Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Bashing, Raving Madness


Intermezzo is anchored in Chacala after dealing with several challenging days after departing Tenacatita on Saturday. 

Things started off well with a nice mid-day snorkel among the rocks at the west end of Bahía Tenacatita. Our plan was to depart Tenacatita around 4 pm and motor through forecasted calm conditions to La Cruz. But when we finished snorkeling, a nice breeze was blowing from the southwest and we decided to leave early and take advantage of the wind.

We weighed anchor at 1:30 pm and began sailing downwind with following seas. Nice, but only for an hour.  For the rest of the passage, until we entered Bahía Banderas the next morning, we were bucking headwinds and bashing into head seas.  Not nice.

Fortunately, the headwinds were not strong, less than 10 knots but, unfortunately, they created wind waves that combined with a short period swell from the northwest and a long period swell from the southwest to create a very confused sea state. Intermezzo lurched, bounced and bashed for 18 hours straight.

Mary succumbed to seasickness shortly after the bashing began, but mustered up enough energy to reel in a fat sierra (Spanish mackerel) before being sent to the sickbay, nestled among the bean bag chairs in the cockpit until after sunrise. The bean bag chairs are much loved by those suffering from seasickness as they form a comfortable nest outside the cabin in fresh air.

Conditions calmed after we rounded Cabo Corrientes and made our way across Bahía Banderas towards La Cruz. We spotted several whales and were able to to sail the last hour and half in a gentle downwind breeze and calm seas. A nice ending to a difficult trip.

We dropped anchor in La Cruz at 1:17pm, just shy of 24 hours after leaving Tenacatita. Shortly after we arrived, a large motor yacht anchored next to us. That is always a cause for worry, as the people on these yachts tend to party well into the night. Little did we know how bad things would be.

We took the dinghy into La Cruz to get ice cream and pick up a few grocery items and then returned to Intermezzo to enjoy eating Mary's fresh-caught fish for dinner. By this time, techno-beat music was thumping loudly out of a big sound system on the upper deck of the motor yacht, where people were congregating and dancing. The music was very loud on Intermezzo, 500 feet away. I can't imagine how loud it was on board the yacht. Even though I don't like techno-beat music, it was a high quality mix, obviously spun by a talented DJ and at first we tolerated, even enjoyed it a bit.

The music played on and on into the night. We realized that an Ecstasy drug rave was taking place on the boat and the music was not going to stop.  It would do no good to complain about it. The people on the yacht were not going to turn down the music and since yachts in Mexico are often owned by drug cartels, it is not advisable to go all "Karen" over them. There are no loud music ordinances in Mexico and anyways, the local authorities don't typically pester oligarchs with yachts, cartel or not.

Though thoroughly tired out from our overnight passage, we hardly got any sleep that night. The noise-cancelling feature of my AirPods gave me a few hours of respite from the thumping music, but not enough for me to sleep more than a half hour before waking up again. I was very tired, very angry and lay in bed thinking about how I could sabotage or sink the yacht to stop the music.

When the sun came up and my AirPod batteries had died, the music was still playing, people dancing on the yacht like zombies. I had had enough.  I started the engines and prepared to weigh anchor which brought Pete and Mary out of their cabins, bleary eyed and as pissed off as I was. They had also been lying in their bunks thinking murderous thoughts.

We weighed anchor and I tried to find a place to anchor further away from the offensive music but to no avail, the sound carried so well over the water. As I passed by the yacht, I glared at the dancers like Charles Manson and gave the yacht a two-middle-finger salute, not giving one fuck if I was insulting a drug cartel kingpin.  Mary suggested, "Why don't we just sail to our next destination?" I considered this for less than a second and replied in the tone of voice of a very tired sociopath on his edge, "Yes. We will do that."

We left La Cruz and enjoyed a nice day's sail to Chacala, anchoring here on Tuesday afternoon. We laughed when we arrived as a large Mexican brass band was playing loudly on the beach. Thankfully, it was different music, not as loud and ended before sunset.  We enjoyed a peaceful night's sleep. At last.

Yesterday we had a relaxing day on the boat and on the beach. Chacala is a nice little beach town with a few small hotels and palapa restaurants, not much else. Perfect for recovering from our rave music PTSD.

We decided to stay here another day and sail straight to Mazatlan tomorrow, rather than stopping to visit San Blas. San Blas is an interesting town, but plagued by mosquitos and jejenes (no-see-ums). We'll give the bugs a miss.

I'm starting to plan my passage from Mazatlan to La Paz. I'll be sailing singlehanded overnight across the Sea of Cortez and then turn north and harbor-hop up the Baja peninsula to La Paz. A weather window for the crossing looks like it will open on March 23. If I can depart Mazatlan then, Intermezzo should be back in La Paz by March 28.