December 24, 2007

Escape from Paradise

We did it.

We actually cast off our lines and headed out at 4AM yesterday, Dec 23rd. Leaving our home slip in Paradise Village until our planned return on Feb 15th.

We rounded Cabo Corrientes at 9 am with light wind and lumpy seas and motored all the way down to Bahia de Chamela. The seas continued lumpy, with 6-8 foot swells, mainly from behind. Their period was pretty short, so we could only make about 6 knots.

Further dampening our spirits, it was overcast with a light fog, so visibility was only about 4 miles. Cool too, courtesy of a "Pineapple Express": high level clouds that blow up from the Intertropical Convergence Zone, the ICTZ. So we were sitting there grumbling all day in light jackets. Granted in was still in the 60s and low 70s, but hey, this is Mexico, not Canada!

We arrived in Chamela just after dark and anchored 350 yards offshore in 25 feet of water (at low tide). This morning in Chamela, the clouds have parted and are making their exit. It's warming up too, in the 70s already at 830 AM (CST).

Chamela is on of our favorite anchorages, especially for Christmas Day. Hundreds of Mexican families descend on the bay for the week, with their kids, grandparents... sisters and their cousins, who they recon up by dozens, and their aunts (with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)...

Many of the palapa restaurants on the beach have Mariachis. Cart vendors are on the beach too selling everything from beach toys, we especially like the cocodrilo (inflatable crocodile) to elote (corn on the cob on a stick).

Right now, there are only 4 boats in this anchorage that could easily hold 50 or more.

We find it hard to understand why most of our cruising friends try to get to a port with a major gathering of boaters to go to a Christmas potluck with other (mostly) Canadians and Americans - when they could experience this fantastic cultural fiesta!

You can see our pictures from past years (2004 and 2006) on our website at http://raptordance.com

You can also get our current position and our track for the last 90 days on our site too, click on the "Position" and "Last 90d" links on the menu bar just below our homepage pictures to pull these up.

We're away from the Internet until we get to our next port (Barra de Navidad), just after New Years - so our Winlink or Sailmail addresses are the best way to reach us for the next week or so.

I'm sending this from my Winlink address which is slow speed radio email so PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE AND SEND OUR MESSAGE BACK TO US. Either send us a new message or delete the text of our message in your reply.

We love hearing from you all, so don't hesitate to drop us a note, but just send us what you personally type. No photos, other attachments and no forwards please!

Warmest Regards and Happy Holidays!
Bill and Mary

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