Saturday, January 12, 2019

Tenacatita: Anchored at 'O Dark Thirty

We anchored in Bahía Tenacatita at 05:30 this morning, about an hour before sunrise.

We had sailed all day yesterday until we reached Chamela at about 21:00 when the wind dropped. We considered "bobbing around" (Roy's term) and wait for the wind to pick up, but the motion of the boat lying beam-to to the swells was not very comfortable for off-watch sleeping. I considered anchoring by moonlight in Bahía Chamela for the night, but decided against it. I hadn't studied the anchorage well enough and wanted to spend the next day in Tenacatita, about 30 nm further down the coast.

It was awkward timing. If we motored at standard cruising speed we would arrive at 03:00. The moon set around midnight and if we weren't comfortable with anchoring in darkness we would have to bob around for quite a while until sunrise. So, I decided to motor at minimum speed, which would get us to the entry to the Tenacatita around 04:30.  That way, if we aborted anchoring, we'd only have to bob around for an hour and half to wait for dawn's light.

We entered the anchorage cautiously, navigating mostly by radar and chart plotter as it was very dark and difficult to make out the rocky shoreline. As we inched our way into the anchorage, there was enough light behind us from the nearby town of La Manzanilla and a beach resort for us to make out the shore and the other boats in the anchorage, most of which were showing there anchor lights.

We made quick work of anchoring and Roy, who had been off watch in a deep sleep, went right back to his bunk. Pete and I enjoyed mini "sun-upper" glasses of rum to celebrate our arrival and relax as the sky lightened to an orange-pink, then turned in to catch a few more hours sleep.

I got up early, swam from the boat to the beach and did some yoga, observed by an egret who was fishing in the shallow surf in front of me. The rest of the crew roused themselves a bit later to begin enjoying our beautiful surroundings.  Intermezzo previously visited Tenacatita in January 2016 with friends Marc and Marcy on board. On that visit, we took an adventurous trip through the mangroves, and discovered we were the first yatistas to have made it through the estuary since damage from Hurricane Patricia the previous November.

This visit was far more relaxed. We took the dinghy to a nearby beach restaurant and enjoyed some micheladas (beer and clamato juice with chili and salt around the rim of the glass) and shared the local seafood specialty, "rolls de mar", a filet of fish stuffed with shrimp, wrapped in bacon and smothered in a creamy almond sauce.

This morning we had a meeting onboard and the crew decided they would like to push on tomorrow to visit Barra de Navidad. The captain granted their request as a reward for their bravery and good behavior at sea. We set sail for there tomorrow morning.

Pete, Roy and me, Captain and Crew of Intermezzo for Leg 1 of the Voyage

Roy filleting the dorado we caught on the way to Tenacatita.