Monday, January 12, 2015

La Cruz

The 43mile journey down the coast from Chacala to La Cruz was another motorfest. The wind did show up and we had a lovely sail but for only about 40 minutes, we were however doing an impressive 8.4 knots during that time with the wind hitting us on our beam and the seas were pretty flat. And then the wind died just as quickly as it arrived. We floundered for a while in vain hope that the wind would pick up again but we had no such luck so on went the engine. We did see a number of humpback whales cruising up the coast and three, including a calf, came within a few hundred feet of our boat.

As we approached Punta Mita we entered the waypoints on our chartplotter for a number of rocks off the coast and were a bit surprised to see that our Garmin Electronic charts showed these rocks on land instead of in the water – a bit disconcerting. We had heard that some of the electronic charts were off and here was proof.
As we approached La Cruz we saw the anchorage and it looked huge and busy. The whole Ha Ha fleet must be here. We dropped the anchor in about 25 feet of water as close to the harbor entrance as possible so as to shorten the dinghy ride. No sooner had we done so a Catamaran started to drag it anchor near us. WE tried to hail them on the VHF but we could not raise them. We had just arrived and therefore did not have our dinghy in the water to try to help. All was fine in the end and the boat did have a secondary anchor which caught and stopped the boat about 100-200 yards from the rocks. It turned out that the man who owned the boat had lost two previous anchors in the same spot in previous years, apparently due to rocks chaffing the anchor rode. We thought it was a bit tight where we were and given the dragging boat we decided to up anchor and move further out so we could sleep easy despite the longer ride into town. Our anchor spot was on the outside of the anchorage on in the suburbs as I called it and allowed us to watch a number of whales passing us. We even had a small calf leap out of the water only about 200 yards from the boat. In the evening we could hear a pod resting near us, their heavy breathing punctuating the still evening air.  

We have experiencing some difficulties with our dinghy outboard motor since San Diego and despite cleaning the carburetor and fuel pump numerous times it keeps happening. Our water maker also gave up the ghost so I have to fix that which will be essential for our journey south to Central America where access to good clean water will be limited. For these repairs we decided that it would be easier to do at the dock in La Cruz so we booked a slip for the following day. It was also about time to clean the boat after 10 days on the anchor. The sea salt was building up and the decks were getting grimy.

Given that I had tried everything I thought to fix the outboard motor I requested help on the morning cruiser’s VHF net (a wonderful thing) and Jack from Let It Be came over to help. He suggested that he do what I had already done numerous times and clean the carburetor. He did it and low and behold the motor worked fine. Perhaps I did a bad job or there is dirt further up the system. At least we know it is not electrical.

I won’t bore you with the whole story of repairing the water maker but it involved be swearing a lot, burst high pressure pipes and water everywhere and elation when I identified the problem not as clogged membranes from lack of use but a faulty low pressure sensor. It works well now and the product water tastes great.

La Cruz is a great destination. Although it is on the Mexican Riviera it still has the Mexican feel with ram shackled buildings and cobbled streets some great restaurants and bars and it’s not busy. It also has a great Sunday market selling all sorts of local and international foods, seafood and arts and crafts. The girls were in heaven.

After two days in the harbor and our boats repairs and cleaning done we went back on the anchor. Our friends Neil and Jessie on Red Thread kindly invited us over for dinner and drinks. We had a wonderful evening with them and the food was great. I even found a Scotch whisky enthusiast so we had a bit of a tasting.     

1 comment:

  1. Hi Richard, Jude and Katya. Doesn't look like a very smiley town. Loving the updates on your adventures. Keep them coming.. Brent x