Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now we are talking! Cha-Cha Chacala!

We love Chacala, just about everyone does. What's not to love?  A mile long of honey-colored sandy beach, swaying palms, brightly colored homes, and of course a dozen palapas serving icy cold cervezas, fresh fish, and plenty of lively musica. You can boogie board, get a massage, learn Spanish or take yoga lessons. You can even buy fresh pasteries and pineapple fruit boats spiced with chili powder and sugar. Cha Cha Cha!

The view from El Tiburon

The view of El Tiburon, happy to be at anchorage
If you don't have a sailboat, you can always join the increasing numbers of gringos renting bungalows or buying up real estate in Mexico. We hope that the simple charm and splendid beauty of Chacala can be preserved as it becomes more and more discovered by the masses searching for paradise.

A nice little winter home at the entrance to the bay.

Some of their winter neighbors

It wouldn't be hard for me to call this mi casa.
For me, it's always about the gardens. Mexican architecture has a seductive way of welcoming guests to your home; a beautiful carved door with a secret garden just waiting to be discovered. My favorite color used in Chacala is this happy cherry red. It is a perfect casa color to show off a luxurious display of green palms, yellow, purple, and orange flowers.

Welcome, Come on in....

Who wouldn't want to come home to this garden after a long day at the beach?

Adjacent to the neighborhood is a cove for pangas used for fishing and taking taking tourists exploring, diving, or surfing.

The cove for the fishing pangas and the landing beach for cruisers dinghies
Town has just about anything you need - plenty of restaurants and little markets selling chips, chocolate Snickers bars, and vegetables. Maybe you want to shop for trinkets for the folks back home. Perhaps you need a blow up water toy? They've got it all.

The main drag
Dresses, hats, toys, beach umbrellas, you name it, they've got it.

    Pastries anyone?
 Chacala, as in many of the Mexican beach towns, has a growing number of American and Canadian retirees who not only come to enjoy all the benefits of warm weather living, but who also want to contribute and participate in the community. For example, Habitat for Humanity is an active organization in Chacala, and educators from Berkeley and Chapel Hill have helped build a school. There is a new Chapel with beautiful stained glass windows, and a community building that offers a variety of services for residents.

"Sew the Seeds of Love" is handed painted on the side of the school

A colorful mural decorates the community resource building

Peek-a-boo  El Tiburon
 After completing our walk through the community of Chacala we caught a peek-a-boo glimpse of El Tiburon, and knew it was time to move along down the road, again. As much as I long for a casa to call home, at this point in time I prefer the ever-changing landscape of the Mexican Gold Coast and the promise of a reunion with old friends and the chance to make new ones in a distant anchorage. 
Afterall, El Tiburon is a pelagic beast.

I don't wanna go.
 Darrell is ready to return to El Tiburon and continue our sail south, Spark - not so much. Just as Sparky gets to know the sights and smells of a place, makes a few canine friends, we are ready to press forward. He seems to sense when its time to leave and dawdles along the path leading back to El Tib.  Being the good natured Vizsla he is, he adjusts and waits for his next opportunity to romp on a beach and sniff new acquaintances.
So, up the anchors come. Oops! Only instead of raising bow and stern hooks, there is only the forward CQR to raise.
 Thus, there was one casuality for us in Chacala - our stern hook was eaten and never to be seen again - at least by us. Chacala is a very rolly anchorage requiring two anchors to keep our nose into the sea to minimize the roll. It turns out we aren't the only cruisers to have lost stern anchors in Chacala, we have talked with a half dozen people who had the same experience. Ah, an unsolved mystery - we'll have to return to do some research on the subject.


  1. Oh, bummer about the anchor. Chacala looks beautiful. It's looking like we may spend the summer and early fall on that side of the sea - leaving the boat in Mazatlan and renting a place inland.

  2. Sarah, you make Chacala sound so wonderful, and your pictures are beautiful! Can't wait to get there. Hopefully, it will be soon. Pam and Rick

  3. Chacala looks so beautiful and colorful - my kind of place. Sorry to hear about the loss of your anchor though. Maybe it will still be there when you return!

  4. Just got caught up on your travels. Your stories and snap shots are priceless. Are you going to be in Mexico around June 23-27? Going to a fishing villa/resort with a big group of people- maybe I can some how find you. Hey Darrell, isn't retirement tits/big boobies. Judy Mae