Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bashing Back to Banderas Bay

Tenacatita, Jalisco, Mexico

February 19, 2010

Bashing is the technical sailing term for going up wind.  Generally, this time of year, the winds should be against us for heading from Zihuatanejo to Banderas Bay.   I say this now because it may be my only chance: luckily, we seem to be experiencing an El Nino weather pattern year.  We have actually had winds with us or very light head winds.

Waves crashing on the beach at Caleta de Campos behind us 


The first leg for Capaz took us from Zihuatanejo to Caleta de Campos (the bay off a town called Buffadero).   We motored sailed most of the way and were the third boat in a very small bay.  Our buddy boat, Totem, took a pass on squeezing into the tight anchorage and they continued on doing an overnight passage to Las Hadas.  Something about the sea floor topography amplified the swell that was entering Caleta de Campos anchorage so that we were lifted what seemed like 10 feet and  by each one and then it broke about 5 boat lengths behind CRASHING on the beach.  We actually slept OK and had a leisurely day, but the swell continued to increase and we ended up leaving about an hour earlier in the afternoon than we had originally planned for our over night passage.

Sunrise over the coal power plant at Manzanillo

IMG_0892 The second stretch between Caleta de Campos and Las Hadas (Manzanillo) was just a little too long to do during the daylight hours of one day.  That leaves a couple options, one can get up really early (pre-dawn) and proceed at a set rate to make sure that arrival happens before sunset.  Then, there is the option of leaving during the late afternoon, planning for an arrival around dawn or just after unless sailing conditions are favorable.  Since pace is not an issue for this option, sailing works out great since you don’t worry about going a little slower now and then.  We chose the second option and tried out a different watch system.  We did much longer watches so that the off-watch time for sleeping was in longer stretches.  Brad seems to be OK (or so he says) with just about any system, but this seems to work out alot better for me.  We arrived in Las Hadas in the morning.  Our two days there were spent provisioning and swimming.  We lucked out and hit the bay on laundry and got fresh sheets while we were there.

The French Baker visits Totem in the  Barra de Navidad Lagoon bringing breakfast


The next stretch is shorter, from Manzanillo up a short stretch of coast and around the headland at Barra de Navidad.   We got in early enough in the afternoon to drop off the rest of the laundry.  The town was VERY sleepy and we finally realized that was Ash Wednesday, which conversely means that the night before had been the last night of  Carnival  (Fat Tuesday).  The next day things were back to normal and it was Market Day to boot.  We picked up our laundry, spent an hour at the fuel dock and then continued on the very short leg to Tenacatita.

Sunset coming into Tenacatita (gray clouds ended up being a squall)


No sooner did get ourselves anchored and a squall passed pretty much directly over us.  The hard driving rain gave CAPAZ a good fresh water rinse to complete the salt water wash that I had given on the way up here.  We almost got all the hatches closed before the worst of the rain hit us.  Our first day here has been very busy: snorkeling (the water is finally clear!!!); trolling (one of the other kid boats took the boys dinghy trolling); Brad dove almost the entire bottom and we attended a dinghy “raft-up”.  Whew! 

WPC 008IMG_0916 IMG_0924 

We plan to stay here for a few days and then we will continue on north around Cabo Corrientes and back into Banderas Bay.

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