Chamela … a quiet anchorage!
We sailed from Yelapa at about 10 am in the morning so that we could sail thru the night and arrive at Chamela around sunrise. Wouldn’t you know it .. great sailing … all day 6 knots. Way ahead of schedule we arrived off the entrance to the bay at about 4:30 am. I hate entering new anchorages in the dark, especially with the problems with Garmin maps in Mexico. We checked Heather and Shawn’s GPS data for the entrance and put it into the chart plotter … at least a good on the spot entrance.
Still could not bring myself to go in.It was a full moon (more or less) but it was behind us so it did not light the way in. And, it set about an hour before dawn behind us. So we opted to switch to the engine in the still air before dawn and circle till ‘dawn’s first light.”
The GPS coordinates were dead on but there were two small islands and some rocks I really needed to see to be safe. It was cold as well … not Oregon cold but colder than you expect in the tropics. Hooded sweat shirts and sweat-pants cold. Wait for dawn, knowing the first rays will revive us.
Turns out on radar in the dark, the hit behind us was Senta arriving just before dawn as well. She was an hour behind us … or maybe five miles back. We could pick them out on the screen and looking back see them as a green tri-color above the horizon to our west.
The waters in the anchorage were like molten glass in the first light … beautiful and calm. Set the anchor and (after all night sailing) get some sleep … no wind …. no waves … gentle boat sleep catches us up.
11:30 am … boat is rocking! 4 foot swells in the anchorage …. 18 knots or so of wind … hmmm. Set snubber on anchor chain as it is now slamming the windless after each swell. Not a good sound!
We had headed south from La Cruz, catching up to Nancy and Sven on Senta II (buddy boat) past Yelapa as they came out, and headed for Chamela based on a strong set of weather reports for NW winds for the next several days. 8-10 kts from NW.
We went to sleep in a harbor that is protected form NW winds. We woke to 18 kts of wind and 4-6 foot swells from the South South West … in other words from the mouth of the bay. There was not protection whatever from swell and wind from this direction. $#&$*….???? !!!!!!
An afternoon and evening and part of the night were spent rolling around in the cabin, watching a drift alarm, and checking the snubber and anchor. We opted not to head for Barra Navidad til weather and wind changed.
Second day, it did. Forecast 6-10 NW winds and 4-6 foot swells at 19 seconds. This was from the new NOAA forecast for the Mexican and Central American waters. Beta … hmmm. Ok, great prediction …. let’s go!
Oh! Did I mention that the anchor windless failed as we were hauling up the anchor? Not a problem, it also can be hand powered.
Oh, and we figured out a problem we were having with the VHF radio. The antenna had fallen off in the violent swells at Yelapa.
Oh, and we decided to make water … and the water maker stopped producing water … not such a good start to the sailing day.
But we have a good weather forecast and only 40 miles or so to go. “Walk in the park”, I told Carolyn as we sailed using only the mizzen and foresail.