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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Chamela Bay photo
01/24/2009

Pascale enjoying a beer at Chamela Bay.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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01/26/2009 | sherry
Pascale, you look so beautiful! ~~Looks like you've been having a wonderful trip!
02/03/2009 | Pascale
Thanks!
En Route to Tenacatita
01/23/2009

We had a nice evening at anchor at Chamela. This morning we decided to go snorkeling by a nearby reef, then we took the dinghy to the beach by the little village. The surf was a little rough for a beach landing so we anchored the dinghy about a hundred yards off shore and swam to shore. We had our wallet, towels, and dry shirts in a "dry bag" so we could look presentable ashore.

We had lunch at a little palapa restaurant on the beach, garlic shrimp and diablo shrimp for Pascale and me, and fish and quesadillas for the boys. Then we loaded our gear back into the dry bags and swam through the surf back out to our dinghy, and then rode the dinghy back to Calou.

At that point we started preparing to depart Chamela bay to head towards Tenacatita. Tenacatita has something of a reputation among cruisers as a favorite destination. People have been known to spend years at anchor in "Ten Bay". We're looking forward to seeing what the hulabaloo is all about.

We should be arriving at Tenacatita right around sunset, about 7 PM.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Ipala to Carreyes
Bruce
01/22/2009

We spent the evening on the hook at Bahia Ipala, enjoying dinner on board and afterwards a movie (a comedy, "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" -- funny!) before going to bed early. The plan was to get up at first morning light and be on our way so we could make it to Tenacatita before dark.

Alas, this was not to be because it took us half an hour to raise the anchor. We would run the electric windlass, and the chain would come up very slowly, and then after three feet or so, the circuit breaker would pop and have to be reset. After going through several cycles like this we thought that the electric windlass motor was burned out and didn't have sufficient power.

As the sun came up over the horizon, however, we could see better and I noticed that the bow roller, a rubber roller that the chain runs over before going down into the water, was cocked at an odd angle. On further inspection it turned out that the bolt that holds the roller in place had simply unscrewed itself. Fortunately, I was able to screw the bolt back into place.

We were then able to raise the anchor easily, and so we were under way, though after daybreak, not before as we had planned.

So rather than sail all the way to Tenacatita, we are planning to stop one anchorage short, an interesting spot called Bahia Carreyes. It is named after the Carrey Turtles that nest there. According to the guide, there is a nice hotel and a restaurant on the beach there. I wonder if they serve turtle soup -- not! Maybe we can see some turtle nesting grounds (though that happens in December).

We noticed there are millions of sea turtles in the water around us. You can spot a turtle from a long distance, its domed back poking above the water surface, often with a sea bird perched on its back.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Chamela Bay
Bruce
01/22/2009

We had a great sail south from Ipala, with 12 knots of breeze on the beam, we were able to make 6 knots under sail.

Along the way, we saw a fantastic display of whales playing very near our boat.

At one point, while we were running the engine, the motor stopped. I determined that a fuel filter had clogged. We have two fuel tanks, so we switched to the other tank. Then I showed Francois how to bleed the air out of a diesel engine fuel system to get it running again.

We had hoped to make it to Carreyes, but that would have put us arriving at sunset, with no margin for error. So we decided to pull in earlier at Chamela Bay. We got into Chamela just around 630 PM and dropped anchor in 20 feet of water. I tested the anchor by running the engine in reverse and looking to see if the boat moves. It did, which indicated we didn't have good holding. So we decided to raise anchor and try somewhere else.

In raising anchor we had trouble with the windlass again; the circuit breaker kept popping off. As a result it took a long time to raise the anchor in order to reset it elsewhere. We finally got the anchor up, and set it down in a different location, where we found firm holding.

When we get to a marina, I will have to look at the windlass and consider replacing it. It's clearly not up to the task.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Anchored out at Ipala Bay
Bruce
01/21/2009

We departed Puerto Vallart this morning at 8 a.m., sailed out of Banderas Bay and headed south. Conditions were light with winds under 10 knots. This was a good thing because the point, Cabo Corrientes ("Cape of Currents") is notorious for big seas due to the washing-machine effect of the currents washing around the point. With the light winds the passage wasn't bad at all.

Initially our destination was to be Chamela, but after rounding the Cape we found that we would not make it by nightfall, so we decided to head for nearby Ipala Bay. This is a small anchorage with a tiny fishing village at one end. The anchorage is tight because most of the inlet's good anchoring spots are taken up with oyster pots.

We'll leave Ipala early tomorrow morning to get to Chamela.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Last Night in PV
01/20/2009, Puerto Vallarta

We have prepared the boat to depart Puerto Vallarta early Wednesday morning, destination Chamela. This anchorage is 65 nm south of PV.

We'll leave at sunrise so that we can be assured to arrive in Chamela before dark.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Jaguar Crossing
01/13/2009

Road sign along the way: Jaguar crossing.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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Getting a fill-up, Mexican style
01/12/2009

At one of the tiny villages in the high mountains, a sign advertised "gasolina", so we stopped to get a fill-up. They filled our gas tank from plastic jugs and a funnel.

Mexico Sailing Trip 2008-2011
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