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Building Boats and Friendships

Family Boatbuilding

Several kids and a couple of grownups got an early start on the Barra de Navidad Cruise-In Week Sunday morning. The kids ranged in age from 1 to 15 and included gringo cruisers and Mexicans. In the Grand Isla resort kids’ club, Sue Adams of the Fountaine Pajot 44 Winston supervised the kids in building their own little sailboats. Hailing from Sausalito, Sue and her husband John and son Hadrian, 16, have been at the marina for two years. Sue works in the kids’ club at the resort. The family had planned a circumnavigation, but COVID intervened, and her Canadian parents live in the town across the lagoon, Barra de Navidad.

Building seed pod boats
Bella Wisniewski, 15, of the Fountaine Pajot Venezia 42 Bella Luna, helps Rowan, 4, of the 1976 Fuji 32 ketch Monsoon, finish his boat. Sue Adams (left), works on her own boat and coaches the kids.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

For the boat hulls, Sue spent a week collecting seed pods from the coconut trees on the grounds. The boatbuilders decorate them with paint, tape and glitter glue, attach masts and rigging, and cut sails from colorful swatches of cloth.

Luna with finished boat
Luna’s finished boat. We think the outriggers are a brilliant idea. Luna, 10, is Bella’s sister.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We’ll find out how well the boats sail this morning at the Flamingo Mini-Regatta.

Fiesta de Veleros Kickoff

The group gathered for a kickoff party on Sunday evening on one of the hotel’s verandas. Cruisers met one another, reconnected with old friends, enjoyed bebidas and sushi, picked up swag bags, bought hats and T-shirts, and learned of the extensive plans for the week.

Group of cruisers
¡Hola! from the cruisers of Fiesta de Veleros Barra de Navidad.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

More to Come This Week

The main event, the Pink Flamingo FUNd Regatta, will set sail on Friday, with ‘betting’ by spectators on the beach. Additional activities this week include cruises for passengers, races for paddleboards and kayaks, and a movie night. It’s all to raise funds to help with infrastructure at Barra’s schools.

The view of the marina
A view of the marina from the hotel. The afternoon breeze has come up, and a cloud cover has cooled the tropical heat.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Technology willing, we’ll have more posts from Barra this week. The town lies just up the coast a bit from Manzanillo. The marina is the first you come to sailing south out of Puerto Vallarta, which is about a four-hour drive away by land.

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