We actually thought we’d head over for Careyes (between Chamela and Tenacatita) because Raines said that it was one of his favorite anchorages. I believe he waxed on with words like “This is what you dreamed of when you thought of cruising Mexico.” We approached the anchorage and were impressed by the profusion of major estate homes with schizophrenic architectural styles. Disney (castle towers and triangular flags) with a bit of old Persia and Greek columns, painted a deep teal, or perhaps a near-replica of the White House done in an intense coral and with a string of festive conical palapas down the cliff to the beach. As we rounded the corner, the Club Med came into view (we heard that they will kick you out of their cove if you try to anchor there) and the multi-level candy-striped hotel that consumes the main anchorage area. The beach was clear except of bright umbrellas and neat palapas with lounge chairs underneath. We got near enough to anchor and then turned around and pointed the boat in the direction of Tenacatita.
We heard later that the walk to town consisted of passing a dozen armed guard points (one for each of the estates?) and the town itself was a cobblestone and stucco centerpiece.
We pulled into Tenacatita about an hour before sunset and anchored in the north hook. Palapa restaurants lined the shore and loud music blared. The area is supposed to be very famous for its clear water and excellent snorkeling and is called “The Aquarium;” however, there seems to be some sort of red tide going on right now and visibility is maybe three feet. Oh well. We checked out the north (and deserted) beach and then moved the boat to the southern anchorage. There is a pretty nice little campground at the mouth of the estuary, a long beach, and a massive hotel at the other end. The campground was nearly empty when we arrived but the next night filled up completely. Loud traditional music, featuring the tuba, blared until 10pm, when the beach went dead quiet. We chatted with a Hungarian guy from Toronto who said he has been coming to this hotel for 15 years, “the name keeps changing but it’s always the same place.” The hotel is all-inclusive to the point that hotel fare, drinks, food, and airfare is all one price; they make you wear a little hospital-style bracelet thing.
We paddled into the estuary the next morning after talking to some fishermen (they said that there were no jejenes right now because of the wind); they were using a castnet to catch ‘lisas,’ or small mullet. The estuary goes in a few kilometers and we saw a bunch of marshy birds.