Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time for Tehuantepec

We've been spending our time getting caught up on last minute boat preparations and exploring the different areas of Huatulco as we wait for a weather window to cross the Tehuantepec. The Tehuantepec can be a very treacherous area of water to cross IF the weather is not good as the area can get gale or even storm force winds. That is why we listen to many different weather forecasts to be sure that the weather is good before crossing this area.

We have moved Sea Turtle from Bahia Santa Cruz to the marina in the next bay, ChahuĂ© (N15°45.838' W096°07.315'), as we needed to be at the docks to do boat jobs. The Huatulco area has several beautiful bays to choose from to explore.

As we left Santa Cruz, we stopped at the bay entrance to see if we could spot the blowhole that is written up in the guidebooks. After waiting for several minutes, we were amazed at the height of its geyser and were so busy watching it that we almost didn't see the 3 whales that came right past our boat!

Blasting blowhole

Jordan installed 2 metal plates on the boat stern for the attachment of our drogue in case we are ever in bad enough weather and need to slow down the boat (just attach the drogue chute with about 75 m of line and throw it out the back where it will open up like a parachute and obviously slow down the boat). He also removed the fittings on the stern that held our old weathervane (auto pilot). Then of course the holes had to be filled and painted. Looking much better now!

In preparation for this next jaunt, Jordan did an engine oil change and inspection and found that the raw water pump bearing was failing, so fortunately we had a rebuilt spare and he did the change.

We walked to lovely little La Crucecita, the original town a couple of kilometres inland. Here you will find the normal and traditional Mexican scene rather than the gringo-oriented newer developments along the coast. On our way, we passed a Zocalo/park with mini waterfalls which didn't seem to be used too much. What a shame as it is so very beautiful.

Waterfalls spout from all 4 corners

We also walked back to Santa Cruz where we saw a young Mexican woman, Elizabeth, working on an old hand loom making rugs, placemats, wall hangings, etc. We asked her if she could do a specific design if Jordan drew it for her, and here she is working on it...

And here is the end result which we will be mounting on the front of our window screen holder made of green fabric...

There are an amazing number of birds around, all having their own melodies. We saw 2 kinds of egrets, a yellow kingfisher type, cute little swallows looking to nest on the boat, a variety of heron, cormorants and pelicans, a noisy black bird with piercing little yellow eyes and a long tail (they are everywhere, like crows at home), and while walking around, we saw fleetingly, a black and brilliant yellow guy. When we heard an unusual chirping above our heads, we looked up to see another new sighting, this one was grey and yellow, long tail and a large curled head feather similar to our quails, and others that I'm sure I am leaving out.

We went to town one day and had to dinghy under a large catamaran to find a place to dock our dinghy as the bay was full of pangas and party boats for tourists. As we were leaving, I took a picture of us beneath it!

This party catamaran was really big!

Customs showed up unexpectedly early to inspect our boat (we thought they would be arriving at 17:00). Unfortunately we were not in proper attire for officials to be arriving, but they were very pleasant and friendly. They were quite amazed that our solar panels could supply the required power for our boat. Then, as a panga had dropped the two of them off at our boat and left, they needed a ride back to shore. One of them thought for sure that they would sink in our "little" dinghy but bravely accepted Jordan's offer of a ride back to shore, sitting as low as he could in the dinghy!

Next, was a trip to the Port Captain's office to get our zarpe (exit permit), then to the Immigrations office to get the papers stamped, then back to the Captain's office for his signature, then back to Immigration to leave copies. Then later in the day, we had to pick up 2 Immigration officials to take to our boat at anchor to inspect it and pick up copies of papers that we had to make as they wouldn't do it! So we asked the Port Captain's office for copies which they very gladly did.

Now after waiting several days for a weather window, and with everything signed, stamped, copied, and inspected, we are off to cross the Tehuantepec to enter El Salvador in Central America. We finally left at 20:15 local time today - 2 days before our Mexican VISAS expire!

Our ETA is 4 days 9 hours with a distance 485 nautical miles, so we should arrive at Bahia del Sol around 09:00 Sunday, March 27th.

1 comment:

she wrote: said...

You're off to El Salvador! (Darusha and Steven also went that way,two years ago) - how far south are you planning on going?
We're in full swing up here, getting ready for our big departure in September... Enjoying reading your blog, all the best, Kyra (S.V. Nyon)