Aboard Astraea

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Bye Bye La Cruz to Bug Bitten in San Blas

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We spent a lot of time in La Cruz and it was hard for Sully to say, “Goodbye” to his best friends Ollie and Emma. They were his first real best buddies, but that’s how it goes for cruising relationships. One day you have to go your separate ways.

After one last playtime Sully had to say "Bye" to his best friends, Ollie and Emma

After one last playtime Sully had to say “Bye” to his best friends, Ollie and Emma

 

We planned to leave La Cruz on April 3 and head to Punta Mita for a night’s rest before continuing on towards San Blas, but the going was good so we headed straight to San Blas. The passage was relatively uneventful, light wind and calm seas. A powerboater’s dream, but not good for sailing. We motorsailed all the way through the night and arrived at 5:00 am in the wide open bay at Ensenada de Matanchen just outside of San Blas. Once the anchor was set we took a long nap to make up for the lost sleep the night before.

When we awoke we were excited to see the beach full of people. It was Easter Weekend, the end of Semana Santa in Mexico, so lots of families went to the shore to play. This was great news for Sully so he could play with some kids. We were also happy to find out that our friends Alex and Naomi from S/V LunaSea were the only other boat in the anchorage with us. We made plans to meet up for dinner later that day, and they recommended that we go ashore and do the Crocodile Sanctuary boat tour. We prepared our dinghy and rode to shore for a tasty seaside lunch of fresh fish ceviche.

We walked down the dusty beach road to the La Tovara Jungle Tour. On the way we passed by stands selling fresh made banana bread, a local favorite. We wanted to go visit the Camolota Spring Crocodile Refuge and paid 150 pesos each (about US $10 each) for a fast paced panga boat ride through the mangroves.

The panga tour loading area

Loading and unloading the pangas for the tour

The pangas were expertly driven, cutting corners at high speed and passing within a few feet of each other at full throttle. For another 20 pesos (about US $1.50 each we entered the crocodile sanctuary and had 20 minutes to explore and play in their freshwater spring pool.

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We reboarded the panga and took off for the next stop, a restaurant with another freshwater spring swimming hole. Natalie and I had fun swimming in the cool water while Sully watched from on shore. There was a trapeze swing above the water that I enjoyed swinging on into the water.

During the panga ride we saw many turtles and birds

During the panga ride we saw many turtles and birds

The freshwater swimming hole is fenced off so guests won't get snacked on by the crocs

The freshwater swimming hole is fenced off so guests won’t get snacked on by the crocs

We saw a tiny crocodile from the boat, this big one was in the refuge

We saw a tiny crocodile from the boat, this big one was in the refuge

The pangas zoomed through the narrow mangrove channel

The pangas zoomed through the narrow mangrove channel

When we were tired from swimming and Sully was antsy to get back to the boat we rode a panga back to our starting point and walked back to our dinghy on the beach.

The beach at Ensenada de Matanchen

The beach at Ensenada de Matanchen

Alex and Naomi came over for supper and brought fresh caught wahoo for fish tacos. Yum! It’s great to have friends who catch lots of fish and do all the bloody cleaning on their boat. We hung out with Alex and Naomi cooped up inside the cabin because of the terrible mosquitos and jejenes (tiny biting flies).

Having had enough bites from the bugs (it looked like Sully was getting the chicken pox he got bit that bad) the next day we decided to haul up the anchor and head up the coast to Mazatlan.

The next day was Easter Sunday. Sully woke to find the cabin full of Easter Eggs! He found all the eggs with a bit of help from us. He really enjoyed a chocolate kinder egg and opening it to find a small frisbee inside. Natalie and Sully read Happy Easter Little Critter and after breakfast we were off heading north to Mazatlan.

Easter eggs were hidden all over the boat for Sully to find

Easter eggs were hidden all over the boat for Sully to find

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