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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tsunami update

Hola amigos
Yesterday was an interesting day, to be sure.  Being around time to join the migration of northbound boats, we decided to leave Santiago Bay yesterday morning at dawn, to make it up to Chamela by dark, around 60 miles.  We heard about the quake and tsunami on the radio shortly after getting underway.  We were already out to sea at that point, and were, of course, fine.  There were still several hours to go till any tsunami hit down here, and we monitored our radios, both local VHF and long range ham and maritime frequencies.  The next big anchorage up the coast from us was Barra de Navidad.  The lagoon there is very shallow, and has many boats anchored.  They were all on the radio, trying to figure out what to do, and in conversation with the local port capitan.  As the morning unfolded, many, I'm not sure of #'s or %'s, headed out of the anchorage...we were sailing by, around 5 miles offshore at the time, and we saw sails all around and radar blips spilling out of the lagoon, it looked like a major regatta!!!  ....most boats were playing it safe, going out to sea to hang out till the tsunami passed.  Prediction was for 1 to 2 meters.  Someone in the lagoon made a mark on a piling and said it went down 6" and up 11", though this was the first surge, and my understanding is that the next was somewhat larger.  A Mexican navy patrol boat was keeping the beaches cleared, and they eventually closed the lagoon for any entering boats, just allowing boats to leave.  We hear that it remained closed all night.  But then this morning there was a report of a 12" fresh water pipe that goes from the mainland to a small island in Barra that had come loose from the bottom due to currents in the channel, and it is blocking the entrance to the lagoon, trapping the 7 boats that remain.  Yuchhhh.....at least it's a fresh water pipe!!!

We sailed and motored north all day.  Saw a lot of wildlife on the trip, with sea turtles, jumping rays, and dolphins.  Had our closest whale encounter ever, just before anchoring, with two humpback whales feeding no more than 50 feet from the boat.  Truly an amazing sight, if a bit close for comfort!!!  Fishing proved unproductive for fish, but we did catch a brown booby (the bird!!).  The hook had caught him through the webbing in his foot.  We circled back and were able to free him.  It was a real relief to see him flap his wings and take off, perhaps embarrassed to have been fooled by a rubber squid, but hopefully none worse for the experience.  We continued on with light winds, but at least the southerly had us flying the spinnaker much of the afternoon.  Lots of radio chatter as you can imagine.  We finally got to Paraiso, a pretty little anchorage around 8 miles from Chamela (see earlier blog post for description of this tight little spot) and decided to anchor for the night.  For the first time, we couldn't get the anchor, a 90 lb Rocna, to hold, in very wierd, swirly currents.  Another boat next to us was having the same trouble, and both of us (the only 2 in the little bay) decided to head to Chamela, a big bay w/ plenty of swing room.  We anchored here, and wow, the currents were sure strange, turning boats in all different directions, in spite of a steady 10 knot wind.  Small whirlpools everywhere...not dangerous, just unusual, and it made figuring out the anchoring a bit of a crap shoot.

Got the hook set, and settled into a prawn dinner and a movie to relax after a most unusual day.

Backtrack to Santiago and Las Hadas.....
With all of this tsunami chatter, we nearly forgot an update on our Santiago Bay and Las Hadas experiences.  Both Santiago, and the resort around the corner, Las Hadas, were great places to hang out for a few weeks.  Very different vibe in each, but fun experiences to be had at both.  So here are some more photos from the past few weeks.....
Beautiful homes between Santiago Bay and Manzanillo Bay...it's easy to see how the area was named "Mexican Riviera"!
Fantastic views from a hike above the Santiago anchorage.
A nice pair of boobies!
We spent a total of around one week anchored off Las Hadas, enjoying the pools and visiting with friends.  There was quite a contingent of Seattle boats, and we enjoyed seeing 3 other boats from Shilshole marina back home, Ponderosa, Odessa, and Panta Rhei.
Another Corona moment!!!  (and yes, those feet are TAN!!!)
Hanging with friends Cary and Michelle from s/v Kailani
The anchorage from happy hour at the Paradise bar
Attended a minor league pro soccer football game.  Lots of fun, lots of noise, and the home team won...ya gotta like it!

All's going great down here, as we work our way back north.  Cindi is getting her scuba diving certification starting Monday here in Chamela.  The plan is to then head back up to Puerto Vallarta, around 100 miles north, and then up to Mazatlan, where we'll fly home for a week of business and visiting in early April. 

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