Arrived Safe and Sound in Barra de Navidad

At Anchor, Barra de Navidad

Morning in Barra Lagoon

It’s been a wonderful few days here in Manzanillo, and it’s amazing how quickly we can settle into a routine once we’ve found a great place like this. Mornings puttering around getting chores done, then afternoons by the pool, with the obligatory margarita for me and Negra Modelo for Ole.

One of the best things about this lifestyle is connecting with people who share our passion for cruising…making new friends at each anchorage, and reconnecting with those we’ve met along the way. We’ve shared dinner and boat brand knowledge with Ron and Sheryl from Lazy Days, a 44+5 DeFever. We’ve reconnected with Barb and Gary from Hurrah, a Taiana double-ender we originally met in Bocas del Toro. And we met the wonderful Christophe and Marianne, Swiss friends of Gerry and Chris whom we’ve heard so much about.

Santiago Market

Many of us got together yesterday for a trip to Santiago, just a mile or two down the road, where we explored the weekly market. It was huge – a covered tent-like space featuring hundreds of vendors of everything from handcrafts to tools to the most beautiful berries I’ve ever seen. Two hours of pleasant meandering later, we all met for a great brunch at Juanito’s, a great little café run by a Canadian fellow who retired here in the 1970s.

And last night, ten of us went to dinner at La Toscana, a wonderful waterfront restaurant to celebrate Margy’s 60th birthday. With a menu featuring European-inspired specialties like escargot, magret de canard (duck breast), and fresh mahi mahi, grouper, and langostinos, we ate our brains out, shared stories, and generally celebrated our good fortune to have such a life.

This morning we hauled anchor, and headed up toward Barra de Navidad, a journey that should take us no more than about 4 hours. While the winds are fairly calm, we’re encountering swells of 6-8 feet, a little bigger than we’ve had so far, but nothing we or the boat can’t handle.

We found the entrance to Barra de Navidad Lagoon, followed the markers as far as they went, then crept out into the shallows and anchored with something like 2.5 feet of water under the keel. Reminded us of Florida!

There are just under 30 boats at anchor here in the lagoon…and we’re the only power boat. Makes us easy to spot if we need anything.

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