Pacific Mexico (2012 – 2013)
Check-in to Mexico was swiftly done by the help of Coral Marina in Ensenada. The passage south east along the Californian Peninsula was pretty uneventful, apart from spotting literally hundreds of dolphins feeding at one location, and catching a pair of good sized yellow fin tunas. With light north westerly winds motoring was often required. Two stops were made in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria on the way before anchoring at Cabo San Lucas, which is a lively touristy place. Christmas and New Year was celebrated in La Paz together with a substantial colony of “pretty resident” Canadian and American sailors. In the bay of La Paz many whale sharks were feeding.
Later we cruised north in the Sea of Cortez and enjoyed the special beautiful nature there. The sea was full of whales of different species and sizes. They often seemed to sleep in the surface, so a careful watch was needed.
After leaving the Sea of Cortez we cruised along the mainland coast. The weather during the whole cruising in Mexico has generally been warm with light north westerly winds or no wind. Altogether we have been using the main engine 200 hours during our 3000 Nm cruise in Mexico.
It was interesting to visit Isla Isabella, which is called the “Mexican Galapagos” because of its colonies of frigate birds and many iguanas. The birds nest here and are not afraid of humans coming close by.
Many beautiful bays and anchorages have been visited along the whole coast. Quite some time was spent in Paradise Village Marina close to the lively touristy town of Puerto Vallarta and in Bahia de Banderas itself at the anchorage at Puerto La Cruz where whales could be seen swimming between the boats. We even experienced a contact with one at low speed without causing damage to any of us. When cruising south we saw more sea turtles than in any other waters we have sailed. It was interesting to see that birds were often sitting on top of the shell of these sleeping or relaxing turtels.
Before crossing Golfo de Tehuantepec we attempted to anchor at Puerto Escondido, however the swell was so big that we decided to proceed to Puerto Ángel in the hope to get some more protection even if we would arrive there at midnight. In good weather this place must be very beautiful and interesting to visit. The swell here turned out to be practically the same as at Puerto Escondido, but we decided to enter the harbour anyway. It is protected by some high rocks on both sides with a quite narrow opening. The harbour itself is small and turned out to have many pangas anchored without light. It made it a bit difficult to get anchored, and we had to endure a 2 – 4 m short swell inside the harbour during the night. The locals indicated that these conditions were a bit unusual, and therefore also reduced the normal activity of the local fishermen. The conditions were such that the boat could not be left unattended, and we were happy to leave the following day after having provisioned.
Last stop in Mexico was in Puerto Chiapas from where we made a trip to the typical old Spanish town of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and the very impressing Maya ruins in Toniná which dates back to 780 AD and was used up to at least 909 AD and has a lot of Mayan history to tell.
It has altogether been a very pleasant and interesting experience to visit Mexico which has so much to offer, and much more time could have been spent especially on trips into the country. Everybody here has been very friendly and helpful even when we exercised our poor Spanish.