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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Blog-able Day

4 January 2006
Ensenada Carrizal, Jalisco Coast (100 miles S of Puerto Vallarta)

Well looking at our last blog entry it seems we've been absent for a little too long. You'd think that with the holidays we'd have more than enough to write about but the fact is that we really don't have that much special happening.

That was, until yesterday. But I'll get to that in a minute.

We went from Tenacatita to Barra de Navidad on December 23rd after receiving some boat parts from our friends on Jellybean. They personally delivered them to us after carrying these parts all the way from La Paz. The parts had been carried from San Diego to La Paz by another cruiser and arrived after we left La Paz. That's how we get the things we can't get in Mexico - kind of like the Pony Express.

Anyway, we made it into the Barra de Navidad lagoon without running aground in the narrow muddy channel. Which, judging by the number of boats that ran aground while we were there (one of them twice), can be a very difficult thing to do. After getting settled we took care of the necessities first - laundry, vegetable shopping, and eating out - then took care of less important shopping later in the week.

We spent Christmas day at a potluck dinner with the rest of the cruisers in Barra de Navidad. Two turkeys, baked by a local restaurant, cost the group $60 USD but came stuffed Mexican style with potatoes, bread, chorrizo, olives and raisins. Each person had to chip in $2.50 to cover the price of the turkey, which was a little strange for a potluck, but we all got plenty to eat and drink so I guess it was worth it.

We ended up staying in Barra longer than we had intended and were there for New Year's Eve too. The town pulled out all the stops, complete with a 10 second fireworks show followed by numerous celebratory gun shots. We watched and listened from the comfort (and safety) of our bed.

We departed Barra for Santiago Bay on the 2nd of January and again managed to make it out the narrow channel without running aground. That's four transits without a problem. We started off motoring but eventually the wind built enough for us to set the drifter and the main and we sailed the rest of the way.

The first little sub-bay on entering Santiago Bay is call Ensenada Carrizal. We decided to check it out and what a jewel we found. I'm not sure why this place isn't more popular, maybe it's because there's absolutely nothing here. Which of course is exactly why we like it so much. There are no shore side discos blasting music until all hours. There are no beach vendors selling things you don't need. There are no jet skis, water skiers or banana boats. There is no night time brush burning to drop soot all over the decks. No dogs barking at night or roosters crowing before dawn. There's not even anything in the water - it's crystal clear. Heck, we could get used to this kind of nothing!

We have snorkeled each day since being here and have added three new species of fish to our 'seen it' list: Barber fish, Zebra Moray and Gold Rimmed Surgeon fish.

Yesterday I noticed something that looked like an empty lot on a hill over the bay and we took the dinghy ashore to investigate. It turns out there was probably supposed to be a private development (Rancho Majagua) here at one time but the only evidence are dirt roads (some complete with landscaping and curbs) and road signs. The signs point you to condominiums, lots for sale, and beaches but when we walk the roads they just end in a turn around. No buildings or other signs of development. The best thing is that these roads run through some pretty virgin forest. The flowers are in bloom everywhere and at times we would be walking through clouds of butterflies. Pretty cool. We spent three hours walking the roads today and the closest we came to another person was hearing a Mexican work crew working on some power lines across the valley.

All of this is quite out of the ordinary for the Mexican mainland - we're thinking about staying awhile.

John and Linda