Speakeasy, Over The Horizon

The Voyages of Mark & Deanna Roozendaal

24 November 2016 | 26 41.15'S:153 7.72'E, Mooloolaba, Australia
13 November 2016 | 25 54.12'S:153 01.72'E, Tin Can Bay, Australia
12 November 2016 | 25 31.69'S:152 57.91'E, Fraser Island, Australia
31 October 2016 | 24 45.38'S:152 23.72'E, Bundaberg, Australia
30 October 2016 | 23 52'S:153 55'E, On Passage - Noumea, New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia
29 October 2016 | 23 28'S:156 47'E, On Passage - Noumea, New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia
28 October 2016 | 22 57'S:159 54'E, On Passage - Noumea, New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia
27 October 2016 | 22 40'S:163 13'E, On Passage - Noumea to Australia
26 October 2016 | 22 22'S:166 10'E, On Passage - Noumea to Australia
18 October 2016 | 22 16.60'S:166 26.40'E, Noumea, New Caledonia
17 October 2016 | 21 37'S:168 13'E, between Vanuatu and New Caledonia
14 October 2016 | 19 31.57'S:169 26.66'E, Port Resolution, Tanna I, Vanuatu
14 October 2016 | 19 31.57'S:169 26.66'E, Port Resolution, Tanna I, Vanuatu
14 October 2016 | 19 31.90'S:169 26.98'E, Mt. Yasur, Tanna I, Vanuatu
12 October 2016 | 19 31.58'S:169 29.65'E, Port Resolution, Vanuatu
09 October 2016 | 20 14.36'S:169 46.63'E, Aneityum, Vanuatu
03 October 2016 | 20 14.36'S:169 46.63'E, Aneityum, Vanuatu
02 October 2016 | 19 39'S:172 03'E, On Passage from Fiji to Vanuatu
01 October 2016 | 18 43'S:174 16'E, On Passage from Fiji to Vanuatu
27 September 2016 | 17 40.88'S:177 23.16'E, Vuda Marina, Fiji

Chacala - A great Mexican seaside village

25 March 2015 | 21 34.13'N:106 04.13'W, Crossing the Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Mark
We spent the last couple of nights anchored off the small village of Chacala, about 50 miles North of Puerto Vallarta, but a world away in terms of attitude and pace.

Chacala is situated on a small half moon bay, less than a mile across. Behind the sandy beach is a very small town that originated as a fishing village. You can find a handful of beach palapa restaurants, two tiendas, and a few small Mexican hotels and B&B's. For anything more than that, you need to jump in collectivo (shared van taxi) to the bigger town of Las Varas, a few miles inland. On the northern edge of the bay is an even tinier rock-lined bay with a perfect sandy beach at it's head for easy beach dinghy-landings. The port captains office is right there at the beach - extremely convenient. From a cruiser's point of view, this place is near perfect for a relaxing stop.

So many of these picturesque villages, like Sayulita a little further south, have been discovered by the gringo tourist masses and have changed significantly. More restaurants, more services, bigger hotels, crowds, and biggest costs seem to be the progression. For some, this is an improvement, but I think it comes at the cost of authenticity and quality of life for many in town. Here in Chacala there are a few gringo tourists but they seem to be the experienced ones who know that they have found something special. Most of the tourists, but still a very small number, are Mexicans who come for the day or for the weekend.

When we arrived there were only three other cruisers anchored in a bay that could hold many more. Checking in with the Port Captain was a leisurely affair interrupted by petting the cat that seemed to be as interested in our arrival as anyone. Walking through town, it was clear that these are the friendliest locals we have met yet. Everyone waved, or said "Hola" as we passed by. Best of all, aggressive salespeople calling out were nowhere to be found. It felt to us that this town was honestly welcoming to visitors, not yet seeing enough tourists to drive them crazy.

After a peaceful first night at anchor, we headed out to climb to the caldera of the extinct volcano that we were told was just behind the closest hills. I wasn't surprised to hear about a volcano as the rocks in the area were all black and bubbly, definitely seeming to be of volcanic origin to my untrained eyes. This dark rock up against the while sand and green jungle definitely accentuated the visual charm of the area.

With very little in the way of directions we set off down the road, looking for tracks leading upwards. Eventually, after following a steeply winding dirt road we came to the most impressive gate house for a neighbourhood that we have ever seen. We could see a few of the houses clinging to the steep hillside from the anchorage, but it was clear that there hadn't been any new development happening for a few years. The guard at the gatehouse, who obviously hardly ever saw any visitors, was testing his new car stereo with some pretty impressive volume - another laid back local enjoying himself. I told him in Spanish that we wanted to walk to the Caldera and hoped that he would let us pass. He replied in perfect english that we were nearly there and give us some further directions.

