Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

February 27, 2011

Mexico in our Wake

Our stay in Hautulco ended up being a little over a week as we waited for a window to cross the Tehuantepec. It did allow us a little time to explore the beautiful town of la Crucietta and nearby La Cruz, the latter of which is where the cruise ships dock and the pangas hang out.

Puerto Escondido a little way to the north is a famous surf beach; some yachts anchor here but far too rolly for us!

Puerto Angel is a lovely cove between Escondido and Hautulco, but once again, anchorage is only good in calm conditions.

Along the coast, there are several turtle sancturies with successful breeding programs. The amount of turtles off the coast is evidence of their success. Marine turtles are not the only turtles bred here...some strange behaviours, like hiding!!

That would be the top of Peter's boofy finger to show the size of the young ones!

A nearby area has in the mountains has been developed for a botanical garden where different fruit trees are propagated for the locals in order to establish alternative incomes. 

This has been a very successful project to date with tropical fruits like rambutan and mangosteen.
A big day out walking through the gardens and enjoying local meals was had by all.........

..with a small water hole to cool off in..

Our return was blocked by a local demonstration. Our driver, not sure of how to get us back was sent via a dirt road, taking us through many local villages. We had no idea of life off the main road! Schools are a little different...

Our window for crossing the Tehuantepec was not the most reliable past 24 hours; out of the 3 models we used, two gave a prediction of 25 to 30 knots 24 hours after we departed, which incidentally appeared not to have eventuated until 48 hours. Out of the 9 boats that departed around the same time as us, most took the rhumb line route, or close to.

This large sand dune seemed so out of place along a rocky coast. After Salina Cruz, one long beach seemed to go on for 100 miles or so.

Are we so small..or is that dune so large???

We are far too cautious for that and were the only ones to stay close to the beach. We were happy with our decision as we not only got lifted along the beach, but 3 miles off gave us less current (mostly adverse once past Salina Cruz) with land and sea breezes to push us along. Other boats, even 8 miles out past us, had no breeze at all. Getting through ‘trawler city’ was not difficult as they are well lit, move at around 4 knots and parallel the coast; easy to negotiate and we did not have to deal with the smaller pangas and nets that other boats had to deal with 10 miles off the coast. With a full moon, it was a sensational crossing. Where else would you want to be on a full moon besides being at sea???

Apparently the trawlers come down here from Mazatlan during winter for the shrimps, which at present are fetching $12/kilo for the trawlers, so they are making a lot of money.

As most of us arrived at Chiapas at a similar time, we proved too much work for the Harbour Master and Navy; Harbour Master closed his door (it was Friday after all) and said come back on Monday. The Navy only checked one yacht thoroughly; all the rest of us just got paper work done in the cockpit. Far too hot for them down below! Have to be happy with that.

Local transport around Puerto Chiapas is easy and there are good restaurants on the beach; with the best stocked Walmart to boot. The nearby town of Tapachula is a very important gathering place for the local villages with the whole area being the closest to traditional Mexico as we have seen.

The zocalo, as usual, was full of entertainment....

the best flan (creme brulee)

with the yachties being the only westerners there!

We almost forgot which country we were in for a minute with Moorish architecture again….an unusual Church..The Light of the Sea….. Muslims might find it a little confusing??????

All went well with our clearance (especially since we had not technically cleared in with the boat as we purchased her in Mexico) with the only hiccup being organizing for the navy to come out and give our final clearance, which can only be done 1 hour before departure. This takes a little time and the Port Captain is the only one who can organise this; however we did find that letting the navy know of intended departure when they come to clear another boat is a good thing!

The Harbour Master must have felt sorry for us (we told him we wanted to leave during the night in preparation for the Navy to come clear us) and maybe he thought that as we were still waiting at 0800 the next morning (when we actually wanted to depart) as he gave us permission to leave; we were speechless as other boats in the past who have left without navy clearance had been turned back at the Guatemalan Border (14 miles down the coast). The Harbour Master did say to us that yachts did not need clearance as far as he was concerned and he was aware of the time it took other yachts to clear.

If Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador is your next port of call, departure from Chiapas is quite crucial if you want to make the right tide for crossing the bar into Bahia Del Sol. A pilot is required; he on a jet ski….

Now sitting in Bahia del Sol, we successfully crossed the bar, so far winning in the ‘best surf’ stakes. Great!!! Luckily for us we had absolute confidence in the pilot (he has a 99.9% success rate with yachts), otherwise we would had been somewhat worried. We had 3 ‘nice’ waves (nice for surfing as they were 4 to 6 feet) to give us a gentle push (which was the call) to surf in on, with Peter surfing the big blue surfboard with perfection as one would expect! 12.2 knots! Not a drop of water on the deck! We had friends out there taking a video and picks of us.....more to follow!

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