Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chacala Bay

Chacala Bay consists of a lovely beach with small restaurants and hotels, and a tiny town which backs up to the rain forest.

Chacala from the anchored Espiritu

It is necessary to double anchor here, as the northerly swells clock around the point. But it is a secure and comfortable anchorage once the hard work is done.

Chris and Ian from Kasasa on Chacala Beach

We pooled our resources with Kasasa and Talaria, hired a taxi and ventured inland a bit. This is verdant and lush farmland. We passed miles of mango trees, which unfortunately will not yield their succulent fruit until May.

Ya gotta love a man who gets so excited about fresh fruit!

We went on a hike up into the surrounding hills. We were told by the locals to follow a certain trail into the rainforest where we would be greeted by the sight of a dormant volcano.

Dormant volcano caldera now replaced by a gentle meadow

The trail through the rainforest was spectacular

We were fortunate to trip upon a flock of several black throated magpie jays, a tropical bird with the cartoonish characteristics of a blue jay with a foot long tail and a quail-like head plume:

Blue-throated magpie jay

                                           We also passed countless varieties of butterflies:

Crimson-patched longwing

Zebra longwing

I tried to get one of these dainty creatures to land on my hand. Several flew close, circling me curiously several times, but never made physical contact. I will continue to try as I venture deeper into the tropics.

In other news, our families Scandinavian/German blood is famously irresistable to biting insects of all kinds, and this trip has shown that alas,  my blood has not lost it's sweetness.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

It has been 2 hours since I my last orgy of scratching my countless dozens of bug bites covering my arms and legs.

My name is Liz, and I'm a scratch-a-holic."

And meanwhile, my husband sits comfortably at my side, skin pristine and free of trauma of any kind. Sigh.

On another topic, being away from the internet and TV, I've read and read and read and read over the last weeks.

                                                      "Schultz and Peanuts: a biography"

Like many of my generation, I've been entranced, inspired and encouraged by the Peanuts gang since early childhood. The life of Charles Schulz interests me as he was a very private person. He told interviewers he was a simple man and that his comic strip said everything that needed to be said about him.

I was born in Minnesota, as was "Sparky" (as Schulz was called).

                     My maiden name is Schroeder, I play the piano, and yes, I love Beethoven.

Anyway, the book was a fascinating read, but so far I can't find any other sailors who want the book in trade. It seems most sailors we meet merely have an inexhaustable appetite for more and ever more Grisham and Clancy.

 But I won't dump this treasure in a free book exchange YET. I know if I have the patience of Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, I will eventually find my kindred spirit -- the Peanuts fan who is also sailing the seas of Mexico!

 Speaking of Charlie Brown, Christmas approaches. We plan on being anchored in La Cruz (a few miles south) for Christmas, hopefully surrounded by new friends, which should ease the sting of being away from home. We'll see!

We plan on pulling up anchor tomorrow and heading south to Punta de Mita, 35 miles away.

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