19 February 2006

Bahia de Navidad

19'13.1N 104'42.7W
  • Bahia de Navidad

The motor sail to Bahia de Navidad was 6 miles. We pulled into the marina at the Grand Bay Hotel! Another great marina at a resort with lots of pools and places to lie around. As soon as we moored up, we checked in at the marina, then we walked around the huge hotel complex. We walked for 30 minutes without seeing any hotel guests anywhere! The front desk told us that the hotel was at 20% vacancy. We pretty much had to whole place to ourselves for 2 days while we worked on our tans and drank cocktails pool side. I knew the resort was fancy when I was given two towels for the pool. One was a cover for my extremely comfortable lounge chair.

Yes… I know what you’re thinking. But we deserved this. It had been 6 days since our last shower. Sandpiper needed a bath. And we had only spent $60 in those 6 days, so we could splurge. It actually worked out even better for us since we racked up a substantial bill one day around the pool, but it never made it to our checkout bill. Yyippee! The marina is a bit pricey. So we moved out to the anchorage for the remainder of our stay.

The anchorage is in a really shallow lagoon that is not marked. The daily excitement for the boats anchored there is to watch other boats run aground while they are trying to enter or leave. We were able to make the anchorage without to much embarrassment, bumping the bottom twice, and anchoring in 6 feet of water with about 30 other boats around us.

To get to town from the anchorage you can call a water taxi on VHF for a $2.50 round trip ride. Or you can run in on your own dinghy. We dinghied in the first night to the Sands Hotel, which is super "cruiser" friendly. They let you tie your dinghy at their sea wall. And you can use their pool.

We had Valentines' dinner at a really good restaurant hidden in town. Then back to the hotel to hear a band play, and meet other boaters anchored out there. Quality people watching!

Every morning the "French Baker" who has a bakery in town comes out in a panga to the anchorage and calls all the boats on his VHF radio seeing who wants treats delivered to their boats. Our personnel favorite is his chocolate croissants!

A little background on Bahia Navidad: It was founded by some Spaniards in, like, 1500 or so on Christmas day. Hence the “Navidad” part. [note from Ron: Actual year was 1540]

Also, one of my favorite stories of this town is that in 1971 hurricane 'Lilly' hit Navidad with such a force that Christ's arms on the town's crucifix fell to his sides. The crucifix remains to remind the town that they survived such devastation. The surprising thing is that the crucifix, which is made of plaster, was not damaged. The arms hang by some miracle. Way cool. [Photo]

Amy and I had our 1-year wedding anniversary on the 19th. We celebrated with a nice walk on the beach, a swim at the pool, and dinner with our friends from Chatitnya!

Our friends from Sunbaby showed up in the anchorage. They are heading north to have their boat shipped home to Seattle in May. We had met them sailing down the California coast, and they did the Baja HaHa with us.

Chatitanya's arrival in Bahia de Navidad will be their most southerly stop before sailing back north. They will have their boat shipped back on the Dockwise Transport ship, along with Sunbaby, up to Vancouver Canada in May. It was sad to say goodbye to team "Chi" as we had been friends in the Bay Area, and we had been sailing with them the whole time. We miss you guys already!

Bahia de Navidad is one of my favorite stops we have made in Mexico. It is very laid back, and all the people are super friendly. Maybe one day in the future we can return.

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