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Sunrises, Missing Dinks and Snakes

Sunrise may come early, but it’s the best time of day to snap shots like this.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There have been killer sunrises all week along the Riviera Nayarit. The one above, taken two days ago at Punta Mita, features one of the then-20 anchored boats, and the remnants of a fine right-hander wave. Thanks to several spots in the Punta Mita area that feature mostly long but mellow waves — the Mexican Malibu, Stinkys, etc — it has become a SUP mecca. Even the great Gerry Lopez comes down a couple of times a year to give SUP/yoga seminars. Based on Gerry’s stellar reputation, he probably has his students doing yoga while SUP-ing. Anyway, it continues to be a warm winter in this part of Mexico, with the air temps in the mid-80s and the ocean in the high 70s. If you think it’s fabulous, it sure as tooting is.

But there was a bummer the other night at the crowded La Cruz anchorage of Banderas Bay, as a dinghy and outboard were stolen from Flying Dragon, a junk (the type of boat, not its condition). The dink’s painter had clearly been cut. It’s our understanding that the inflatable was later found drifting in the middle of the bay, minus the outboard, and towed back to port. It’s unclear if the outboard had been nicked by locals or by a cruiser. As disturbing as the latter might sound, cruisers stealing dinghies or outboards isn’t as rare as it should be.

Mike Danielson of PV Sailing also told us that the big J/160 Blue had her dinghy stolen while anchored at Punta Mita in October. The fact was brought to the attention of local fishermen, and two days later it was returned. Apparently it had been stolen by a fisherman from Cabo Corrientes 25 miles across the bay. But the Punta Mita fishermen, not wanting a bad reputation for their area, applied pressure, and it was returned. It goes to prove once again, that dinghies and outboards aren’t stolen without other members of the local community knowing about it.

As previously stated, Latitude recommends chaining your dinghy/outboard to your boat — no matter if the dinghy/outboard is kept in the water or hauled out of the water — with reasonably thick stainless steel chain. It’s not only hard to cut the chain, but the stuff is noisy as all get out. You wouldn’t leave your car unlocked in the States, would you? So ‘lock’ your dinghy.

It’s confirmed: This snake is definitely . . . a snake.

© 2013 Keith Albrecht

On Wednesday, we ran this photo of the snake that bit Keith Albrecht of the Alamitos Bay-based Columbia 36 Ojo Rojo. We got lots of response from asking readers to identify the snake. The unanimous opinion is that it was either a false water cobra, a rat snake, a grey rat snake, a little boa, an articulated boa, a gopher snake, an articulated gopher snake, a spotted leaf-nose, a Mexican hooknose, a copperhead, a diamondback water snake (which lives on fish and amphibians), a juvenile coachwhip, or a lyre snake. Indeed, Jason Hood, President of the Chicago Herpetological Society in subzero Chicago says the snake "appears to be either a Trimorphodon or a Leptodeira, more than likely a Trimorphodon from what can be seen in the photo. Both are harmless snakes that are lizard and frog eaters."

Robert Schaper’s brother, who is a vet and snake hunter, also identifies it as a Trimorphodon biscutatus lyrophanes, which we believe is casually referred to as a lyre snake. "I saw a lyre snake that was caught in a dock box in Puerto Vallarta last year," writes  Mike McCue of Sweet Reality in Nuevo Vallarta, "I don’t believe the bite is fatal in adults, but they do give a nasty surprise. They come on board chasing geckos."

For the record, Keith is indeed still alive and happily cruising with his wife Terry.

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If you’re planning to attend the first weekend of the Seattle Boat Show, which starts today and runs through February 3 at CenturyLink Field and South Lake Union, be sure you don’t miss the seminars by our very own ‘Banjo Andy’ Turpin tomorrow and Sunday.