified... Little fish had made their home in the shade of Nanu and enjoyed the three-inch long algae along her waterline. Barnacles bigger than my fingernail (and 20x as sharp) pocked Nanu from waterline to keel and we used a steel scraper to shove them off. It was an adventure in itself getting rid of the jungle from the underside of our beloved vessel!

These bad boy enchilladas stuffed me in Punta Mita and left me running for a toiletan hour later... 8 enchilladas is just too much...
Lesson learned.

And now...

We're counting down the hours until the sun rises and we can get to the fuel dock to fill a 5-gallon jug (and our water tanks!) at the fuel dock...! We know, sneaky... but much easier than hauling 5-gallon jugs out into the anchorage!

Eric's even done the evil deed of taking out fenders. We haven't even looked at them since San Diego... Hopefully Nanu will know how to dock still!

Anyhow, I'm being a computer hog...

I'll write more later. And make a conscious effort of taking some pictures of us surfing...!

Kudos to Shawn for motivating me to finally get back on the blog wagon. I've been such a slacker... oye...


Jacob said...

First off, I love peanut butter pasta. Second off, Julia and I are definitely not fluent, if you'd like to copy our technique, just speak quickly, mumble a lot, and act overly confident as in 'why don't you understand what I just said to you in perfect Spanish?'

shawn and chris said...

What a wonderful write-up Rachael, now you're way ahead!

My much too short trip was exquisite. It was so fun to be anchored next to Nanu for the Punta de Mita portion and to get several very fun YOUNG sailor couples together!

Thanks also for the reminder to enjoy every moment- no worries, Chris and I will be back on Tao together for more sailing adventures very soon. Maybe Nanu will come out to join?

It looks to me like you're winning in the galley Rachael, keep it up!

Much love to you both,
PS mail is on it's way to Canada