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Thursday, February 21, 2008

La India

Bahias de Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico

We had a nice slow sail yesterday from Puerto Angel to our current anchorage in La India, passing some of the anchorages SW of here at mid-day, the height of tour boat activity. This is a very small anchorage tucked behind a reef with swell breaking over it. John wasn't really happy with the set of our main anchor, thinking that it might have ended up in rock. So before setting a stern anchor we picked everything up and motored the short distance out into the larger bay of Chachacual where we had seen a charter sailboat anchor for an hour. This didn't feel any better and a panga tour boat operator told us the spot we were looking at was shallow and rocky, and that La India was better! So back we went to La India, anchoring a little closer to the sandy beach this time. All this because the water was too cloudy to see the bottom in 20 ft.

We couldn't have timed this visit better as the weather is very settled and there is nothing going on in the Gulf of Tehuantepec (to be referred to as the T'pec from now on). We didn't quite get our stern anchor set to have our bow directly facing the swell coming over the reef so we put out the rocker stopper last night and are very comfortable. The water was murky green with a few jelly fish when we came in but by late afternoon the jellies seemed to be gone and we had a short swim to the beach and back.

This morning we took a dinghy ride retracing our steps back to Puerto Sacraficios, a large bay with sandy beaches and a roped off rocky coral area for snorkeling just in front of the beach palapa restaurants. We arrived before any of the tour boats and had a nice snorkel in clear water free of jelly fish. We didn't see anything outstanding in the way of fish but it was very interesting to see so much coral, and it appeared to be a good fish nursery. There's another roped off coral area around the corner (heading back towards La India) at Jicaral, but at low tide this was very shallow and full of small mauve jelly fish with tentacles so we confined our exploration to a beach walk.

Both the NE beach at Sacraficios and the one here at Chachacual have obvious turtle tracks leading to and from nests. We didn't disturb them to verify the presence of eggs but the large dug out pits are quite evident. Most of the beaches here are a fine yellow sand and are quite steep with sharply breaking surf. Behind the beaches the vegetation is too thick to be passable, and tinder box dry with a sprinkling of (organ?) cactus. We've seen kingfisher, osprey, both turkey and black vultures, some kind of an eagle or hawk not in our Western Birds book, and a beautiful bird pictured on the National Park signs which we'll have to identify later.

We hate to go into the marina after only scratching the surface of all the little bays here, but John is anxious to get our inland trip behind us. We'll see how we feel about moving tomorrow!

Linda and John

{GMST}15|42.602|N|096|11.856|W|February 2008|La India{GEND}