Sunday, December 2, 2007

Playa Rosa &Playa Recife

This is the prettiest place we’ve anchored in a long time. We’re between two tiny coves, tucked behind a small island that shelters them – and us – from the ocean swells. A third little cove here shelters Playa Blanca. (Playa means beach.) The cliffs above the beaches are filled with little houses painted bright colors. There’s a restaurant just above the beach at Playa Rosa that’s bright pink (rosa means pink) and surrounded by palms. The private residence at Playa Blanca is quite drab compared to its colorful neighbors. When we look away from shore, we see the rocky island with pelicans fishing and the ocean on either side.

The “Captain Rains Guide” gave us a GPS waypoint to find this area, which they call “Careyes.” Otherwise, we would have missed it. Even then, we were starting to doubt. The chart plotter has us about a mile inland, and there’s no detail for this area on the paper charts. The approach reminded me of various coves on the west coast of Vancouver Island: you have to get close to the breaking waves on the rocks in order to see where you’re going. Close is, of course, a relative thing. When you’ve been at sea, two tenths of a mile (the scale on the chartlet in the guide) looks awfully small.

As soon as we anchored, we donned our snorkeling gear and jumped in the water. It was surprisingly chilly considering that our instruments said it was almost 90°. It turns out that there’s upwelling here, and the water changed from cool to quite warm and back again as we swam along. (That two tenths of a mile is also much farther when you’re in the water.) The snorkeling wasn’t great – a little murky and not that many fish – but it was definitely refreshing.

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