We went on a sailing trip to celebrate the new marriage of our daughter and son-in-law. It was a great way to spend a day on the water....and one we are very glad we did. We learned of the attraction from a vendor on the beach (Sal "Chava" Ruiz); this is the vendor we've purchased all our excursions from and think he's great. Ask on the beach and the vendors will send him over.
Phil was the captain of our boat, the Brier Patch, which is a 60 foot sailboat. You can either sit right on the deck or go under cover near the steering wheel to get out of the sun. We chose the sun and loved it. Phil allowed anyone who wanted to try steering the boat to try it. He was knowledgeable about the area and provided a lot of interesting commentary on Puerto Vallarta. Phil is from the U.S. so we had no language barrier at all. We also had a cook/barmaid and a sailing assistant on board. (Sorry, but my sailing lingo is limited!)
In any event, we chose the four hour tour which took more like five hours. It was SO relaxing. We first went past Nuevo Vallarta; we came around and then sailed down past the Malecon, turned again and came back to the marina. We were fortunate to see a couple whales, porpoises, turtles, schools of rays and jelly fish. My suggestion is that if you want to specifically see whales, go on a whale boat that specializes in whales. On a sailboat, you can't sail over to where they are as quickly as in a motorized boat. Still, we were fortunate to see whales not too far off.
The crew served beer on board as part of the all-inclusive plan. We don't drink liquor so I don't know if that was an option. The cook inquired when we wanted our lunch and when she served it it was a delicous meal including garlic shrimp with dip, a vegetable salad with fantastic dressing, cheesy bread with some kind of bean mix on it, and be sure you try the Avacado Pie! The food was just great.
If you get queasy at all, take a half tab of less-drowsy Dramamine. This was not important for sailing because we had fairly calm seas, but when I went below to the restroom I got off balance just a bit. The rest of us had no problem whatsoever.
At the end of the trip Phil will ask for your email address. He and his crew take photos on board and will send them to you free of charge. I think we got 30 plus shots from him.
The Brier Patch is a beautiful boat, and it has a great crew. I'd recommend you give this a try!
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