Sunday, February 9, 2014

Heading North along the "Happy Coast" to Banderas Bay

Our trip back from Costalegre (Happy Coast) to Banderas Bay was a success.  We delayed our departure one more day, as the day after the Superbowl is a Mexican holiday and the Port Captain was closed.  The weather forecast sounded good for going North.  So Tuesday was our departure day, and three days later, we arrived back in a familiar slip at La Cruz.   

We mostly motored, but were able to sail in the early mornings with 10 to 12 knots of offshore breeezes.  We even got the spinnaker out for an hour or so when the wind got behind us.

Our first stop was Tenacatita.  There were 25 boats in this beautiful anchorage that is one of the favorite places for cruisers along the Happy Coast.

Second stop was Chamela Bay.  We hosted an impromptu get together with new friends from Agave Azul, who gave us an informative lesson on their recent inland trip to the town of Tequila.  Then our friends from Aurora and Scot Free, Eh rounded the corner, coming south.  It was a reunion for the night.... and then time to go.

On our way to Chamela, we met another sailboat heading in the same direction.  With a quick intro on the radio, we were introduced to Randi and Neal on Windchime.  They had some motor problems on Day 2, which fortunately was not too serious.  A  large length of fishing line wrapped around their propeller and disabled their motor.  Fortunately there was enough wind for them to sail into the next harbor.  We launched the Shin-dinghy and helped them maneuver their boat for anchoring.  Shindig and Windchime buddy boated for the remainder of the passage, with a very tasty dinner ashore at Pt Ipala.  

Our last anchorage was in Punta Ipala.  This is a tiny fishing village that makes a nice staging stop in the lee of Cabo Corrientes

The weather predictions were correct and the rounding at Cabo Corrientes was a non event.  This can get really nasty with strong winds and currents.  Although the winds picked up to 20 knots, it was relatively smooth.  Perhaps it was because of Nancy's "flat passage" cookies, chocolate chip cookies that always come out flat. We shared with Windchime, to help the wind and wave gods keep our passage as flat as possible. As we sailed into Banderas Bay, we kept a look out for whales, dolphins, flying rays and all sorts of sea life that make this place so wonderful.   Pulling into the slip at La Cruz was another reunion, and we were quickly immersed in our familiar "home" in Banderas Bay.

Roughing it aboard Shindig
Pressure Cooked BBQ Ribs - First night dinner at Chamela Bay

The interior of Shindig during our passage - Looking pretty civilized

The Happy Coast - One of many unique fortresses on the coastline
Traditional Shrimping boat goes south - Need to avoid these guys!

Day Two: Sunrise in Tenacatita Bay as Windchime departs

Shindig under sail heading north - Still in shorts and barefoot

Checking out Neal's findings  - a fouled propeller with fishing rope.
Neil dives down with his hooka rig and cuts free 30 feet of 3/4 inch polypropylene rope from the the propeller and shaft.

This panga took us to shore on the last night so we could enjoy our dinner
The kids were treated to extra plate of "Flat Passage Cookies"

Quiero de galletas, Mama!
(Give me some of those cookies)
Fun Shark Statue at Pt. Ipala

Neal and Randi from SV Windchime -  Last dinner before rounding the cape and arriving at Banderas Bay

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