Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Off to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

We raised anchor and left Chacala at 0800 with two boats following close behind.  The passage to La Cruz was less than fifty miles and we expected to arrive in the afternoon.  Daytime passages like this are a real treat.  The scenery is great and the navigation is easy.  About twelve miles out we spotted a black flag in the distance.  Now familiar with the drill, we made a sharp turn to the right and drove along the net.  This was an especially long net and we traveled about three miles out of our way to get clear.  Once around, we set a course for a point just outside the rocks off Punta Mita.  The breeze had freshened to fifteen knots and we were running to the point.  Once abeam the point we jibed to a port tack and made the turn into Banderas Bay and west to La Cruz.  The winds were now twenty to twenty-five knots and the waves were building to six feet.  We were happy to tuck behind the protection of the point and the mountains above.
Entering the anchorage at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Within a couple of hours we had dropped the hook among thirty or more other boats in the La Cruz anchorage.  The memory of our night in Mantanchen Bay lingered in the form of tiny flying insects.  Jejenes (no-see-ums) had taken up residence in the boat.  Occasionally they could be seen gathering inside the windows apparently looking for a way out.  The pests could have been a minor problem, but Trisha was getting eaten alive.  Each morning she awoke to a fresh set of itchy red bite marks.  We learned from our friends on Convivia that the critters get into the sheets where they feast on the sleeping crew and reproduce.  The good news was that simply washing the sheets and towels should eliminate the problem.  Since it would be dark in a couple of hours, we launched the dinghy so we could drop off our laundry and pick up a few provisions at a little grocery store before heading back to the boat for dinner.  It was fish night.
Trisha enjoying a quiet evening in the cockpit
We prepared the skip jack fillets with all of the love and care we would have given a twenty dollar hunk of tuna from the fish market back home.  Once on the grille, I carefully monitored the cooking process.  When the dark meat finally achieved flaky, but not dry, perfection I took it off the grill and handed it over to Trisha.  We sat down for dinner and each took our first bite.  A little gamey but not bad, let’s try eating it with a little salad maybe that will tone it down a bit.  No luck.  At that point we agreed that the skip jack should be classified as a catch and release fish.  We chucked the remainder overboard.

One of the many amazing La Cruz sunsets
Native dancers at the market on Christmas Day
Christmas Brunch at Ana Bananas

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