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Tuesday, November 30, 2004


November 28, 2004
Ipala, Jalisco Coast (20o 14' N 105o 34' W)

The cruiser potluck at Philo's was pretty good. More than enough to eat and some great dishes (sweet potatoes with marshmallows almost as good as Kimmie makes!). But the turkey was a little over cooked. Too bad they didn't have Frank around to tell them when they were done.

Even though we enjoyed shopping in La Cruz (there are a lot of mini-supers in La Cruz) the dinghy landing was too disgusting to want to stay longer. The 'sewage treatment plant' empties into a stream that runs into the harbor where you land your dinghy. I'm not sure what kind of 'treatment' they put the sewage through but it's not very effective in my opinion.

As a result we moved back to Punta de Mita. Friday we took a walk on the beach and looked for a tortilleria in town (where tortillas are made fresh every day). In spite of only having five streets to search we were unable to locate it. For all we know Punta de Mita does not have an actual tortilleria, though were assured by a number of locals that the town was so equipped. I'm sure the problem was the people saying that there was a tortilleria were all men; the women we asked either didn't know or thought that there wasn't one. We could have gone with the more reliable opinion, the women's, and saved ourselves the trouble but we needed the exercise the search provided.

This morning we awoke at 0430 to make the trip from Punta de Mita to Ipala, a short hop of 45 miles. I'm sure you're wondering why we got up so early for what should be about an 8 hour trip. Well between Punta de Mita and Ipala lies the dreaded Cabo Corrientes (Cape Currents) and common wisdom is to round this formidable headland in the early morning or at night. We chose the former and went around in dead calm conditions at 1000. Even though it was calm there was quite a sea running because of the 1 kt foul current running against us. Cape Current strikes again.

The forecast (if you can call it that; we get our weather from an amateur prognosticator who's every other sentence is 'you have to take this with a grain of salt') called for NW wind 10-15 kt. Imagine our surprise when around 1200 an 18 kt SOUTHERLY wind starts to blow. If it wasn't bad enough that we had to beat into wind and sea, the anchorage we were going to is completely open to the south allowing the full force of the wind and chop to churn the little harbor into a washing machine! Shortly after the wind came up one of the boats who was out ahead of us and all ready anchored called to tell us that we might want to reconsider. We did. After arriving in the general vicinity of the anchorage we hove to on the off shore tack to wait. There was no way we could move to the next harbor. It was only 50 miles away and if we sailed directly there we'd arrive in the middle of the night. So we chose to wait offshore from Ipala for an hour to see if the wind might change to it's forecast direction. I made bread and Linda took a nap.

Sure enough, around 1500 the wind died and we went into the anchorage to see what we could see. There was still a stiff chop bouncing around but we could tell it would eventually die down. We set the anchor and jumped in to cool off.

It seems as though we're finally getting acclimated to Mexico. In addition to eating tortillas instead of bread, we also find the water a little chilly if it's temperature isn't above 82 degrees. In addition we find we need a blanket if the temperature in the cabin falls below 78 degrees. Brrr, that's cold!

Oh well, I guess that's enough of our hardship and despair. Tomorrow we're moving to Chamela where there are supposed to be many fun activities from snorkeling to beach combing. I hope the water's not too cold.

John and Linda