Bahia De Navidad
01 March 2012 | Melaque
Kevin/ 75 and hazy
Bonnie and I were getting a little bored with surfing and eating, surfing and eating ( although I am not sure you could call what I do on the surfboard surfing. It is more like paddle, paddle, paddle, stand up and fall down, paddle, paddle, paddle, paddle some more stand up and fall down again but that takes a lot longer to write so we just call it surfing) so we decided we would pull up the anchor and head a little more south to Bahia de Navidad. This bay is much smaller then Banderas bay and is the home of the towns of Melaque and Barra De Navidad. To prepare for the trip we went into Paradise Village Marina at Nuevo Vallarta for the night so we could fill our water tanks with fresh water. This marina is the only marina we could find in the area that has potable water at the slips. Some cruisers buy 5 gallon jugs of purified water and fill their tanks that way but with over 200 gallons of water in our two tanks it is more economical and much easier for us to fill up at this marina. Paradise Village is a very upscale marina and large hotel complex all in one that is priced very reasonable. It cost us $30.00 for the night and includes use off all the hotels amenities such as showers, hot tubs and swimming pools. They also have a Bengal tiger breeding program on site that was interesting. Currently they have three tigers here a male, female and their little cub.
The next day we left in the early afternoon to head out to Punta De Mita to anchor for the night. Banderas Bay has very similar wind patterns to our home bay in Bellingham Washington in the summertime. It is almost always calm in the morning and as the land heats up it creates a wind that starts at the head of the bay and blows towards the land. It makes for great sailing conditions within the bay with winds in the 10 to 20 knot range. Since the wind comes from the head of the bay we were heading right into it so we ended up having to make several long tacks to get to Punta De Mita but it made for brisk sailing.
The next morning we got up at 4:00 am so we could round Cabo Corrientes early in the morning when the wind is not as strong. We rounded the cape around 8:00 am and went to check out a small anchorage called Ipala. The guide books said this is an anchorage that is good when the weather is settled so our plan was to go to the anchorage look at it first hand and then decide if we wanted to anchor for the night or continue on to Chamela. We decided against staying at Ipala because it was very small and filled with pangas and fish pens. This left very little room for anchoring. So on we went to Bahia Chamela which is a fairly large bay that has good anchorage in the northern section right in front of the little town of Perula. We got in around 11:00pm so ended up anchoring in the dark which we hate to do but with Bonnie on the bow with our search light we were able to do it without running into anything. We spent a lazy day in Chamela relaxing and catching up on some sleep and then left the next day for Bahia De Navidad.
It was a good day of sailing from Chamela to Bahia De Navidad. It is only 38 miles from one bay to the other so we did not need to rush things. We were able to use our asymmetric spinnaker and even performed our first successful gybe with it. Unfortunately not long after the gybe the shackle came lose that attaches the clew of the spinnaker to the bow of the boat and the spinnaker popped loose and was sent flying and flopping in the wind. We have a spinnaker sock so it was no big deal to douse it but it ended our spinnaker run for the day. There are several choices for mooring in the bay; there is a large shallow lagoon at Barra De Navidad, a marina called Marina Puerto de la Navidad and an anchorage in front of the town of Melaque. We choose to anchor in front of Melaque because it was not very crowded and started our anchoring ritual which goes something like this; Me on the bow getting ready to deploy the anchor. Bonnie steering the boat to where we are going to drop the anchor. Me pointing to where I think we should anchor. Bonnie steering there. Me getting ready to drop the anchor. Bonnie deciding she does not like it here. Me saying where do you want to go. Bonnie saying over there. Bonnie steering to wherever over there is. Me getting ready to drop the anchor. Bonnie saying she does not like it here. Me getting a little exasperated saying where do you want to go. Bonnie getting a little exasperated at me getting a little exasperated at her and saying I want to try over there. Bonnie steering over there and me finally! getting to drop the hook and set the anchor. Then after everything is settled, Bonnie saying maybe over there would have been a better place. Me not answering.
The next morning we got a call from Pat who is a friend we met on the boat Cricket. He was wondering why we did not drop the hook over by them since there was lots of room and it was less rolly. Bonnie told him she likes to go around the anchorage to check out all the spots before dropping the hook. He said he had a dog once that was just like her it would go around and around in circles before it finally would lie down for the night. Bonnie didn't appreciate being compared to a dog but we had a good laugh. Last night we had dinner with Pat and his wonderful wife Lynn aboard Cricket and met newlyweds Stephanie and Rob aboard Red Witch. Dinner was steaks with real baked potatoes. What a treat! We also had a rousing game of Mexican Train. For you that may not know Mexican Train is a dominoes game that seems to have as many variations as there are people who play it. Each boat we have played on seems to have a new twist to the rules. This keeps the game interesting because the new rules mean you are always changing your strategy to try to win. That is, unless you're Bonnie, who does not care if she wins or not.
Well that is about all the news from sunny Mexico. We plan on spending a few more days here in the bay before we start heading back north. We will be heading into the wind on our way back so to make the trek back we will be stopping in some of the smaller anchorages that we skipped on the way down. This should make the trip back less taxing on us.