Friday, March 28, 2008

Publishing our February 26th email

Sorry it's been almost 3 weeks since we last brought everyone up to date with our travels. The stress of retired life is such that we don't always get around to the most important things we should be doing each day. In fact, we're not sure what we actually do as the days just fly by, and before we know it another sunset marks the onset of a star filled night making us promise to, "Let people know what we're doing".
Enough for shabby excuses... We departed Tenacatita on February 11 in the company of our new friends on two other boats for the short 12 mile trip further south to Barra de Navidad. Unlike our nice sail from Chemela to Tenacatita there was no wind so it was motoring all the way presenting a good opportunity to charge our always hungry batteries. One year ago we visited Barra de Navidad with David and Anneka Dury aboard Freedom so we had a reasonable idea of what to expect. On that trip we stayed in the upscale marina adjacent to a 5 star resort hotel with full privileges to all the facilities. However, on this trip we were planning to anchor in the nearby lagoon which we understood to be muggy and loaded with bugs ready to suck the blood right out of us. Our plan was to fuel up with diesel, fill our water tanks and stay for maybe 2 days before heading back to Tenacatita. The great thing about cruising is being able to change plans on a whim.
The Barra lagoon reminded us of the California Delta which we've always enjoyed. The water is about the same color (but salt rather than fresh), it's shallow with a mud bottom, nice and warm, the wind comes up every afternoon and there's no rolling in the calm conditions. We looked around and felt so comfortable that we ended up spending 2 weeks rather than 2 days. And, the bugs never really attacked us as advertised. The afternoon wind is sometimes brisk so some unattended boats end up dragging anchor (called the "Barra Shuffle"). A call goes out on the radio and a whole fleet of dinghies quickly descend on the wayward vessel to keep it off the surrounding shoals or other boats. The same thing happens as boats stray from the narrow unmarked channel into the adjacent shoals when entering and departing the lagoon. Great entertainment for all except those receiving the help.
The little town of Barra de Navidad is a low key tourist destination with small hotels and plenty of inexpensive sidewalk restaurants. We ended up going there at least every other day to mostly wander around enjoying the ambiance and resupplying our always dwindling supplies of wine, beer and rum. We have not had any luck catching a Dorado (otherwise know as Mahi-Mahi and Dolphin fish), but there is plenty of VERY fresh Dorado available in Barra for much less than we'd ever pay at home. No need for us to put out our fishing lines for a while.
All good things must come to an end so we departed Barra on February 23 for Tenacatita as we begin our trek back to Puerto Vallarta. We had a nice breeze from the SE and ended up screaming into Tenacatita Bay at more than 8 knots. We'll stay here for several more days and make one more stop before reentering Banderas Bay and readying our condo for Hillary, Nick and family to visit (Yippee!).

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