Monday, January 18, 2010

Cabo Corrientes

We arose at 4AM so that we would pass the cape in the morning hours. But before we had gone halfway across Banderas Bay, we had 20 knots of wind behind us, and we feared it would be too rough at the Cape - it had been described in one guidebook as a "washing machine" in high winds. So we turned tail and started tacking back into the bay, waiting for the morning radio weather report. Afterwards, we realized we had only experienced typical nighttime land breezes. So, with a favorable weather report, we again turned for the Cape, and were past it by noon. This is the last major "gate" of our first season in Mexico. Of course we have to pass through some of these "gates" on our way back north to Baja next month.

Once beyond Cabo Corrientes, we had an easy sail to a small cove where we overnighted with 2 other sailboats. The next morning, once again, we started off before sunrise in order to make our intended landfall before dark. We had land breezes in the morning, and a nice sea breeze in the afternoon, and were able to sail most of the day. The coast was sparsely inhabited and backed by lovely jungle-covered mountains.

At 4PM, we arrived at a most pleasant anchorage - Chamela Bay. At least 7 other sailboats accompanied us into the bay. Everyone was trying to stay ahead of some high winds and swells forecast for later in the week.

We dropped the hook in 20 feet of water near the head of the bay, and immediately donned masks and fins to scope out the bottom. And then..
Dolphin! A big one! Swimming right at our bow. By the time I got my mask and fins on, he (she? how do you tell?) was down on the bottom, rubbing his back against our anchor chain. I swam down to greet him and he eyed me curiously, then swam toward the surface, spiraling around me. Vicki came up and we had several more close encounters with the dolphin before he lost interest and glided away. Definitely the closest I have ever swum with a dolphin. Later, we learned from a fellow boater that this is a tame dolphin that lives in the bay and interacts with people. Probably a bottlenose dolphin. What a cool way to be welcomed to this beautiful spot!

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