Yelapa 35 years later...
23 March 2012 | Yelapa
Sitting on the beach in Yelapa in 1977 never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be sailing into the bay 35 years later.
Yelapa is a small town in Banderas Bay which is only accessible by boat. In the winter of 1977-78, I spent 3 months there living on less than 5 dollars a day. Me and two friends rented a small palapa on the hillside overlooking the bay - a million dollar view for 35 dollars a month! We spent our days walking, swimming, cooking and eating pie on the beach. Then the town had no electricity and no phone lines and of course the internet didn't even exist. Today there is electricity and telephone and internet but still no roads.
The main source of transportation back then was by horseback and I was pleased to see that that still holds true as many homes have a saddled horse tied up outside the house ready to go. We did see a few ATV's but not too many.
We arrived yesterday at noon and were greeted by an fellow name Ricardo who had a mooring bouy ready for us to use for 200 peso's including taxi rides to the beach and back. Yelapa is a very deep bay and shallows up very close to the beach so it is a tricky place to anchor. So we took a mooring. Shortly after, we set off on a hike up the river behind the beach to walk to the waterfall which we were told takes an hour. It took us 1.5 each way.
Arriving back at the beach, we saw that the wind had picked up during the afternoon and the swells coming into the bay were large and close together. Kasasa was rocking quite a bit and we both thought that we may have to leave the anchorage. Once we got to the boat however, it was not too bad on board and so we decided to stay. The winds calmed down by dark and around midnight dropped altogether. That meant that the boat was now not being held front into the swells which is the most comfortable way to take them. Instead we sat sideways to them all night long and the boat rocked side to side and made for a very uncomfortable sleep.
So we got up in the morning and after a walk through the village, we decided to head back to the La Cruz anchorage. As we untied from the mooring bouy, Ian hauled up the main and right then the engine died. He figured it was an air bubble in the fuel line as he had just switched tanks. So we hauled out the jib and in about 4 knots of wind, we tacked back and fourth in the bay until we were able to clear the point and head into Banderas Bay at which point Ian went down below and got the engine running again.
We managed to sail all the way back to La Cruz as the winds built from 4 knots to about 18 and mostly on the beam. I was having a good sleep down below to make up for the sleep I missed the night before. I did wake up for a few minutes for Ian to put a reef in the main as we were starting to heel over just a little too much.