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.
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.....
|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!