A Whale of a Day……

Dear F&F,
(This post is a little out of order and we will catch up on the previous ones soon).
A Whole Different Day

I slept pretty well, most of the night with just a sheet. Pulled on the blanket only in the early morning. We were up before dawn wanting to make some distance before potential afternoon wind in the wrong direction kicked up. The sunrise was beautiful. Large dolphins appeared on cue.

As we motored up the coast we came upon a bunch of fishing boats. They were very active, zooming around with their lines out. Tons of birds flew & dove in the area. We could see lots of splashing to indicate fish activity, but no idea what type. Tuna maybe. There was another group of power boats further north, also actively fishing. Maybe there is a tournament or something going on.

The coastline is more green than we\’d seen down south. With binoculars we could see not just palm trees but other leafy trees that looked to have more delicate bright green leaves. Very pretty. Interesting scenery all the way. We were motoring because the wind was 8 knots on the nose. Kept us comfortable under the bimini shade, even as the temperature climbed to 85 degrees.

It was a banner day for sea life. We had dolphin sightings a few times. Lots of small brown mobula rays. And we almost ran over a really really big manta ray. It must have had a 12-15 ft wing span. We thought he would dive deeper as we approached, but he stayed at the surface, so we threw the engines into reverse not to run it over, then neutral just in case we made contact. It seems he did dive deep at the last minute because we didn\’t see him again.

We pulled into a bay with 2 small islands where we could have anchored for the night. The larger island with better protection had a guano smell on the downwind (aka leeward or lee) side where there is protection from the sea. And there were about 50 people swimming & enjoying the beach on this island. Festive, but we were not in the mood to be with a big crowd, so decided to continue on towards Chacala.

As we neared Chacala (about 45 miles north of last night\’s anchorage at Punta de Mita) we saw tell-tail (spelling error intentional) splashing & spouting. We headed off course towards what was sure to be whales. We were rewarded for our curiousity with the best mama & baby whale show ever. This baby was determined to let Scott get some great photos. He jumped. He twirled. He splashed. He spy-hopped. Over & over & over again. Mama would come in between baby & our boat sometimes & we thought she might steer him away from us, but she seemed to tolerate, if not necessarily approve of his performance. We were amazed & enthralled. I steered the boat at a speed to keep pace & kept a safe distance (for us, as well as not wanting to encroach on their movement). We were thrilled & Scott shot 160 photos: 40% are keepers. 10% are stunning. We stayed with them for almost 45 mins. Spectacular!

When we bid farewell to our gentle friends and noticed we were a few miles past our intended anchorage. We turned back & took a tour of the bay at Chacala. It was certainly calm & safe. Some interesting homes on the shore and a panga dock where you might have a \”dry landing\” with the dinghy.

But we decided to check out a \”secret spot\” just south, recommended by the Harbor Master at Paradise Village Marina. It is a hidden cove with just enough room for Beach House to anchor bow (front) & stern (back). I was in the water within minutes of having secured the anchors. Scott joined me with his shark shield & we proceeded to wipe down both hulls of their slime coat. The water temperature was a lovely 80 degrees. No wet suit needed. We have 200 feet of waterline to wipe down: inside & outside of both hulls. It\’s a good workout. The visibility is still only about 5 ft. But at least the murky color is green instead of rusty brown (as it had been down at Las Hadas).

Dinner, beer, photo show & sunset. Life is good.

Scott & Cindy