More Harbour Hopping - Prairie SeaShell Sea Stories

We left La Cruz in the company of our friends Steve & Sheila on Guiding Light and spent the next few weeks bobbing about from bay to bay.

We headed for Chamela, seeing many turtles and rays along the way. While we were anchored at Chamela we spoiled ourselves every day at a different palapa restaurant. After lunch, it was time for a game of cribbage before our afternoon swim, then maybe a walk along the beach to town. This "town" had a small town square, a few shops and a deli, catering to the gringo trailer park on the beach.

Our next stop was Tenacatita where there was only one choice for a palapa restaurant, and no town accessible from the anchorage. However, since we now had to cook many of our own meals, we needed to get groceries.

Time to move on again, next stop Barra de Navidad, an uneventful day at sea, then we followed the waypoints into the very shallow channel.

Saw Guy & Susie from s/v Lorien in their dingy, and they gave us the low down on the area. The gathering spot for cruisers here is the Sands Hotel where you can ditch your garbage and swim in their pool, all for the price of a beer.

Took a wander about town, mostly touristy, but still some local businesses and residents. We stopped in at the local hair salon, and although the girl there spoke no English, she must have understood our "Spanglish" because she gave us great hair cuts, for all of $4.00 each.

The following day, we took the bus into the neighboring town of Melaque and got off the bus at the town center, only to find out that we were not in the town of Melaque, but in Obregon instead.

As it turned out, there was a big open air market happening today, so we browsed thru the stalls, then continued on foot thru the town of San Patricio to Melaque. By the time we did get to Melaque, the shops were all closed for siesta, so we just headed back to Barra and went for a swim at the Sands.

While we were in Barra de Navidad, thought it appropriate that we should do a little Christmas shopping at their local market.

Since Carnival festivities were about to begin, we decided to hang around for a few days. The kick-off parade was being held after dark today, but since we didn't bring a flashlight with us, we had to head back to the PSS before it began. You have to have lights to cross the channel into the lagoon or you may get run over by a water taxi.

For such a small town, the Carnival events were very big scale. There was a temporary stage set up in the town square, and dance troupes were brought in from many nearby cities.

The sound system however left a bit to be desired ... as usual in Mexico, it was SO loud it made your chest quiver. We did have a momentary reprise when the system just quit, right in the middle of one of the dances.  Bravo to the dancers, they knew the routine so well, they just kept right on dancing without missing a step, and then we could hear all their fancy footwork echoing on the wooden stage floor.

We stayed in Barra for a few more performances, watched a very different Polynesian Dance company, and then one of the Master of Ceremonies who got all the local kids involved on stage with a "Banana Eating Contest" and a dance competition, the boys against the girls, with the audience being the judges.

We then headed to Manzanillo where we would try to catch the last of the carnival events. We anchored in Santiago Bay and took the bus into Manzanillo on the last night of carnival to watch the parade.

When we finally figured out where the parade route was, we found a nice restaurant along the route and waited for the floats. What we didn't know was that the restaurant we picked was about two blocks past the final judging station, so by the the times the floats reached us, they were almost at the end of the route and were in a big hurry to start partying.

They passed by so quickly we could hardly get a picture. We have been in many restaurants during our stay in Mexico, but when Don came back from the bano and asked for the camera, I was rather confused.

I couldn't imagine what he wanted to take a picture of. This restaurant was very unique, the men's bano offered a "pot to pee in" ... fortunately complete with flushing mechanism. The mural on the wall also portrayed two giggling senorita's hiding their eyes!

Santiago Bay was a very comfortable anchorage, and the dingy landings were relatively comfortable as well. We were anchored close to an old wreck which should have been a great scuba diving spot, but, once again, the water clarity was still poor, so although there were lots of fish, not clear enough for picture. We did have a neat surprise one morning when we got into the dingy and I untied it from the boat, a cute little sea horse came up on the rope.

On our way back to PSS one day, we stopped in to say hello to our Canadian neighbors on s/v Airborne, Hal & Cathy. They are Bluewater Cruising Members and know Loon, Homer's Odyssey an Sassona.

They spend several months here in Santiago every year, and have their car here. They offered to take us to town the following day, stopped at the Marine Store (Casa de Pescadora) Mega (for more gluten free waffle mix) and had lunch at the Social Club in Manzanillo.

The beer is slightly more expensive at the Social Club than elsewhere, but the snacks are gratis, guacamole, ensalada de papas, frioles, ceviche etc, and the supply was endless.

Manzanillo, about 185 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, has a very large container port, but is a very clean city. We went touring one day with Jeff & Janie from s/v "Adagio" and would like to go back again next season.

Harbour Hopping Photo Album coming soon.

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