We made an early start from La Cruz - weighing anchor at 5am. It was still quite dark and misty and within the first hour we had two sport fishers come bearing down on us with little regard for international colregs. We had to take evasive action both times to maintain what I considered to be a safe distance between our boats. Oh well...
No wind at all (a perfect "sailing" day for RB'ers), but fresh water was being squeezed out of the briny, so all was not lost. And then at about 11:15, WHIZZZZZZZZZ...FISH ON!!!
It was a good fight and what we thought was a decent sized yellowfin was lying on deck after a 15 minute battle.
Our delight diminished considerably when I began to fillet the beast of the deep and discovered a blood-red flesh. Alas it was no yellowfin, but rather a Torro. I had been deceived by the yellow of the fins and tail and hadn't looked at the snout which has a more bull-nose appearance. So gone were our dreams of cerviche and fried fillets...not to mention all the other delights a fish of that size provides. Sigh...
We dropped the hook in little Bahia Punta Ipala - 20 14.127'N:105 34.355'W, at 3pm on February 20th with full tanks of water and the aroma of Jeannie's delicious fish cakes wafting from down below. It's a very small bay with not much room for more than three or four boats, but by the next morning there were no less than seven boats anchored in the lee of Punta Ipala...some more comfortable than others.
It had been a comfortable enough night for us, and one with a wonderful and unexpected event: The total eclipse of the moon.
We were sitting down below as it was quite cool outside and I caught sight of the moon through the port. I knew it was a full moon, but it had a weird shape and, wondering if it was the cliffs creating the shape, I popped my head outside to discover the beginning of the eclipse! It was magnificent and we spent the rest of the evening warmly dressed in the cockpit, watching through binoculars as the moon was slowly eaten by the shadow from the earth.
We were keen to move on to Chamela and so early the following morning we took our leave of Ipala.
Another day-sail, but this time we actually managed to find some wind and as the tanks were already filled it was up with the spinnaker and off with the engine. We were doing over 6 knots in a 15 knot wind. Had some small help from the current, but all in all a wonderful sail at last.
We were fortunate on the sea-life side of things as well as we saw a number of turtles and whales galore! In fact one of the behemoths broached quite close to us - a magnificent and awe-inspiring sight. The wind picked up a bit and we exchanged the genoa for the spinnaker, still making 6 knots.
Dropped the hook in lovely Bahia de Chamela.
This was our first experience here in Mexico of substantial surf on the landing beach. We certainly had some interesting landings although none that flipped us over.
The village of Chamela is an interesting mix of little hotels, palapas and grocery stores. It has perhaps the distinction of having the quaintest grocery stores we've ever seen. It was just a hole in the wall...literally a hole in a wall! You would come up to it and peer inside, and through the darkness you could see a small counter and some shelves stacked with groceries. You then ask for what you want and they fetch it off the shelves for you. Unfortunately our Spanish was still so patchy that it would have taken us a week or two of sign language to do our shopping. Amazingly enough we were able to find some of the most varied cheeses and even some delicious salami in one of the grocery stores - goods we were unable to find even in San Blas! Internet was available at one of the hotels, but very cold beer at a very reasonable price. only a dial-up system of great expense, so that was a non starter. The beach was lovely, and a very long walk around (10 or 15 miles!) would bring you to a road that took you inland a ways and we were told that there was a Mexican village there that would take one back a hundred years or so, it was so isolated. My appreciation for long walks prevented us discovering this item of great historical value...so we got to know the beach better.
There were times it was so rough that we were confined to Jabula for the day...until we discovered a small, more protected bay with a tiny pebble beach. Here we were able to lift the dinghy above the high-water mark and take a short walk into the village. The "beachlet" was filled with beautiful coloured pebbles and we picked some of the best ones for our collection of "stuff". The "short" walk was up a hill, past a coconut grove, along a very dusty trail, past a couple of donkeys in a field, down a hill, over a bridge, through a hole in a barbed wire fence, accross a shallow little lagoon and onto the beach...whew! Fortunately the first palapa you come to after the walk supplies ice cold beer and coco locos!
Chamela held us captive for seven days, but then it was time to go.