We are now in the peak of the cruising season in this part of the world. Thirty plus cruisers boats are anchored in Tenacatita Bay. Daily activities include a ladies swim into the beach, bocce ball on the beach, ladies walk down the beach to the hotel and back, Mexican train in the palapa and then we consume some cold beer while telling lies in the palapa. Once a week or so the palapa restaurant owner offers a special dinner featuring Mexican dishes not usually found at restaurants. Friday afternoons a “raft up” is scheduled by the Mayor. The Mayor is an experienced cruiser who has been here previously and volunteers to be the organizer for the season.
This Friday twenty-three dinghies tied up in a circle starting with the Mayors dinghy, which is the only dinghy anchored. Each of us brought appetizers or other food item, cookies in our case, books and/or videos to trade. Vagari and other boats went in other boats dinghy so most of the cruisers attended.
Once the food and trade items are passed around the group we introduce ourselves, briefly tell our plans and this week we told the most useless equipment we have on board. Lots of funny stories and interesting tales. We did learn about some products that we would never purchase. Several people built their own boats from scratch or a bare hull. Some had made long voyages. The variety of the food offered, considering that they were all made in a ships galley while anchored, was amazing. My favorite was a double chocolate rum cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles on top. Rhea’s double batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies finished the circle with a very polite one cookie left in our serving bowl.
I played a game of bocce ball with four other men a few days ago. The scoring and rules are unique to Tenacatita. One interesting rule is that if the ball you toss gets wet it is disqualified. I tossed the pea just up the beach and past a dinghy. It rolled downhill behind the dinghy so we couldn’t see where it stopped. Others will toss the pea toward the water on the hard sand. It’s very hard to stop your ball short of the water. Once a larger wave than normal came in and washed the pea and all the previously dry balls into the surf.
You play until someone gets eleven points but you must win by two. That game at one point had four people with eleven points followed closely by me with two points. Finally, one guy hit the pea and had the closest ball giving him two points and the game. Great fun in a beautiful setting.
The Art of Landing A Dinghy Thru The Surf
On previous cruises we generally anchored in the Sea of Cortez, which has no Pacific swell or tied up to a dock in a harbor. Seldom did we anchor in areas exposed to the ocean swells. This year we have not spent a night tied up to a dock since we left San Carlos. A couple of anchorages (the Barra Lagoon and Las Hadas) are completely protected from the swell or have a protected dinghy dock we can use but the rest are exposed to a wrap around swell to varying degrees.
If we want to go ashore in these anchorages we have to land our dinghy thru the surf. The learning curve is wet. Both of us have taken a spill or two but our dinghy has always stayed upright.
Waves run in sets, usually three large ones then smaller ones. We wait outside the surf line while trying to judge the size of the waves. Once we think we see a relative flat period we turn on all 3.5 horsepower and roar towards the beach. When the water gets too shallow for the motor, we turn it off, and raise it out of the water. I jump out, hold onto the boat and run toward the beach, hopefully, before the next wave gets us. Rhea jumps out between waves near the beach.
We seem to have better luck doing this as we get more experience. Neither of us has taken a spill recently.