Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 8, 2015 - Punta Perula, Bahia Chamela

Chamela was a quick trip from Paraiso so we were anchored by 5pm and set for the night.  We thought it odd that there was only one other vessel there when we arrived as on our way south when there we saw 20 or more boats.  Over the few days we spent there, several other sailing vessels came in as well as some power boats.  We have seen more power yachts in these few weeks south of Banderas Bay than since we left La Conner.  It has always seemed that we were the only power boat and now these beautiful and typically bigger motor yachts have been around.  We have been a bit disconcerted that not one of these power yacht people have come over to speak to us when out on their dinghies.  We are feeling that the sailing community of people are much more friendly or as if we are not quite in their league with our 39 year old boat!

Our days in Chamela were primarily waiting on weather and to get a few groceries.  We need to get up to Banderas Bay for several reasons.  We have family coming to visit in a few weeks, we need to have some work done for the boat, to hopefully get to a dentist for a cleaning, and a larger provision for dried goods etc.

Steve spent a great deal of time while kids and I were in home school, diving under the boat and scraping the hull.  We are actually not quite done yet with that.   I went to help one afternoon and swim down the keel or lowest part for Steve.  I was out there about an hour and we both then got stung by jellyfish.  You never see these things but somehow they get you.  We were both stung within minutes of each other.  Well, it is hard to relax and continue the work when you are worried about being stung again so we called it a day and need to finish at some other location.

One month's worth of growth on the hull.  Things are growing fast right now.
It's not just us, other boats we've talked to have similar amounts.
It took Steve about 4 hours to scrape the bottom of the boat.

A typical Mexican shrimp boat.  These are common and usually work at
night.  4 of these left the anchorage at about 5:00PM and didn't return until
the next morning, after it was light out.

Lot's of people having a fun Sunday afternoon at the beach.

Kevin waiting for a Pinata drink

Cindy checks her email at a beachside palapa restaurant.

You see many abandoned buildings in Mexico.
Here's one just a block off the beach.

The Mexican panga.  These are EVERYWHERE in Mexico.  They are used for
fishing far offshore, taxis, snorkel/scuba tours, fuel delivery, sightseeing, etc.
They appear to be very seaworthy and versatile.  We wonder why there are none
of these back home in Washington.  I don't recall EVER seeing one back home.

The morning of the day we are planning to leave we see several sailboats leaving the anchorage.  Some seemed to be heading south and some north.  A Mexican Navy vessel came in the night before but was quiet.  We were surprised to see they lowered a dinghy.  Vessels seemed to depart quickly to avoid this encounter.  With only a large motoryacht, a catamaran (solo sailor who had left his boat on a paddleboard) and us, we knew it would not be long.

The Mexican Navy came and asked to board our vessel which was fine with us.  We had finished breakfast and were getting ready to start home school.  The gentleman was so apologetic which humbled us.  They typically have three to four people on their inflatables and we were not new to what was to happen.  One gentleman came aboard and sat in our salon checking our paperwork and asking some minor questions.  We have had this several times now and they all seem to ask Steve's age but no one else's.  I don't think he will forget his age now.  They check our passports, visitor permits, and our TIP (temporary import form), boat documentation and insurance.  They seem to take pictures of the vessel and in this case they wanted our hull identification number and even our latitude and longitude so they took a picture of our pilothouse GPS display.  Each boarding seems a bit different with questions.  They always want to know where we were last and where we are headed next.  One fellow in Spanish made the statement that our pilothouse electronics setup was great (muy bien).  The visits last 10 minutes or so and they go off to another vessel.  No matter the amount of english they speak they are always personable and we have no issues with seeing them.  At the end of this encounter, he mentioned that they are always close to Chamela and can be reached via VHF 16 if we need any assistance.  We have never had any concerns with safety out here, but knowing that they realize the value of what boaters bring to their economy (my assumption) and providing assistance as the US may do in the event of danger is nice to know.

Taco dinner prior to leaving for our overnight voyage north
Zappa cat will find a seat anywhere, this seat in the bow is covered for our transit and he can barely stay on it

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