I am sorry I have time for only the briefest of reports.

Also my apologies for failing to send enough SPOT messages to satisfy. I have made sure to send at least one every evening from dry land, or at least land.  Imagine though if Crumpetina had not bought me the thing…

I have been having a marvellous adventure and enjoying every minute of it, though in truth I have had only three days of actual sailing. I left Alvarado, the falling tide and a barely detectable breeze carrying me out of the lagoon to the sea where the water, the color of milky coffee, silently and smoothly humped and rolled in the most bizarre and otherworldly fashion. Dolphins met me again, then the boat turned itself south and for the whole day in a light and contrary wind I tacked along the coast, a range of greened dunes above miles and miles of deserted beach. Night was a camp at a random spot maybe 23 nautical miles along, after emptying the boat of its massive cargo and lugging it up the beach, then walking the vessel end for-end up the steep sand above the tideline. Unlike the previous night in Alvarado in which I did not sleep at all for the merciless mosquitos, this night was not bad despite the rain, a wind kept the buggers grounded and they did not bother me until morning. As at sea, where curious fishermen had visited me all day in their lanchas, I had some burro and horse-backed vaqueros come by.   All very friendly but bemused by my presence and strange vessel. “There are no bad people here”, volunteeered one. Sounds like paradise.

    The next day there was even less wind, and after a long becalming I finally rounded the headland at Roca Partida, and made another few miles towards Montepio. I tried to dodge a thunderstorm by sailing far out to sea, but it stayed in my path so I gave up and just went straight through it; it was no big deal, nice to have some wind. Montepio appeared charming from the sea, but I passed it and carried on, but as the wind failed again I headed inshore towards what looked likew a particfularly isolated and lovely beach. I later learned this was the beach featured in “Apocalypto”. The thought of a cold beer (for there were enough breaks in the generally grey skies to roast the hell out of me) at Montepio drove me to throw a coin which decided for a return so I doubled back and with the last wind just made it to the beach in front of the tiny town.

   Almost immediately a jeep piled across the soft sand and over the ledge to my side. Galo the driver and ex-sailor invited me to stay at his fine house. In twenty years I have never seen a sail here¨ he exclaimed.

     I have much to say about my three days´stay here (no internet or cell service: presently I am in San Andreas Tuxtla) but I have no time now. Were not Montepio so exquisitely beautiful and tranquil, at the foot of the verdant foothills of the volcano San Martin, and so full of natural wonders I might have left two days ago. The place is delightful; I am treated like royalty, swim in pools below waterfuls, slide along the cool river in a motorboat and out to sea, visit farms in the hills with happy and intensely pleasant people, sail the bay, eat beans and amaranth deep fried in strips, drink vodka with Galo, even the rain is lovely here… in short I think Montepio to be an undiscovered diamond, as close to a paradise as one could ever find in this world. It will hurt to leave. Tomorrow, weather permitting.


10 thoughts on “Montepio

  1. Hi Chris,
    Wow sounds totally fantastic! I am full of admiration and more than a little jealousy. But boy have you earned it, when I read back over the early posts of you covered in fibreglass resin in the heat with no way of swatting the insects etc. As they say here in Ireland “Fair play to you boy”, True adventuring stuff. Now if only there was a video clip…….

    As for the spot thing I’m only speaking for myself, others closer to you have their own needs and desires but I’d totally understand if you threw it overboard as long as I knew that’s what you had done. Lets face it I’m not about to mount a rescue bid from Bantry Bay! But for what it’s worth, now I have a 15 year old daughter who is appalling at calling the old man I’m mortified by the grief I must have caused my Mum, off round Europe before e mail and cells, not checking in for months, poor woman. I’d say there is nothing worse than the last check in being at sea followed by a very long nothing. So play the game and push the button then everyone will be happy!

    Big love, big respect and no more nagging!

  2. Hi Chris, we´re so happy knowing your´re ok and having such a marvelous time. I write to you in behaf Maria Teresa, Changa, Filomena and myself, Your trip started with a big star that lead you to all this fascinating experiences, and so many to come. Take care, Good winds.
    La Palapa´s friends.

  3. So glad you are enjoying Montepio. From space it looks small but lovely. Please keep us informed about your adventures as they happen.

    Sorry if we were naggy about the Spot check in business, but imaginations run wild. I should have realized your inshore position the last couple of days was with those who are kind to sailors. I had pirates hacking you up for your stuff, then pushing the Spot button out of curiosity. I knew where the house was, though, so I could come get ’em.

    It is really payback time, as I was out of touch for months when I did my own cruise down Baja way. My folks in Reno went buggy; even contacted the State Department and the Mexican Consulate in SF. I promise I, too, will lay off the nagging — not the worrying, though. Us Dads need something to occupy our time.


