Where the heck is YOLO? Part 2 of 2
February 26, 2016
We returned to Mexico on December 30. YOLO was on the hard at the Fonatur Marina in Guaymas, right where we left her back in June. You never really know what you are going to return back to after your boat has been closed up and sitting in the summer desert heat of dusty Mexico. Fortunately, everything was just fine. We had a tremendous load to get onto the boat. This is not an easy task to achieve when she is sitting 15 feet in the air. The project list was lengthy prior to splash, including the assembly and installation of a brand new roller furler and headstay. It was a daunting job but with the help of my highly capable first mate Coco, we were successful in getting it done. We were back afloat after a week of hard work and then completed the remainder of odd jobs while in the slip at the marina.
We set sail for destinations south on January 15. Day one was nice and then it wasn’t. We had strong winds slowly build from directly behind us, peaking at 25 knots. You would think this would be a great thing, the wind just pushing you along. Well it isn’t. It creates a very uncomfortable rolling motion and is hard to hand steer and also hard on the auto pilot, as it gets confused by that same rolling motion. The sails don’t always know which way to fill so they tend to flop back and forth. This also means that we were all feeling the effects of mal-de-mer. Suprisngly, nobody vomitted. By day three the winds had moderated a bit and the conditions were somewhat nicer. We sailed (no motoring at all) for a full 36 hours. We hooked onto a sizable Dorado (Mahi Mahi) toward the end of day three as well. We were surprised by how damn cold the nights still were. Approaching abeam Mazatlan, we decided to push on, as we were still in sweatshirts and long pants. We wanted to get warm. Late in the afternoon on Day 4 we passed by Isla Isabel, an anchorage we explored last season. Our final night was the most rough- winds occasionally touching on 30 knots, seas of 6-8 feet and the occasional breaker over the stern. Fortunately, being a center cockpit, we were able to stay mostly dry. After making the turn into Banderas Bay, conditions eased up and we motored in calm conditions to La Cruz Marina. It was great to arrive and see so many familiar boats and faces!
As many have heard, Marina La Cruz is absolutely Kid Boat Central. There is even a marina employee (Katrina) who tirelessly plans and organizes fun events and activities for the kids to do. Movie nights, Camps, Arts and Crafts, Robot Building, Waiter for a Day, and the list goes on. Fun stuff. For the grown ups, there are a multitude of cruising seminars to attend. But after a few weeks in La Cruz, you kinda get tired of the schedule and we were ready to get moving south again.
We departed the la Cruz anchorage late in the afternoon with a small flotilla including s/v Enough and s/v Terrapin. We had a brisk sail across Banderas Bay but eventually the winds died down enough to warrant the old Iron Genny. We made good time around Cabo Corrientes and dropped the hook in the Perula anchorage of Chamela Bay. We had a fun beach day with our buddy boats. The kids had a blast getting slammed by sizable surf in the ocean. Good food and good times were had by all.
After two nights in Perula, we decided to check out some of the anchorages and islands the are not quite so frequented by cruising boats in the Chamela Bay. Our first island had a very inviting long sandy beach and some descent snorkeling. We also hosted the first ever Beach Olympics on this very beach. Competition was intense. Later that night, the Closing Ceremony festivities were held aboard s/v Terrapin. A shirt was ruined during the course of the evening but no other casualties.
The sweet spot in Chamela is actually an unmarked anchorage that even has some good surfing! I won’t post the location here on the blog but would be happy to reply to any emails if interested in this hidden gem’s location. We loved it so much it took us another 5 days to break away. Provisions were running low and YOLO made way for Barra de Navidad and all the comforts of a resort and marina.
We are currently on our 11th day here in Barra. The kids are in heaven with access to a 3 tiered pool with interconnecting water slides. There are also a handful of new Kid Boats that we have met here. The icing on the cake is “The French Baker” who literally pulls up to your boat every morning offering the finest in French baked goods. Life doesn’t suck. Tomorrow we head south for Santiago and eventually Zihuatanejo!
Passage notes – La Cruz to Chamela to Paraiso
March 28, 2015
s/v YOLO got underway on Sunday at 4:00pm for Bahia Chamela, a distance of about 100 miles. We set full canvas with winds at 7-8 knots out of the NW. Shortly thereafter, things got exciting. Sustained winds of 33 knots piped up, seemingly out of “nowhere”. This is the most wind we have been in and I think we handled it quite well. After letting the mainsheet out quite a bit to spill the wind force, we furled the 150% genny by a few turns. YOLO found a comfortable gallop of about 6.5 knots with a nice heel to port. Upon reflecting on the cause of the sudden wind change out of “nowhere”, I realized that we had been in the shadow of Punta De Mita and only after clearing that land mass did the winds increase to what we experienced.
As we progressed southwesterly across Banderas Bay, the winds slowly eased. While enjoying a tasty salad in the cockpit, we had another moment of excitement. We heard/felt a good bump on the bow and then about 6 seconds later, one on the stern, with a slight lifting action of the entire boat. My first thought was we had just been hit by a whale. But now, with all focus on the waters behind us, we saw the culprit. A GIANT tree. We literally ran over a tree (roots and all) in the ocean. We failed to get pictures, as Court and I were in the cabin down below, conducting a damage report. Fortunately, other than scraping a bit of bottom paint off the bow, s/v YOLO was still a seaworthy vessel. It was fortunate that we were still sailing at this point, with the motor off and prop not spinning. Furthermore, had we been in a sailboat without a skeg-hung rudder, the outcome could have also been quite different. All part of the ADVENTURE!
Nearing Cabo Corrientes at sunset, with light and variable winds, we fired up the motor. Other than a fairly large swell and strong northwesterly currents, the overnight passage was uneventful. This is how we like a night passage to go…uneventful.
We pulled into Bahia Chamela, Perula anchorage, at 11:15am and dropped anchor. We had a lazy day on the boat, as the surf break was too daunting to attempt with the dinghy. I took the kids for a swim around the boat and practiced our snorkeling.
On Tuesday morning, we hoisted the anchor and proceeded 8 miles south to Paraiso. We skirted around some scenic coastal islands in Bahia Chamela and quickly entered the next bay where our destination lay.
Here in Paraiso, we have our own private beach. It is complete with snorkeling, hiking, hermit crabs, a tarantula that loves to watch us play, and a grove of palm trees for hanging the hammock and great shade. The name is, as advertised, PARADISE, albeit with a side of ROLL…as in super ROLLY anchorage.
We are anticipating the arrival of our buddy boat s/v Terrapin, this afternoon. We will spend one more night before heading south to Tenacatita.