Monday, February 9, 2009

From Chamela to Barra de Navidad

Be warned, this is a bit of a ramble….

We left Punta Mita and sailed south, crossing the famous Cabo Corrientes, where the wind is known to make a racket. But it was pretty calm for us -- at least at first. We hoisted the spinnaker and unfortunately just as the wind predictably kicked up, the fishing pole zzzzzed. “This is a real big one,” shouted Tim. “I hope it’s a tuna,” yells Maya. I think it was both. Probably the biggest fish we’ve ever had behind us, probably bigger than both Maya and Kai combined. But the problem was that we couldn’t reel in the fish and slow down the boat at the same time. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the strength to pull down the spinnaker sock with the strong wind while Tim and the kids worked on reeling the fish into the boat. Then there was a loud snap. The fishing line broke and the real big fish got away. So if anyone catches a fish a real big yellow tuna with a lure in its mouth, please call us. It’s ours!

We reached Chamela Bay the following morning and anchored exhausted from sailing all night. Tim and I alternate two hour shifts during the nights. It’s hard for me to get used to the pattern in just one night and we’ve discussed lengthening our watch schedule, but the problem is that we’ve found that after two hours of sailing alone in the middle of night, we’re both eager to stop.


In Chamela Bay, while eating at the taco stand, we met a 9 year old boy named Sage who lived part time in the local town of Punta Perula and the other months works as a child actor in Los Angeles. Dressed as a sailor with a captain’s hat, and striped shirt, Sage asked me what kind of boat he should get when he turns 18 and sails with his friends. I told him to keep studying all the boats anchored in his bay and to see which ones look strong and sturdy to him. Sage told us that he dreams about sailing, but has not had the opportunity. We were excited to make his dream come true and we took Sage and his mother and younger brother with us on the 28 mile passage from Chamela to Tenacatita. It was an ideal sail with 10 knots of wind behind us, perfect for the spinnaker. We sailed into Tenacatita just in time for the beach bonfire.

The sailing community in the Mexican Riviera and really along our entire journey is super helpful and friendly. Most areas have a morning net (open discussion on the VHF radio) to communicate with the fleet. We’re always eager to get to know other “kid boats” and sometimes we team together for boat schooling. Musician and sailor Bobbie Jo who helped with the Harry Potter performance in La Cruz was also anchored in Tenacatita and came on board to teach Maya and Kai how to play Ode to Joe on the recorder.


On Friday, we also did a boat school morning in Barra lagoon where bats have made their home at an abandoned building near the hotel. First we watched the Planet Earth section on caves and bats and then brought the Bravado kids and “Bear” from Oso Blanco to investigate the bats of Barra. We walked up the steps of the spooky building adjacent to the fancy Grand Bay Hotel. “They’re here,” six year old Bear told us and pointed to the ceiling. We could hear their high pitched sound as they buzzed in and out of the dark abandoned rooms. When one flew out, Annie, Bear's mother, bee-lined out of the building, shaking her head, “I just can’t do bats.” On the other end of the spectrum, Maya wanted to bring one home as a pet. "I just don't do boat pets...kids and a husband are enough."

That afternoon, Bravado, our buddy boat since Christmas Day, sailed and drove north. Does that make sense? Well in the early morning, Bravado rafted next to us and dropped Judith and the three kids and their Oma, Ineka, on our boat as Ewout and Opa Alexander sailed the boat to Puerto Vallarta. Ineka gets seasick and so prefers to travel by land. As they drove out of the narrow streets of Barra and Maya and I stood and did the Dutch wave (that’s when you continue to wave until you can’t see them anymore), I had tears in my eyes, sad to see them go, but excited about their upcoming adventure across the Pacific. Though we’ve only known the Mante family for less than two months, it feels like we’ve known them forever.

1 comment:

Myra said...

The Bats of Barra - great name for Maya's next story.

Love the Dutch wave - glad you know about it - better than the Alaskan wave

So enjoy vicariously being with you.

love,
Oma myra

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