  4. Personally I liked the suffering. Early morning fishermen, Mosquitoes, Fibreglass, Chiggers, bad food, litter spewing bass thumping four-by-four driving neighbours running amok. Now all I get is this deep seated jealousy, a nagging green-eyed wave of disillusion with my own boring existence. Vicarious enjoyment – yes – that goes some way to mitigate the realisation that selling organic sprout mix to the hippy middle classes is perhaps not the pinnacle of life’s enjoyment I had wished. Not that I am hoping for pirates.. as I have a nagging suspicion that they wouldn’t necessarily be of the jolly Johnny Depp variety – more, the Bristol based, bearded & bloodthirsty barbaric breed.. Tho’ saying that – by all accounts our Edward Teach never actually harmed or murdered anyone in actual fact.. so check if they come from the West Country – you’ll be OK if they Arrrrr!
    In truth – I’m still in awe of your travels – fabulous to see you skimming across the coasts (even with minimal wind) and following your progress with keen interest (I keep cutting myself with it) Very glad that you have ‘Spotty’ along – like Mike, there’s little I feel I could do from this side of the pond – but it’s like full on hi-tech interactive 3rd person adventuring innit!
    All the best skipper – thanks again for the report.. even your ‘briefest ones’ are lavish with detail and indicate the beauty of the landscape and people you’re finding along the trail – which seems deservedly so but is still excellent to see realised.
    Fair Winds and Following Seas, my deario xx

  5. Mike, rest assured there IS video!! (And perhaps I shouldn’t say so but I’ve been privy to a sneaky preview, and lemme tell ya, – good stuff awaits!) Boy did you call it, though – he was out there whooping it up whilst we (or at least me) worried our silly little heads…

    Now, just for the record, I am generally not a prone-to-concern person nor am I particularly naggy (to which, I believe, our dear Grillabong will attest), but after, as you noted, several timely transmissions and then a last one, from sea, with nothing further for an unusually loooong period relative to previous transmission intervals, well, let’s just say it left too much empty time for the mind to run wild with horrific fantasies, as mine did… and I’m the crazy lass who’s prepared to hop the first plane south and enlist the Mexican Armada for search & rescue if the situation necessitates it!

    Anyway, I am much relieved that our fears have been put to rest (at least for now) so that I may return to my screen-watching spectator role, happily contented with the now promised minimalist of daily check-ins and sporadic but delicious blog post updates as they roll in… my dear Grinch, I too wish you mild weather and moderate winds, and eagerly await the further tales you’ll have to tell us!!

    And Froog- while I imagine these envy-inducing tales of verdant mountain foothills and secret swimming spots and other earthly glories are far from over – I’m willing to bet the suffering is far from over too. 😉

  6. Well Crumpetina – I believe you may well be right on that score (along the lines that suffering seems invariably concomitant with enjoying such bounteous earthly glories) – but as I watched Apocalypto last night (fabulous film, or should I say movie btw – thanks for that ‘heads up’ Chris) I fear it’ll take a wee while before my envy subsides completely! Breathtaking stuff – and now like a plank on deck, my anticipation is surely whetted for more footage… of the proa variety.. Pictures would do tho’ eh Chris – eh? eh?!
    Thanks for Spotty – an option that Chris’s ‘radar’ may have missed without your sensible sensibilities – somehow their tag-line sends a shiver every logon though, ‘Live to tell about it’ urghhh, I’m sure it’s supposed to be re-assuring but for me it helped inculcate this culture of fear that I feel we all fell into.
    It was a heck of a pause but the worry for me came of having a GPS blip to wait for, rather than the occasional floridly beautiful page of prose, that although generally safely land-based, the sporadic occurrence of which was extremely unpredictable! The curse of the modern culture in which we live (and are longing, often with misplaced enthusiasm to ‘scape) Connected as we are, in ways that we only ever saw in Star Trek – we are destined to worry quicker than ever before – but have the joy of global nagging almost in real time! But here’s to global communications, blogging & the joy of connectedness!
    Well done crazy lass – let us hope that the Mexican Armada will not be required – but it’s re-assuring to hear that you’re there should the need arise. Much love to you – along with (y)our dear Grinch – & all the best 🙂

  7. Hi Crumpetina
    Just for clarity I was also worried! And just for more clarity I think the nagging was totally justified! Last blip at sea then nothing = worry absolutely 100%. If we didn’t have these things the problem would not arise and I think I detect a slight undertone from Chris that he wishes he didn’t but he has and so tough luck bro, people care about you! One incy wincy little push of the button at sunset would do it for me or more frequently if the sunset one did not show dry land as the position.
    My ‘no more nagging’ should have had a performance based caveat attached…

  8. Just checked spotty. Blip leaving, blip out at sea and blip landing around sunset on another sun kissed, adventure filled piece of paradise- Perfect!

    “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf”

    By the way I’m sure you have your own weather wwws etc but I find

    A pretty good summary of what is going on. No idea how it relates to reality of course….

  9. You must have been going like a train to make all that distance today (7/15). I looked up the winds for Coatzacoalco, and they were 12 mph from the North, so you must have had a hairy ride. I was surprised to see you landing on a beach, rather than entering the port. I looked it up, and Coatzacoaslco boasts on of the few lighthouses in Mexico; a big striped sucker at the North breakwater. I thought you would make shore after dark, and enter the harbor for a good night’s sleep, rather than having to unload the boat on a beach.

    Anyway, just me second guessing the skipper — a stupid exercise.

    Love you,


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