Tags: Chachacual, Crucecita, Huatulco, Mexico, Oaxaca, Tangolunda, sailing

Date: November 14, 2023

After having spent the summer in Denmark we returned to Mexico and Amanda in October. After the usual preparations and repairs, necessary after the boat has been stored for a while, we were ready to go sailing! Unfortunately the weather was not really on our side. The hurricane season was not quite over yet and low-pressure systems kept arising in the Pacific, some of them even developing into storms and one large hurricane, Otis, that hit Acapulco in late October with devastating effect.

So we waited, and waited, in the marina. Bjarne got a lot of small and large repairs and improvements done and we socialized with the other sailors also waiting for the right weather. To complicate our sail plans further was the Tehuantepec wind belt that we would have to sail through when heading up the Mexican coast. The Tehuantepec wind (or Tehuantepecer as it is also called) is known for being particularly strong: It goes from north to south at the point where Mexico is narrowest and there is a gap in the mountain ranges starting with the Rocky Mountains and continuing down to the Andes Mountains. Usually the wind will blow for a couple of days up to a week followed by a break. When the Tehuantepecer blows, the winds usually reach 10 m/s to 20 m/s but winds up to almost 50 m/s are occasionally observed. In any case, we were waiting for the right weather window with regards to the Tehuantepec wind as well as with regards to the low pressure systems and it took a while but finally in the beginning of November we left the marina.

After a three-day sail we arrived in the state of Oaxaca at the Bahías de Huatulco, a series of nine bays off the coast. Here is our first view of land after the three days at sea:

We anchored in Tangolunda bay, in front of a large beach with five hotels and some villas on the top of the surrounding cliffs:

Here are three of the hotels and a Mexican flag-topped small island in front of the beach:

A fourth hotel:

We relaxed for a couple of days at the anchorage. Despite all the tourists it was quite calm. We were anchored far enough out that it was only a couple of kayakers and beach catamarans that came close enough to wave at us. Moreover, the bars at the hotels only played music until 11 pm or so.

Our next stop was a small marina close to the town of La Crucecita, where we could get provisions. We walked into the Central Plaza and saw the church:

It is in the style of a colonial-era church but was built in 2000. It has some beautifully carved wooden doors:

On the ceiling is painted a image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a blue sky with stars:

View form the church steps towards the Central Plaza:

Another look at the plaza:

La Crucecita is full of tourists - the Tangolunda Bay with all the beach hotels is only about 5 km away - and there are a lot of bars, restaurants and shops selling touristy stuff:

After a couple of days in the marina we were ready to find a quiet anhorage. We passed by a couple of the other Bahías de Huatulco, here is Bahía Cacaluta:

We continued on to Bahía Chachacual, which seemed a bit more protected from the swells. The beach in Chachacual looked just as deserted and pristine as the one in the picture above, but every morning, umbrellas, chairs and drinks bars would be set up on the left part of beach and at 10 am boats full of tourists would show up. In the late afternoon all the boats would leave again with the tourists and the beach get cleared of umbrellas etc. The next day it would start over again.

The reason only the left side of the Chachacual beach was used by the tourists was that the right side of the beach is full of sea turtle nests, visible as indentations in the sand above the high water line. The tracks made by the turtles as they crawl up the beach to dig a nest and lay theirs eggs are also visible: