Christmas Bay … any port in a storm!!

As Bernice comes on watch at 0600 we are about 12nm from our way point so we are likely to arrive in the bay of Manzanillo sometime after 8am, it seems to take forever that last wee bit, with the coastline never seeming to get much closer… when we eventually arrive we start on the right hand side of the bay and look for a marina and/or a fuel dock we can pull up at, but there doesn´t seem to be any. There is a small marina in the middle of the bay at Las Hadas – a resort apparenly built for the very fashionable elite but now it´s not so exclusive – but there are very few berths and what there are are small and all stern too (you have to back the boat in rather than alongside) which Richard isn´t wanting. We have no choice anchor outside it, have brekkie and come up with another plan. There is no way we can stay here if there is no secure mooring on which to safely ride out the storm, which is now forecast as a hurricane named Beatriz. We thought this was going to be a big town and that Richard had been here before and so new exactly what facilities there might be here… oh well.

Brekkie and a swim for the boys clears their heads, Bernice just wants to go to sleep! We have two choices – hack up the coast four hours to “Bahia de Navidad” where there is a new marina and knowledge of the sail reparer we are trying to track down, or spend another day going even farther north to Puerto Vallarta which is a big place and certain to be sheltered.

As the sail repair is necessary and the new marina in Bahia de Navidad is in a lagoon, which should be sheltered we decide four more hours is worth a try. We are running low on provisions too.Luck was on our side, on the way we catch our biggest fish so far, a lovely plump yellow fin tuna about 80cm. Typically Richard brings it in jus after Huw has prepared us a luch of tinned tuna and sweetcorn! We decide on a little sushi from the fresh fish and also to eat the prepared food as we´ll not want to eat it otherwise all the time there is fresh fish on board.

Arriving in Bahia de Navidad we are a bit nervous about the entrance to the lagoon as its a bit lumpy and in the only guide we have to the area (20 plus years old) it says it´s only passable for dinghies!! A call to the marina office to be sure it will be deep enough and then slowly we go for it with our fingers crossed. When we find the marina it isn´t quite as sheltered as we thought it might be, all that is between the moorings and the ocean in the direction the hurricane is due is a sand dune, a strip of mangrove, the lagoon and a small breakwater. None of the hills we past on the way in. Richard hovers at the entrance trying to decide where in any suitable berth might be. We decide there is just about enough room for us to go right into the back and moor up in front of a huge motor launch. Lots of lines are used as we tie up if only for tonight (the cleats on the pontoon are very loose!) and Richard goes ashore to the office to book in and see if he can find ot anymore about the elusive sail repairer… We only stopped in Manzanillo because someone said he lived there but did most of his work from here….

Mixed news on Richards return. Good – the marina is half the price of Acapulco, we can move into another berth to be more secure if we want, we can use the hotel pool. Bad – they know of the sailman but we have to wait till tomorrow for detals from someone else, there is WiFi but we have to pay $10 a day for it… it better be good!!!

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