Sailing around the world a decade ago with his wife, Anneke, on their 41-foot Unicorn, the couple instantly fell under the spell of Banderas Bay. “It was so beautiful — the whales, the dolphins, the mountains, the clean water, everything about it.” Continuing south, they just couldn’t stop thinking about this area, so got only as far as Zihuatanejo before justifying their return by telling one another that Puerto Vallarta was a good place to provision for the South Pacific leg of their journey.
And as they combed our cobblestone streets for supplies they took notes, listing those people and places that seemed especially helpful to cruisers. Then they were struck by the idea that a boaters’ guide would be really useful here, and in 1997 published the first “Banderas Bay Cruisers Guide,” all proceeds going to local charities. And the next year Lew became the first recipient of the Ron Gray Memorial Award for service to the boating community.
So they sold their boat, moved ashore and became full-time residents, their kids and grandchildren visiting at every opportunity. Lew was a founding member of the Vallarta Yacht Club, master of ceremonies at several charity events, and for many years the voice of the Banderas Bay Regatta. A retired pilot and military officer, Lew also volunteers with service organizations like Angel Flight America, flying 122 missions supporting Katrina/Rita hurricane disaster relief.
And today, that once humble guide he and Anneke created — which has grown to 38 information-packed pages — is being further expanded as an integral part of an exciting new boating magazine Lew is co-publishing, “VALLARTA nautica,” available October 2006.