By this time, we were close to the crest of the hills surrounding the anchorage. The view was spectacular. The picture at top of this entry was taken from here. Once we reached the top, we were looking down into what was obviously an extinct volcano. The round caldera is now a large swampy area with a mix of grasses and water plants. Most of the bank was dense jungle, but on our side was a huge orchard of trees growing a very spiny fruit. We haven't had any internet to check, but we were told that it was prickly pear.

We hiked around much of the caldera enjoying the spectacular views and then made our way all the way down, back to the boat. It was a wonderful day in what will probably be one of our favourite anchorages. I have one request - don't tell anyone! I do hope that this place is able to retain its character and friendliness!

We left Chacala early this morning, although we could easily have stayed longer. But, the normal north wind has died down and given us a good weather window to head North to LaPaz. Although we will probably be motoring the entire way, it is much nicer to motor 300 miles than to beat into a strong headwind - especially in a catamaran. We expect to arrive in Muertos, about 50 miles from LaPaz sometime the day after tomorrow. It's a long non-stop stretch, but will get us over the Baja and back into its very different desert environment! From Muertos we will head north a bit further, and then south towards LaPaz. There are a few gorgeous sugar-white sand anchorages that we will probably visit along the way. LaPaz was the first town where we spent any time on our last trip here ten years ago so we are eager to see it again.

Well, that's it for now. It is glassy calm as I write this but I had better stick me head up to make sure that I don't run into any whales!
Comments
Vessel Name: Speakeasy
Vessel Make/Model: 2007 Manta IV 42' Catamaran
Hailing Port: Victoria, BC, Canada
Crew: Mark & Deanna Roozendaal
About:
In 2005 we were lucky enough to be able to take a one year sabbatical where we sailed from Victoria BC to Mexico and Hawaii in our Catalina 42. We had a fantastic time! As soon as we returned home, we started dreaming about our next trip. [...]
Social:
Speakeasy's Photos - (Main)
3 Photos
Created 1 March 2016
For our newest pictures, please look on the right hand side of our page under FAVOURITES and click on "2015+ Photo Gallery". This will take you to Flickr where we now store all of our photos.
No Photos
Created 19 April 2015
Yelapa is a small village on the South shore of Banderas Bay, near Puerto Vallarta. Unless you own a hummer, is only accessible by boat which gives it a nice laid back vibe
10 Photos
Created 20 March 2015
Our furthest South point this year.
13 Photos
Created 20 March 2015
Manzanillo is a huge commercial port between Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatanejo. Not that much tourism here which makes it a very authentic Mexican city
5 Photos
Created 20 March 2015
Pictures from Tenacatita and a few other anchorages in the area.
17 Photos
Created 20 March 2015
A few pictures from our Christmas visit to Barra & Melaque
11 Photos
Created 19 January 2015
A quick visit to the small fishing village of Chamela
5 Photos
Created 28 December 2014
Isla Isabella is an island about 20 miles offshore Mexico, between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. it is a nesting ground for a number of sea birds and has been the subject of several documentaries. The birds and lizards on the island have no fear of humans.
26 Photos
Created 16 December 2014
13 Photos
Created 16 December 2014
9 Photos
Created 16 December 2014
From Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas
15 Photos
Created 14 November 2014
Sailing from Turtle Bay to Bahia Santa Maria, Mexico
12 Photos
Created 14 November 2014
We participated in the rally again this year. Here are a few pics from the pre-start party, the start, and the first leg to Turtle Bay, Mexico. Credit to Dave Tolman for most of the pictures.
25 Photos
Created 12 November 2014
We spend the better part of a week first in Catalina Harbor and then in the opposite side of the isthmus in Two Harbors
7 Photos
Created 17 October 2014
Our time in the big city
4 Photos
Created 17 October 2014
A few pics from our brief stop in this richie rich tourist town
4 Photos
Created 17 October 2014
Morro Bay, California
15 Photos
Created 2 October 2014
11 Photos
Created 25 September 2014
Big waves at Morro Bay from a low pressure system that rolled through North of us
10 Photos
Created 25 September 2014
7 Photos
Created 25 September 2014
Our side trip to the Delta and Sacramento from the San Francisco Bay
27 Photos
Created 9 September 2014
20 Photos
Created 21 August 2014
27 Photos
Created 21 July 2014
Prior to our departure, we hauled out at Canoe Cove, BC, Canada.
13 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
"Speakeasy" is a 2007 Manta 42 MKIV Catamaran. We purchased her in 2013 from the original owners. Manta's come fairly well equipped from the factory for offshore cruising. We will be adding the rest of the necessary equipment.
23 Photos
Created 10 February 2013
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 15 May 2011
1 Photo | 15 Sub-Albums
Created 1 December 2006
1 Photo | 9 Sub-Albums
Created 1 December 2006
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 1 December 2006
25 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 1 December 2006

Speakeasy - Manta 42 Catamaran

Who: Mark & Deanna Roozendaal
Port: Victoria, BC, Canada

Where are Mark & Deanna?