Friday, January 28, 2011

Sounds like...

Another overnight passage (101 nautical miles south) on our way from Puerto Vallarta to a small fishing village, Chamela.   We set off in the late afternoon to a red stairway sunset to heaven.  

The next morning, Henry set the fishing lines and we pulled in a whopper Dorado.   In a pinch Ann gaffed it and pulled it on board, much to her own dismay! 

After fresh fish tacos, the rocks and island entrance to Chamela appeared.

Chamela – Does surf make sound if no one is there to listen?

A nice, low mountain backdrop; a couple close islands like pearl drops.   A long, yellow stretch of beach sand and friendly surf like kids like.   One row of palapa restaurants were stamped along the shore; and two or three 2-3 story hotels were hidden behind palms.   A warm climate; great setting.   What industry do the people do here?   It seems like if there is a beautifully developed area along the beach front in Mexico, it is built up only for the northern tourists.   The locals’ life styles don’t develop the area.  Panga fishing boats line the beach.

I remember Newport Beach pier in the 60’s and the panga-like fishing boats on weekends that pulled up on the beach and sold fish.  Their holds filled with ice, and tarps or umbrellas shading the catch.   Instead of buying fish though, we’d usually go to “Hank’s Fish-N-Chips” across the beachfront parking lot and order a plate of more-than-you-can-eat for 50 cents.   But even then there were shops, paved roads, working people’s homes that lined the boardwalks and streets.   Newport Beach was moving on regardless of tourism.   In ten years the fish was gone.

It was Sunday in Chamela.  Several families sat at the palapas or in the shade of the pangas under the tunes of the horns and singing on the radios.   Kids gathered in the surf.   We cut through some pangas and similar looking palapas to a dirt road for some provisions.  It was the quiet that stood out.   Maybe it was the contrast to the steady surf sound or constant music at each palapa, but even a little boy pushing a plastic cart in his side yard seemed to be moving soundlessly.   A dog wandered over without a bark; no one was around to call him back.   Henry and I returned to the beach to play catch with a football; Chandler and Ann walked on for provisions.  They found eggs, and some vegetables and fruit, boxed juices, tortillas.   Then we ran around; played more catch -- played in the surf with a pretty back drop of low mountains, a couple of close-by islands, on a long, yellow stretch of sandy beach like kids and families like.    Sounds nice.

A few small islands lie in the bay off the coast of Chamela.  We explored the tide pools and beach.  Another great afternoon.

We found hermit crabs both with and without shells.  Henry made a rock fort to contain his but most of them climbed out anyway.

That evening dinner was served in the cockpit and we spent the night anchored off an island in Bahia Chamela.  

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