Sunday, February 19, 2012

Time & Passages


red boat

       Bob, from s/v Pearl out in his sailing dinghy in Barra lagoon.

2/5/12 – 2/11/12


The air is heavy in Barra lagoon, flags droop from backstays and shrouds. The moisture-laden clouds are low by, seeming at arms reach, the water surface smooth and quiet. Even the ubiquitous pelicans and frigates are off somewhere dozing full, after a morning of swooping and diving, catching and gorging .

It makes no sound as it skims lightly by, sailor slouched low, hat brim shading face. He’s without Salty, his canine dinghy-mate today, red sails a surprise in the muted palette of the day, whipping about, healing away.  A gay little passage-maker this one!

Others, having no cheerful little skiff, look on in envy, settling for cushioned cockpit, book in hand, cool beverage nearby, remembering.

* * * *


2/11/12 Santiago:  There are some passages that are more momentous than others. On this day, Terry turned 60. We drank and ate in his honor, rechristening him ”Indio”, after the stocking cap that came as a gift in an Indio beer box. We have no idea why they are giving stocking caps away in Mexico, except that, well, it’s Mexico! Happy Birthday dear dear Indio, and many more happy passages!

Terry bday

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Melaque, Barra and Cuastecomate

Beach Vendor

01/24/12 Melaque: Ah sweet Carrizal, we hate to leave you, but need provisions, propane, and gas for “Stinky”, our precious generator. We had passed right by Melaque the last time we went to Barra, so we decided to anchor this time and check it out. Behind the ubiquitous beach-front palapas, the town of Melaque is very nice with clean streets of concrete pavers, numerous shops and (yay) a bank. We found a market called The Hawaii Store and loaded up on beautiful produce, eggs, beer, liquor and……..Tillamook Cheese!!!! This store is amazing, crammed full of hard-to-find items. We dropped a few pesos there, let me tell you!
Melaque appears to be a very popular gringo winter destination, especially for Canadians. There’s an RV park just off the beach and lots of small decent-looking hotels crammed full. As a result, you don’t need to know a single word of Spanish to get what you want, which is a good thing or not, depending on your point of view.
Harmony’s bottom is thickly covered with sea critters who have attached and set up house. She needs a shave badly. We hired a local young man, who came alongside Harmony in his panga fully equipped with a compressor and long air tube. He dove on our boat for about an hour with his trusty scraper, and 400 pesos later (about $30), Harmony’s bottom was again slick and purty!

1/26/12 Barra de Navidad: We headed just down the bay to anchor once again in the lagoon in Barra for a few days. We had an adults night out with Rick and Gina on the town in Barra. After drinks at a couple of places, we settled in at La Oficina and had an excellent meal and lots of laughs.
Something not so good is happening to the local fish life here. We see hundreds of dead fish (6-8 inches) floating in the water in the lagoon and washed up on the beach. The pelicans and frigates will have nothing to do with the dead fish. No one seems to know why the die-off.
Life in the lagoon is crowded, with 20-25 boats at anchor. The bottom is slippery mud, so we have to have over 100’ feet of chain out. For two nights in a row a small Hunter sailboat with the owner absent has drug anchor, threatening to run into other boats. Other cruisers using their dinghies finally towed it to the back of the fleet where it can drag all it wants.
Terry and Rick just couldn’t resist. We are anchored in view of a world class golf course here, with 27 holes total- The Lagoon Course, The Mountain Course, and The Ocean Course. Sydney dinghied the guys over early one morning and they proceeded to play the full 27 holes. Terry was so excited he couldn’t settle down until the second nine. They had a ball, and came back weary, but happy. Thanks to Rick for a very nice early birthday present for Terry.

2/1/12 Cuastecomate: Often passed by, this small bay is a peaceful change from the much larger and crowded anchorage at Barra. We left Barra on 2/1/12, went offshore a bit to shower on our aft deck and make fresh water, then made our way the 5 miles here to what is often called Secret Anchorage. We took the dinghy in to investigate the place where we heard fantastic margaritas can be had (they were ok, not the best we’ve had), and took a short walk behind the beach-front palapas to see if there was a town. No town here, just a residential neighborhood. So we’ve been spending time reading and catching up on emails. Very quiet, very laid back, very nice. But the question looms…..where will we watch the Super Bowl? There’s not a sports bar in sight, so we might have to go back to Melaque or Barra, or……maybe not.

Happy Anniversary to us! As of today, we have been cruising for six months. It has gone by so fast, and yet when we remember pushing off from the dock in Anacortes and waving a teary goodbye to our friends Joe and Cindy on that sunny day in August, it seems like so long ago. We are happy, we are thankful, and looking forward to more of the cruising life!