Bye Rocket Lady

Dan & Dee - s/v Rocket Girl

Dan & Dee – s/v Rocket Girl

We met Dan and Dee on the dock in San Diego before heading South to Mexico. After spending six months in Thailand, they were looking for a new adventure. They inquired about sailing and our story. We exchanged information and had no expectations to see them again. But just four months later they turned up in La Paz, Mexico with a boat of their own, named s/v Rocket Girl.

Rocket Girl Enters Santiago Bay

Rocket Girl Enters Santiago Bay

Rocket Girl finds a sandy patch.

Rocket Girl searching for a sandy patch to drop anchor.

Rocket Girl Anchoring

Rocket Girl Anchoring

Our friends on s/v Rocket Girl joined us in Santiago Bay. It wasn’t long before we were downtown exploring both Santiago and Manzanillo. 

Santiago Bay Beach

Santiago Bay Beach

Santiago Bay Sunken Ship

Santiago Bay Sunken Ship

Dingy Parking Lot

Dingy Parking Lot

Manzanillo is the sailfish capital of the world.

Manzanillo is the sailfish capital of the world.

Grant & Dan downtown Manzanillo

Sleeping Dogs In Manzanillo

Manzanillo is the largest shipping port on the western coast of Mexico. Check out this prop!

Manzanillo is the largest shipping port on the western coast of Mexico. Check out this prop!

We even took a day trip inland to the town of Colima, to check out El Volcán de Fuego, the active volcano we’ve seen erupting from the coastline.

Bus Station Manzanillo

We bought a bus ticket to Colima.

We picked a good bus and hopped on.

We picked a good bus and hopped on.

Tickets included lunch!

Tickets included lunch!

Using my mad Spanish skills to figure out how to get to the volcano. Taxi is the best way.

Using my mad Spanish skills to figure out how to get to the volcano. Taxi is the best way.

After being held hostage by the taxi driver, a fork in the road, complete with a restaurant stop, and a plea to get closer, we're dropped here while the taxi waits outside the gate to this farm.

After being held hostage by the taxi driver in a never ending ride with a fork in the road, restaurant stop, and a plea to get closer, we’re dropped here while the taxi waits outside the gate to this farm.

We meet the friendly owner who tells us about the farm and the volcano.

We meet the friendly owner who tells us about the farm and the volcano.

The farm produces Haas Avocado's that are shipped directly to the United States and Canada.  The peak on the right is the volcano.

The farm produces Haas Avocado’s that are shipped to the United States and Canada. The peak on the right is the active volcano.

He told us his family lived here for many years and that he has German ancestors under the name of Schulte and Volgel. He showed us this book which described the families immigration.

He told us his family lived on this land for many years and that he has German ancestors under the name of Schulte and Volgel. He showed us this book which described a study of the the families migrations in 1848 – 1890 to Colima.

This is the view of the volcano from sea on a much clearer day.

This is the view of the volcano from sea on a much clearer day.

Walking around downtown Colima.

Walking around downtown Colima.

Dancing bears? Think again. These are dogs. The symbol of Colima.

Dancing bears? Think again. These are dogs. The symbol of Colima.

“I’m not leaving here without a pair of these dancing dogs.” “Come on Bill.”

After all of the excitement down South it was time to turn North once again stopping in Tenicatita. We met up with Leslie and Peter on s/v Skybird, who invited us to La Manzanilla for some raicilla tasting and to visit Pancho. Instead of sailing and re-anchoring across the bay, we took a 20 min dinghy ride over to the town.

Waiting for Skybird on La Manzanilla beach.

Waiting for Skybird on La Manzanilla beach.

Skybird Dingy Landing

Skybird, Leslie and Peter arrive ashore.

Racilla Tasting

Racilla is a drink enjoyed by the Mexican indigenous people that was said to bring vitality, strength and health to those that drink.

Raicilla Explained

For more than five centuries Raicilla has been produced from wild agave plants. The traditional, all-natural process obtains a product with much higher quality and purity than its tequila grandson. It is now regulated by a Special Promotional Council, the CONSEJO MEXICANO PROMOTOR DEL RAICILLA.

coccodrillo Reserve

The crocodile reserve.

Lunch Crocodile Croc Mouth Harmless baby croc

Pancho Sign

Pancho

Meet Pancho. What his sign doesn’t tell you is that he’s been released back into the wild several times only to be captured again because he has eaten several dogs in town.

Hermit Crab Races

The end to a perfect day! Hermit crab races!

Soon after we were back in Chamela. The wave situation in Chamela had changed drastically from the last time we anchored there. A swell from the South was rolling right into the bay creating the biggest beach waves we had ever seen. Even the experienced panga drivers were taking it easy. There was no going to shore and the sleeping arrangements were rocky. 

It was time to leave and start the 12 hour+ passage back to our newly claimed home port of Puerto Vallarta. Maluhia and Rocket Girl pulled anchor at the same time. We sadly said “Hasta Luego Amigos” as we couldn’t bring ourselves to say good bye. We’d always remember Mexico and think, there’s always Vegas.

After 8 hours of bashing ourselves silly into the wind and waves hitting us head on from the North, we looked at the chart and saw we were only 1/4 of the way to our destination! Are you kidding me?! We were motor sailing, and had already consumed 1/4 tank of fuel.  At one point we were moving 0 knots. Panic set in. It was dark and we thought we caught a long fishing line in our prop. Thankfully, this was not the case.

Should we turn around? The thought crossed both of our minds. Conditions were miserable, we weren’t going anywhere fast. We were burning up a bunch of fuel for the pleasure of motoring in place. We decided to go for it. We turned Maluhia around and changed our destination back to Chamela. Time to destination, two hours. It was a complete sleigh ride.

Two hours?! Exactly, why were we torturing ourselves for the last 8 hours? What makes the decision to around so hard? We were happy to accept defeat and followed our track right back into Chamela. We anchored in the dark, which was ok because we were familiar with the area. Not ok were the boats we dodged that had no anchor lights. Exactly 12 hours after we left, we had the hook down right back where we started.

Twenty-four hours later the SW swell was still running high into Chamela. Friends on s/v Quest reached out to us and coaxed us back out of the anchorage stating that the ride North was amazing, wind from the South this time, at about 15 knots. Excuse our skepticism, but after yesterdays fiasco, we were thinking – yeah, right. But, we picked up the hook anyway. The anchorage was getting a bit out of hand as the decks of boats anchored in front of us would disappear in the trough of each wave set.

Sailing North

Beautiful sunset during the trek North.

Beautiful sunset during the trek North.

We couldn’t believe the difference 24-hours made on the sea state. With the breeze now from the SW we experienced another sleigh ride, this time in the direction we wanted to sail. With the wind, waves, and swell playing nice, we sailed half way before we finished the rest of the journey motor sailing, arriving in Puerto Vallarta at 6 AM. We were so thankful for s/v Quest reaching out to us because if it wasn’t for them we’d still be stuck in Chamela.

Categories: Amigos, Buddy boating, Community, Cruising, Culture, Mexico, Passage Making, Sailing, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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