- Anna Welscott
Taking on Water, Island Life, and Crocodiles...There is Never a Dull Moment!
After leaving Barra de Navidad, we set off for Ensenada Carrizal, which is known for excellent snorkeling and diving. Once we set our anchor, we headed off on our paddle boards to check out the bay. We found some cool areas with some impressive swell surging around the perimeter rocks.
Once we got to shallower water, we anchored our paddle boards and jumped in. The water was warm and clear! We enjoyed checking out the coral formations and the fish swimming around us. After an hour or so, we headed back to Karuna for some dinner, before heading to bed as we were planning for an early morning departure for a two day sail to Isla Grande Ixtapa.
We navigated around the busy commercial shipping port of Manzanillo, which had numerous container ships coming and going. As we continued south we found ourselves in the shipping lanes, but all the container ships that passed by, gave us at least a mile berth. It is amazing how quickly they pop up on the horizon and can pass us by. This busy area reiterates the importance of having someone on watch 24 hours a day while at sea, to make sure we stay a safe distance from all the other ship traffic.
During our 34 hour sail to Isla Grande Ixtapa, Doug went below to check the motor as we were feeling some abnormal vibration. While he was down, he noticed the bilge pump hose constricting. After further investigation, Doug realized that the bilge was filling with water, which is incredibly scary!!! He turned on all the bilge pumps to get the water out to find the bilge filling with water again! He had me slow Karuna down, so he could figure out where the water was coming from. After looking around Doug came to the conclusion that the vented loop of the bilge hose must have had some kind of debris trapped somewhere in it. Between the boat speed and the heeling of Karuna the thru-hull was under water, which in turn caused a vacuum effect, sucking sea water into the boat! Doug was able to get the situation under control and we were able to return to our original speed. We were still about 20 hours from our destination, so Doug continued to motor the bilge every hour or so, to make sure we were safe to continue on. When not checking the bilge, we enjoyed calm seas, light winds, and lots of dolphins and turtles.
We were happy to arrive at Isla Grande Ixtapa. It's a tiny island that offers beautiful 360° views, warm water, perfect sand, and palapa restaurants serving cold beer and fresh seafood…not to mention numerous huts scattered around offering one hour massages for $20usd.
The palapa restaurants were rustic, but served tasty food!
We spent a week enjoying the island, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and cleaning the bottom of the boat, which is where a tiny crab decided to take up residency in Doug's ear. After a couple hours it climbed out far enough for me to grab it with tweezers. Gross!!! Doug is now in the market for a scuba hood. Sorry...no pictures, I was busy freaking out!
Isla Grande Ixtapa is located about a mile off the coast and we had run out of eggs, tortillas, and beer, so we took the dinghy across to Playa Linda. There was a small convenience store where we were able to get our necessities. We had read about a crocodile sanctuary and stumbled upon it. It was pretty interesting to see these massive creatures up close. I'm glad there was a tiny ledge and fence separating us from them...however I'm not sure it would stop them if they wanted to leave! We also saw many different types a birds, including the Roseate Spoonbill, which is a pretty pink bird.
After a nice week, we decided it was time to make our way to Zihuatanejo.