Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 17, 2015 - Barra Navidad

We had a great time in Barra de Navidad.  What a quaint little town and wonderful anchorage in the very smooth waters of the lagoon.  We were anchored in less than 10 feet of water and it was a nice break from the ocean swells that often exist in the bays we've anchored in.  I am certainly not complaining, the swells are generally not very noticeable.  You go up and then you go down with typically a long period or frequency.   We had some rain, winds and cloudy days here.  We met one person who said it is unusual to have this many days of cloudy/rainy weather this time of year.  The Pineapple Express is finally lifting and so we are getting ready to move south again.  I know you are all wondering if we are just going to continue to the Panama Canal or such.  We are actually getting ready to turn around and head north after a stop in Manzanillo, which will be the southernmost point of this trip.  We are very thankful for so many experienced boaters that told us to explore the mainland coast while the Sea of Cortez is in winter and what would be considered cold (I know, maybe not to us Pacific Northwesterners).  We are feeling the itch to head north and explore the islands and bays, and to do some snorkeling and hiking in the Sea of Cortez.  The pacific coast of Mexico has been wonderful.  The morning VHF nets have been interesting and very helpful.  We have met many new people that we can call friends.  Some we will see again and others are off for faraway lands.  One common theme is that everyone is living their lives, fulfilling a dream, and looking for adventure.  As whole, cruisers are a very happy and generous group.  You don’t meet many grumps out here.

We said goodbye once again to sv Flying Squirrel.  They are headed north now and need to get to San Diego by Mid-June.  We may see them in the Sea of Cortez in April; we hope so!  Their adventure and life is much like ours, two children, the same ages and sexes as ours with a year-long trip planned.  They also home school using the same curriculum we are, so Cindy and Morgan have the same books while the boys were actually a year apart in school due to the separation of the their birthdays.  Morgan and Matthew are 20 lessons ahead of us though!  We need to be more diligent in this part of our lives.  We both struggle to motivate the kids to get to their work.

Waves at the breakwater entrance of Barra de Navidad

The Lagoon anchorage

cute waterfront development on our way to the dinghy tie-up spot.

Walking through town, cobblestone side streets

Mural wall

The mural wall had many historic panels and was quite interesting

There are many streets like this one in Barra.

They are dredging the lagoon entrance and this pile of sand towers
between the ocean and the waterfront restaurants.  This sand came from
the lagoon.

We had laundry done here.  The laundromats do the laundry for you down here.  12 pesos a kilo.  Our cost then for just clothes, no towels, was only 98 pesos (less than $8).  We have a washer and dryer aboard Adagio but the washer uses about 45 gallons of water for each load.  We make water (desalinate) on board but only at approximately 6-7gallons per hour depending on water temperature and salinity.  It takes a long time to replenish the water used when doing laundry.  Most of the marinas here do not have drinkable water on the docks, but some do.  If we know that a marina has good water available we will do laundry before arriving, then refill the tanks at the marina for free.  But sometimes it is just easier to take the laundry in somewhere.  It is a short walk from the dinghy tie up area to the lavanderia, and the rest of town which is filled with interesting shops and restaurants.

We swam in the pool at the Grand Hotel here.  SV Flying Squirrel was in the marina and invited us over several times to swim.  Nice hotel and pool that we would not have gotten to enjoy without their generosity.  We did not take the big boat into the marina at all.  This one is a bit more expensive at $.75 a foot but still not as costly as it is up in the San Juan Islands of Washington.  During the first several months of this trip we were at marinas at every port we visited.  But since leaving the US, we have spent the majority of our time at anchor.  It is nice to be swinging on the hook , free of charge, and away from the marina crowds.  When at anchor our floating home needs more diligent monitoring because it is more exposed to weather issues.  See below for incredible pictures of a lightning storm that passed us at 1:00am in the morning, while at anchor.  Winds went from 5 knots to 25 knots in just minutes and then subsided after the storm passed us an hour later.  We kept an eye on our anchor and swing radius and also on other vessels to make sure that they were not dragging anchor and drifting towards us.  The winds generally increase here most days in the afternoons but the winds only reach about 15 knots.  Our solar panels were not strapped down and we lost some support poles in the winds.  Live and l.earn, as they say.

The Grand Hotel pool slides and kid fun.....................

A fun water slide at the Grand Hotel

The pool is quite long and follows the contours of the land. 

Water slide fun.
Fun times in Barra.

Adult fun too, except this hot tub was deceptive, it was cold, maybe 90 degrees
A nice lunch out!
Looking above at the restaurant photo I thought I would give a shout-out or mention for Nacho's Restaurant (next door to this one).  We have been there the last 5 days or so as their internet is nice and fast and it allowed us to catch up on business and blog entries.  We originally only had drinks there but have expanded now and are eating some of their wonderful food.  We will post something on Trip Advisor, they are wonderful there and tasty food at reasonable prices.  I believe it is Paco and his wife that have a cooking class on Wednesday's at 11:30am.  Paco works at the restaurant and has sat down to chat with us a few times.  The locals are all so friendly.  We are leaving tomorrow so I will miss it but possibly on our way back if the particular day puts us around here.
shipwreck in the lagoon!  Somebody's dreams have been dashed.

Kevin and Cindy wanted to salvage some parts from this wrecked and abandoned
boat.  We would not let them however.

Valentine's at Banana's Restaurant.................

The adult table.  Adagio and Flying Squirrel.
The kid table

Sunset with kids playing on the beach
The french baker comes to the marina and out to the anchorage daily to bring goodies for all!

You can pre-order or choose from whatever he has left when he comes to your boat.
Croissant was $20 pesos ($1.50 or so).  Everything was EXCELLENT!

The lightening storm at 1:00am  - made it like daytime!  There are no streetlights out here....
Lightning turning night into day.  It was pitch black just seconds before this picture.

1:00 and it's still light out?  Not really.  This is a lightning flash.

Here is a video (we hope) of the lightning storm.

Kathy had a wonderful couple of hours kayaking around the lagoon watching wildlife:
Vultures!  I got close to these and they seemed to growl almost like dogs at me.


When we entered the bay we heard some fellow state on the VHF hailing channel that he just
saw a flamingo fly by.  Nope these pink birds have wide bills.  Kids made a quick comment that
flamingo's don't fly - at least they don't in the zoo and the theme parks!
We are leaving tomorrow morning for bays further south.  We will not go beyond Bahia Manzanillo.  What a gem the Gold Coast of Mexico has been.  We are not going to venture as far south as Zihuatanejo but have enjoyed it all from Cabo Corrientes so far.

Our travels, if you are following us closely, will soon show us northbound as weather permits, hoping to be in Puerto Vallarta area by Mid-March.  This distance is minor compared to our voyage so far.  Overall we have traveled approximately 2750nm or 3165 statute miles.  That is greater than the distance between Seattle and Miami.  It's within a few miles of the straight line distance between Seattle and Bermuda.  We only travel about 7-7.5mph and have quite a few weather delays.  It takes a long time to travel by private boat.  We have been gone almost 180 days now and our next blog may be the party that celebrates this milestone for us.  One fellow boater mentioned to us that we are now in the top 1% for distance traveled by private boat (we have not verified this though!).

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