Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MEXICO..2011 West coast in the Pacific.


Sunrise.after a night at sea sailing to Zihuatanejo.
Puddytat and crew arrived in Zihuatanejo on the 3rd of January 2011. We left Tenacatita on the 1st Jan having decided that nothing would be open and we didn't need any supplies we would rather be out on the open ocean for a few days. Unfortunately for us the wind didn't co-operate for very long. What is it about Mexico..the wind around here is almost nonexistent, we find that we have been doing a lot of motoring or sitting around waiting for wind. It was cold enough for micro fleece trousers and a fleece top. I also had socks and shoes on to keep my toes warm..brrr we do need to get south.
The first day we had enough wind to keep us going at about 5 knots. By 23:09 the wind had risen to 11knots so I killed the engine and set the sails. I handed over the watch to 2am...the wind was dropping and I wondered how long it would be before the motor went back on...At about 3 am  on it went...we crawled along....At 11am the sails were set again and we were sailing 5.8 knots...then we slowed down again...sigh...
This is how bad it was...when I went to bed the computer estimated 33 hours to Zih, 13 hours later it was estimating 28 hours to Zih...I said to David " heck at this rate we'll never get there!" so he relented and on went the donk again....suddenly the computer was estimating 13 hours to Zih..much better. :-)
The highlight of the trip for me happened on my next night watch. It was about 21:15 (1/4 past 9 pm) I decided to go forward and sit on the bow...check out the stars and watch the phosphorescence in the mirror smooth ocean...and as I sat down I noticed streaks of phosphorescence shooting along the side of the boat and then across the bows..I couldn't figure it out..then I realised DOLPHIN woa! the phosphorescence outlined their bodies making a visible trail of how the water moves over them, then when their tails pumped a massive clump of glittering bubbles whirled off them joining the trail, creating a streak of bubbly light in their wakes...indescribable really. I couldn't take a video cos there wasn't enough light and if there was light you wouldn't have seen it....I don't have anything that could have recorded it...
When I handed over my watch to David the winds had started to come up slowly about 4.5 knots and we had a 2 knot current running with us..David soon decided to set the sails. We need to come into Zihuatanejo in daylight and if we used the engine we'd be there a few hours before a slow and sedate sail was in order. And as ridiculous as it may sound poor David had to slow the boat down, by reefing the genoa, to less than a knot so that we'd get there after sunrise.
Around that little knoll on the right and we're in the anchorage.
A close-up of one of the homes you pass as you sail into Zihuatanejo.
On arriving in Zihuatanejo we had some difficulty in getting the anchor to bite due to a muddy sand bottom. The engines off...silence except for land birds chatting to each other as they explored our rigging, the soft slap of water on the hull and the waves breaking on the beach...I cooked eggs and bacon for breakfast.

This Place is a supply depot for cruise ships! I don't think I have seen so many 'tourist gift shops' crammed into one place all selling practically the same stuff. As you walk past they pester you to enter their little store, most annoying. If you do succumb to this they then proceed to annoy you by asking which item you like the most then if you ask a price you are told something outrageous like 1500 pesos for a tray. Should you decline to buy it they start to 'bring the price down'. UGH! I hate they think we are stupid. I walked out of the store and refused to go into any others.

Beach toys....
Beach clothes...
Promenade..with shops galore.
And then you have the real part of town where all the locals shop...and us too....
Town is busy with locals..
The Market place is under that roof on the right...

There is a wonderful Market place, under a huge roof. I think it takes up a whole block and they cram so many shops into there that you get absolutely's great, I spent ages wandering around there by myself looking at stuff.
Good prices and fresh produce.
Nicely presented.
Shoes,clothes,bags,hardware etc..

At work, beautiful stuff.
Fresh bread from the baker..
Butchers lined up...
Another butcher..sells whole or chopped...

  The 24th Jan is The 3rd Anniversary of the day that David paid for Puddytat AND David's birthday and so I spent about 3 hours looking at the stores where the Mexicans shop for inspiration. I've found one or two items that are unusual enough...I bought them...but I'll continue to search further down the coast...ha ha maybe I'll find a Christmas present for him. You may chortle at that but you have to remember that Christmas 2011 may find us on some remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean..or even out on the ocean with no land in I have to be prepared.. :-D

David's take on Zihuatenjo....."What on earth is so good about Zihuat? We have to pay 20 pesos for someone to "watch" the dinghy. We land in surf, the water's dirty and there's only a few Fereterias (hardware stores)...the rest is restaurants and tourist shops. The Mega (a supermarket) is a half hour walk the canal".
Along the beach are a lot of fishermen's Pangas, they also sort and dry their nets out here ready for the next nights fishing.

The nets racked and ready for the night...
Fishermen's Pangas line the beach, ready for the night.
Whilst here, I have seen a dermatologist and he's told me that I have no worries about any melanoma. David went to the dentist and had a broken tooth we are in fine form.

We ate at his restaurant..on the left and the has wifi..
We've found a sweet restaurant here, back off the beach, where the prices are more reasonable for food. We sit and chug cold beers and eat whilst surfing the internet on our laptops. I must admit though, after 3 days of shopping and surfing the net I'm ready to leave here and do some snorkeling....YES the weather and the water are warmer Yippie! This afternoon we are moving back up the coast about 10 miles to Isla Ixtapa where we will be spending tomorrow snorkeling and exploring the island... After buying some diesel from the Marina Ixtapa on the mainland we'll be sailing South to Papanoa and then Acapulco.

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