Tenacatita to La Cruz
La Cruz, Mexico
So Last we left you we were in Tenacatita about to depart for Chamela. There was talk about the weather window that was about to close and a number of boats left to catch it. Unfortunately it closed before expected and they had 15-20 in steep seas. I know 15-20 does not sound like that big a deal to many of you, but it's all about the extremely steep waves when it goes against the strong current. Luckily Synchrony agreed with us and decided to not pass up Chamela and more playing before taking our chance with Cabo Corrientes.
I'd like to let everyone know a little about how we've been spending our days. Most every morning we tune into the Amigo net and pray for a net controller that we can hear. With the SSB/Ham radio it is easy to hear stations that are very close and very far, but the signals of an area in between skips right over us. About 8:15 we listen to the weather from Don Anderson on s/v Summer Passage. He really does an amazing job for cruisers, but sometimes his forecasts sound like they would be well suited for a drinking game - those who have heard him, know what I mean: "It's going to be one honking blow, drink", "down in the Tuanapec on Monday it's going to start honking", drink. He volunteers to give the weather on 2 Radio Nets for the Pacific Mexican Coast and he monitors specific frequencies 3 times a day for boats that are crossing the Pacific for routing advice. It really is amazing the amount of time he puts in for us cruisers. But he's still funny...
Anyway, we left Tenacatita for a little stop at Careyes which is a tiny little cove about halfway up to Chamela. It made for an extremely short ride, but was worth the stop. We finally had an anchorage to ourselves except for Synchrony who decided to also stop (but we didn't mind them since they are our friends). We had to anchor bow and stern so that we could stay pointed into the bouncy swell and keep us off the rocks. Since it was so small (there was only room for about maybe 3 boats anchored bow and stern - but it would be tight) and the waves were crashing down the rocky sides all night, we only stayed one night. But it was gorgeous, lots of colorful homes on the steep cliffs surrounding the Bay. We were right in front of an old Club Med location so we had a good but small private beach to romp on. We also got to partially walk around the old site, most of it was being torn down to make room for the owners private residence.
Another 'interesting' happening is when we were anchoring. Now while we anchor bow and stern, there is a lot of walking back and forth from the wheel to the bow to the stern anchor - Greg and I move quickly but we switch around jobs a fair amount - and it all needs to be done pretty snappy. On one of the passes we made Greg looks at me and calmly states, "After we're done with this, I think I broke my toe so we're going to have to deal with this." and points down to his toe which is sitting out at a 45 degree angle from the rest of his toes. Of course me as the loving wife looks down and replies, "That's gross!". By this time, Synchrony had launched their dinghy and Herb was motoring around in case we needed him while he waited for us to get settled before they came in and did the same (we didn't need him for the record). I mentioned to him about Greg's toe to see if they had any experience with that sort of thing (Juliet is a 100 ton licensed sea captain). Fortunately Juliet is also a Wilderness First Responder, so cool - she could come over after she's done anchoring and help with the toe. By this time we figured it was just dislocated. So I got out our medical books and read the procedure to Greg about "popping' it back in place. This is the start of the tequila shots. After about 3 Juliet was ready for the 'procedure'. After a little twist and pull and a loud pop, the toe was looking more like his friends. Then he was taped to his neighboring buddy and besides for a little pain when Greg bumps him, he's doing good.
The next day after a leisurely lunch and a little exploring we departed for Chamela. All this time we have been hoping for clear water to swim in, but all we seem to be getting is water with some sort of algae bloom which makes it look like you are swimming in green tea. Chamela was the same and somewhat rolly to boot. We spent one night at the main anchorage with the rest of the herd, then spent 2 at the little islands. Synchrony spent the whole time at the islands and had some time alone and some with us. They left a day ahead of us so we did get some time solo in an anchorage. It was also pretty cool because one island had a great running beach for Matey with gorgeous teal blue tropical beach water. The other island had a rocky beach for beachcombing and a hike which lead through booby hangouts. Matey couldn't come on the island hikes because of all the booby birds. Not a big deal, she got to romp on the beach.
