Friday, January 15, 2010

Barra de Navidad

[GPS (lagoon) N 19° 11' 30" W 104° 40' 21"]
On Saturday, with light winds on our nose, we motored the four hours from Manzanillo Bay to Bahia Navidad, taking advantage of the time to make water. We stopped at the fuel dock on the way to the lagoon and filled up – this time the pump was working, but we had to wait for one of the two megayachts at the diesel dock to finish pumping his 2000 liters. We then made our way on back to the lagoon, with the aid of gps waypoints we had gotten that outlined the 8’ depth line. We anchored near the north edge.

The lagoon is a shallow area about 1 mile in diameter, with an area deep enough for anchoring (> 8’) about 1/4 mile in diameter. You enter through a channel on the east side of Bahia Navidad. As you enter the channel, the town of Barra de Navidad is on the left (photo to right), followed by a smaller, shallower lagoon with Pig Island in the middle. On the right is a resort hotel, the marina (2nd most expensive we’ve seen in Mexico – would be about $100 a night for us – we chose to anchor out), the fuel dock, and then a little village of Colimilla. (Note: the picture is from the north side of the channel on the malecon at Barra de Navidad looking back towards the lagoon.) The water in the lagoon is muddy and dirty, so no watermaking in the lagoon. There were some mosquitos, but the winds that came up every afternoon helped keep them at bay. There would be panga fisherman in the lagoon every morning and evening and sometimes through out the night. Our plan was to stay a couple of nights.
We ended up staying 6 nights. There was no internet available in the lagoon – neither 3G data card nor wireless, so we would go into one of the restaurants in Colimilla or to the Sands Hotel in Barra for internet.

One of the amenities of being the lagoon (or the expensive marina) is that there is a local French baker who comes around every morning with fresh baguettes, croissants, tarts, etc. It’s almost like having the Berkeley Cheese Board deliver to the boat.

We got a few groceries to tide us over at a small tienda in Colimilla, and had a lady in Colimilla do our laundry for 12 pesos ($1) per kilogram. We spent some time just exploring around Barra de Navidad, including finding the port captain to do our check-in/check-out paperwork.

The best day was just hanging out at the Sands Hotel. If you buy food or beverage, they allow cruisers to use their pool. So we spent one lovely afternoon having lunch, internet, playing Mexican train (dominos), and taking dips in their pool.

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