Mid-March, 2013 – We left the little cove of Las Hadas in Manzanillo and went around the corner to lovely Santiago Bay where we anchored of Playa La Boquita. Almost every morning we stayed in this bay we were treated to a divine art exhibition in the sky as the gods painted the heavens in brilliant shades.
Sometimes the morning mural covered the entire sky, and sometimes it was just a pinpoint of color with reflections in the water.
Eager to watch the celestial drama, we bounded out of bed each morning absolutely thrilled to see the sky awash with yellows and oranges and pinks and reds.
Each day’s heavenly artwork was completely different than that of the previous day, and seeing the wildly varying patterns of color was a wonderful reminder that each day we live is utterly unique, starting with the texture and color of morning’s earliest moments.
In Santiago Bay, Playa La Boquita is at one end of a very long and wide beach, and there is always lots of activity on this beach.
Little kids played by the water’s edge and a variety of vendors wandered past with carts full of all kinds of goodies.
Mark liked the thatched roof on this one vendor’s cart, and I liked the little girl riding it in the back!
Another vendor had every imaginable blow-up beach and water toy for sale, plus enough pails and shovels to dig to China and build lots of sand castles too. No need to go to the toy store before hitting this beach!
Mark enjoyed getting some artsy images of the sand and the water while I was drawn to a little bird standing up to his knees in the water and fishing between the rocks.
One of the hallmarks of this beach for cruising sailors is the tuba player. From late morning until late evening the deep tones of a tuba can be heard throughout the anchorage.
When we walked the beach we found the tuba player – and then discovered there was more than one of them!
Several small bands with tubas wandered up and down the beach performing for the vacationers.
They would politely wait for each other so each tuba band got a chance to perform without intruding on the others.
This is a beach that gets some nice surf. The waves come in sets. Each wave grows slightly larger than the last until there are one or two really big crashers. Then they grow smaller until the beach actually seems quite calm.
Invariably, as we walked this beach, I would suddenly see a huge green wave out of the corner of my eye followed by a beautiful band of white frothy spray and the sound of thunder as it smashed on the beach. I’d grab my camera excitedly, but, of course, that would have been the big wave of the set. I’d have to wait another five or ten minutes for the next photo-worthy one.
But then I’d forget all about the waves and become intrigued by something else. The camera would be turned off and dangling on my hip. And then, suddenly, there it would be again: the bright green underbelly of a huge wave looming up and rolling over so beautifully. I’d grab my camera again, but it would be too late. I would have missed it once again!
Getting a dinghy safely on the beach requires watching these wave sets too, but it’s not too bad a dinghy landing here.
There’s a kind of designated parking area on the beach for the dinghies, complete with a rope you can tie your dinghy to so it doesn’t float off if the tide comes in while you’re away!!
The homes along this beach are beautiful. We wandered into the neighborhood of Club Santiago which fills this end of the beach.
The palm tree-lined paths and backs of all the homes were just as lovely as the fronts of them along the beach.
Some of the landscaping is very pretty, and Mark found some bottle-brush flowers and another exotic tropical flower that we weren’t sure what it was.
Back on the beach, we stopped at the Oasis Bar, a favorite cruiser hangout where you can enjoy a brewski in a lounge chair under an umbrella while watching your boat bobbing in the bay.
This was pretty good living here in the Manzanillo area. The days slipped by quickly, and before we knew it almost a week had passed.
We probably would have stayed even longer, but the crazy thing in Manzanillo is that the air quality suffers from the soot produced by the nearby coal-fired power plant. After a few days, poor old Groovy was grey. Fortunately, the plant is in the process of being converted to natural gas, so the air in all of the Manzanillo area will be much cleaner in the future.
But we needed to give the decks a bath, so we hauled up the anchor and moved up the coast about 25 miles, setting our sights on the tiny cove at Cuastecomate.