Bridgie's Babble - Sept. 2008
Click to enlarge images
Believe it or not, this is going to be a brief babble. It's taken me all
about the place.

Yelapa is a secluded cove 15 miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta  
in Banderas Bay. Until recently it was only accessible by boat. We
understand that there is now road access but we haven't verified it
because, honestly, who would want to go there?
Now, maybe it was the time of year or a reflection of the recent
local economy that left us so very disappointed in the place. But I'm
getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.
John had vacationed in Yelapa  with his family while in high school.
He had great memories of a remote and untouched paradise; the
tropical vegetation, monkeys swinging from the trees, swimming
with  manta rays that had 12' wing spans in 100'+ water  visibility.
Granted, that was a few years ago and things change.
With the winds blowing in our favor we decided to make a trip
across the bay and spend a few days in paradise. We had a great sail
in the company of Tim and Paula of s/v Hooligan. We had been
advised that mooring balls had been installed in Yelapa and that
anchoring was no longer an option. That was OK because from what
we had heard the anchorage was very deep and rocky until you were
on the beach. Along the way we did see many giant manta rays and
a couple of whales so it looked promising.
The Hooligans arrived at the anchorage first and were greeted by
men in various pangas. They were hustling for the business of
renting out their specific mooring balls. The prices started off at
$30.00 a night but quickly a bidding war ensued between the owners
of the balls. Tim and Paula chose a ball and negotiated a price of
$20.00. Then they radioed us and advised of the "deal" they'd made.
Now it was our turn. We were approached and hustled in the same
way. We selected a ball, negotiated a price of $15.00, and paid the
"owner" after he assisted in getting us set on the mooring. Less than
1/2 hour later we were approached by a man in a different panga
who came to collect his fee for using his mooring ball. This was
quite confusing! He claimed that we had paid the wrong guy...this
was his ball and the other had no right to sell us a night on it.
Hum....well, I just told him to go collect his money from the "crook"
and sent him on his way.  We had no intentions of  moving or
paying again.
By now it's afternoon and quite warm. A glance at the water was
enough to assure us we were not going swimming in it. It was filthy!
Not only was it murky looking, there was a constant scum on the
surface and lots of trash floating around. We thought  perhaps the
debris would move on an outgoing tide would  and make things
better over time, so we waited and waited and waited.... Meanwhile,
night starts to fall and there's a stench that could be compared to  
raw sewerage wafting over the anchorage. It gets worse and worse.
Finally, Tim and Paula advise us that they can no longer stand it.  
Just after 10:00 PM they raise the anchor and head across the bay
and back into "fresher" air. John and I stayed the night but were out
of there at daybreak.
Needless to say,  the progress that occurred in Yelapa over the last
30 years  left us very disappointed. We won't be going back any
time soon.
Yelapa does have a tropical look from a distance
Looking off the stern of our boat you can be
sure there was NO WAY we were going
which mooring balls? Check out water quality!