After a couple of days, the weather was forecasted to lay down a little so we took the chance to head on out to Ipala or if the sea was right to go around Corrientes. The sea gods were smiling on us - we had a fabulous sail. We were on a close reach in about 10 kts of wind in fairly flat seas - and we had about a knot of current with us. We were making a good 7+ kts the whole way. As we got closer to Corrientes, the wind died so we ended up motor sailing in lumpy seas. Around 10 pm we dropped the anchor in La Cruz. As we were coming in, it felt like we were coming home. So now we are in our last port before we take off West for Hawaii.
Now we are focused on getting odds and ends done around the boat to get us ready for the crossing. And we are really enjoying being internet junkies again (we have a great connection from the anchorage).
UPDATE: Synchrony is now in La Cruz also,as are our friends Matt and April on Sonadora (and Conner and Tanner also). Matt and April are one of the nicest couples and unfortunately their claim to fame along the Gold Coast has been that they were hit in the wee hours of the morning by a speeding panga. Yes, they were at anchor and I cannot even begin to imagine how scary that must have been both for them and their little doggies.
UPDATE AGAIN: So, I usually try to stay away from giving a daily accounting of what we do - it just seems like that can get a little boring. But today was an interesting day. First of all it was very productive, we got 2 major things done and in only 8 hours (future employers, I'll be even more productive in the States - 2 things a day is not my US standard :-))
Our objectives were to get our ICOM radio sent off to the US to be repaired and meet with a radio examiner about Greg's General Radio Classification. Sounds simple, but...this is Mexico.
First off we set out to catch the bus to PV, it took us 3 trips from the boat to the beach to make sure we had all our stuff, humph! Then we take 2 buses to the recommended UPS shipping store. When we walked in and asked if the had packing material, the answer was no, but they ran in the back to find a box. We weren't all that comfortable with shipping the $1200 radio with no packing material, so off we go to find another shipping store. We then took a bus to a Mailboxes, Etc. which had packing material and could ship via UPS. BUT we could save money if we paid in cash. SO, off we go to find a money machine, we're in luck since there is one on the corner. After waiting in line, both ATMs crash and run out of money, so another person in line directs us to another ATM and after we wait in line again, we have our cash and return to Mailboxes, Etc.
Whew, we finally get done with 30 minutes to spare before our 3pm meeting time with radio dude. So we bebop down to the bus stop (which is usually some random corner where you see people standing around). Since we were wondering if we could get a direct bus to Nuevo Vallarta, we stopped some Gringo guy in crocs (that's the true sign of a cruiser, croc sandals - no one else down here wears them) and asked him about the bus. Answer, yep, 2 buses later we found ourselves only 30 minutes late.
Then, Greg started filling out paperwork with radio guy and I went off in the air-conditioned mall in search of a photocopier. When I got the copies of the needed paperwork in hand, I returned to the Vallarta YC to finish up Greg's radio stuff.
By this time it is about 4:30 and we are starving, so we set off to scarf down some calories at McDonalds, followed by a $3.50 US single Baskin Robbins ice cream cone. We wanted two cones, but Greg was outraged at $3.50 for a single cone. We are used to paying no more then 1 buck down here. Even the most diehard regress to eating American food.
You would think the 2 bus ride back to La Cruz would be pretty uneventful? Nope, we had to get off of the first bus on the main highway and sprint across the 4 lane highway like we were in a real life frogger game. I couldn't believe it and was giggling as we darted across with about 20 other people. Mexico has a great bus system and you'd this the bus stop portion of it would be a little more organized. Now this is a main highway - cars and trucks flying by you. When we got to the other side, everyone had their rides in other buses that stopped, then Greg and I were left standing alone on the side of the road (which is really the end of the merge lane) hoping our bus comes by. Luckily after only a couple of minutes our bus came and the rest of the trip was smooth.
Another piece of info - I will be helping out at a spay/neuter clinic a couple of towns away the 8th-12th of this Month. I'm pretty excited about it, Greg and I stopped by the teaching clinic today where American vets were teaching Mexican vets about better ways to do surgery. Of course it's still done in a large shed - anyone can walk up (we watched a surgery go on today) and there are flies sitting on the patient dog's nose. But it seems to me to be a great thing they are doing - there really are a lot of dogs around here, and the locals are just starting to learn the importance of spaying/neutering their pets.
Melissa, Greg and Matey