We arrived safe and sound albeit very sleepy after a 250 mile sail/motor from Bahia Chamela, about 50 miles northwest of Barra de Navidad, to Mazatlán.
The winds were favourable throughout the trip, meaning we never had strong winds on the nose – we had waited about a week for a good forecast and timed it well – we even got to sail past treacherous Cabo Corrientes, south of Puerto Vallarta, with a nice west wind and south current pushing Karen to a daily best of 7.6 knots!
Although the first night was scary with many clouds glowing with lightning we altered course and never ended up underneath one of these “bombs”.
Some of the joys we experienced on this trip:
* dolphins coming to swim in our bow wave
* many turtles just floating along
* hundreds of rays jumping clear of the water for 2 hours
* one whale breaching (jumping out of the water) on the horizon
* listening to my iPod playlist the second (clear) night while watching Orion and Taurus constellations float across the sky
* catching a pretty good “green flash” sunset
* entering the marina slip with two marina employees to help us – nobody ordered to “JUMP” to tie the docklines!
We arrived in Mazatlán a little early (about 1 AM) and snuck between two islands to anchor – and two fisherman guided us past their nets so we would not foul our propeller. Our windlass is broken so I had to pull up the anchor and chain by hand in the morning – years of working out with weights and rowing pay off when you can still do this crap at 59!
All is well with the crew and boat; we will rest today and consider when to return home in light of Karen’s father being in hospital.
We finally were able to leave the marina in Barra on March 11. We only planned on sailing to Tenacatita about 15 NM away but we got out of the marina by 8:15 and the winds were lighter than we expected. So we motored 40 NM to Bahia Chamela where we are currently anchored off the small village of Pérula. We were entertained by turtles and dolphins along the way.
We expect to leave Chamela at first light on Friday. Our current plan to do a straight shot to Mazatlán, about 250 NM away. At 5 knots this will take us about 50 hours non-stop, as long as the winds stay as forecast.
We will update the blog once we get into Mazatlán.
We left Mazatlán on December 12th for an overnight sail to Chacala about 150 nautical miles away. As often happens we ended up motoring most of the way, for almost 26 hours. We did have a 1.5 hour sail just to make sure everything was working okay. As we approached Chacala it started to rain so we decided to anchor in Bahía de Jaltemba instead. Chacala has a port captain and that would require a wet dinghy ride to check-in. Anchoring in Jaltemba would give us a nice rest watching the birds on the island, Isla la Peña.
We headed out the next day for another overnight sail to Bahía Chamela. We were very happy to sail (10.5 hr) almost as much as we motored (13.2 hr) during the 125 NM trip. We inflated the “Queen Mary” kayak (Richard’s Sea Eagle 3 man kayak) and we headed in for a wonderful lunch on the beach at Pérula. We enjoyed sitting under a palapa watching the birds fishing for their lunch.
On December 17 we had an easy motorboat ride to Bahía Tenacatita. We were visited by our first dolphins of the season along the way. We tried to take the Queen Mary up the river but the current was too strong. So we had a lovely walk along the beach and returned to Restaurant La Vena for their infamous “rollo de mar” and beer.
We are now in the marina at Barra de Navidad. We plan on being here for the cruiser’s Christmas potluck before cruising along the Costalegre until the end of February.