Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mexico! Olah! (59)

Life's a Beach!

These are the beaches adjacent to our hotel/resorts. And a few birds. And other things.

Huatulco - January 2009

The Dreams resort is tucked into a nice little bay that is protected by some large rock outcrops. Birds, especially pelicans, like to hang out on the rocks, so we saw many pelicans - my new favorite birds!

At sunset...

And during the day....

This rock outcropping was on the extreme edge of the resort - I went snorkeling around these rocks a few times - lots of interesting fish.
This is looking the other direction from the rocks.

Through the rocks to the next little bay.

I took a kayak out one day, but not a catamaran.

The water is great for swimming.

Once it was cool enough we would go for a walk down the beach. This is looking back toward the hotel.

If you are very patient and quiet, these little sand crabs will come up out of their holes. Normally people don't see them because they thunder along and the vibration of their footsteps is enough warning that the little crabs stay down in the sand. This guy is probably about an inch or so big.

Yes - lots of sunset pix. We'd start out about 4:30 or 5:00 pm when it started to cool off because it was just too hot before that. The sun was down by about 6:30 so we'd see the sunset on our walk.

Puerto Vallarta - January 2007
There is always some drama at the beach!



Mary holding coconut that fell off a nearby tree.


This beach went for kilometers if not miles. We loved to go walking on it in the evening. We never got as far as we wanted to because we always ended up being distracted by various birds or other things. Lots of sunsets again - our walks were evening walks when the sun was going down.

Here's another sand crab - this one was a bit bigger - about two inches across.


This was one of the distractions. We saw some fellows bringing in a fishing net. One of the catches was this little stingray (this one was probably about 15 - 18 inches from tip to tip of the "wings"). They treated it with a great deal of respect and tired mightily to return it to the water, but the darn thing was quite unhappy about being manhandled and for obvious reasons, the fishers eventually gave up and left it on the beach. Too bad.
We would see the wing tips of rays swimming along the beach early in the morning before there were people in the water and the water was very calm at that time of day - that's when I went kayaking.

Very dead puffer fish. I saw a live one when I was snorkling in Huatulco.

The little black thing in the water to the right of the bouy (above) is actually a sea turtle! It's flipper is in the next pix (below).

We found this living sand dollar. I've never seen a living one that I can think of - many dead ones (just the shells).

Another pelican.

Manzanillo - November - December 2005

We saw this little drama from our hotel window. This fellow had beached his kayak, got out - we are not sure why - we weren't paying attention at that point. We picked up the story when he was trying to get back out to the water. The next few pix document his struggle. It took him several tries, but he eventually made it. We saw a few others try to launch from the beach but they eventually gave up and just dragged their kayaks back to the resort. I need to add that this stretch of beach was not our "resort" beach - it was sort of next door.

One day we woke up and saw this huge catamarn (125 foot) anchored nearby. It's call Cheyenne. When we Googled it after we got home, we learned that it was sailed by Steve Fossett and set a round the world record.
Cheyenne Breaks Round the World Record - April 5, 2004
New record to be 58 days 9 hours 32 mins 45 secs American skipper Steve Fossett and his international crew of 12 aboard the 125’ maxi-catamaran Cheyenne crossed the official WSSRC start-finish line here at Le Stiff lighthouse on the French island of Ouessant (Ushant) - and have demolished the 2 year old Round The World Sailing record - by almost 6 days (improvement 5d 23h 4m 39s). Their time topples the May 2002 mark of Bruno Peyron and Orange I and fulfill’s Fossett’s decade old ambition to achieve ‘the most important record in sailing’. [http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/0405cheyenne/]

I went kayaking here - with Carlos! It's harsh having to go out with a cute young guy on a sunny day in a bit of tropical paradise!

Naturally we had to check the Cheyenne out! Up close and personal, you could say.

Yup - we went between the hulls.

Really - what's not to like??

There we are - that little boat on the right.

Here we are at the end of our paddle. Fun!
The Punch Line:
My beach rating is:
1 - Huatulco
2 - Puerto Vallarta
2 - Manzanillo
Yes - two twos - Huatulco gets #1 rating because the snorkeling was fun. I loved walking on the PV beach. The kayaking was excellent at Manzanillo - the water was nice and clear - I saw lots of fish, including a ray, which is really cool! The downer about the Manzanillo beach is that swimming was discouraged where we were due to undertow.
Joe's beach rating:
1 - Puerto Vallarta
2 - Huatulco
3 - Manzanillo
Joe doesn't swim so he doesn't factor that into his assessment (and you were wondering why I do all the kayaking by myself or with Carlos - and go swimming by myself - and why there are so many pix of me and not Joe doing these things). He really loved walking along the Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco beaches, as I did. The PV beach is just a lot longer so a lot more walking! The Manzanillo beach was difficult to access and just not as nice.

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