Chacala update

Today the 3 powerboats and the only sailboat left the anchorage. Maybe they felt it was too uncomfortable: we were the only boat putting a stern anchor for the night and it helped a lot. The 45ft powerboat next to us was exactly transverse to the swell and it was impressive to see it rocking 25 deg back and forth every 4s!

So it is definitely Easter vacation: here they last 2 weeks! However, the playa is full of Mexican people: we felt less annoyed than on beaches crowed with Frenches or Gringos 😉 Reminiscent from what you see in the city, the beach is patrolled by 3 heavily armed “Marina” army people… We are wondering what they are doing here. There is also a full staff of the Mexican red cross: not a bad idea with so many people and so much surf. In fact, Cecile has been “rescued” by a life guard who swim to her when she was just 30m beyond the breaker line. He advised her that it was forbidden to swim so far. To what she responded that it was less dangerous than the kids left alone in the breakers…

Well, when Chacala returns to its quiet time, it is certainly a little paradise with this great beach bordered by coconut trees. Currently everybody in the bay can enjoy the disco from 7pm to 2am!

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Punta Mita to Chacala

After loading Plume with as much food as we could, we left La Cruz marina Sunday morning. As usual, we started with our full main and genoa at 11am, but by 2pm we had 2 reefs and the jib. We had a very nice sail to Punta Mita on a flat sea with short chop, similar to the conditions in the San Francisco Bay. Of course, we had the wind right in the nose, so we had to tack several times. This was the opportunity to get closer to the Marietas (a group a small islands at the entrance of Banderas Bay) and catch a 4-5lbs bonito there!

The anchorage in Punta Mita was, as expected, rolly. This is definitely a spot of interest only for the surfers. However we had a exceptional dinner aboard with ceviche, string beans, rice, tuna fillet and strawberries for dessert.

We raised anchor a 5:30am Monday, without the engine, under a full moon. This was a very magic moment to leave the anchorage under sail by night but with such a nice visibility. After 2 hours the wind definitely died so we had to motor-sail the rest of the trip (7h) to reach Chacala. We spotted 3 turtles along the way, unfortunately one was looking very sick.

We are now anchored in the small bight of Chacala. The swell does exactly what the guides describe: it enter the bay and makes the boat roll like crazy if you are not oriented correctly. We thought that Easter vacation will start after Friday, but we discovered an already crowded beach with tents everywhere. This supposedly quiet anchorage is filled with vacationers and the music booms everywhere. Still, the bay is lovely and we gained half a degree north in latitude!

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La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Small mexican village or gringo town? Maybe a little bit of both. At least for the time being… as with the luxurious new marina and 50 boats at the (choppy) anchorage, the gringo invasion is under way!

We have finally fixed our defective engine fresh water pump, spent a nice day in Puerto Vallarta (one day is enough), and done some good re- provisioning at a superstore. So we are ready to get out of here!

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San Blas

Despite or thanks to the bites of the “jejenes”, San Blas is a charming fishing town hidden between ocean and jungle. A little town where every block has its mini-market, where you buy trash bags by the kilo, where there is a shop to fix plastic chair by melting the plastic, where more bikes than cars drive on the non-paved streets. And even-though the town looks pretty poor, everyone seems to have a decent standard of living.

After anchoring Plume in the estuary, we did some tourist activities with our friends from Tao, Estrella, and Caramelo: a jungle trip in panga to say hello to the local crocodiles (IMPRESSIVE!), and a visit to the old fort, reminder of the past splendor and power of San Blas. Then we spent another week living at the local pace, wandering through the town between the plaza, the market, the bakery (with delicious cakes)… and the hospital. Yes, unfortunately Kenzo ended-up getting sick and in need of antibiotics: a penicillin shot twice a day! Poor Kenzo did not really appreciate the remedy… But one thing for sure: health care is cheap in Mexico, and seems quite effective. A couple of days after the first shot, the little one had totally recovered and went to his first very mexican circus!

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Isla Isabela

Isla Isabela is a national wildlife preserve. A paradise for frigate-birds, brown & blue-footed boobies, iguanas, and a very rich marine life. Never before have we been able to observe birds and nets so easily, because of their density and the fact that they are not afraid of humans (assuming you keep reasonable distance). They may also be used to live in harmony with the students from Guadalaraja who come here to study land and marine wildlife.

At the island south anchorage Plume enjoys the company of three friend boats: Tao, Estrella and Caramelo. It’s fun to hike the small island all together.

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