Thursday, December 22, 2011

Punta de Mita


We pulled anchor from Chacala and headed south towards our next destination, Punta de Mita, about 35 miles away. 

We passed several pods of humpback whales during our passage.  We saw several of these lumbering animals slapping their fins on the surface of the water. Biologists theorize that this may be a way of signaling other whales. 

"Hey guys, over here...I spy some hot babes..."

We saw one breaching as well -- always a thrill!                                       

 There are a few submerged rocks coming around the point, so we motored very slowly and carefully, watching our waypoints, with the first mate (me!) up at the bow looking for growlers just under the surface. It is best to keep a mile or two off the coast as one comes around into Banderas Bay, just to be on the safe side.

We dropped anchor in 16 feet of water at lovely Punta de Mita.

Espiritu enjoys some blessed solitude at Punta de Mita

This tiny resort town is apparently a surf mecca. The water was warm, and the waves were oh-so-tiny! 

I'll admit I was tempted to rent a board and paddle on out and give it my best shot. Fortunately for all concerned, the impulse quickly passed.  :-) 

We wanted to stretch our legs, though, so we donned our backpacks and headed inland about 2 miles across the isthmus to a wild stretch of deserted beach with large crashing waves. We crossed a highway and came upon this disturbing yet mesmerizing sight at the side of the road:

Flattened-like-a-pancake dog on the Mexican highway

Well, he certainly felt no pain. Kind of a good way to go, if you think about it. Quick and painless.

After our long hike under the hot sun we were eager to return to Espiritu. 

Chris looking out at Espiritu in lovely Punta de Mita

Chris and I had the beach nearly to ourselves!

On another topic, in the name of frugality we've been pretty good about keeping with our plan of preparing and eating most of our meals onboard and staying out of restaurants.

In deciding what meals to prepare, it's all about what fresh foods I have on board.  Fresh papaya, avocado, mango, lime, local cheeses and fresh tortillas are a part of every meal aboard Espiritu. 

Chris caught a tasty Sierra mackeral in Chacala which went down real easy. :-) 

The telltale yellow spots of the Sierra mackarel

Interestingly, the average tienda does not carry chicken. And I've yet to find it in the can, either. Yet eggs are everywhere for purchase, and one of the charms of Mexico are the countless chickens and roosters which roam and play in open, ungated front yards, meandering into the streets and cock-a-doodle-doing all over the place.

A rooster struts up and says "Hola!"

Surprisingly, neither dogs nor cats attack or eat these animals. They can clearly defend themselves and seem to have the run of the place. Most families do not kill the chickens for their meat -- instead they cherish them as family members and actual pets who provide an endless supply of daily nutrition: eggs.

The bottom line is this: Mexicans love their chickens and roosters, and do not appear to relish eating them except for very special occasions.

Well, last night was the winter solstice. We have officially entered our third time zone. This new life we have been living for the past 7 weeks truly feels like a dream. And when I say a dream, I mean like an alternative reality. 

One interesting phenomena in SCUBA diving is this: when you have left the surface (the "real world") and after you have spent 40 or 50 minutes literally submerged in a completely different underwater world, there is a sense that you are literally in a different reality, and when your face pops up to the surface, and you see land, and people, and "real life," and begin breathing regular air again rather than breathing underwater -- it feels like a re-entry. Like awakening from a dream -- leaving one life you were  living only a moment ago, and entering another, completely different life.

Two different realities -- underwater and "real life."

Anyway, it feels like we've left our other life for awhile and are literally living in a completely different reality. It's not better or worse than our lives in the states -- it's just completely different.

 Like a dream.

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