Tales of Blue Aweigh travel blog

Altar at the palapa church. They are building a new one. Note...

Interpretation anyone? This was next to the crucifix at the church.

Iguanas playing golf

Entrance to Navidad Barra

Our boat from the golf course

Gardens at the golf course

Locals at the beach on Christmas

Christmas cheer on a couple of boats

Lagoon fisherman

Sunrise this week

We have enjoyed this area for the last few days and intend to spend a few more. I now understand why so many cruisers like it here. The bay has an entrance to a muddy, shallow lagoon. This is not usually desirable for sailors with 5 - 7 ft. keels. It is tough to navigate as the tides change everything. At low we may have 1ft. of water under our keel and at high tide we may have 3ft. below. Thus entering at a rising or high tide is pretty important here. Many people run aground coming in as the entrance is wide but so are the shallows. There is unmarked path one must make it through, in order to not run aground. Many people do run aground and the experienced sailors just say that everyone does sooner or later. When someone does stick in the mud, a flotilla of dinghies arrive to help to push them off. Even dinghies hit bottom and run aground at low tide here.

There are about 40 boats in the lagoon with us. Many we have seen or heard on the VHF as lots of us are making the same trip south. South of here in Zihuatenejo/Ixtapa many then go other direction. Many go further south at which time they decide to go through the canal, continue to South America or to the Galapagos Islands just off the equator in Ecuador. This is the jumping off point for the South Pacific islands, known as the pacific puddle jump. It takes from 20 - 30 days to accomplish. Others head north after Z-town but how far north is always a big question. Many make it to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan or the Sea of Cortez where they leave their boats in marinas or on the hard until the next cruising season (November thru June 1st). Others do the Baja bash up the coast to the states. This is the least desirable path for every single cruiser we talk to, as it is hard on the boat and the crew. So far this is our plan. Most recommend heading to Hawaii first, then sail to the pacific northwest as these are more favorable winds and seas.

Back to this place... There is a big beautiful Four Seasons Grand Bay Hotel with a small marina, pool and golf course here. We haven't stayed in a marina for about 4 weeks now as they are normally lots of money for water and an electrical connection. Luckily we have a water maker and generator thus both really aren't necessary. This bay is an exception for making water, we are in a muddy bottomed shallow lagoon. Therefore we are conserving our 167 gallons of fresh water until we can make more at sea when we head south. For $10.00 USD per day to the hotel, we can pick up wifi from our boat. Thus all the necessities are handled.

Weather is quite nice, restaurants, laundry and small grocery stores abound. Shopping is standard inexpensive tourist type stuff. We get overrun with vendors selling these goods at some of the restaurants. We run/walk at the golf course just a short dinghy ride from the boat. To go to shore in town, there is a seawall that we must tie to and use a stern anchor due to tide changes. It belongs to the Sands Hotel which is a funky, old but kinda cool place which is cruiser friendly. They provide a pool for their hotel guests but allow cruisers to use it as well. They expect everyone to patronize their bar, which they also don't get uptight about. So it becomes a gathering place to visit with other cruisers there. When the heat really picks up in the afternoons the pool is welcome relief.

This town is lucky enough to have a French man that is a baker. Each morning on the VHF he announces he is making his rounds. Mind you, you may call and request your items, order in advance or pick upfrom his little café in town. He is a very nice man and already knows that I am a sucker for flour and butter. Because I don't want anyone to know the extent of my addiction, I don't call over the VHF what I will be wanting. I wait till I get a tap, tap, tap on the hull and "Madam, Madam, tis I the French Baker?". Then of course we discuss one on one what we will order. I will admit that I have tried his baguettes (regular and whole wheat), olive baguette, chocolate croissant, ham&cheese croissant, almond croissant, cookies, chocolate tart, coconut/banana tart and orange tart. The last two days, I made sure we were running from 9 - 10a.m. We gotta get out of here!

Today 12/26 we traveled by city bus to the nearby town of Melaque to check it out. This seems to be where the more impoverished people live. Lots of Indians in Melaque. Really run down area, dusty and humble homes. We ate some tacos, looked in a few shops, picked up some pesos and we were outta there.

On Christmas day you were all missed. First time we have been away from family and friends, ever! Spoke to some of you and thought about the rest. We enjoyed a potluck with about 75 other cruisers at the Sands Hotel. We enjoyed turkey and ham with lots of other tasty creations. Returned to our home and played our usual nightly game of Scrabble and watched Jumanji. What a cute movie. We really aren't movie watchers but we have been lucky enough to do some trading with others to keep our selection going. Kind of nice to see movies we have heard lots about, both old and new.

We anticipate being here another day or so then off to Manzanillo. Les and Debbie will be meeting us 200 nautical miles from here on January 17th in Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo for Mike's 50th birthday. We look forward to having loved ones on board once again.

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