Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Scary Boat Ride

I like to look at the water but seldom go in. I have to screw all of my courage together to force myself to go swimming, especially in strange waters. That is to say, not my own North Beach. And let's not even talk about boats! I almost have to take a Valium to cross over to Cancun. Our last trip was especially difficult for me in this regard. We visited beaches in Baja California and all along the Pacific Coast. I at least waded in most of them. A few I actually swam, but not very many. I have this unreasonable fear of drowning (even though I am an excellent swimmer) and, of course, of being eaten by a shark.

While we were visiting Puerto Vallarta, we needed to take a side trip to a place called Yelapa. My good friend P's cousin has had a B&B there for the past 30 some years. We wanted to visit and say hello. Problem was, the only way to get there was a 40 minute boat ride. There are no roads to the bay it is located on. Gulp. We took a bus from downtown PV out to Boca la Tomatlan where we bought a ticket on one of the many boats waiting to ferry people around. These were exactly the same kind of "loncha" boats that the fishermen use here on the island. Except they had more seats in them. Just like this one but more seats.

It was a really windy the day we went so the surf was incredibly high. I was very anxious about this trip but it was something I wanted and had to do. We climbed into the boat with a few other people and took off. The guy who had sold us our tickets on shore, an Australian hippie type, climbed into the boat with us. He immediately went forward and grabbed onto a rope that was attached to the front of the boat. As we pulled away from shore, he was standing on the front seat, facing forward and hanging onto this rope. He was evidently a good friend of the young Mexican captain because they proceeded to play a little game all the way to Yelapa. I think it was called "Scare the shit out of the tourists while you drive this boat like a maniac and try to knock me off my feet". Or something like that.

To say we had to negotiate giant, powerful swells is an understatement. This would have been terrifying enough for me as it were. But, no. The captain would race up these swells as fast as he could and we would just slam down into the trough behind it. Or he would ride up the swells sideways, making us think we were going to tip over. We travelled along rocky cliffs that jutted out into the sea and we came dangerously close to them many times. Waves were coming from all directions like they couldn't decide which was the best way to get to shore.

By the time the boat dropped us off at the beach of Yelapa, I was a mess. Both mentally and physically. It made me almost sick to my stomach to think that we had to turn around in just a few hours and get back into the boat with this maniac.

Tomorrow I'll share photos of why this scary boat ride was worth it.

No comments: