Our last day at La Cruz was a busy one. We were up early as we wanted to get to the local weekly market and provision for the next stage of our journey. Every Wednesday a few trucks arrive, loaded way above the gunnels with fresh fruit/veggies, dried nuts, granola and all sorts of other treats a person might find in a Mexican mercado.
All along the little side street, the venders had laid out their wares on folding tables – hardware, kitchenware, videos, make up, clothing for everyone and threaded throughout little stands selling coconut water, tacos and empanadas. I was surrounded by the local Mexican women as we pawed through finding the perfect everything. Doug stood by with the shopping bags helping me organize my purchases.
We needed to be back to the boat by 9am when we were supposed to be receiving a water delivery as the water on the dock was considered “drinkable” but not “potable”. Unfortunately the delivery man was not allowed onto the marina premises, although he had already made at least 2 deliveries in the past week. We found out later that another company had the exclusive rights at almost twice the price. We ended up filling our tanks with the marina water and adding chlorine. Neither of us are particularly fond of the flavour of this chemical, but at least we knew it would be safe and palatable through our ceramic filter.
Later, I made two more trips into town. One to complete my provisioning, and another
to pick up the laundry. I couldn’t
resist buying a chicken slow grilled on a mesquite barbeque. For 100 pesos we got a whole chicken,
tortillas, rice, coleslaw and the most amazing mesquite grilled salsa! I topped it off with some roast “pappas”
(potatoes) from the rotisserie chicken place across the road. We couldn’t complain about the great food
available to us in La Cruz!
|Ka'sala buried in sailboats at the La Cruz marina|
By 1pm we were off the dock and anchored outside the breakwater. We were sorry to say goodbye to our friends who were staying behind, but hoped to see them again soon.
|Lyneita, Doug, Al and Lindy|
We had a quiet afternoon and a lovely dinner. We decided about 7pm that we would just head out for Chamela, 90 nautical miles away, so we could round Cabo Corrientes in the early morning hours – a time when the wind and waves would likely be at their most benign. And we were right. We drifted out of the bay, and as we got closer to the Cape, the wind picked up, but never exceeded 20 knots. The seas were confused – Corrientes means “currents” and once around we knew why. We had a southern current and swell against us, while the prevailing winds and wind chop were behind us. Our point of sail was almost directly from the stern, not the best for filling the sails in rolly conditions, so we had everything prevented as well. After we left the influence of the Cape, we motor-sailed for the rest of the night and morning, arriving in Chamela in the afternoon of February 11.
|Dawn on the coast to Chamela|
We dropped anchor in front of the estuary entrance in about 8 meters of emerald green, clear-as-a-bell water. No sooner did we have the anchor down when Jean-Guy, a Canadian friend of ours from our previous Mexican cruising adventure, was on the VHF arranging for us to get together. He and his wife, Fran, had sold their sailboat Gosling after cruising Pacific Mexico for most of the last decade, including a year farther south and transiting the Panama Canal. Although they have since bought another sailboat in BC (Comox of all places!), they will only sail it in the Pacific Northwest. For the moment, they are travelling gypsies in their RV Casita Rosita. We quickly made arrangements to meet them the following day. That gave us a bit of time to eyeball the surf and try to figure out how we would get ashore.
|Rocky point off main anchorage at Chamela|
Our guidebook had told us that the best place to land was on the beach close to the palapa restaurants and the estuary. All the local pangas seemed to land and take off from there as well. What we hadn’t counted on was the prevailing southern swell, which sent roller sets to the beach every 5 waves or so. We launched the kayaks and toured all along this rugged anchorage, paddling up and down the beach trying to figure out the best place to land and time the waves. Courageous Doug went first and it was looking good before a roller turned him sideways and flipped his kayak. Not only did it fill with water, it also took on several pounds of sand. He could hardly drag it out of the surf. Reticent Lyneita, stood off and watched a whole lot longer before choosing a gap and paddling like mad. Just as I made it to shore, a smaller break pushed me sideways and I carved into the sand. The whole experience was totally safe and tremendously funny, though cleaning out the kayaks wasn’t so hilarious. We also had to figure out how we would get back to Ka’sala! We had dry clothes and stuff in sealed bags in the kayak compartments and were in our bathing suits, so there was no harm done, except, maybe, to our pride.
|Ka'sala at the anchorage in Chamela|
We asked one of the local palapa owners to watch our kayaks for us while we caught up with J-G and Fran. A kayak had been stolen off the beach two days before and, although our kayaks are not expensive, they would be very difficult to replace if we lost them. For the price of a margarita, toes in the sand, waves in the surf, we knew our kayaks would be looked after.
We found the little 20 spot RV park but J-G and Fran were at
the market. We introduced ourselves to
one of their neighbours and he allowed us to clean up in the park facilities. Then we walked into the village of Perula to
have a look around.
|Anchorage at Chamela|
|Main Street Perula|
|Veggie garden on the outskirts of town|
|Bougainvillea line the ditches on the way in to Perula|
|Fran, Ellen, Lyneita, Doug and Jean-Guy|
|Live local band at palapa dinner - note the unusual harp|
|Notre Isle at Chamela on a quiet morning - beach palapas to the left|
|Not us, but you get the idea|