January 2, 2007

Happy New Year from Bahia Tenacatita

Happy New Year Everyone!

Gosh, you sure can keep busy when cruising!

We left Ipala on December 24th and proceeded down to Bahia de Chamela (Chamela Bay). Chamela was as nice as we remembered it. Lot's of Palapas (Beach Restaurants) and a small town with a few Tiendas (small grocery stores). Unlike two years ago, when we were the only cruisers in the bay, there were 5 boats in the anchorage. There were many Mexican families there for the holiday week, but not as many as two years ago. Apparently tourism is down a bit in Mexico so it wasn't quite as crowded.

Miguelito's Palapa had among the best food. A Polish ex-patriot, Yonish is partnered with Miguel and serves as manager and sometimes cook. He will arrange for special dinners with advance notice. Unfortunately, he couldn't get the ingredients together to cook Perogi for us before we left. We did have a great shrimp dish, however. He calls it Camarones (Shrimp) 4 x 4: 4 large shrimp cooked each of 4 different ways. It was great!

We stayed at Chamela until the 27th enjoying the anchorage. The dingy landings were a little challenging as there was a little surf - 2 feet or so, but we were cautious and landed between sets and didn't dump going in or out.

We then continued on to Tenacatita, one of our favorite anchorages on this section of coast. Tenacatita is a huge well protected bay and we're anchored here with a few dozen other cruisers. On Saturday Dec 30, we took our dingy on the jungle passage to the other lobe of the bay where there are many Palapas and two Tiendas. Things are a bit more developed than they were two years ago and the brand new Tienda was fairly well stocked.

Every year in Tenacatita one of the cruisers "volunteers" to be mayor. This year it's Chris and Heather on Legacy, http://www.legacysailing.com/

Unfortunately, they've been delayed in Mazatlan and won't arrive until tomorrow, January 3rd. So Bill was asked to set up the New Years activities.

We did a dingy raft up for New Years Eve. Basically we anchored our dingy (we have a little 6 pound Fortress anchor) off a side beach and 10 other cruisers tied their dingys to ours. We then passed appetizers around, introduced ourselves and waited for midnight. We then toasted the new year and continued chatting until the bugs came out - we anchored a bit too close to the beach and the bugs came out at sundown... Oh, did I mention that we celebrated at midnight Greenwich Mean Time? That's 6 PM local time. That way everyone is awake! At local midnight the hotel across the bay shot off fireworks so we got to celebrate twice.

On New Years Day, we arrange for a BBQed Rib lunch at 2 PM at the Palapa on the beach. We had 30 cruisers attend. After that we played a few rounds of Mexican Train Dominoes until sunset, when the bugs started to come out again. We then went back to our boats and had a relaxing evening.

Bugs in Tenacatita will only bother you on the mountain hike, jungle trip or on the beach at dusk. They don't come far enough off shore to get to the anchored boats, except those who are anchored very close to the beach.

The next day, we went hiking in the hills with Dave on Deja 2 who showed us the trail to the other side of the bay. It's an alternative to the dingy trip through the jungle. It's about a 5 KM hike. I don't think we'll be doing this one with groceries.

Today, we're taking it easy. Bill is doing various chores and Mary is working on jewelry projects.

We did turn on the cell phone and discovered that Telmex finished their tower project and we now have cell phone coverage! A few days ago, we only had our satellite phone. We're surprised at how much further the cell phone coverage has expanded in the last two years. There are very few places we've been that are not now covered.

We also have intermittant WiFi Internet coverage. Not enough for web surfing or updating our pictures, but enough to do occasional emails - please continue to contact us on our winlink.org address as coverage isn't good enough to reliably pick up our raptordance.com emails.

We love hearing from you but remember to send us a NEW message, don't reply and send this message back to us. Our winlink email is extremely slow! We haven't heard from some of you in a while, so drop us a note and let us know how you are doing!

You can see where we've been and where we are via our position reporter link at:
Be sure to click the "Satellite" link and zoom in on one of the balloons to get a fantastic view of where we are.

Warmest Regards,
Bill and Mary

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