Overnight, we cruised on south to beautiful Puerto Vallarta. Another gorgeous day greeted us and we were up early for a light breakfast. This is where we decided to do our whale-watching tour. There is a pier here but it was a tight squeeze in for our 96-ton ship; the Captain had to come in sort of sideways but the crew managed the maneuver and we were docked by 8 o’clock.
Puerto Vallarta is much more modern than we envisioned; elegant hotels and glass towers housing condo dwellers line the beaches. Our view from the port-side of the ship was a Sam's Club and yes, Wal-Mart. Visitors are drawn here by the aquamarine waters, fishing, snorkeling, parasailing, and of course, shopping. We learned everything name branded is very expensive; the bargains to be found are with the local artisans who sell beautifully hand-crafted items at reasonable prices. Shopping is not our thing, so we opted for whale watching.
I was a little reluctant when I saw the sail boat we were taking, a 68-foot craft with a crew of five. The boat would take us out on Banderas Bay, one of the Pacific Ocean’s largest natural bays. Here the whales come for the warm waters and give birth to their young. The boat rocked and rolled sufficiently to send me packing to the center for some stability. Joe is an old sailor so he stayed up front. The crew served drinks, breakfast snacks, and a light lunch.
We saw several whales, a few males, and several females and their babies. At this time of year, the Mom’s job is to take care of the baby; they would float along in the water together but there was no tail-splashing, or jumping out of the water. Our guide told us they don’t splash their tails because they are being gentle with the baby and they don’t jump out of the water until they are ready to train the baby to jump. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a true sense of how fantastic these marine mammals are. In addition to the numerous whales, Joe spotted a sea turtle. After lunch, it was time to head back to the ship.
Cruising is not an ideal way to do an in-depth exploration of an area and we definitely didn’t have enough time to do much sightseeing here but we felt we did what was important to us. We’ve tried to do a mix of different sightseeing to give us an overall flavor of the Mexican Riviera.
Puerto Vallarta has a Hollywood history; it was the setting for the movie “The Night of the Iguana” starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. Unfortunately, Richard Burton had a penchant for falling in love with his leading ladies so Elizabeth Taylor, then married to Eddie Fisher, came along to keep an eye on him. They ended up falling in love with PV and purchased two houses. Later they linked the two homes by a ‘love’ bridge. The home is called Casa Kimberly and tours are available.
We headed back to the ship and we decided to have a light dinner again tonight; nothing on the menu in the formal dining room appealed to either of us. The entertainment show tonight featured Michael Ziegfeld, a Comic/Ventriloquist; he was very entertaining.
Tomorrow is a ‘sea day’ so we can sleep late and have a relaxing day.