I love Barra de Navidad for it's full Mexican persona. The friendliness of it's people, the wonderful food and endless beaches are like coming home. Although Hurricane Amanda has left foul weather behind, there is the smell of wet earth in the air and everywhere you look there is new life. There are fist sized land crabs in major abundance, running along with their tiny claws raised ready to fight if they can't run fast enough. They are quite brazen for crabs and Ginger has gained a healthy respect for them and passes on chasing them in favor of the multitude of accommodating lizards that zip across her path.
We have had a lot of dolphin visitors, some that show off their jumping, some that streak through florescent waters at night and some that jump up and look at the brown dog barking like crazy on deck. But never have I had a visit like I had on our way to Alcapulco.
The voyage had been uneventful, just the way I like them. Calm seas, sailable winds, cool temperatures, what more could I ask for? Dolphin?
My watch was late, starting at about 2 am. Dois had gone down with the exhausted dolphin hunter, Ginger, for a well deserved nap. It was a very dark night, again with no moon to see by. I was reading on the iPad, a common time-passer, when I heard a huge splash just a few feet from the bow. All I could see was a florescent footprint left by the splasher. Then a large and beautiful dolphin, not 6 feet from where I sat, came shooting straight up out of the water, turned to show me his glimmering underside and flopped onto the water, splashing me with the effort. Again, he left a glowing, sparkling universe where he had splashed down. Then another dolphin and another were all performing for me, each seemingly trying to get the highest, largest splash. I could see some of them zoom by and past Ashika with bio-luminescent trails like fairy dust in their wake. There were bio-luminescent glowing spots for miles around me, each one indicating there was another dolphin. I kept expecting Dois or Ginger to come out in response to all the noisy activity, but they were in their dreamland. Mine was a dream come true. Dolphin gathered around our boat, playing and splashing, with me as their only witness. Completely breathtaking.
We live in a world of wonder.
We arrived in Alcapulco Mexico on May 3rd, 2014. Ashika and crew are safe and sound waiting out a tropical storm before moving on.
We had our first hurricane scare. The weather models had a rather nasty looking critter pointed right at this coast. But one day we look like we are going to be annihilated and the next day is clear sailing. That's the thing about forecasts, the 5 or 7 day forecast can be quite flimsy, so it can be difficult to make timely decisions. But as long as we don't rely too heavily on them, no more than 3 days out, we do okay.
Barra de Navidad. What's not to like about it? We are in a very nice slip (power, water, yeah) at Marina de Navidad, a Windham Resort Hotel and Marina. It is a charming multi-tiered five-star hotel, but the pool is to die for. It is multi-level too and there are two water slides down to each level until you reach the bar, in the pool. A real slice. We will be here for a few days looking for our window for moving north to Puerto Vallarta. At least that's our story and we're sticking to it.
If you're not familiar with those orange flower looking things, they are ripe, juicy mango. Nice.
No moss is going to grow on us. Absolutely not. Mold and mildew yes, certainly, but we are moving much to fast for moss. We left zTown (that's the kewl way of saying Zihuatenajo) Mexico yesterday. We didn't want to. We had met up with old and new friends and wanted to spend more time playing. In addition, I had slept in the cockpit (because it was so friggin hot) and woke up with a broken wing. A frozen and extremely painful left shoulder. But the wing seemed to be getting better, partly due to some cruising friends and their medicine cabinet, and the weather window was closing so off we went.
The day was perfect, beautiful day-scapes with fog drifting in and around the mountains all along the way. Did you know all those misty peaks could be hiding pyramids? Why don't they dig them up?
By mid morning the sea breeze was non-existent and the sea surface turned to glass. I headed for my newly made "Dolphin Hunter Seat", a highly technical item made of vinyl mesh, brass eyelets and string. But it's the perfect place to wait for Flipper and company. I wasn't there for even four minutes and he shows up with his wife and children and the cousins. Very nice of them to be on time.
Technically, Flipper was a bottle-nose dolphin and these dolphin are, you guessed it; Spotted Dolphin. They are smaller, weighing in around 250 lbs when fully grown. They are born without the spots and start getting them around adolescence between 6 and 10 years. That's also when they start smoking and hanging around on corners. Kidding, just trying to make sure you're paying attention.
I wasn't exactly well on this trip, after Flipper and the kids left, I spent a fair amount of time in the head (sorry, the truth hurts me more than you). The broken wing was apparently just a for-runner, and I was ill for the rest of the trip. Dois was a stud and held up my side of the boat as well as his. We are in Manzanillo at anchorage in Santiago Bay. We are going to sit here for a couple of days and hopefully get well enough to do some snorkeling at Bahia Carazal.
We'll re-provision here for the next leg of the trip up to Puerto Vallarta. It's a bit of a headache to go shopping from this anchorage, but what are you going to do? We'll have to find a "safe" place for the dinghy on the beach and then hike up to the highway. There, we'll grab a bus into town. We'll take a taxi back because it's hard to maneuver all those groceries onto a bus, and the taxi will get us near a beach and we'll schlep our supplies back down to the dinghy and eventually... the boat. Don't you wish you were us?
So what is it... a gaggle, a herd, a pack or a school of dolphin? I vote for a gaggle.
Alcapulco really isn't a bad place. It's not what it used to be, and you should always, always have a military presence with you if you wander off the main road, but it's the only place where you can stand on your head in the middle of the street.
We had to wait out a pretty nasty storm there so we decided to use the docks at La Marina, for a price of course, but then there's power on the dock (read air conditioning in our aft cabin).
Alcapulco rained hard, and when in rains there, every bit a trash that these folks have been saving up in their gullies, alley ways and streets flushe into the caldera-like bay. Now there is at least a 20 foot wide "bath tub ring" of plastic bottles and other assorted plastics and garbage all the way around the bay. The locals don't appear worry too much about it because they know it will flush out of the bay and into the Pacific Ocean just like a giant toilet bowl. Out of sight out of mind. I wonder if this is one of the reasons we saw so very little sea life in or around their little bay. But they do have the cutest little things living in the bushes.
We left Acapulco on May 10th and arrived Zihuatanejo on May 11th, my first son's birthday, Happy Birthday Donnie!
I love taking photo's after a storm. You get the most beautiful sunset shots.
Where is Ashika?
Captain Dois and Lauri the Admiral contribute to this sailblog (slog)
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