Foraging for Food
12 March 2017
The tienda above is actually in Barra de Navidad, but looks much like the one in Perula.
February, 27, 2017
After several days at sea, it was time for a walk on land. We were in need of some fresh fruit and vegetables and thought breakfast out might be a good idea too. Sometimes Chamela can have a rough shore break, but the bay was calm this morning, so we decided to go for it.
Most any task a sailor takes on requires a multitude of layers. We can’t just grab the keys, jump in the car and go. We travel by dinghy, which we keep tied to the back of our boat on davits. The procedure goes like this:
1. Jay puts on his sailing gloves.
2. We untie the lines and uncoil them so as not to get them tangled
3. Undo the safety straps.
4. I climb over the back railing of Cadenza into the dinghy, which is still tied to the boat.
5. Jay lowers me down into the water. Slowly.
6. I unclip the davit lines from the dinghy.
7. We walk it over to midship.
8. I pump it up. This takes several minutes. She is getting old and loses air daily.
9. I climb out. Jay climbs in.
10. If needed, we fill the tank with gas.
11. I hand him the dinghy wheels which he snaps into place.
12. I hand him two life jackets.
13. Next in goes the backpack which contains the hand-held radio, sunscreen, water, hats, Kleenex, (You never know if there will be toilet paper in the bathroom.) and Jay’s dry shoes for walking. (Flip-flops are my shoe of choice.)
14. Okay, I think we are ready to go now.
We landed ashore without too much incident. The dinghy wheel Jay had just got repaired had too much air and popped up just as we were trying to get through the surf. Out we go, into the water, and walk her out, past the break where Jay was able to lock it into place. Back in and through the waves again. We pulled her up onto the beach and tied her to a tree.
Jane and Jerry, from s/v Aeolian, arrived on their dinghy, right behind us. There was no formal planning, although we had discussed the possibility of getting breakfast at Scuba Jazz Café the night before while sharing hors d’oeuvres and drinks on their boat. (We just met them yesterday when they came over on their dinghy and invited us over. That is how it is with cruisers; we meet people and instantly become friends. They are geologists who have lived all over the world and have wonderful tales to share.) We meandered along the beach for a while and then turned up a dirt road. Most all the roads in this town are dirt. The main road is one long stretch of rough pavement that runs into town.
Scuba Jazz Café is a really cool restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner in an open-air patio on the side of the owner’s house. The roof is a canopy of trees, laced with netting to protect the tables from leaves. It is furnished with beautifully carved wooden tables and chairs and the food is good. The menu is painted on the outside wall of the house. In the evenings, the owner, along with some of the locals and ex-pats, play jazz. Their repertoire is only music written before the 1940s. We have never heard them, but rumor has it that one must make reservations, as the restaurant gets booked up fast. During the day, on the other side of the house is a small room where they rent out scuba equipment. Thus, the name, Scuba Jazz Café. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday. This is Monday. Scuba Jazz was closed. Bummer!
Not sure where to go to next, we headed back to the beach. There we met up with a woman and asked for recommendations. She shared with us her local knowledge and soon we were “downtown” at Tony’s enjoying a delicious Mexican breakfast. One hint. Never go to a Mexican restaurant hungry. Service is slow and relaxed and takes a bit of time to get delivered. It is always cooked to order. It is almost always yummy. They are never in any hurry.
We had also asked the lady on the beach where the best vegetables and fruit could be found. After a meal that cost five dollars each, we went further into town in search of the tienda. Along with our fruit and veggies, we scored three bottles of our favorite Chilean wine and one can of Negra Modelo. (You get what you can find, when you find it.) Now we are set for a few more days at anchor.
We cruisers have a saying, “One chore a day.” Our chore today was shopping. We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the boat.