I set out with four friends from Sayulita for a Sunset Sail aboard the Velero Viva. As we left Sayulita it was hot, humid and sunny; we were looking forward to getting out on the water. The closer we got to Nuevo Vallarta, there were ominous dark clouds over Banderas Bay, and it looked like rain. Velero Viva is docked at the Puerto Vallarta Yacht Club, which is located in Nuevo Vallarta-- just a quick thirty minute drive from Sayulita. There is ample parking in the underground garage at the adjacent shopping center.
Antonio met us at the Yacht Club and escorted us to the boat, where we embarked and received an orientation from the great crew, which consisted of Captain Lee, Chef Rafa, and First Mate/Deckhand Kate. As the crew prepared to set sail, we were offered a soft drink or cocktail and we settled in on the comfy seating.
Captain Lee kept a close eye on the weather and expertly skirted around the dark clouds where we could see rain falling in the distance. The best part was that there was plenty of wind, and we all relished the feeling of cool air on our faces after the heat and humidity of a summer day in Sayulita; hearing the sails snapping in the wind added to our sense of adventure.
Although it wasn’t whale season, we still had some exciting marine life viewing. From summertime through October, it is mating and nesting season for the native Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. We had not been sailing long when we spotted a single sea turtle bobbing in the waves, followed soon after by the first mating pair alongside the boat. As we silently glided by, the mating turtles sank below the surface, as if to say “Hey, how about some privacy here!” In total, we spotted elven sea turtles on our Sunset Sail.
About halfway through our four hour cruise around the bay, we were served a delicious dinner of Pasta Alfredo with Chicken and Ham, and a crisp green salad with fresh cheese. Cocktails and soft drinks were also provided. There is additional seating below deck and a bathroom, so our total relaxation and comfort was assured during the sailing experience.
Velero Viva offers Sunset Sails in Banderas Bay, where you can experience snorkeling if you wish, whale watching in season, and on the return they sail towards downtown Puerto Vallarta and the Malecon to view the beautiful city lights. They also offer private tours to Yelapa. You can board Velero Viva from the Puerto Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, or from the Cruise Ship port in Puerto Vallarta. For ease and comfort, you can prearrange private transportation from Sayulita. The Velero Viva can accommodate up to ten passengers.
At the beginning of our experience, we were a bit concerned that with all the rain clouds we would miss out on the sunset portion of our sail, however, as the evening progressed, the sun sank below the cloud layer, and provided a magnificent light show with a sailboat in the distance, perfectly silhouetted in front of the fiery ball of the setting sun. It was the perfect end to our Sunset Sail with Velero Viva. I would highly recommend sailing on Velero Viva-- it is a wonderful experience that you don’t want to miss!
Written By: Valorie VanRheen
Photos: Dorsett Photography