Wednesday, December 28, 2011

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

                     We've been anchored outside of the marina La Cruz since before Christmas.

Marina La Cruz with anchorage in the distance

We had been hearing for months from other sailors all about La Cruz -- "La Cruz this, La Cruz that..."

Sailors and cruisers tend to sail here and stay here -- some for months and years. So naturally we have been curious to drop anchor and finally check the place out.

When we first arrived, honestly in the first day or two we were sort of shrugging our shoulders, wondering what all of the fuss was about.

The casual La Cruz hangout "Tacos on the Street"

But after being here a few days, we're starting to understand the attraction of this humble little seaside hamlet.

Overlooking La Cruz

First of all, the weather is just about perfect -- if your idea of perfect is the low '80's, low to moderate humidity, sunny skies, gorgeous sunsets and a gentle breeze tying it all up in a pretty holiday bow.

La Cruz beach


There are a couple of beaches here which are mostly frequented by locals on the weekends after a long work week.

On thursday evenings, the marina sponsors an outdoor movie night, where they show a film under the stars for the sailors anchored here.

The tempo here is slow, comfortable and easy going.  When they aren't working, the Mexican families whose homes line the streets of town are always sitting outside with the doors and windows wide open, chatting and gossiping well into the evening, with the children running and playing up and down the street.

One really neat thing about Mexico is this: since the weather is so warm and comfortable (and certainly quite hot in the summertime), nearly all homes and businesses are open onto the street at all times. Open doors, open windows -- even complete walls are missing!

Open air kitchen and dining area

Of course, there are some expensive homes with pricey items inside (and air conditioning!) which are locked up tight at all times, just like in the states.

But in most of Mexico, people live humbly without many expensive material items.  Theft does not appear to be an issue or concern. People ride their bikes everywhere and simply prop them up unlocked against a wall without worry.

 One other attraction of La Cruz is the music. Every evening live music streams out onto the streets from every corner. Tonight Chris and I are going to bring our instruments to an open jam session at Philo's, which is sort of a local institution here in La Cruz.

We were told that Philo was a band member in Country Joe and the Fish, but when I met him and asked him about it, I found out the rumor is untrue. He was friends with the band, though, and jammed with them back in the day, as well as the Grateful Dead and other legendary musicians of that time. Which is good enough for me! :-)

Anyway, maybe I'll finally get to play "Margaritaville," which I've been practicing for months. I assumed I would hear it everywhere but I have yet to hear it once! Jimmy Buffett, where ARE you? LOL...

One last thing -- looks like Chris and I have taken a big right turn and decided that we will be going through the Panama Canal and sailing the Caribbean after all. It's a long story, but basically the Pacific Ocean is just Too. Damn. Big.

In short, we were advised by people who have sailed the South Pacific is that it is great if you don't have a time limit as Chris and I do. Once they heard we only had 2 years, however, eyebrows raised and we were advised that maybe the Caribbean would be a better fit for us.

So -- our tenative plan is to sail south and explore Central America this spring (El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama) and head through the canal sometime this summer. Aye carumba!

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