Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mexico, A Second Look

A little over a year ago, we passed through southern Mexico on our way north from Panama and Central America.  Back then, we were on a mission to get Moonshadow to a berth in Puerto Vallarta so we could make a surprise appearance at Deb's sister's 2013 Christmas party in California.  Because we were rushing, our stops at ports along mainland Mexico were brief.  Now with the 2014 holidays behind us, we sailed around Cabo Corrientes heading south to revisit some of the ports we'd missed before, and spend more time at those we had seen.  

Like most capes, Corrientes has a reputation for bigger seas and wind, but this time we were greeted instead with flat seas and a beautiful peaceful sunrise.

After a full day's sail we arrived at Chamela in time to watch the setting sun light up the mountaintops to the east.

The nearby Isla Passavera and Isla Cocinas provided a secluded place to anchor among beautiful and rugged surroundings.

Just around the corner, rugged cliffs protected Moonshadow from the open seas.

We found a great spot to enjoy sundowners drifting in the dinghy.

The views here are both wild and serene.

Birds love it here too.

Evidently this booby thought our new solar panels were a perfect place to hang out for the afternoon.  

Deb tried to explain how his shadow was causing havoc with our solar charging, but this guy wasn't about to budge and looked at us like we were crazy to suggest he fly away.

Further south, we stopped at Tenacatita, a large protected bay that can really grow on you.  

Photo courtesy of Ed Quesata aboard Sirena
With crystal clear water and 83 degree sea temperatures, Tenacatita is a great place for swimming.

These porpoise seemed to enjoy swimming here too.

They weren't bothered in the least when John joined them aboard the paddle board

They swam near and below the paddle board then surfaced about 5 feet next to John (not pictured)

We stayed here nine days and never ran out of things to do from watching horses on the beach...

... to enjoying the scenery...

... to using the paddle board to pick out good snorkeling...

... then finding underwater life among the rocks and coral.  Unlike his cousins in other tropical reefs we've visited, this blue guy wasn't shy at all.

Not so with this very shy striped eel.

Some days were capped off with sundowners drifting in the dinghy...

...where the colors of the nearby rocks come alive ...

... and the plants sometimes need to be stubborn.

When you get tired of the view...

 ...just drift a few feet, and everything changes.

In Tenacatita, you can while away the afternoon 
just hanging out at the beach palapa bar with cruising friends.

No matter how you spend the day at Tenacatita, you can always look forward to a magical sunset where the colors make everything glow, like friends Ed and Connie's Sirena who we caught on camera a year ago when their mast came down sailing in Banderas Bay.  See pictures from our previous post.

  Sometimes you're even treated to a terrific moonrise.

Cruisers on the morning VHF radio net arranged a panga ride to the nearby village of La Manzanilla.

In La Manzanilla,  we  explored the town and their art walk displaying local artist's excellent paintings and sculptures...

...tasted locally made tequila...

... enjoyed tacos and margaritas on the beach while watching birds fishing in the shore break...

...and visited los Cocodrilos.

 The approaching Super Bowl beckoned, so we continued south from Tenacatita to Marina Puerto de Navidad.

The marina is adjacent to the Hotel Grand Isla Navidad Resort.  Here you can slide down multiple water slides then discover a swim up bar.  
 You can also climb to the top floors to take in views of the town of Barre Navidad, before taking a ride in the panga water taxi across to dozens of bars and restaurants.  From the top floor you can also find another bar with a wide screen showing the Super Bowl.  

Then in the morning, you hail the French Baker on the VHF radio to pick up some fresh baked croissants and a baguette. 

So far, our decision to delay crossing the Pacific this year so we could spend a second season exploring Mexico has been brilliant!