Anchoring in “Pudding”

At Anchor, Barra de Navidad

Fresh-baked French Croissants, Anyone?

We woke this morning to mirror-calm water, a spectacular sunrise, and fishermen casting large circular nets in the shallows. During the second cup of coffee, we were offered an offbeat treat: fresh-baked French pastry delivered right to our swim step with a hearty, authentic “Bonjour, messeur/dames.” (Cue Homer Simpson voice…yummmmm).

Barra de Navidad is one of those magical places we dreamt about when we took off from Florida over 5 years ago. It’s a large, sheltered, shallow lagoon behind a long, crescent-shaped beach, offering protection from swell, lots of entertainment from the fishermen and competing seabirds, and a sweet little town well worth exploring.

Once we were awake and alert, we called a water taxi to take us into town. It’s a great deal: hail them on the radio, they pick you up at your boat, you pay for the round trip (25 pesos) at their terminal in town – then return to your boat any time you want, day or night.


Town itself is a jewel — tidy, colorful streets with posadas and pensions for the surfer-set; fish and meat markets, cafes and seafood restaurants, and a wonderful malecon separating town from the lagoon. We had a long stroll to explore the town, and ended up at the Sands Hotel, famous as a hospitable hangout for cruisers. As long as you buy a drink or something to eat, you’re welcome to tie up your dinghy, use the internet, and relax in the pool.

We got back to the boat in time for the predicted winds to funnel through the mountains into the lagoon – and they steadily built to over 25 knots. Which leads us to “pudding.”

The bottom here in the lagoon is a fluffy mixture of clay, sand, and silt, with nothing much to hold fast to. It’s the only place we’ve been where to anchor in 5 feet of water we needed to put out 150 feet of chain. (What’s that scope…30 to 1???)

Close enough for ya?

While Ole was down in the engine room with John from Jonco, diagnosing the still-underperforming generator, I looked up from the computer to see us sliding dangerously close to a sailboat on our starboard and a bigger sailboat on our stern. So, in spite of the threat of being blown overboard by the wind, we hauled up the anchor and crept over the shallows to try to reset – twice. With nearly 200 feet of chain out, we finally stuck.

But not our neighbors. A quick check over the stern saw them sliding eastward, so they made a couple of attempts and ended up sticking — so close to us we could probably put a gangway across for cocktails. The winds blew into the night, finally subsiding to 15 knots near bedtime.

Even though I’m nervous about them being so close, Ole assures me there’s plenty of swinging room.

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