Saturday, January 8, 2011
Banderas Bay to Chamela
After a pleasant stay in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (Banderas Bay) for the holidays, we untied our dock lines and motor-sailed northwest to Punta de Mita where we had anchored two weeks prior. We learned from the morning weather briefings available on our single side band radio that a southwest swell was expected and we hoped to get a chance to do some surfing there. It felt wonderful to be back on the water and out away from the marina. What should have been a fun and relaxing day began the next morning with a 2 hour plumbing repair after discovering that our waste holding tank pump was not working properly. Toilet/holding tank problems aboard boats are enough to bring grown men to tears, or at least evoke a stream of obscenities. This time was no exception. Mark, clad in his worst work clothes and rubber gloves, climbed in and out of "Blue Rodeo's" aft lazarette countless times working on the problem. Anne furnished moral support and brought plastic bags and wet paper towels to help contain the inevitable leaked fluid as the plumbing connections were disassembled and cleaned. With the electric pump-out pump rebuilt the project was deemed a success and we both breathed a sigh of relief.
Mark's reward was a afternoon surf session on his stand-up-paddle surf board. He paddled from the anchorage to a beach where, with binoculars, we'd seen a few surfers in action. After catching a few good waves he returned to our boat happy that he'd gotten another opportunity to improve his skills with the new board. Later that night after a relaxing dinner aboard, we made plans for a 4am departure to head south around Cabo Corrientes (Cape Currents). Our hopes of getting to bed early vanished though when while washing a thick-walled drinking glass, Mark dropped it on the divider of our double sink shattering it into a million pieces. He spent the next half hour carefully picking up shards of glass. Unfortunately, when the electric pump used to drain the sinks was engaged, if quickly failed due to a piece of glass that made it past the sink strainer and lodged inside the pump's impeller. So, at 9pm, Mark began his second major plumbing repair of the day. The clogged pump was removed, but servicing it was difficult due to a broken screw in the pump housing, so our replacement spare was pressed into service. Before reconnecting the hoses, we ran a fair amount of water through the drains to flush out any more glass. When the electrical and plumbing connections were made, the new pump worked perfectly...for about 2 seconds until it jammed...with another &#%$@! piece of glass. Mark had no choice but to tackle the overhaul a second time. This time, more water and pressure from a plunger were used to purge the drain lines. Success was finally achieved at 11pm.
Sleep was difficult that night due to the ocean swells that rolled through the anchorage so, at about 1:30am, we decided to get going and head south. We raised anchor and sails at 2am and headed out into the darkness. With nearly no moon, the stars overhead shone brightly and "Blue Rodeo" left a comet-like, phosphorescent trail as she sliced through the dark waters. With this area inhabited by hundreds of whales this time of year, we hoped they'd give us a wide berth as we'd have no chance to see and avoid them.
Our 14 hr trip put us in beautiful Bahia Chamela where we would explore the small town, have lunch at a thatched-roof covered, beach front restaurant and get "up close and personal" with a 10 foot crocodile. Mark insists that he'd rather face one of the fearsome reptiles than another plumbing problem...at least for a while