Swimming with the Crocs in Matanchen

Crawling out of my hatch to watch the sunrise I found Nora already up and ready with her camera. It was spectacular watching the sun peak over the horizon and light up the rocks protecting the bay.

We both were ready to get moving so we jumped into action raising the anchor and off we went into the rising sun towards Matanchen about 45 miles away. The winds didn’t allow for full on sailing but the screecher helped push us along and before 2:00pm we found ourselves anchored with four other boats.

This bay is huge and shallow combined with the light winds I had the confidence to head to shore quickly in hopes of getting a jungle boat tour and freshwater swim yet this afternoon. The walk from the beach to the tour takes you through town and past lots of vendors selling fresh banana bread and fruit empanadas, it was tough not stopping but we didn’t let that distract us. Reaching the office for the tour we found that they needed four people – since there were only two of us this was an issue. Attempting a conversation led to a helper rushing off to find a couple more people to join us. Luck was on our side as he was successful and we were off on our tour!

This tour guide was, eh, but still we saw a lot of turtles and crocodiles. For good bird watching morning tours are best, but we still saw one large flock of white cranes. At the swimming hole we ordered my traditional tostada de marlin and cerveza. Waiting for the food, I took leave to enjoy the rope swing and cool off in the crystal clear water. Ah if felt good after three days without a shower. Following our snack Nora took a dip too, but not without some coaxing to get her over her fear of a crocodile.

Side note, Nora’s fears were not irrational, a few days later we learned of another cruiser who had been attacked in the swimming hole (see this post for more details). They visited early in the morning and were the only tourists visiting at the time. Evidently the croc got around the underwater fence by walking on land. Thankfully she was not seriously hurt but did have to visit the doctor in San Blas and then follow up a few days later in Puerto Vallarta (much better doctors). So beware if you visit…

One the boat trip back we came across the biggest croc yet, this big boy was at least 14 feet long. Wowza, we were got a bit too close for comfort but it ended without injury. Tour over it was time for a bit of shopping for baked goods. We ended up keeping things under control with just a single loaf of banana bread and four pineapple empanadas for future breakfasts. Our last stop for some hot sauce, I picked up my favorite and Nora found an interesting Sauce Maya Hot (soy based) that is really good. With that it was back to the boat.

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