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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Mazatlan

We are now in a big city, with a nice downtown, and a convenient anchorage (but depending on the wind we get the smell from the sewage station…). This is carnival and the ambiance is festive. We like shopping at the mercado and Kenzo enjoys swimming at Isla de Piedra.

Good news: we have received a replacement EPIRB (did not function after the San Carlos summer) from Florida so are ready to continue further south.

Bad news: we have a leak on our engine fresh water pump, so we had to order a new one in California. We hope to receive it in San Blas in a couple of weeks…

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Topolobampo

The coast between Guaymas and Mazatlan has not been cruised by many boats. The charts are off and the boating guides vague. Therefore there is a lot to be discovered. In Topololambo for instance, after sailing the 10 mile narrow channel boarded with breakers, we ended-up finding our own uncharted anchorage in the delta of a small river. The village looks quite poor, but people in the streets seem to be enjoying life peacefully.

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