Sunday, March 6, 2011

Return to Banderas Bay

After Carnaval, we had no further excuses to linger on the "Riviera." The water in Tenacatita is still plagued with red tide, taking the fun out of snorkeling and swimming. With a good weather forecast, we raised the anchor and steamed out of Barra. By noon there was enough wind to sail, and by 3PM we had the anchor down in Chamela.

On the way into Chamela, the Dutch yacht Witte Raaf pulled alongside, and Joanneke snapped some great pictures of Southern Cross under sail.

We laid over a day in Chamela, and then took off the next afternoon for the 100nm passage around Cabo Corrientes and into Banderas Bay. Although the forecast was good, and we started off under sail, we were soon beating to weather and being body-slammed by short but steep seas. As darkness fell, a fleet of shrimpers approached, so we began motorsailing almost directly into the wind, the hobby-horsing motion slowing us to a measly 3 knots.

I had to drain the fresh water from our bow tank to keep the bow from diving into the seas. Finally, around 4AM, we approached the Cape where conditions were actually quite mellow. The wind and seas died, and our speed increased to our usual 6kts under power.

Once into Banderas Bay, we got some favorable wind for sailing, along with some terrific whale sightings. We were anchored in La Cruz before noon, after a 19 1/2 hour passage.

Plans for the rest of the season are now in flux. We have just been offered crew positions with friends leaving for French Polynesia in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

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