Monday, February 1, 2010

Bahia de Navidad

The last night before we left Tenacatita, we went to a dinghy raft-up happy hour, with 15 couples passing around hors d'oeuvres, singing a few songs, and even chanting "Ommmmm".
We're now anchored several miles down the coast from Tenacatita, in another large bay lined with a long, curvaceous beach. The town directly in front of us is called Melaque, and its well-stocked with everything a gringo boater could want: restaurants, mercado, ATM. We had walked into the town yesterday from our previous anchorage, just over the hill, along with Mike and Leilani from Lanikai. They've been our buds for the past week or so, sharing snorkeling trips, walks ashore, happy hours on each other's boats, and short sailing trips from anchorage to anchorage. Definitely enlivens our appreciation for this lifestyle to be able to share experiences with fellow travelers.

Across the bay from us is Barra de Navidad, a small harbor with a tricky entrance channel and a shallow lagoon anchorage.
Safe navigation into this anchorage is a topic for endless conversation. Besides exchanging books and old DVDs, cruisers also exchange "waypoints" (GPS markers to help us find our way in and out of places and to avoid danger spots. Barra has generated a long list of waypoints marking its numerous hazards and shallow spots, thus the following song, to the tune of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave your Lover." Its probably only humorous to cruisers, so bear with me.

"The problem is all inside your head," she said to me
Pour in some vinegar each time you take a pee.
But navigation is what's really puzzling me:
There must be 50 waypoints into Barra...
50 waypoints into Barra.

Keep an eye on the tide, Clyde.
Stay off of the reef, Chief.
Look out for the rock, Jock.
Just listen to me.
Once you find the lagoon, June,
You can anchor real soooooon.
Just put out enough scope, dope!
And you'll be home free.

Battery sulphation causes worries, don't you know?
And a big south swell, well it can really make you roll.
But my GPS's memory bank is getting full,
There must be 50 waypoints into Barra...
50 waypoints into Barra!


Latitude and longitude down to the "Nth" degree.
But it don't look like its that accurate to me.
You're better off with an old sketch map from Charlie*
There must be 50 waypoints into Barra...
50 waypoints into Barra!


Copyright 2010 by Mark Reed

with apologies to Raptor Dance, Legacy, and the other fine mariners who have assembled all the useful waypoints for the rest of us!

*Charlie's Charts is the original guidebook for the area, written before there were GPS waypoints

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