Friday, March 6, 2009

1 March 2009, Cuestacomate

We have been at anchor in Cuestacomate bay since yesterday afternoon after motoring from Barra .
We departed Santiago bright and early last Monday morning to take advantage of the morning calm before the onshore breeze set in. We motored most of the way on glass smooth seas and into the distant mist that had been characteristic of the past few days. We arrived in Barra de Navidad just after midday and went directly to the fuel dock to replenish both fuel and domestic water, rinse off the uppers and have a shower in the cruisers facilities at the head of the dock. By early afternoon we were inching
our way up the channel under the guidance of sounder and the way-points that we had used last time we were here. We anchored amongst 25 or so other cruising sailboats and one large ex-US pilot vessel, Kolea, now a cruising boat, owned by, Serge, a French Canadian who used to own a life raft repair and inspection facility in Montreal.
Barra de Navidad is one of those places that attract cruisers and hold on to them, much like La Paz. One boat, Star Dancer, had been there since mid-December and David and Mary-Ann had no plans to leave anytime soon. The anchorage does have its advantages. It is a nice quiet and sheltered anchorage, surrounded by mangroves to the east, scrub land to the north, the waterway to the town of Barra to the west and the Grand Bay's golf course to the south. It is a 10-15 minute dinghy ride to the town
of Barra and less if you are going to Colimilla a small village between the golf course and the resort hotel where supplies can be obtained from Maria's well stoked (from Costco, PV) tienda. She also has the corner on propane and water delivery in the lagoon and can deliver your order for an extra fee. Then there is always the French Baker who faithfully makes his rounds daily by panga with his baguettes, croissants, quiches and exorbitant prices. Internet service can be obtained for a fee from
a shore based cruiser who donates all the proceeds to the Colimilla School where 6 grades are taught in the same classroom. There are not many negatives but our main one is the time it takes to wash off the fine muck off the anchor chain when weighing, a minor inconvenience. Also, the water in the lagoon is very silty and unfit to swim in or make water.
Many of our friends from Zihuat have made it into the lagoon and we have met a number of new boats and renewed our acquaintance with some from 2 years ago. Blue Water boats, Airborne and Neuromancer were there, the latter getting ready for a trans-Pacific voyage. Other Canadian boats included, Pacific Jade, Tica and Panterra, a beautiful and fast catamaran, built and being single-handed by Bob. He is on his way to the Banderas Bay regatta where he hopes to improve his record of always finishing second
in his class.
We spent a lazy 5 days there taking in some of the Mardi Gras celebrations that last all week long. We saw the parade (short but lots of fun) and attended one of the evening presentations of dancing and music in the town square. The acts were surprisingly very professional. The market day was also lots of fun. I find it amazing that even under NAFTA one can buy bootlegged music and DVDs anywhere in Mexico. We now have copies of Australia and Valkyrie in decent quality, both for under $5.
Fran was able to get her hair tinted at the same location as 2 years ago and she convinced J-G that he wanted a pedicure, his first. He'll have another next season.
By Saturday we were ready to leave. We had made a point to include Cuestacomate in our cruising plans. This beautiful, secluded bay a few hours from Barra, is not mentioned in any of the cruising guides and rarely gets any cruiser visitors. The beautiful beach is almost empty during the week but many local Mexican families make it their Sunday destination. We were last here in Royal Exchange 2 years ago and Fran was eager to return to the palapa restaurant on the beach where she claims is the best
seafood cocktail in Mexico. We went ashore this afternoon and Fran is now in heaven. Even J-G agrees with Fran's claim about the seafood cocktail. This will definitely be a regular stop for us. We also met a few Canadians; one couple from Saskatchewan, holidaying in a very nice beachside rental and a couple from Vernon who we had met briefly 2 years ago and who have their own place and have lived here during winters for the past 5 years.
Yesterday J-G dismantled the outboard to find out why the cooling water wasn't streaming out as it is supposed to be. After a frustrating afternoon of experimentation in taking the leg apart he found a badly worn impeller. He re-assembled it with only one screw missing which he made up from our hardware store and apart from a minor adjustment for the shifter it appears to be working much better. We'll have to be careful with it until we can get another impeller in PV in a week or so.
Tomorrow we leave for Melaque where we will meet friends from Victoria before heading up the coast back to Tenecatita.

No comments:

Post a Comment