OK so lets talk nets, fish nets

Midof February 2013 – Barra Bahia de Navidad lagoon

The nets can be a mile long or longer.

They can be fish hooks on long lines instead of nets.
There can be no panga around who set the nets or lines etc.

A panga sitting on the beach in Chamela.

Then usually not marked, they have by them clear empty Coke bottles that are the floats, if you get lucky they may have some empty Sprite bottles (they are green and easier to see).
Otherwise, they are extremely hard to see.

This is just a bait holder net but you get the idea of the Coke bottles etc.

The nets are also hard to get out of your prop or from around your keel and the fish hooks are even worse.
You can see the net of Sprite bottles piled up in the panga.
This was in Melague and these fisherman were just netting bait (guy at bow) for the next trip out.
He will fling that white net out and it will fan out into a big circle, they are really good at it.
 We have luckily only encountered one fish net/long line. It was on our passage from Chacala to Punta de Mita (Banderas Bay).  

We were motor sailing and were one boat length away from running into the net when we spotted the Coke bottle floating upside down. OH no! We turned hard to port and continued on for almost a mile or more before the net stopped. It was a good point of sail thoughJ.
These nets can change your passage from a say five hour passage to an eight hour passage easily. There are usually more than one and it takes time to go around them. We like to be ten miles off shore when doing passages but it creates it’s own problem. The anchorages are usually not marked and at night can be a bit dangerous. So arriving during the day is or can be important. At five knots going from three miles off shore to ten is another hour easily each way. Add that to a six hour passage and it may be the difference of sailing or motoring to get there before dark, not counting nets J.

So at three miles off shore there is a lot better chance of nets/long lines. Ten miles off we have never seen any but have shrimpers to contend with.
Some people have reported hitting a net and the panga coming over like a spider on a web and cutting the net to let them pass through. As we have said before people here are very nice. There can be a panga nearby and it may look empty with someone actually sleeping inside. That is a sign there is a net. The pangas  are usually not lit so at night forget it.


Here is a small version of this. While sitting in the Barra/Bahia de Navidad lagoon this fisherman was laying net by our boat at anchor. He rowed around in a circle with a milk jug as a beginning marker. He was letting the net fall out of the stern of the row boat as he went along rowing hard.

After a while he then started to retrieve the net and fish. You can see a little float on the net. There were quite few of these to keep one side on the surface. To see them while blasting along in a dingy would, let’s say be very difficult perhaps. So you do not blast along, like we did last night :)
So what do you do? Well the weather is real nice and so you just hang out looking around. The water is warm so it is not a problem to dive over in day light. The fishermen are nice so they are not going to hassle you, they will try to help. The whole place is beautiful so you just go with it and maybe it takes a few more hours in paradise to get there. We are on sail boats after all so time is just time. We get more time out on the water J.




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