Monday, February 6, 2012

Chamela to Manzanillo

We're happily holed here at the Las Hadas anchorage in Manzanillo. It is a lovely place -- an exotic Mediterranean style resort.

The classic film "10" with Bo Derek and Dudley Moore was filmed here

It's a comfortable anchorage, and there is a nice little dinghy beach landing by the Dolphin Restaurant, where we watched El Super Bowl Americano on a tiny TV in Spanish with a bunch of Canadians on vacation.

When we left Chamela on January 29th, it was a pleasant day sail down the coast to Tenecatita Bay. The anchorage there was warm and calm, with good sand holding. But there was nothing THERE at Tenecatita. We were led to believe there would be a town. A fellow cruiser even calls himself the mayor of Tenecatita. Hmmm....

But there has been political strife there, and evidently it has been shut down by the government. We don't know the details, and kept getting conflicting reports from different sources.

Anyway, we took a day sail across the bay to the town of La Manzanilla, as opposed to Manzanillo. They are two separate towns. Manzanilla means "chamomile" and Manzanillo is a poisonous tree. Hmmm...

La Manzanilla beckons

The anchorage at La Manzanilla was comfortable for the day, but it takes the northerly swells head on so it is not recommended overnight.

This town was filled with well-to-do gringos on vacation or in long-term retirement rentals. It is a cultured, artistic town -- clean and lovely.

Upon motoring back across the bay to the Tenecatita anchorage, Chris and I spent the evening playing music with Gregorius of "Foreign Affair" in the cockpit of our friends aboard "Talaria." I made my husband happy by dusting off my flute for a change. As the sun set over the bay, leaving it glittering with dancing spangles, it couldn't have been more pleasant to send some happy little notes dancing across the water, to be lapped up by the several other boats lazing in the anchorage.

The next morning, we pulled anchor and popped a few miles south to the Melaque anchorage.

We had been warned that Melaque has earned the nickname "Rocky Melaque," but this wasn't our experience. It was yet another exceedingly fetching spot on this lovely Mexican gold coast.

We have been rather stunned by the numbers of Americans and Canadian retirees (full and part time) who have infiltrated and nearly taken over several of these lovely seaside Mexican towns. And Melaque was no exception -- in this case there was a gigantic RV park next to the beach filled with long-term residences from the Great White North.

 But I admit a bit of embarrassment due to the large number of corpulent, drunken, scantily clad gringos in the beach palapas, barking out orders to the frantic Mexican workers.

The "new" Mexico

Anyway, I try to bend over backwards to not be an "Ugly American." The Mexicans have been nothing but gracious and welcoming to Chris and I, and I could not be more grateful for the privilege of passing through and living with them amidst such natural abundance, at least for a short time.

On February 2nd, we left Melaque and motored a mere 10 miles south to the isolated jungle cove of Carrizal.

Carrizal Bay


We spent two blissful nights anchored here in 30 feet with old friends and new aboard "Nyon,", "Talaria," "Waves Away," "Red Witch II" and "Foreign Affair." We snorkeled the amazing reef strewn with green and blue corals, swam and hiked around our private little hideaway.

On our last evening in this paradise, far from people, roads, lights and cars, all of us had a beach bonfire with Chris on mandolin, myself and Gregorius on guitar, and Rick from "Nyon" displaying his considerable skills on the Irish drum.

Never pass up a chance to have a beach bonfire! They're magic...

Which brings us to Manzanillo, where we find ourselves today. We plan on staying here at least a couple of more days and provisioning at Mega and Wal-Mart. After that we head south yet again...

From this point, as we get farther away from the states and from large cities, our internet access will be more and more sporadic. Please know that it may be a couple of weeks at least between postings. Remember that the weather down here is incredibly mild and inviting during this time of year. And we're surrounded by many sailing friends.

We sailors take care of each other -- we look out for each other. It's in our genes, and our DNA.

So don't worry. We're having the adventure of a lifetime!

1 comment: