I’m writing this post as Will and I complete our final leg between Mexican ports. We left Barra de Navidad this morning and we’re en route to La Cruz in Banderas Bay (where we spent time last season). We’ll round Cabo Corrientes at approx. 2:00am.
I suppose this means I can finally write with certainty about our favorite Mexican anchorages as this passage completes our Mexican cruising circuit – no more exploring for us, we’ll spend the next two months in the Bay preparing for ‘the jump’. It’s been a fantastic year.
The lagoon anchorage at Barra de Navidad offers the best sleep on the pacific coast. The lagoon is flat as a pancake, with shallow muddy water (we had to get used to just 3 feet under the keel) and often there’s a refreshing breeze. Last night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner aboard SV Le Letty with Jean & Stephanie who we won’t see again until somewhere in the south pacific (!), if the stars align. Luckily the wine and beers were completely negated by the perfect sleeping conditions and we woke up bright and early, feeling fresh and ready to go.
By 8:45 we decided we just couldn’t wait any longer – we had been dillydallying around the boat for over an hour. Will started pulling up the anchor while I stayed at the helm. Just as our 100 feet of chain (yes, that’s a 10:1 ratio!) was back in it’s locker, I spotted the panga coming our way. Is it him? It was indeed: El Horno Frances (the French Baker). What a service he provides – warm fresh French baking delivered by panga to the cruisers in the marina and the anchorage every morning. He went quickly to one boat in front of us and when finished his sales there he failed to see Will frantically waving his hands on the bow. ‘I can’t possibly leave without a croissant’, I firmly thought to myself so instead of heading down the channel and out of the lagoon, I steered Hydroquest directly for the Baker. The chase was on. I dodged a few other cruising boats and finally slowed to neutral next to the boat he was dealing with. Two baguettes, one croissant, and one chocolate croissant later, and we were on our way.
Barra de Navidad ranks high on our list (tied for the #3 spot, actually) – not only for the baking and sleep-full nights, but also for the lovely town and beautiful surroundings.
The other #3 is Las Hadas anchorage in Manzanillo Bay. The anchorage can be a bit rolly, but it’s not bad. We had heard rumors of the hefty fee the marina was trying to charge for the dingy dock, but during the week and a half total that we spent there we never had anyone approach us… We had walked around the marina, used the Las Hadas resort pool once or twice, used the beach shower daily, and we were never hassled. However, on our very last day as we were rowing towards the dock, a security guard took notice of us…. The guard came over to us and called us out like naughty school kids: “You must report to the harbour master. Now.” We tried to play the ‘amigo’ card, but knowing that he was just doing his job we reluctantly followed him to the office. The harbour master proceeded to inform us that the daily rate to leave our dingy was $200 pesos ($18 CDN). This is a scandalous price to a cruiser’s ears and we were shocked to realize that the ‘rumor’ was obviously true. Luckily it was our last day there so it didn’t matter too much to us. Of course, Will never walks away from the opportunity to bargain so he offered $100 pesos, she countered with $150. We finally settled on $125. Everything’s negotiable!
#1 – Zihuatanejo (see last blog post)
#2 – La Paz (See May 2012)
#3 – A tie: Barra de Navidad / Manzanillo
#5 – Bahia Candeleros (see June 2012)
I’ll stop there… The list could go on and on…