Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Single handed

Overlooking the Marina from Jennifer and Davids room!
I returned to Kialoa after leaving my mother to make her way home.
Now I would be truly single handing.  Kialoa was safely stashed in the Marina at Barra de Navidad, which is a lovely place to hang out, with multiple pools and beautiful grounds.  It also gets a little expensive to stay for too long so the day after I got back I checked out and made my way back to the anchorage in the lagoon.  Just after I turned in my towel cards and paid the bar bill at the hotel lobby I bumped into my neighbour Jennifer and her husband David.  They were here on holiday!  What a small world!
We had a lovely dinner together at one of the nearby restaurants and then we all got a ride home on one of the water taxis that make regular runs around the bay to the hotel, restaurants, marina and the anchorage.  There is no need to put your dinghy in the water in Barra de Navidad. I ended up spending a week in the anchorage at Barra as there was some strong weather predicted and some south winds which none of the other anchorages had any protection from.  The lagoon at Barra is extremely well protected and there is good holding in mud.  I had a great week there. I did some kayaking with the Kelly and Clay (Airsupply), went on a road trip to Colima and Comala with John,Jennifer (Spinnaker) and Ed (Seadra).  Colima is an inland town, overshadowed by a very large volcano, 3800m high, and we arrived there on the day of a huge parade of horses.  It was an incredible event with some very beautiful animals being shown off.  Camala is one of Mexicos magic towns, but I actually don't know what that really means.  It was a lovely town and every building is painted white, make sure to take your sunglasses.  It is also known for its traditional Ponche.  This is a mildy alcholic drink that comes in a great variety of flavors.  We all picked some up and found the cappucino flavor is great with coffee.  Yum!
Kayaking with Kelly and Clay in the Barra lagoon

One of the crocs we saw in the lagoon, yup in the wild!
Keep your hands inside the kayak!

One of the fine horses on parade, Colima

Many of the horses were dancing down the street but one fell over
you can just see its legs under the other horses

Jennifer, Ed and John in the magic town of Camala.
After a week in Barra it was time to go.  I needed to be in Puerto Vallarta in time for Maggies (my new crew) arrival on March 2nd.
I had some lovely sailing and some peaceful motoring with the tiller pilot steering.  My first stop was Tenacatita where I spent one night and left early the next day for the bay of Chamela.  My friends on Searover were already there and Seadra showed up as well.
We enjoyed some time at the anchorage in the small islands in the bay, where we had our very own beach to hang out on, play bocce, watch the hundreds of hermit crabs and observe the nesting pelicans.  Who knew they built nests in trees!

A quiet motoring day

Our very own beach at Isla Cocinas, Bahia Chamela.
  Searover II, Lazy lion, Kialoa and Seadra
in the background.

We spent some time in the main anchorage at Bahia Chamela as well, enjoying the town life, beach walks and good food.
Then it was time for the moment I was dreading.  100 nm trip to Puerto Vallarta.....there is only one not very good anchorage to stop at along this route so the plan was to go through the night till we reached La Cruz.  I was not looking forward to this long trip on my own with no chance to rest.  I left first thing in the morning along with Seadra who was also single handing and Searover II came along a little later.  It was a beautiful day that started out as a motor but turned into some beautiful sailing in the afternoon.  As it got dark we set up an hourly radio contact schedule.  I settled into my routine.  Check everything, set the timer, lay down, try and sleep, check everything, set the timer, repeated and repeated.  I never did get any sleep.......but it was an easy and uneventful passage and I arrived at the anchorage of La Cruz at 6:30 am.  It was still dark and I was feeling pretty tired so I eased my way to the edge of the anchorage under radar, dropped anchor and crashed.  I was woken at 8:30 by a cheerful good morning from Jennifer of Spinnaker but had no trouble getting back to sleep again.  By noon I was up and ready for the day.  I picked up anchor ( I was in 47 feet of water) and moved in a little closer to shore.  I considered my first solo overnight a success!  The boat was fine and so was I.  I now know that it is something I can do, but I did discover that I do not love to be on watch with no sleep throughout the night and will plan accordingly in the future!
On the left hand side of this rocky outcropping is a giant bowl
Who knows!  Its mexico!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Fun in the sun

Barra de Navidad sunrise

Mom and I finally pulled ourselves away from Tenacatita and went exploring further south.
We caught up with Searover II in Barra de Navidad, enjoyed some very peaceful sleeps in the quiet of the lagoon and then headed off for more adventures further south.  We explored the area around the town of Manzanillo for a few days, catching up with Avant and enjoying their company before they headed off for points even further south.

Las Hadas anchorage, Manzanillo, this is an incredibly
picturesque anchorage and the resort is famous for being
the location for the filming of the movie 10 with Bo Derek.

Manzanillo is a very large port and there were many cargo ships
anchored in the bay

A fantastic market in Manzanillo

We also enjoyed some wonderful snorkeling

One of the cargo ships took a wrong turn leaving Manzanillo
during the hurricane Patricia that hit this coast and ended up
living out its remaining years stationary.............
The middle of February rolled around and Moms flight was booked out of Puerto Vallarta.  As I was not quite finished with the Barra area we took Kialoa to the marina in Barra de Navidad and hopped on a bus.  The bus was supposed to drop us off at Boca de Tomatlan, but the driver forgot.....anyway it was a short bus ride back once we realized that we missed our stop.  From Boca de Tomatlan we caught a water taxi to the small water access only town of Yelapa.  This very picturesque town is nestled in the hills that surround Banderas Bay and has become a favorite destination for many snow birds and tourists alike.  Moms friend Angus has a place there and we spent two nights enjoying his hospitality and the town of Yelapa.  Alas no pictures due to no battery charge........operator oversight perhaps?
On leaving Yelapa we caught the water taxi back to Boca de Tomatlan and from there I caught a bus back to Barra de Navidad and Kialoa and Mom caught a bus to Puerto Vallarta airport and headed back to the BC snow!  I am sorry about the weather in BC this year!  The only person I know who has been loving it is my son Josh.  Apparently it has made for some good snowmobiling!