Monday, January 23, 2012

Magic and Mantas and Earthquakes Oh My!

Our little fleet at anchor in lovely Carrizal

1/19/11 Ensenada de Carrizal:  Magic does happen, just ask Terry. After fussing and cussing our dinghy outboard lo these last few days, this morning Terry said a few incantations, pulled the start cord and the silly thing fired right up! This kind of stuff drives us both crazy, but we weren’t about to ask any questions. We pulled up anchor and headed to Carrizal leaving the red tide and the fickle outboard fairies of Las Hadas thankfully in our wake. We joined Endeavor and Pearl and Wade’s Aweigh in beautiful Carrizal just a few miles northwest of Las Hadas.

As we pulled into this little bay, I was struck by how much it looked like any one of dozens of coves you find everywhere in the San Juan Islands at home. High, rocky cliffs covered with vegetation border the cove, with a small rocky beach at the head. There are no towns, no palapas, nothing. The water is clear and invites you to jump in for a cooling dip or to go snorkeling. It even seemed less smoggy. We set the anchor, breathed a sigh of contentment and settled into the peace and quiet.
With no internet access, we spent our time reading, swimming and snorkeling. This is our new favorite place, the best spot in Mexico so far!

Early one morning while we were still in bed Terry heard some weird bumps and scraping noises against the hull. He got up to investigate and was astonished to find a 12 foot manta ray tangled up in a fishing net that was now also wrapped around our rudder, keel, anchor chain and prop. The poor ray was trying desperately to get away, but he couldn’t get his horns out the mess of net. What to do, what to do?! He shouted at me to get up, then went below so he could put his contact lenses in. Then he grabbed our boat hook and went back up on deck. By the time we both got up there the manta had managed to get free of the net on his own. Harmony was not quite so lucky. Very shortly a panga came by with a man and his three kids, looking for his fishing net. He borrowed one of our snorkel masks and proceeded to dive and cut the net away from all the various places it was wrapped around the boat. Free at last!

We were both were half reading, half dozing in the cockpit one afternoon and heard a low rumble, then felt a lot of vibration throughout the boat. It went on for several seconds, then stopped. We finally decided it was a small earthquake, and were proven correct when we learned that the Buelt family on Pearl had been in Santiago in a store when it happened. I guess it’s a common occurrence in these parts and no big deal. I just don’t want to be aboard and see the water rush out to sea beneath us leaving bare beach and boats high and dry as happened in the quake in Asia a few years ago!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Barra to Hadas, Where The Wee Fairies Live And Wreak Havoc

Las Hadas
1/13/12 Las Hadas: We needed to make fresh water (have I mentioned that our water maker rocks?) and  a change of scene and so ventured a few miles to Las Hadas ("The Fairies" in Spanish).

What comes to mind when I say Bo Derek, Dudley Moore, a beautiful beach, and Bolero? The movie “10” of course. The movie was partially filmed on the beach here. That was in 1979, and things have changed a bit since then. There are more resorts and restaurants, but the flavor is still like something you’d see in cliffside harbor in Greece, with stunning white architecture and steep windy streets leading from the beach up to the village.

We anchored outside the marina, and then dinghied in to pay for the privilege of tying our dinghies at the marina and using the resort pool (800 pesos per week). It’s a good thing we did, because an ugly, stinky red tide invaded the anchorage making swimming inadvisable.

The ornery little local fairies soon went to work and put the kibosh on our dinghy engine. All of a sudden it wouldn’t start. Terry determined it was the CDI unit or some such thing, and he spent hours making trips here and there and on the phone looking for parts. Meanwhile, we were again depending on Endeavor to dinghy us around. Thank goodness for good friends!

When we weren’t doing boat chores or chasing down outboard parts, we were ashore at the Las Hadas resort playing water volleyball in the pool and sipping cold beverages on the beach. All I need are some cornrows…..