About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi


"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844


Monday, February 28, 2011

South to Manzanillo

Hola gang
Sorry for the long delay in updating the blog...days turn to weeks so fast out here, it's easy to lose track of time.

We've been continuing to work our way south from Barra.  Oh yeah, first we owe you a Superbowl update...it was a fun party, but not really up to the hype it was getting in town...I guess that's not unlike the Superbowl in general!!! 
View from the Grand Bay Hotel lobby.  The marina was above our budget (WELL above!!!), but we were anchored in the lagoon beyond, with around 40 other boats)

Beautiful beach hiking outside Barra lead to this rocky headland trail.

Local Sands hotel dock resident applied for a crew position!

We wound up staying in the Barra lagoon for a bit over one week, seeing old friends and making new ones.  It's a great place to hang out, take care of chores (not the least of which is ongoing bottom cleaning, it's amazing how quickly things keep growing in this tropical water!!!)

Bravo leaving Barra...photo by Michelle

We left the Barra lagoon with buddies Michelle and Cary aboard Kailani, heading for a bay named Ensenada Carrizal, about 20 miles south.  Had a great sail most of the way.  Nice to be sailing again!!  Carrizal was a beautiful, unique anchorage...at least unique to this area, as it was completely undeveloped all around the bay.  Reminded us of cruising the west coast of Vancouver Island...steep rocky banks on all sides, and quiet dark nights.  Beautiful. 
The snorkeling was the best we've yet found in Mexico, with excellent visibility and the most undisturbed, healthy coral reefs we've found on the trip. 


 Carrizal was just around the corner from Santiago Bay, and after a few days we headed there, around a whopping 4 mile move!!!  Santiago Bay is very large, and almost completely surrounded by beaches.  It's easy to take the bus from the Playa Boquita anchorage to town, either Santiago or the larger city of Manzanillo.  In the anchorage itself is an old 300' shipwreck, dating back to a 1959 hurricane, which provides good diving and snorkeling, and all in all, the area provides a great destination for the myriad of boats making their way down the Mexican coast for the winter.  It's easy to grow roots there, and we did so for nearly three weeks!   (actually they weren't roots, but tube worms and barnacles, which took a smelly liking to our anchor chain and "flopper stopper" when we finally pulled it all up!!!)

Life in Santiago took on a nice rhythm, with an easy mix of boat chores and socializing.  Beach bocce, poker, dominoes.....
Typically there were between 20 and 30 boats anchored there, several for well over a month.  There's a terrific Saturday market in Santiago, with vendors of an amazing variety of goods setting up shop. 
Let's see now.....is that cinco pesos per kilo???

Ya gotta love the Sawzall on the wall!!!


























Victoria's Secret, eat your heart out!!!


This guy was selling blender parts for all brands and vintages!!!
  Yesterday we finally upped anchor and came across Santiago Bay, around the corner into Manzanillo Bay, and we're anchored in front of a rather charming resort known as Los Hades.  Site of the movie "10", it's really a rather dramatic spot, overlooking the port city of Manzanillo across the bay.  100 pesos per boat gets us full use of the facilities, including dinghy dock, pool, tennis courts, etc.  Not too shabby for under $5 US/person!!  

Iguana roaming through a nearby housing community.

No one ever said money buys taste!!!
 We'll be staying here for a few more days before we begin the trek back north, eventually winding up in the Sea of Cortez for the summer (hurricane season).  This seems to be a fairly well established migratory pattern of the cruising community...a sort of water borne "snowbird fleet".  Some boats are departing soon for their hop to the south pacific, which we plan on doing next year.  Others head north, either for the Sea like us, or, for the true snowbirds, back up to their US homes for the summer.  Although it's sure to be rather intensely hot along Baja this summer, it also promises to be a unique adventure in a fairly unpopulated part of the country, compared to this mainland trip we've been on so far.

In closing this update, we wanted to respond to several of you who have written to express concern given the recent news about the piracy and murder in the Gulf of Aden / Somalia.  First, like everyone, our hearts go out to the families of the innocent cruisers who were killed.  Perhaps at last the governments of the world will realize that this craziness needs to be stopped, and use their navies to secure these international waterways to ensure safety for maritime traffic of innocent citizens.  Second, Mexico is not the middle east...a far cry from it.  Cindi and I have traveled in many countries around the world, and we can honestly say that we've never felt as warmly welcomed by the locals of another nation as much as we feel welcomed by the Mexicans.  They have been friendly and inviting, and we feel honored to be able to spend such an enjoyable time in their country.  There is trouble in areas of all countries, not the least of which is the US, where one needs to excercise caution in deciding where and when to travel at times.  Mexico does have serious problems of violence (fueled by the US demand for illegal drugs).  But for the most part, we feel very safe here, and look forward to spending this next year in this great country!

