Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In Barra de Navidad for Christmas!

The town of Barra de  Navidad

This morning we picked up the anchor around 7am and headed south for Barra de Navidad (Christmas Cove).  Where else do you spend Christmas in Mexico if it's not Barra de Navidad?  Barra is about 40 miles south of Chamela where we were yesterday and a short 15 miles or so north of Manzanillo.  I suppose that we spent some time here back in 1980 on my dad's boat but I honestly don't remember.  Even if I did remember being here I'm sure that nothing looks the same.  The lush, thick green hills surrounding the anchorage are spotted with expensive homes and hotels line the beach.

We are anchored inside the lagoon that is completely protected from the swells of the Pacific.  Although that provides a night's sleep on perfectly flat water, like we were on a lake, there are some definite disadvantages.  When you think of the water in a lagoon, usually it is not crystal blue water that you would want to get into.  If that is the image you have in your would be very correct.  The water here is muddy brown, most likely pretty stagnate and definitely a breeding ground for all sorts of biting insects. is not the paradise that you might imagine.

However, beyond the mucky water and bugs that thrive after dark, it is quite beautiful.  The hills and mountains around us are a thick, lush green jungle.  Palm trees and mangroves border the anchorage and the marinas close by.  Outside of the lagoon there is a beautiful white sand beach with the ocean a very comfortable 84 degrees.

Getting into the lagoon is a bit tricky because there is a poorly marked channel through several mud and sand bars.  We were tip toeing in trying to stay in the main channel watching the depth gage get shallower and shallower until we finally had exactly zero inches of water under the keel and we came to a slow stop.  Stuck on the bottom.  After a bit of jockeying around we wiggled free, got some advice from a local Mexican in a panga and slowly motored over to where we anchored in a whopping 10' of water.  Keep in mind that we draw 7"+.  This is definitely a record for the shallowest anchorage yet.  Word is that we definitely will need to wash the chain off when we pull the anchor as it comes up covered in mud.  Yay.  After getting settled we promptly got to work putting up the infamous 18' tall LED light Christmas tree on the foredeck.  With some nifty rigging of lines, block and tackle between the mast and the furled genoa we hoisted the beast.  We have yet to see it in lit form, hopefully everything works.

Tomorrow we will do some exploring in the dinghy then go into town and also to a couple of hotels that supposedly are "cruiser friendly" where we are welcome to enjoy their pools and restaurants.  Tomorrow evening there is a Christmas party where a lot of the cruiser attend and also others from the town.  The party is complete with turkey dinner and a gift exchange after.  We are looking forward to it.

Ciao for now.

SV Liahona
Bret, Marne and Tarren

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