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La Cruz de HuanacaxtleSteve
01/31/2012, Simply.....La Cruz
I know it is sounding kind of redundant...but once again we're falling in love with one of our stops. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, or simply "La Cruz", is definitely the cruising epicenter of the Pacific coast of Mexico. As mentioned in my last blog, the anchorage here is HUGE (pic), and even though there are somewhere around 72 boats in the anchorage, there is still room for another 72. There is also Marina La Cruz , which has slips for 340 boats. Add the 1000 or so slips in Puerto Vallarta, which is less than 15 miles away and it's no wonder that boats are attracted from around the world to the protected, pleasant waters of Banderas Bay.
01/27/2012, La Cruz
We are now inside Bahia Banderas...which is the large bay where Puerto Vallarta is located. We officially entered Banderas Bay on Tuesday after rounding the northern Point known as Punta Mita. All of our cruising guides warn to give the large reef and rock strewn Punta Mita plenty of room while rounding it. As we made our way around Punta Mita we watched large waves break far out to sea all around the point. Another sailboat, that had been trailing us all day, tried to cut the corner...probably didn't have any cruising guides...or maybe just no brains. We watched him pass us inside and close in to the rocky shoreline not aware of the occasional large sets that were coming in. As a set came in homie quickly became aware that on his existing course he would soon become reef meat, and he abruptly changed course towards the open ocean. After rounding the point we made our way around another surf break and anchored off the beach for the night (pic). On Wednesday we left Punta Mita and came further into the bay to La Cruz Hauacaxtle...or simply La Cruz. La Cruz appears to be the epicenter of Mexico cruising, and as we dropped the hook between two other boats Sharon got out her calculator and counted 72 other boats in the anchorage, by far the most we've seen in any one anchorage (actually it maybe more than we've seen in ALL the other anchorage combined)
01/23/2012, Chacala, Nayarit Mexico
The 22 NM trip from Matanchen Bay was pretty uneventful. We motored down the coast about 2-3 miles offshore, other than a couple of fishing boats and a few whales in the distance, not much happened. Upon arriving in the small cove of Chacala we were able to practice deploying our stern anchor....something most sailors tell you you'll never need. The other boats in the anchorage all (accept one) had bow and stern anchors set. Keeping with the unwritten rule of anchoring the same as the other boats already in the anchorage....we, for the first time, deployed our stern anchor. Things didn't go exactly as planned, but after one failed attempt we were all set up bow and stern, thereby keeping Si Bow's bow into the waves and reducing the rocking motion of the gentle waves.
01/19/2012, San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico
San Blas is a traditional, non-tourist Mexican fishing town. The sleepy little town was once a burgeoning naval port for New Spain. San Blas was more or less founded in 1530 and became New Spain's Pacific naval port in 1768. San Blas went into a decline shortly after the Spanish-Mexican war, as most of the commerce and shipbuilding was moved to either Mazatlan or Acapulco. Today San Blas has a population of about 6,000, including a fair amount of ex-pats who have settled into the carefree lifestyle of this charming, although very poor town.
Jungle river tripSteve
01/17/2012, San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico
One of the must things to do in San Blas is the jungle river trip. This morning several of us from the small marina boarded a Panga and headed into the estuary. It was something right out of Disneyland....only the large crocodiles were real. This was our first real trip into an estuary and the three or four amazing eco systems that we past through were all beautiful in their own way. Along with all the Crocs, we also saw many different birds, butterflies, fish and plants. As we ate lunch next to a clear spring in the jungle, several pangas came in loaded with college kids from Mexico City.....who turned out to be some of the wildest of all of the animals we saw today.
Mazatlan to San BlasSteve
01/16/2012, San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico
As we exited the harbor entrance from Mazatlan we had our sails up within minutes and were on a broad reach doing about 5 knots in about 8-10 knots of wind. We set a course towards Isla Isabela, which is about 18 miles off of the coast of Mexico. Isla Isabela has been called the Galapagos of Mexico by both the National Geographic magazine and by Jacque Cousteau. Most of our fellow cruisers, and the cruising guides call it a small, rollie, rocky, non-protected, anchor eating island, which is only suitable as a VERY calm weather anchorage and then for only for a small number of boats. Never the less we felt that we needed to check it out for ourselves. We sailed through the afternoon and through the night and finally at about 4:30 Saturday morning the wind died out and we turned on the iron sail. I was on watch when just after sunrise while looking behind us I saw a monstrous animal surface quickly and then disappear. I grabbed my camera and aimed it towards where I saw the huge creature....suddenly Sharon appeared in the companionway and asked what I had seen, I informed her that I thought it was a Humpback whale...and a big one at that. We didn't have to wait very long before we began seeing water spouts EVERYWHERE. Humpback whales are one of the largest animals in the world and can reach 50 feet and weigh 35-45 tons....and we were right in the middle of their breeding grounds. There were several times that we had to take evasive measures to keep from hitting one of these huge, playful beasts, including one time that one was literally right up against our hull.
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