December 24, 2004

Anchored out in Bahia de Chamela

Happy Holidays everyone!

Our cruise down from Ipala to here was uneventful. Calm winds and flat seas, so we motored the 52 miles in just under 8 hours. Saw a few whales playing a few miles off, none up close. Dolphins were jumping and playing in the bay when we arrived. During the night a few were playing by the boat and their breathing (blowing) woke us up. Noisy critters!

We're anchored out in this beautiful bay: Bahia de Chamela (pronounced "chah-MAH-lah"). This is a large bay, over 4 miles across with villages at either end and some small islands in the middle. We're here with just 4 other boats anchored in the NW corner of the bay by the small village.

Compared to Ipala, this place is huge! Lot's of space to anchor and a much larger village. Probably around 100 families and lot's of family run palapa restaurants on the beach.

We'll probably stay here through the weekend, going to the bay's islands for diving over the next few days.

Last night we went to a very nice one with two friends and had a wonderful seafood platter with fish, shrimp done three different ways, Langostino (crayfish)and octopus done two different ways (it was tender and delicious). The dinner for 4 only cost 280 pesos ($25.50 US).

We got a couple of questions about how to locate us on the map with more precision than the map on the website. There a couple of ways to do that. The easiest is got to your local auto club office and get their Mexico road map. This gives a good overview of Mexico overall (but not a lot of detail). Right now, we're nearest the small town of Chamela, on the west coast Mexico highway 200 south of Puerto Vallarta. Chamela is the town at the other end of this bay from where we are.

A better way is if you have a really good Atlas that covers Mexico. The best maps are the Mexican Topographical maps, available at many libraries.

Look up the area and then zero in to our exact location using the latitude and longitude reported on our website.

Right now we're at 19°35.070'N 105°07.887'W. Isn't GPS is great! That's our position to within 6 feet. Unfortunately, The Nautical charts are mostly obsolete. All our charts show us 2 to 3 miles inland. So we navigate using the "Mark 1 eyeball", radar and depth sounder, interpreting our charts appropriately.

Warmest wishes for a great holidays!

Bill and Mary

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