Stay tuned!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Onwards to Barra de Navidad

It's been a great week for the good ship Bravo.  After Paraiso, we continued to work our way approx 20 miles south east to Bahia Tenacatita.  This beautiful bay surrounded by white sandy beach is one of the key destinations for cruising yachts in these parts, and it's easy to see why.  In the NW corner is a protected anchorage, with a palapa restaurant on the beach to take care of liquid refreshments as needed.  The beach is a local gathering place for this "cruiser's summer camp".  Every day at 1:30 is a swim to shore.  For those who prefer to dinghy ashore, we meet at 2pm (mas o menos, obviously!!!) for the day's activities.  These typically include bocce ball, beach walks, watching dinghies attempt landings and launchings in the surf (a good spectator sport, once you've executed successfully, or even if you weren't quite so lucky!!!), and of course cerveza and ceviche at La Vena palapa beach bar and campground.

We even had Aussie Don w/ partner Deborah from s/v Buena Vista teach us the basics of cricket, where we proceeded to make a horror show of this noble sport of the Commonwealth!!!
Don and Deborah demonstrating exemplary cricket stance.


...and explaining the rules (yeah, right....!!!)

Adam gives it a mighty swing to "defend the wicket" (upside down trash bucket)
Cindi not having any fun at all, with buddies Mark and Vicki aboard Godzilla

Surf landings and launchings are always good sport!
 
The daily bocce tournament




Cindi w/ a good hair day!!
One day we hired a local panga to take 3 loads of cruisers to La Manzanilla across the bay, for a day of sightseeing and provisioning in the pretty little town.  Nice way to travel!!!


Mexican navy showed up one day in Tenacatita anchorage, and boarded every boat (+/- 20).  They were just checking our papers, very polite, no worries, but having 6 guys with automatic weapons walking around the deck does get one's attention!!!





Adam kayaks to the beach...surf's up!!!
After several great days of playing with new friends in Tenacatita, we worked our way south 11 miles to what's known as the "Secret Anchorage", the tiny village of Cuastecomate.

Looking back at Cuastecomate at Bravo at anchor.

A very pretty anchorage, with some of the best snorkeling we've had so far in Mexico. 
A couple of small rays doing their ray thing!!!


Though a bit open to the westerly swell, the payback was that we had unobstructed views of magnificant sunsets.
 
Nearly a green flash moment!!!


So what can we say.....suckers for sunset photos!!!

And the 2 mile hike to the larger town of Malaque didn't hurt us either!!!


Cindi enjoying two of the basic food groups!!

Tortilla machine in Melaque.  Very neat gizmo to nicely take care of another food group!!!
After spending a couple of lovely days hiking, snorkeling (including a much needed barnacle scraping of Bravo...things grow fast in this warm water!), we headed south again, just around the corner to the cruiser's mecca of Barra de Navidad.

This small beach town is host to a very protected lagoon, with no ocean swell.  Though only around 10 feet deep, the bottom is just thick mud, so running aground isn't a very traumatic event.  Most boats do so at least once (we're now a card carrying member of the club!!!).  For many boats this anchorage marks the southern end of their cruising season, as many spend several weeks here before starting the migration back north up to the Sea of Cortez for spring.


Turtle hatchery on the beach...the ones w/ deep holes have already headed out to sea (hopefully!)
It's easy to see why the place is so popular.  With over 40 boats now anchored here, it's a great place to meet friends both old and new, to hike on the beach, hang out at the Sands hotel (they generously make their funky pool and bar available to cruisers who can tie their dinghies up to their sea wall), or eat at the great taco stands and restaurants all over town.  There is even a French baker who delivers fresh baked baguettes, croissants and pastries to the boats every morning!!!



Pretty hard to beat.  Next up on our social calendar:  Superbowl in town...it seems to be a religious holiday around these parts, w/ every pub trying to out do one another....one started a pig roasting last night at 2am.....should be a good "Fear and Loathing in Barra" story to come out of all of it!!!