Passage Notes – La Cruz to Bahia Chamela

Wednesday January 8, 2014

On passage from La Cruz, Nayarit to Bahia Chamela, Jalisco, MX.

We left La Cruz just before noon bound for Yelapa, just across the bay.  We made water under way.  When we arrived in Yelapa we assessed the anchoring situation but decided the swell was too large to safely overnight and we didn’t want to trust the moorings.  We left the cove and set a course for Chamela.  Unfortunately we were dragging the dinghy so a few miles out of Yelapa we lowered RPM’s to idle, set the autopilot and went to work lifting the dinghy on deck.  We managed to wrestle the 110 lb zodiac up and strap it down.  We enjoyed a beautiful sunset as we rounded Cabo Corrientes and headed south.

Some passage notes:

It’s 0230 now and Alyssa just woke me up for my shift.  I was very glad to see a steady breeze off the land had filled in at 6-7 knots.  We raised full sail and I turned off the engine.  We are ghosting along nicely at 4.0 – 4.2 knots over glassy seas with a very minimal swell.  I can hear the water running along Ellie’s freshly cleaned hull.  There is a half moon and the stars are twinkling brightly; I can clearly make out the Milky Way.  A few dolphins just passed; they were headed north.  It’s peaceful out here.

0342 – Alyssa still snoozing.  I ate a snack of PB&J that she left in the fridge for my shift. The wind died to less than 4 knots, boat speed dropped below 3 knots, engine now on so we can maintain 4 knots.  Roca Negra is 6 miles off the port beam and there are 4 large fishing trawlers working the area.  At this speed we should arrive in Chamela just after first light.  I read more about the islands near Chamela and am getting excited to be in clear water again and go spear fishing.

0500 – Continuing to burn diesel. Still almost no apparent wind. Furled in jib. May have to drop the main if the wind doesn’t pick up soon. There is a red flashing light on the horizon; it’s not on radar; it’s not on the charts; it must be on land – will monitor. One more hour until I wake up the Princess.

0530 – WIND! 10 knots of wind filled in! Glad I didn’t drop the main. Engine off and cruising along nicely at 5.8 knots under full main and 2/3 jib. Only 2 hours out at this speed.

0700 – We slowed the boat speed down to 3.5 knots to wait until the sun rises.  We are only a few miles out.

0730 – Beautiful sunrise illuminates the mountains.  Now we can see the islands clearly.

0900 – Alyssa lowers our anchor through the crystal-clear turquoise waters behind Isla Colorado.  The island is covered in dense green jungle with palm tree-lined white sand beaches.  The only other boat in the anchorage is our friends on the catamaran Skabenga.  Looking forward to resting up here in paradise.


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