Bahia Tenacatita, a well protected bay, lies approximately 89 miles from Cabo Corrientes. We arrived there after three nights of somewhat exposed and rolly anchorages at Ipala, Paraiso and Chemala. A lake fed stream feeds the Bay’s north end and the town of La Manzanilla anchors the Bay’s south end. During our first afternoon in the anchorage, Peter and Leslie from Sky Bird dinghied by. They joked that they were most interested in checking out the eye-catching Elizabeth Jean, rather than her crew, but accepted our offer to come aboard for cocktails. They reciprocated with cocktails on Sky Bird the next day and buddy boated with us to La Manzanilla two days later.
Boats at the Tenacatita anchorage; the rocks in the near ground lead to the mangrove estuary.
Saltwater crocodiles abound in the estuaries and lagoons of mainland Mexico. The sign announces “crocodiles in this area” and cautions against swimming.
Pangas take groups up the estuary; we used Schooner, whose smaller size allowed us to get through the narrow tunnels in the mangroves.
A myriad of birds, not visible in the picture, accompanied us through the mangrove passages.
Crocodiles too. Oh my!
Peter and Leslie from Sky Bird guided us through their favorite spots in La Manzanilla.
Sky Bird and Elizabeth Jean anchored off La Manzanilla. The pole suspended perpendicularly from Sky Bird deploys a flopper stopper, and underwater device that resits the ocean swells and quiets an anchored boat. In the foreground, the swells approach the beach. Although relatively gentle, we still needed to time our dinghy landings to avoid swamping our dinghy in the surf. We were mostly successful at the dinghy surfing game.
Elizabeth Jean at anchor beyond the surf break.
Schooner on the beach following a successful surf landing. Note the dinghy wheels below the stern. The wheels help us drag Schooner above the surf quickly after landing.
Our first stop in La Manzanilla was a raw bar on the beach for oysters and clams.
Next stop, the Cocodrilario, or crocodile reserve.
Eulalie with a crocodile (stuffed).
This one is still alive and well.
Professor Peter enthusiastically describes the process for distilling Raicilla, the region’s moonshine, from the silver agave plant. The poster shows the agave being harvested, turned into mash, and then slow cooked so that the steam condenses. Traditionally raicilla has been sold without government sanction or approval. Recently, legal brands have been appearing on the market. This tasting bar provided samples ranging from 11 months to 11 years old.
Leslie with the still. In the foreground are orange slices, Raicilla’s traditional accompaniment.
The finished product.
The Raicilla tasting bar included a beach side restaurant where we finished our shore side tour.