Sunday, 5 February 2012

a tale of two reefs

Ensenada Carrizal

Quiet morning
It was a time of leisure,
it was a time of toil,

it was playing in the water,
it was playing with fire,

it was a period of solitude,
it was a period for companionship.

We had everything we needed,
but we did crave more avocados.

Red cliffs
Ensenada Carrizal is a great little gem of an anchorage. That is, if you like being away from it all. You are surrounded by cactus and scrub covered hills, there’s a pebbly beach with piles of driftwood on one end.  Crags in the rocks and small caves are scattered about. The reefs on both sides of the bay are a great playground for snorkelling. If you want to go for a jaunt, you walk up the only path from the beach to a gravel road, and follow it down to the most beautiful beach about a mile away. (Just watch out for scorpions!) When the sun rises, the rocky cliffs are a shade of burnt red; at the base of the shadowed cliffs, the water appears to be covered in a layer of sparkling copper flakes. A marvellous scene as we sip our morning coffee in the cockpit.

That next door beach (behind Piedra Blanca)
Thanks for showing it to us Steph! 

As seen from the water. It was beautiful, and deserted.
(Unfortunately, the land past the high tide mark, is private,
and we have since found out we are not allowed to walk 
through there. You are however, welcome to go around with 
your boat and anchor off the beach for the day, and go back 
to Carrizal for the night as it's too rolly otherwise.)
Back in Ensenada Carrizal, there is no chance of connecting to the internet, no phone, nowhere to spend your pesos. It’s a getaway from your getaway. And it’s pure bliss. In a quiet, laid back way.

Bonfire gang

Chris and Liz
 During our stay, we were as few as 2 boats anchored here, and as many as 7; a huge contrast from the La Cruz anchorage, where the highest count was 65 boats. (That is when we said, hasta luego amigos!) Smaller anchorages are more intimate. We gathered on each other’s boats, dinghy surfed to a bonfire on the beach, with musicians (real ones and the fake-it-till-you-make-it kind, to quote Steph from SV Red Witch.) We were lead by SV Espiritu: Chris played the mandolin and Liz, the guitar. Rick dusted off his  Bodhrán, and found his rhythm back. The rest of us played with instruments Steph had brought along. At one point, Liz picked up SV Red Witch's tambourine for a memorable rendition of “I’m a Believer”. Keep shaking those hips and that tambourine Liz!

Steph (SV Red Witch)
Greg (SV Foreign Affair)

Greasing up them gears
Unexpected boat job add-on

It was not all fun and games, we managed to be productive believe it or not. Our manual windlass needed maintenance.  (A windlass is a simple machine that uses gearing to provide mechanical advantage when hauling up the anchor chain.) You with a boat know, that a project, any boat project has this habit of expanding (or to quote my friend Barb, of "exploding")…  Rick took apart our manual windlass, I cleaned it up, painted it while Rick made a patch on the deck where some damage was discovered when the windlass was removed. (Whoever initially installed it didn’t seal it properly and water had crept in.)

Hanging with the fishies
Patched, fiberglassed and painted – the deck was eventually ready for the newly greased, cleaned and reassembled windlass. I worked on the reassembly with Rick. Four days later, our windlass is kicking ass, okay, maybe just hauling ass… uh, chain. [Rick also moved the divider between our chain locker and sail locker, to make more space for our new, longer rode, and in view of eventually acquiring more chain. Of course, now that means we have to find new homes for 2 of our spare sails as they no longer fit in the sail locker... Sigh. Nyon, Nyon, please tell me where!] Oh well! Cross that one off the list and let's go snorkelling

Post-snorkelling lounging
We are now in Santiago Bay, jet skis whipping by our anchored boat. Looking out at the palapas on the crowded beach, I yearn for that little bay. But first, we'll be provisioning and going to Las Hadas (Manzanillo), for a completely different experience.

Then, we will indeed head back to our little bay for a few more days of bliss before going north once again.

Early morning fisherman


  1. Ahh, this is what I envision when we finally start cruising. Ensenada Carrizal does sound great!

  2. Looks like you have a seatiger windlass..we also have it and just removed it from our boat. It needs some repairs.

    The fires on the beach and band look like a blast!

  3. Yes Dani, it is a seatiger windlass - maintenance is good - and lots of grease. LOTS of it. It works great now!



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