Ambassadors for all we America was. Apologists for all America is.

Cruiser Update on Hurricane Patricia Damage at Barra de Navidad (11/24/2015)

As we all watch Hurricane Sandra form in the waters southwest of us, I thought I would update everyone  to let them know where repairs and functionality are at in Barra de Navidad since many stop here or pass by.

The Lagoon

More or less back to normal.  Channel seems unchanged to enter the anchorage.  Keep in mind that the passage to the fuel docks and the passage to the anchorage are not identical.  There is a shallow finger between the two.  If you try to cross the finger at a low water mark … you will be aground.  There are currently three sailing vessels in the anchorage.  And, one waiting for the tide to lift it from the sand bar.

Tidal flow and water quality back to normal again.  Color of water normal again.

The Fuel Docks

The actual dock that had broken free has been returned to the other.  They are not tied together.  The pump for diesel has not been repaired/replaced.  This does not mean fuel is not available.  The actual station attached to the dock for fuel is still functional.  So, be prepared to haul fuel to your boat in Jerry jugs.  Or be prepared to have someone help you with that.  From the marina, it is only about 1000 feet to the still functional station across a field.

Diesel is available at Marina Isla Navidad as just described.

Internet at Docks (wireless network)

Intermittent in the extreme.  Down about a third of the time, now.  No reason or pattern of network failures.  What is more than a little frustrating is that the two available networks show up and allow you to connect at times.  Then you will get stuck at the identifying network stage FOREVER.  Problem seems to be with DNS server and the fact that the network supplies only two of the four necessary bits of information needed to connect .  But, even when all info is supplied and a connection is established and signal strength is excellent, you will get a ‘no internet’ notice.

This situation exists even if you have a good wi-fi extender as part of your system.  It will drive you insane.  You will be tempted to tinker with your computers and fondle slabs.  Resist the urge.  It is not your equipment.  It is the hotel network.

If it goes down on a Friday afternoon, it will be Monday morning 9 am before if comes back up.

If you walk up to the hotel lobby to connect to their network (separate but equal)  it will behave in the same way.

Have a good Banda Ancha or another means of accessing the internet if you wish to manage a blog, pay bills, or stay in touch with families and friends.

There are internet hot spots at restaurants and small internet centers in town across the bay.

Internet access at the hotel and marina is marginal.

Electrical at Docks

Available.  Most meter boxes were damaged but have been righted.  Not fully repaired, but functional.

Water at Docks

Water is available at the docks.  There have been several interruptions of a day or two for more repairs.  As always, potable water is not available at the dock faucets.

The water can be rendered potable with a simple two filter prefilter for your boat.  Readings at the faucet before filtering are in the 120-150 parts per million range.  Filters reduce that to  100 parts per million or so.  Taste is good after filtering.  Water is acceptable,as is, for everything but drinking.

If you prefer, you can order water in the blue five gallon water bottled delivered to your boat and slip.  They will come back for the empty bottles after you fill your tanks.

Marina Showers and Restrooms

Fully functional.  As always, not all showers have hot water but this is not a critical repair.  The ones near the Marina Office always seem to have hot and cold water.

Sewage Pump Outs at Slips

Don’t have pump outs of sewage.  Never have and apparently never will.  The disposal of sewage here is a mysterious and wonderfully misunderstood thing.

Short version.  Pump all sewage before you enter the marina, as you do at sea.  Some folks might tell you that everyone leaves the docks and goes to sea to pump out.  This is magical thinking.

The most ecological of us will simply not use on board for anything related to solid waste.  Urine is pumped into the waters of the marina at night when the tide is going out.

The Hotel Pools and Elevators

Yeah, I know, not hardcore sailor concerns.  However, believe me, you will appreciate the three pools of the Hotel Grand Isla Navidad.   All are clean and functional again.


Water taxi and its docks

Fully functional and operates on Channel 23.  24 hours a day.

Navigation Lights

Back to fully functional.

French Baker

Started deliveries to the Marina and anchorage two days ago.  I guess the season is here.  So, back to normal.


Small community next to the marina.  Just outside the security fences.  Well known for its fishermen and restaurants.  Restaurants fully functional. More than half a dozen houses still un-roofed as rebuilding continues.  They got hit hard.

Town of Barra de Navidad

Just celebrated a belated “Dia de Muertos” and a great Revolution Day (November 22) with parades of ” little revolutionaries”.




Below is a picture of the restaurant I showed you in the post on Hurricane Patricia.  Look what you can do with just a few hand tools in four or five days.  Nice restoration, huh?



San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church

Closed to weather.  Doors temporarily repaired.  Stained glass above entrance still damaged.  But, fully functional.  Mass at 8:00 am on Sundays.  Other times posted somewhere.

Boats in lagoon and Marina

Marina and all boats fine.  No losses.  Lagoon had a sail boat run aground when its furler opened in the storm and off it sailed.  It was unoccupied and tied to the mangroves of the small island off Collimilla.  It was floated and now sits with its sail flapping in the winds but at anchor again (tied in same location).

Freighter aground on Punta Graham

Salvage operations under way.  Support is now a heavy seagoing barge, a helicopter, two smaller tug-style boats.  Lots of activity.  spill boom is now in water around ship.  Some concern still for environment but there is an actual response now underway.



The currents generally on that point of land are southward.  So, maybe only the golf course would be affected and not the bay.  Cross fingers and hope for a north wind till it is over.  Makes it hard for those of us headed north.

The helicopter for this effort is based in the sandy lot next to the marina.  If a Vietnam-era Huey is your ‘thing’, it is a treat.  If the sound of those distinctive rotors makes you crawl under a table and scream ‘incoming’, you may want to seek help or another anchorage.


Bus Service to surrounding towns

For rides to Melaque for the bank and the Hawaii Store.  For rides to Cihuatlan  to the Bodegon Store.  For rides to Manzanillo for everything convenient (Home Depot, Mega, Sorriana’s, Burger King, Block Buster, and Wal-Mart, as well as Government stuff like immigration.

All routes back to normal.

Hope this update helps everyone thinking of stopping here.  Oh, and don’t forget ‘disaster tourism’.  You can see a really big ship aground as you enter the harbor if you just go to Point Graham and look before you head in.  Stay far enough away (which is pretty close) to stay out of salvage operation area.  It is very interesting to see.

We are headed to Tenacatita anchorage next week and will let you know if anything has changed.  But boats are going back and forth from there now.  Some restaurants in La Manzanilla have yet to reopen. This small community got hit hard as well. I do not know if all crocodiles are accounted for in the sanctuary.

If you swim or swim your dogs.  Just a thought.

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