One of the things we love about cruising is that when it’s time to go, we just pull up the anchor and we’re off! Leaving La Cruz was kind of like that. We’d been there for a couple of months, doing boat chores, spending days sailing or on the beach, visiting family in the states, having family visit us, and doing a few inland excursions. It was a great time in a fun town, and made all the better by having lots of boat buddies to play with. Pretty soon though the visits were over, the boat buddies were leaving and it was time for Happy Dance to weigh anchor and explore some new territory. Like Mom always said, it’s all fun and games until someone gets left at the dock. Or something like that!
So, for whatever reason, or maybe because we’ve lost all sense of reason, we pulled the anchor at dawn and headed south. The trip around Cabo Corrientes is one that everyone talks about, in that it can be messy, so most cruisers give the point a 5-mile berth. Our rounding of the Cape was quiet; a soft breeze with flat seas, so we were able to pass close by the point and get a good view of the lighthouse. It’s easy to see though how the wind and currents can collide to make havoc of what was thankfully a peaceful rounding for us. In fact the entire 30 hours from La Cruz to Las Hadas was calm, but once again the forecast did not bring the lovely 10-15 knots on our stern that we’d hoped for. Instead we had a 4-5 knot noserly forcing us to motor most of the way south. Who pays these forecasters anyway?
As we happily danced along for 30 hours, we were also unhappily filling the pond with extra water from our tanks. For unbeknownst to us due to the sound of the engine running, the bilge pump was also in constant use for those 30 hours…argh. Happy Dance usually has a bone dry bilge thanks to our dripless propeller shaft seal, so when the pump goes off, we both do a double take. In this instance we weren’t hearing the pump so we were blissfully motoring along completely unaware that over 100 gallons of fresh water from our tanks was being pumped straight into the bilge on its way to the pond. Note to selves; check the systems more often when underway!
When we arrived in Las Hadas we wedged ourselves into the tiny bay that was already filled with a dozen boats, dropped the anchor (three times – did I mention it was a bit tight?) and hailed our boat buddies, Cake, Maluhia, Tigress, and Valhalla, who were all anchored nearby. But, as often happens, plans have to be adjusted because the boat comes first. When we turned on the faucet and heard the gurgle gurgle of empty tanks we were taken by surprise since we knew we’d had full tanks when leaving La Cruz. After tearing apart the boat to find the reason for empty tanks, we discovered that the hot water tank had been releasing water into the bilge. With the water pump on, this just kept the cycle going until everything was empty. Not good!
Long story short, we finally were able to stop the flow temporarily via the highly technical jiggle method. Jiggle the release valve and voila, all is right in water land. We ran the water maker and filled the tanks again, and just kept the water pump off unless needed. On our next trip with the motor on, the same problem occurred if the pump was on, so by keeping the pump off there was just a small drip from the water heater into the bilge. We’re now in Barra de Navidad marina, so we’re hoping to find some expertise in water tanks, or at the very best, a replacement part. It’s probably a long shot, but we’ll give it a try. At least we have water at the faucet again and the bilge is once again dry and quiet.
So, back to our travels. We stayed a few nights in Las Hadas, enjoying the hotel pool (with swimming iguana), a trip to town, some fabulous Chuy Tacos, and a gathering of boat buddies. Las Hadas is a beautiful small bay with a stunning white hotel perched on the hillsides making me feel like I was in a miniature Monaco.
From Las Hadas we motored over to Bahia Santiago, a long arduous trek of about 3 miles. There was plenty of room to anchor so we weren’t watching our neighbors swing all the time, phew! Another friend boat from the HaHa, Sailor’s Run, was having a birthday party on the beach, so we all dingied in to spend some time sharing laughs and sipping cold ones. It was a great gathering and we met more friendly faces that we’ll no doubt hook up with along the road.
There is a huge shipwreck barely submerged in Bahia Santiago so I paddled over to it and it was really eerie to look down into the water and see this rusty barnacle covered hulk resting on the sand. Gave me shivers.
After a few days in the quiet anchorage, our boat buddies were getting ready to head further south. A sad day for us as we watched them head out of sight. Cake and Valhalla were heading to Zihautenejo for a while, but we’ll no doubt see them when they come back north. This is the one tough part about cruising; getting close to good friends, then sailing off in different directions. But I’ve heard that the world is round, so I’m sure we’ll see them again!
From Santiago we went to Ensenada Carrazal, a beautiful bay about 5 miles north of Santiago. What a difference 5 miles makes though! The bay is entirely undeveloped, the waves crash on the rocks and a small steep beach, there are parrots and other jungle birds screeching in the trees, and turtles swimming in the bay. When we arrived there were 8 boats in the bay, and when we left we were alone. Loved the bay, the paddleboarding, the snorkeling, and the scenery; a definite spot to return to.
And now we’re in Barra de Navidad. I’ll wait to tell about this locale after we’ve had a chance to explore a bit. One thing is for sure though, the French Baker rocks! Nothing says Mexico like having fresh ham and cheese croissants delivered to your boat. Merci beaucoup!!!