Chamela Bay  December 23 2016    Along the way to Chamela Bay on the Costa Alegre, we had a visit from some dolphins.  Sushi gets very excited when they arrive!

We stayed one night in Chamela bay; the next day (Christmas day) we anchored near a deserted island in nearby Isla Cocinas.  The swimming and snorkeling were great.  The following morning, we decided to leave.  As Pat was busy with the anchor, two whales came within 100 ft. of our boat.  I believe it was a mother and her newborn baby.   They were swimming in very shallow water, 30 - 40 ft.  What a great Xmas treat!

The coast is dotted with pretty, colorful homes and miles and miles of uninhabited beaches.  Our next stop was Paraiso Bay, a very picturesque small bay with turquoise waters and a small hotel.  A very idyllic place to hang out!

We made stop in Tenacatita before moving on to Barra de Navidad.  We decided to spend a few days at the marina in Barra.  Each morning, a French baker who had a restaurant in town, came out to the marina in his panga with fresh bread, quiche and pastries.....a delight.   We spent New Year's Eve at the Grand Isla Navidad hotel, which is pictured below.  We managed to stay up until midnight, we enjoyed dancing and the fireworks on the beach.

Our next anchorage was Ensenada Carrizal, a deserted island.  We had bought a child's boogie board for Sushi, and she seemed comfortable standing on it in the water.  Surfer Sushi!  We had great snorkeling here and swimming in the warm sea.

We spent a few days anchored in Bahia Santiago.  There was a hike to the top of the hill; the views were very scenic.

 

We spent two nights in Manzanillo.  We anchored outside of Las Hadas Resort, an old resort built in 1974; it was showing its age.  We were anxious to leave this bay; it is a port city busy with large boats and the anchorage for recreational boats is very small.

We managed to take a day trip by car to Comala, another Pueblo Magico, about an 1 1/2 hours from Manzanillo.  Their drink specialty is ponche, a mezcal drink mixed with different fruit, very good!  We bought a few bottles. 

We arrived in Zihuatanejo on January 9.  We anchored in the bay off La Ropa Beach, though we only stayed one night as we were informed that dogs were not allowed on the beach.  We did visit Playa Principal and downtown Zihua, lovely and laid back. 

 

 

 

We decided to move into the marina in nearby Ixtapa.  We later learned that dogs were allowed on Playa Principal beach in Zihua.

At the marina, we met Ladimer, who divided his time between his boat and his home on Lake Patzcuaro.  He had boat guests visiting from the east coast, Pablo and Wendy.  Ladimer invited us for cocktails on his boat, and we had a great time.  We all took a trip to Mahajua, a beach town nearby.  Lunch was on the beach at Todo al Mar where we feasted on a seafood platter, followed by terrific margaritas at Jardin del Eden in Troncones.  We were lucky to have met them; we enjoyed their company.  We hope our paths will cross in the future.

I will enjoy the friendship bracelet that Wendy and Pablo bought me at the gift store. 

 

We met a nice couple from Canada, Constantine and Patricia, who were staying at a condo by the marina.  They invited us for drinks and took this picture of us on their deck.  We had dinner with them another evening.  We had a great time!  We wish we had more time to enjoy their company.

For the last 15 years, we have always thought about getting our open water scuba certification.  I contacted Joao of Dive Zihuatanejo, and he advised us to do the PADI online course which required 10-12 hours of study, followed by three days of instruction with him.  After completing the online course, we met Joao and he took us out to a shallow bay in Zihuatanejo.  He spent 6 hours with us the first day; we were exhausted.  The second and third days, we visited two different bays outside of Zihuatanejo bay.  We continued our training and also did some mini dives with Joao.  We saw seahorses, a zebra eel, orangutan crabs and many fish, all up close.....so very different from snorkeling when you look from the top.  We enjoyed our training with Joao, and highly recommend him as an instructor.  We are now certified up to 60 ft........whoo hoo!  We can't wait to dive again.

Here are some photos from our dives, a couple of rays (one hidden in the sand) and a seahorse, which are so very hard to see and find.  Joao pointed it out to us.

There's a good weather window to head south toward Acapulco, so it's time to bid farewell to lovely Zihuatanejo. 

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