Cruising Mexico-Pacific Coast
16 December 2010 | San Blas-Matanchen Bay
This is a bit of a long entry but we have been pretty busy in the last week.
We left Isa Isabel Tuesday morning and travelled on oily calm seas with little or no wind the 42nm to the Mexico Pacific Coast port or San Blas where we are currently anchored in Matanchen Bay. On this passage we saw what I think would be the most fish life I have ever seen in a 7 hour period. Bait fish in huge schools had the surface boiling. We caught Tuna & Dorado and spotted Whales , Sharks, and Dolphins at times every where you looked there was some sort or another of action happening.
The further into Mexico we get the more difficult the language barrier becomes. In Vanuatu and New Caledonia whilst English was not the primary language it was understood and we were in most cases able to communicate effectively in broken English and some French however that is not the case here . At each new port we arrive we are required to check in with the port captain. Trying to interpret there instructions is a challenge for us and trying to interpret our intentions is a challenge for them. Ordering food and shopping is entertaining to say the least and often we just give up and resort to pointing and or just saying "si" and hoping for the best. Leanne is busy each day learning new words and phrases and I am as usual just making it up as we go along. It can be frustrating but it usually ends up in laughter on both sides. We will have to get more fluent if we are to make the most of the Spanish speaking countries we intend to visit whilst on the west coast of central and South America.
Isa Isabel "The Galapagos of Mexico" as it is referred to here due to the enormous number of nesting birds and resident iguanas is surely a unique island and well deserves its status as national park and world heritage site. Blue footed booby birds along with frigates and other bird species are in plague proportions and although the guide book says that they allow visitors to approach without fear of being harmed they are more than happy to peck and squawk and if you are really lucky (apparently) they will use any part of you as a toilet. We in the company of our friends the Wells family, Eric, Dawn and their daughter Whitney and son Tommy of S.V. Perfect Wave hiked across the centre of the island and then around the west and east coast of the island and enjoyed the birds and scenery the island offered. At times we though we were in the Alfred Hitchcock movie "Birds". The sky was as full of birds as Myers is of people in the post Christmas sales and the birds were as erratic as the shoppers usually are! I have created an album in the photo called Isa Isabel which has lots of pictures of the island the birds us and the Well's gang.
Tuesday having anchored around 3.00pm we went ashore to what is referred to throughout coastal Mexico as a Palapa Bar. My best description of a Palapa would be a shack open on 3 sides with a thatched roof, plastic tables and chairs that is operated by a family. The basic kitchen area usually consist of a single burner stove a sink and a fridge. The food is mostly seafood and to date at has been excellent. Cold beer is available thanks to large ice boxes. To date a large meal and 3-4 beers runs us about $10.00 per head.
Yesterday we travelled in the dinghies from the anchorage here at San Blas into the town (about 5 nm) where we provisioned at the Municipal Market and had a quick look around the town. A very simple and relatively poor place with cobblestone roads and buildings in various states of disrepair however it appears from our experience with rural Mexico to date that this is the norm and the majority of the locals seem to be welcoming. I have added to the photo gallery an album called San Blas which has pictures of the coast and the town.
Today we are back in San Blas exploring and making the most of the free WIFI at one of the local restaurants. Tomorrow we hope to hire a Panga (large open boat) with a guide for a tour of about 7nm up the estuary through the jungle where we hear that it is possible to see Jaguar, Coati, Wild boar, Mexican Ocelots and lots more birds.
Matt has been great company and we are really enjoying his cooking. He prepares and cooks at least one meal a day for us and they have all been delicious - food has always been his passion and I fear he may have missed his calling as a chef.
So once again you are all up to date with our adventures
LOL, J, L&M