La Cruz – Dec 19 – Jan 7th, ~8577 nm
It is o-dark hundred when we weighed anchor in Bahia Mantachen. We use our radar to avoid the boats in the anchorage and note the location of the coastline. We don’t want to become news in the cruising world. It was an eleven-hour day motoring south. Unconsciously hearing the dull drum of a motor adds to the tool of a long day. But alas, La Cruz is there and we drop anchor for a night.
Just in time for the Christmas holidays, we move Dharma Girl into a slip. Along with our fellow boaters, we string holiday lights around the lifelines and up to our mast. We pull out our mini holiday tree and don it with miniature lights and ornaments. A few days later, we participate in the marina’s holiday dock party.
We filled an item on our bucket list. We released baby turtles! A relatively short bus ride from La Cruz, the Turtle Farm is located on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta. The volunteers collect and relocate turtle eggs from nearby. The individual nests you see in the photo hold between 75 and 100+ eggs that will hatch and need to be released that early evening. The timing to release the baby turtles after sunset is critical. The local flying predators leave at dusk and head to their own nest.
We learned so much. The volunteers are gracious with their time and ready to answer all questions. Like, how old are these baby turtles? “In this batch, some are 5 hours old and others are 12 hours old.” We learned that ocean beaches have a unique scent that the baby turtles remember. Eight to twelve years later, the surviving turtles return to the beaches where they hatched to lay eggs.
So much cuteness. We praise the volunteers for their work and ability to release these adorable creatures, knowing that the survival rate is very low. These Olive Ridley babies, like all baby turtles, use the tiny beak on the tip of their nose to crack open the turtle shell. The beak will fall off as the turtles mature. Studies show that for every thousand baby turtles hatchlings only 2% will make it into reproductive adulthood. Kind of sad to think when you are holding your turtle and wonder if this one is the 2%. Oh, Mother Nature.
It’s lovely here in sweet La Cruz but it’s time to head south and our weather window is just a couple days away. So we move to Punta de Mita and anchor there for a couple of days. This location gives us a little head start towards the 16-18 hour rounding of Cabo Corrientes. This popular surfing anchorage provides plenty to do from watching the surfers, visits from fellow cruisers swimming, and paddling on our own small craft. The brave ones surf their dinghy onto the beach for a bite and a drink. Punta de Mita is a classy touristy town.
We were given a treat of a whale visiting the anchorage; about 150 feet off our beam. Surprising how close in it came as we were anchored in 20 feet of water.
Perula, Chamala Bay – Jan 8th-12th ~ 8653 nm
A sight to see after the long leg. One of our top favorite locations. Like many of the towns we visit, there are plenty of opportunities to experience your visit using your senses.
Barra Lagoon – Jan 13th-17th ~ 8693 nm
Back to familiar grounds, if you will. The lagoon offers a reprieve from swells and waves. The tranquil lagoon invites us to chill. And that we did, very well if I may add.
The lagoon’s setting creates the loveliest sunsets. They go nicely when the cruisers blow their conch shell at sunset.
We are huge fans of the French Baker from Barra de Navidad. And during our stay, our waistline reflects our loyalty.
Look at that photo. Would you say no to having one or two fresh french pastries?
Chris’ brother and wife were vacationing in La Manzanilla, MX. La Manzanilla is the town across from the Tenacatita anchorage where we just were. In fact, we would have stayed there but logistically, it’s easier to meet in the town of Barra (just 5 miles south) versus dinghying into shore and drowning ourselves with the evening swells as we leave the beach. So our timing was such, that we were able to hang with them on the last two days of their Mexico trip.
Tenacatita 18Jan – 12Feb ~ 8727 nm
After we dropped our anchor, we took the dinghy up and walked the river, months after Hurricane Pamela hit this coast. The force of waves changed the topography of many beaches. Some became steeper, while others much longer and wider. The beach at the Tenacatita anchorage transformed into a long stretch of the wide sandy beach. This was appreciated by the daily Bocci players. The transformation provided space for a soccer field; a family boat hosted a game several times for the plethora of kiddos in the anchorage.
During our month-long stay (we didn’t plan to stay that long) we stayed active with daily swimming, walking the 1.5-mile beach twice, and doing yoga. We played cards, participated in a couple of happy hours, and had an occasional dinner on friends’ boats. We visited the nearby town of La Manzanilla, aka La Manz, to provision, get cash, and treat ourselves to a delicious cup of coffee, pastry, or meal. There was even a generous birthday party for me. We also enjoyed a special wedding anniversary for the “mayor and his wife”. Each Friday a “mayor’s” dinghy raft-up gathered all the cruisers at a nearby cove for laughter and a talent show, including sharing our answers to the ‘getting to know each other’ questions of the night. We all agreed that the Tenacatiti anchorage in the winterime is essentially an Adult Summer Camp.
After our grand and memorable time at the summer camp, it is time to head back to Barra de Navidad. We have guests coming in a few days!! We are so excited to share our lifestyle with good friends.
As I type this, we are currently in Portland, OR and Dharma Girl is in La Paz, BCS, MX. We have been away for two weeks. Or should we say, traveling for two weeks? The Portland spring weather is wet, relatively cold, and grey skies with a splatter of blue here and there. Although Portland was home for over 18 years, there is some disconnect as we go through this transition.
We are playing catchup with our cruising posts. We’ll have 2-3 more to end our cruising season. Then – more about what lies ahead.
So without further ado. Thanks for following and reading our blog.
Catch ya later,
Carrie and Chris