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It was 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and I was lounging on the Ally Cat Sailing Adventures 56-foot luxury sailing catamaran. The sun felt warm on my skin and I could feel the wind blowing through my hair. The ocean water was clear and sparkled in various shades of blue as the sun hit it. Just when I thought it couldn’t be a more perfect day to be heading to the Marietta Islands, three dolphins swam and jumped in front of our boat.
As I felt my body sink into the comfortable deck cushion, I could hear the laughter of others and feel the excitement in the air as everyone got acquainted. The fun loving group consisted of my SayulitaLife coworkers, members of Eco Sayulita, employees of Costa Verde International School, Camilla Fuchs with Camilla Fuchs Photography, Chelsea Hammond with Pajaro de Fuego, Xander Hermans with La Cuisine and a few other locals and tourists, including both children and adults.
The crew had impressed me from the moment I stepped off the bus at the La Cruz marina, just a short drive from Sayulita. The captain, Noah Gonzalez, had greeted us as we exited the bus and headed toward the boat. His father, Pancho, and the rest of the crew, welcomed us aboard the boat with big smiles, cheerful hellos and a breakfast of fresh tropical fruit, cake, as well as beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
The crew was extremely accommodating and asked if we would like to make a stop to cool off in the water before we reached the Marieta Islands, a small group of uninhabited islands that are protected bird sanctuaries, a few miles off the Nayarit coast. We excitedly said “yes!” and took turns jumping, diving and doing flips from the diving platform off the back of the boat.
We made two stops at the Marieta Islands and at the first stop an aqua lily pad was put into the water, which is a recent addition to the Ally Cat. This high flotation foam pad is approximately 6 feet wide by 18 feet long and was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Several of us hopped and jumped around on it, seeing who could stay on it the longest without falling off.
Most everyone snorkeled, as the Marieta Islands are known as an ideal snorkel spot with coral reefs and marine life. Others kayaked, used the paddleboard and swam in the ocean, which was the perfect temperature.
At the second stop at the Marieta Islands, people swam through a short tunnel that opened up to a hidden beach and to a clear, blue sky. Several members of the crew joined us in the water to guide us and ensure our safety, including the captain himself.
Another big crowd pleaser was the boom-netting, which is a large net that hangs from the back of the boat and is dropped into the water. We clung to the netting as the boat moved forward and pulled us in the water. I liked to think of it as an adult playpen, which was like a Jacuzzi in the ocean, as the adults seemed to enjoy it more than the children. Best of all, the crew continued to serve us drinks as we cooled off in the water.
The Ally Cat Sailing Adventures is truly an impressive family run business that started 25 years ago. It is apparent that the heart and soul of this family goes into their sailing adventures. Pancho, who was born and raised in Puerto Vallarta, and Noah, who was born in Puerto Vallarta and raised in Sayulita, as well as the rest of the crew, gave each and every person star treatment. From the friendly, witty personalities to the accommodating attitudes to delicious food, this crew could not have provided better service or made this trip any more fun.
If you would like to experience this trip to the Marieta Islands for yourself and get VIP treatment for the day, contact the Ally Cat Sailing Adventures. Believe me, you don’t want to miss out on this day in paradise.