Captain Bligh vs Los Pescadores de panga y sus palangres!
22 December 2018
December 22, 2018
Sailors beware of the Palangres!
What a day we had on Thursday making our way from Matanchén, San Blas to Punta Mita, Bahia de Banderas.
With northwesterlies predicted, we planned for a nice downwind sail. However, winds were light and seas were getting bigger, making for a rolling motor ride.
Whales escorted us on port and starboard, spouting off every once in a while, then showing off with a whale tail dive to the deep. I finally spotted a sea turtle. I shouted out "turtle off starboard!" so loud, that it lifted it's head up high to see what all the racket was about.
Taking photos of sea life is quite challenging, especially for a novice photographer. My camera is never quite in focus or ready to get that great shot of a whale tail. So I have no photos to share of my whale tail tales seen from SV Pinocchio! But no lie..it really happened.
A we made our way south, we noticed a Panga up ahead and a floating buoy with a flag...fishing in progress. The panga fishermen set out these longlines that extend out for miles in many directions, creating a maze of lines and hooks to navigate around. Marking the paths of the lines are floating empty litre soda bottles which are hard to spot with big choppy seas! We made the decision to go off course towards land, hoping to find a end to the longline where we can pass. After a few miles, we came to another buoy flag, marking yet another long line! Arghh! Does the line go all the way to land?! Geez! We changed course again, this time offshore, heading for the Panga. Meanwhile, I'm looking up Spanish words for "Where can I pass your longline?" "Donde puedo cruzar su palangre?" We realized that if we reached the Pescadores over the radio, they would answer us back in Spanish and we would not understand what they were saying! As we near the Panga, the universal "arms up with palms up" signals our question to the Pescadores...they show us the way around!
Once on course again, David set out our fishing line. Fifteen minutes go by, and the line took off! Fish On?...Nope! We've caught our fishing line on another longline. This one came up out of nowhere! So now, we've lost two nice lures and great lengths of our fishing line to the panga Pescadores with their palangres. "Arghh!" says Captain Bligh along with a few other expletives.
Anyone know of the trick to get around these offshore longline gauntlets?! Captain and crew of SV Pinocchio would appreciate any thoughts or ideas...
As we neared Bahia de Banderas and Punta Mita, we had yet another challenge. Large breaking waves at the point. Some were Mavericks' size!...no lie! These waves were nothing to be casual about. We surfed our way over 15+ foot swells into the Punta Mita anchorage for the night.
Friday, December 21, 2018
With a little breeze for the 9nm from Punta Mita to La Cruz we put up our drifter for a quiet, calm sail to La Cruz. We are here at Marina Riviera Nayarit, La Cruz for the holidays! Felis Navidad familia and amigos! Will blog again soon!