05 February 2010 | Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico
I just watched the sun set off our bow from the anchorage here in Chacala. We left San Blas yesterday afternoon around 1pm, waving goodbye to our good friends, the Borens of Third Day, and the Fields aboard Smoke n' Blues, as we slowly motored down the channel. We made several other friends during our three plus week sojourn in San Blas. We expect to see many of them again further south - maybe even Peter on Delphis;-)
While in San Blas you are in the real Mexico. There are no condos, timeshares, resorts, golf courses, department stores, or any other trappings of a tourist town. The people are genuinely warm, friendly, and helpful. I am thinking about writing an article about San Blas titled, "Of Bells and Bugs - our time in San Blas." San Blas has a deserved reputation for being "buggy." That is what protects it from being turned into a tourist mecca. Areas around San Blas are designated as a bird refuge and there is an annual migratory bird festival that we were luckily in town for. Due to the protected status of the bird refuge there are prohibitions against using insecticides that would reduce the population of mosquitoes and "no see-ums," which are microscopic biting gnats. Chacala, a quaint, but gringo oriented town, has no major issues with bugs and we can see the resultant throngs on the beach from where we are anchored.
Chacala has its own charms though, and is a contrast to San Blas. The town is centered around the small cove we are anchored in. Palapas line the beach and there are several souvenir shops lining the street that parallels the beach. Palm trees and verdant hills offer a pleasing backdrop. The anchorage is a bit rolly and as I write this, getting rollier. We set a stern anchor when we arrived and today the swell shifted a bit to the north requiring us to reset the stern anchor to keep our bow into the Pacific swells. We used our Fortress FX-37, an aluminum anchor that disassembles for easy stowage. Most cruising boats carry three or four different anchors. Not all anchorages have sand like what is below our boat right now. Seabeds can be muddy, rocky, grassy, coral, and other types.
Tomorrow we depart Chacala for La Cruz. La Cruz is on the northern end of Banderas Bay. Puerto Vallarta is roughly centered in the bay. Banderas is banner in Spanish. The bay was named for a supposed miracle that occurred during a battle between Spanish forces and the natives. A banner depicting the holy cross was illuminated by a ray of light that formed a halo. This phenomenon so moved both sides that the battle was discontinued.