Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Visitors from Canada

Sunday, 8 March 2009, Tenecatita
We have been anchored in this lovely bay for the past 3 days amongst a great bunch of cruisers. Surprisingly, of the 27 boats here a good portion of them are catamarans and several are boats we have met before so it has been a lot of fun renewing friendships and participating in some of the organised events such as beach games and the Friday evening dinghy raft-up dinner, more on that later.
After departing Cuestacomate last Monday we went back around the headland to the south and anchored in Melaque Bay. Waiting on the beach were Bert and Vickie Blattman and Vickie’s sister, Barbara and husband Murray. We sorted ourselves out and joined them ashore for lunch, dragging our dirty laundry with us, to a laundromat. We had heard about a beachfront bar that was catering to the land and sea cruisers with 7 peso beer and cheap food. What more could a cruiser ask for? This establishment was also planning a party for all of the Canadian land cruisers who were beginning to depart the trailer park adjacent to the beach.
We had planned to take our Canadian friends for a day-sail on the Tuesday but a problem with the dinghy outboard caused us to delay for a day. The first 2 days were spent exploring Melaque, repairing the outboard and cleaning up the boat. Early Wednesday morning (0830 is early for us) we ferried Bert, Vickie and company to the boat and departed into calm seas and light airs. With these conditions we decided to forego the sailing and motored over to Cuestacomate for lunch and snorkelling. We left there in early afternoon but wind conditions hadn’t improved much but we were able to fill the sails and provide our guests a semblance of sailing for a few hours. We arrived back to the Melaque anchorage by mid-afternoon, in time to attend the party at the beachside restaurant.
What a blast! The large crowd was made up of mostly older land cruisers with a few of us “younger” boaters mixed in. 7 peso beer was flowing freely (lemonade was 15 pesos by comparison) and the entertainment was continuous. The highlight of the evening was a female impersonation act with 4 of the best looking guys we have ever seen. The last portion of the act blew everyone away when the best looking impersonator reverted back to his male identity onstage, an amazing transformation to observe. We all felt a bit like voyeurs. (See pictures above before and after pics)
By Thursday we were ready to move on. We bid farewell to Bert, Vicky, Barbara and Murray and resumed our trek north. Before departing the bay we went back to Barra to fill our water tanks at the Grand Bay marina fuel dock. We were amazed to see a very large cruiser “Attasea”, complete with helicopter, alongside at Grand Bay. It was another windless morning with calm seas so we motored up the coast to Tenecatita. As we rounded the headland we saw several fishing boats near the reef so we tried our luck and were rewarded with a nice Mexican Bonito, the highly prized version of the species. We continued into the bay towards La Manzanilla and anchored off the town for a quick run into town to replenish veggies and fruit and pick up a jug of drinking water. Lately we haven’t been powering long enough to make sufficient drinking water onboard to meet our needs. Our water-maker only produces 1.5 gals per hour.
We arrived at the anchorage area at Tenecatita by early afternoon. The cruisers here are very organised. Archie on Sea-tacean has been acclaimed as the mayor of the bay and he and Barbara (who makes very unique bead jewellery) organised several events, including the Friday night raft-up. This is essentially an assembly of all the dinghies that tie up to each other (the first one at anchor) and each brings a main dish or dessert, their dishes and cutlery, boat cards and any books they want to get rid of or exchange. Plates of food are passed from boat to boat around the circle and each serves themselves. Big plates or fast eating is of essence. Fran’s bonito sushi was a real hit.
The atmosphere here is lazy and relaxed. Each afternoon at 1 several of the girls jump in and have a leisurely swim ashore then a walk down the beach before repairing to a beachside palapa restaurant for board games. The guys dinghy or kayak in, John (Paloma) brings volleyball gear and a few hardy souls brave the hot sand for a few hours between beer runs to the palapa. Snorkelling and fishing are popular pastimes in the mornings before the sea breeze fills in (about 10-11am) while others dive on their boats to scrub the bottoms clean. One feature of the bay is the tunnel through the mangrove swamp to the beach at the beachside community on the western side of the bay. This unique waterway is narrow and affords the explorers a rare view of the wildlife therein which include small crocodiles. Evenings are often spent visiting other boats or hosting a few couples aboard. Fran has also had several people aboard to teach them how to make sushi. This included Erin, the youngest of the girls on Don Quixote.

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