Archive for December, 2011

Christmas in La Cruz

We tied up in Marina Rivera Nayarit the Thursday before Christmas and began getting the salt out of things to stow below while we spend time stateside.  Christmas Eve we spent quietly on the boat, but Christmas Day we got together with lots of other cruisers and local “gringos” at a favorite hang out.  The restaurant provided turkey and the rest of us provided the pot luck food.  Turned out that there was plenty of goodies and we all ate our fill.

Christmas1

After we had eaten our fill, Santa arrived to pass out gift bags to 400 children from the local area and it was great to see the gifts light up their faces.

Christmas 2

Before Santa handed out the gifts a group of the children sang Christmas carols for us in English.

La Cruz

We dropped the hook just outside the marina here this morning not long after sunrise.  It was not as bad rounding Cabo Corrientes as we had thought it would be and the entire passage was quicker than expected.  For four hours after entering Bandaras Bay we slowed down so that we could arrive at the anchorage in the daylight as the marina is new and covers a lot of the old anchorage area.  We left Chamela with very light winds that did not pick up until early afternoon.  Then we had good wind (20-25 mph) until well after dark when it moderated as we neared the Cape and midnight. The seas were quite sloppy much of the journey.

Later today, after resting a bit, we plan on taking the dinghy into the marina to see about a slip there for the next year or so, as we have decided that this is a good place to base our travels from over the next few years.  We have spent little time exploring the large Banderas Bay in the past and anyhow the weather is slightly more moderate here than in Mazatlan.

Ashore in Chamela

We spent several afternoons on the beach in Chamela enjoying cold beers and sometimes ceviche.

Chamela1

 

 

Chamela2

The dinghy landing was right in front of the restaurants, so we picked the one with all the strands of shells.  Most days the beach was occupied by only a few tourists but on Sunday the traffic really picked up and we enjoyed watching all the families enjoying themselves in the sand.

Chamela3

We even got to watch as jet skis were attempted to be launched from a trailer backing into the water over the sand flats.  The truck got well stuck but was eventually pulled free with another pick up leaving the trailer and jet skis in the water.  With some effort they got the skis off the trailer and the trailer pulled ashore.

Chamela

We dropped the hook yesterday morning in the protected NW corner of this large bay.  We left Tenacatita about 8 pm the previous evening hoping to catch the offshore night breeze, but instead we experienced the strong NW winds that tend to predominate during the afternoons along this coast.  Lanikai got a good tack to the west for several hours before we had to tack north to avoid a ship that was getting too near for our comfort.  The seas built, but not so much as our afternoon passage to Tenacatita, and the wind was really a nice 20 – just too bad it was coming right on our nose.  We needed to make several more tacks but ended nearing Chamela before sunrise so we slowed down to wait for daylight before entering the bay.  Current plan is to stay here where the water is clear in hopes of finding some good snorkel spots and hoping for a nice weather window, before we take off to round Cabo Corrientes into Banderas bay and Puerto Vallarta.  Yesterday we spent the day resting and reading, with an early to bed last evening to make up for the prior night of “too rough to sleep”.

A Rough Passage

We are now anchored safely in Tenacatita, a very protected spot along this coast of Mexico.  We left Bahia de Santiago just after sun-up yesterday morning and had a nice offshore breeze to send us on our way.  The winds were light until almost noon and we were only 10 miles from our destination.  The winds then really piped up from the NW right on our nose.  They increased thru-out the afternoon reaching 30 mph by 3PM and the seas built too, giving us big waves.  Lanikai’s deck got thoroughly washed with the big waves coming onboard, as we now tacked our way up the coast arriving at the outside of the bay just after sunset.  We anchored in the dark, but with the full moon and with waypoints from prior visits to the bay, it was no problem.  Today we are both sore and tired from the passage and will probably stay here a few days before moving on.