BARRA DE NAVIDAD, Jalisco, Mexico - We went to Barra de Navidad Tuesday afternoon to bid bon voyage to cruisers Dan & Lorraine Olsen, soon to depart for ports of call to the south, perhaps venturing as far as Ecuador.
But before we could get through the downtown to the pangas to take us out to their vessel, anchored snugly in the Barra lagoon, we found outselves in the middle of a Constitution Day parade that had as many gringos in it as local folks.
Carnival queens in Barra de Navidad
Even the burros got to parade
The wind was howling on our way out to the lagoon - a reminder of many of Sabbatical's forays in the same waterway. The last time I was in Barra aboard a sailboat (on Sabbatical with Captain Sanders Lamont aboard) we had consistent 40-knot winds for several days, driving many cruisers to put out extra anchors and forcing them to hunker down on their boats in case their anchors let go.
We hung out in the marina, tied safely to a dock, sipping margaritas, pina coladas and a variety of other fruit-based beverages until the wind dropped to an acceptable level.
I'm not sure what caused it, exactly, but on our way in, we saw on 35-40 foot sailboat that might have misjudged the narrow (and unmarked) channel that morning and run aground. And because of the wind and falling tide, he was living a sailor's nightmare, his only hope a good high tide the next day.
Sailboat high and dry in Barra Lagoon
But there was a good-news boating story out of the whole enterprise. Dan Olsen was able to get a part fabricated for his engine, using a spare bit of plumbing obtained here in La Manzanilla from my amigo Tom. He was as proud as a new parent of the piece which he will be keeping in reserve for his exhaust system.
Captain Dan and his new boat part