Isla Grande, Ixtapa02/19/2012
Sail down the afternoon seabreeze on a broad reach, navigate past the underwater pinnacle rock, and drop the hook into the warm waters of Isla Grande. A long time ago, when I first sailed Mexico on "Marlin," some lady told me "go to Ixtapa, baby, it will blow your mind." So here we are prepared to be mind-blown. A kayak to shore, a table for two under a beach umbrella, and a bit of ramble around the island, and yes, I'd say she was about right. Over my shoulder you can see the shores of Playa Lindo, where I'd go surfing a few days later with Roberto and Ivan. After I took my lumps in the head-high, perfectly glassy waves, and caught a dozen or so good rides, we drove back to Ivan's place, where his gorgeous young wife made us some shockingly tasty - and blindingly hot - chiliquiles for lunch. Then I just stared out at their view and soaked up the mellow vibe. We spoke in some Spanish and English strung together with a lot of laughing. I had such a good time with those guys.
We left Caleta de Campos at 3:30 a.m., buddy boating with "Younger Girl," and discovered a sweet night wind coming off the shore. Closehauled, (who needs an autohelm now!), and the wind is just right, and it smells like the trees on shore, and the water is flat, and we have Zhuatenejo over the horizon. Yes.
The cliff face at Caleta de Campos. Did I mention there's a nice surf break just around the corner?
Caleta de Campos02/19/2012
Places like this will tempt you to stay.... But we have miles to go before we sleep.
Naomi on Medusa02/19/2012
Go small, go now, is what they say, and Naomi and her Columbia 23 "Medusa" are proof it works. She bought this boat for 2 grand in California, hauled it to the Sea of Cortez, and then sold the trailer for $600. She's probably invested 2 and a half more boat bucks in cruising gear. Her only regret was not having an autohelm of some kind - but bringing on crew like Ian here make the passages from one surf town to the next go by that much easier. She's out there doing it - so what's stopping you? Our 36-footer felt huge and yachtlike next door - but on the other hand - while I was tearing apart MY autohelm, Medusa sailed off her hook, past us, and around the bay during the afternoon thermals. Then they rowed ashore to play volley on the beach with the locals. Good life out here.
Barra to Caleta de Campos02/19/2012
Liberte is now on a mission to get south - and really, east! - to El Salvador, while sampling the goods along the way. Everything south of Manzanillo is all new territory. We waved goodbye to friends at Barra, and motored out the channel surrounded by small fish belly up - dead or dying. The dying ones were going in mad circles. Theories on their demise range from an earthquake unleashing methane gas to some sort of red tide. We didn't see this anywhere else. Although Santiago Bay is mighty tempting - just met a boat that spent 65 days there last season - we rolled on by, and then past Las Hadas, where we've had some really great days. For our next landfall we chose Caleta de Campos, based on a great description in the cruising guide - and the fact the swell was down. This place was awesome - turned out to be a great call. We shared the anchorage with just three other boats - and a local gringo motored out in his panga to ask where all these boats were coming from. Ha!