Life On The Hook

Maluhia at anchor in Banderas Bay
Maluhia at anchor in Banderas Bay

After settling into the new year we migrated out of the marina to try living life aboard Maluhia at anchor. We changed addresses and planted the hook in 22 feet of water in the anchorage outside La Cruz with 40 other boats.

The move into our new neighborhood in Banderas Bay was easy. The extent of moving our home these days involves stowing items around the boat that might come crashing to the floor. There is no need to pack and label an unending parade of boxes.

Being away from the dock leaves you with a gratifying feeling of freedom. The cost is just right, free. Plus, getting rocked to sleep every night brings back memories of your childhood. Most of the time this results in the best sleep you’ve ever had.

Other times, mamma rocks too hard. You wake up with the sudden sensation you’re falling out of your bed in the middle of night. Don’t worry. It’s a good time to wake up, poke your head out of the boat and take a look. Double check the anchor, then settle back down into relaxation mode, if possible. This means the wind has died or is shifting, and you’ve now drifted beam onto the long period ocean swells rolling into the anchorage.

Dingy Transfer
Dingy Transfer
Pump up the Jam
Pump up the Jam

Life at anchor is also more challenging because this entails dingy rides to shore to get things accomplished. Things like; grocery shopping, removing your trash, doing laundry, (unless you want to do it in a bucket by hand) and for people that do work online, finding quality Internet connections, (unless you have Telcel and a Wi-Fi amplifier antenna). This also means running the generator to recharge our computers about twice a day.

Marty S/V Happy Dance
Marty S/V Happy Dance
Sue from s/v Happy Dance and John from s/v Valhalla
Sue from s/v Happy Dance and John from s/v Valhalla

Moving also opens doors to meeting new people. After settling in La Cruz, we met Marty and Sue on Happy Dance, and John on Valhalla. We also reconnected with our friends David and Elena on Tigress. Happy Dance, Valhalla (formerly Seaquel), and Tigress completed the 2013 Baja Ha Ha.

Best Gear At Anchor: Our little portable H-2000 has been an amazing addition to the boat thanks to the recommendation by our friend Simon in Ventura. It is very efficient with the ability to run 10 hours on 1 gallon of regular gasoline! It is light enough I can lift it, and so user friendly, I can start it with little effort all on my own.

We bought an adaptor to plug the generator into the boats shore power outlet. This allows us to the use the outlets on our boat as if we were at the dock. We use this opportunity to charge our computers, blend up some green juice, and top off the ships batteries. In the summer we were desperate enough to use it to run our air conditioner.

Pelican Hugs
Pelican Hugs

Banderas Bay is one of the largest bays on the mainland side of Mexico. It is located between two states, and two different time zones. If you’ve ever visited Puerta Vallarta and saw any bit of ocean during your visit, you know how big this bay is. Time anchored in this bay allows us many opportunities for exploration. Towns surrounding the bay such as Punta de Mita, La Cruz, Bucerias, Salulita, Puerto Vallarta, and Yelapa are a short bus ride or sail away.

Perhaps the best thing about living life at anchor in Banderas Bay is the VIP seat Maluhia provides to watch incredible sunsets and observe the oceans largest animals. While dolphins are still my favorite, whales are the most amazing creatures we’ve ever seen up close both while at anchor, and underway on the boat.

God's Canvas
“The majesty of our Father can be seen in His beautiful skies. The canvas that’s ever changing . . . the colors no artist can buy.”  Lareline Miller
Sunset Banderas Bay
“The brilliance of the sun above or the softness of the evening moonlight enhance the colors of the clouds and bring still-life fireworks to the sky.” Lareine Miller
“Take time to marvel at the beauty of God’s skies and enjoy the wonder and splendor of God’s canvas.” Lareine Miller
Beautiful Sky
“The reds, the pinks, the oranges and yellows too, the various shades of purple are colors that streak across the skies of blue.” Lareine Miller

Sunrise in Banderas Bay

Beautiful sunsets never get old.

Nightly fireworks on the beach.
Nightly fireworks on the beach.

Each year Humpback whales migrate to Banderas Bay to have their babies. From late December through the end of March these acrobats of the sea can be observed breaching. This acrobatic routine takes your breath away, and if happens anywhere near the boat, your heart skips a few beats.

The humpback performs many tricks in his routine such as fin slapping, tail slapping, and spy-hopping, but perhaps the most popular move is breaching. The whale dives straight down and then turns around swimming towards the surface at just 18 mph. When the whale hits the surface his body shoots out of the water sometimes exposing his flippers! Imagine the sound of 50 ton whale hitting the water within a few 100 yards of your boat. It is awesome and terrifying all in the same breath!

Life at anchor in Banderas Bay has been very enjoyable minus a few weather annoyances. One fine morning at about 2AM we received a 40 knot burst of wind on the front of the squall line entering the bay from the West. The wind was enough to take us right back to the hurricane, but it was short lived. Despite being jerked around by the swell, and the threat of yet another unattended boat drifting back on us, we didn’t budge.

We watched as a few brave men made herculean efforts to rescue the unattended boat by launching themselves onboard, lifting the anchor, and driving it straight into the marina. The weather was enough to send us and half the anchorage back into the marina for a few days. The threat for more wind was a false alarm. The rain washed the decks for three days, and the sun came back out to play. Soon we left to return to our life at anchor.


  • Great descriptions and you are making me jealous as we are experiencing the second Snow Storm and sub zero temperatures back home. I’m sharing your experiences with my Kirkwood sailing class.

    • Sounds like fun! Glad we can help take your mind off things. Let us know if your class has any questions, that could be used for future topics of blog posts.

  • Sounds like we missed a good blow! Love the pictures and sure do miss you guys. We made to Huatulco and looks like we’ll be here at least a week with the weather perdictions.

  • Your emails are always so fun and these sunsets……. there are no words. Glad your liking being on the hook. A whole different feel isn’t it? Say Hi to John Berg from all at Beacon! continue to just Love Life, looks like you have that pretty well down. Hugs Meta

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