Archive for the ‘Pacific Coast of Mexico’ Category

Winding Down

08/27/2012

We continued on until we came to Zihuatanejo.  Our approach there wasn’t until sunrise the next morning.  I had just finished my watch when Michael came up on deck and took the wheel.  I told him about the dolphin playing around the boat for the last 4 hours and how they seem to know when they startled me. They kept me awake the last two hours from 2am to 4am.  I also told Michael that the boat had seemed to take on an extra rumbling and vibration sound.  We weren’t able to really look at it until we were in the bay at Zihuatanejo.  It was there that Michael determined the shaft was loose and the motor mounts needed replacing. We were thank full that something worse didn’t happen with that situation while we were offshore, such as taking on water.

Our son Mike was getting “itchy” to get back to the states to get up with his friends that were graduating from high school.   It was decided that with the mechanical problem and it being the start of hurricane season, that we would secure the boat and head back to the states to save some money for the repair and return after hurricane season. Then the  boat would be fixed and continue on.

We stayed in Zihuatanejo another month while we talked with the Port Captain and the locals as to where the best place would be to moor the boat. The Locals recommended putting the mooring close to town, the Port Captain insisted we put it in a remote area between La Roppa Beach and Los Gatos.

We removed the sails and winches and anything else that might attract someone to go aboard. We had an alarm system installed that would go off if the locks were broken and someone entered the boat thru the companion ways or hatches.

It was hot at night.  We put up a screened covering that covered the deck and dropped down on the sides.  Pulled the cushions from down below up on deck and slept under the stars.  It was a wonderful feeling sleeping outside.  We watched the first thunderstorm of the season go thru late one night.  As the rain swept across the mountains and into the city, explosions from the transformers lit up the town in all directions.  It was quite the light show.

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Manzanillo

08/27/2012

As we continued down the west coast of Mexico we stopped for the night in Manzanillo.  It was a pretty city on the coast and the buildings that climbed the hillsides were impressive.  Flowers were in bloom in brilliant reds and pinks while most of the buildings were painted white.  The contrast of the two along with the bright sun almost hurt your eyes to look at. The boat was anchored directly outside the local marina.  The tourist book stated that the marina offered amenaties that we were looking forward to using, only to find the marina had “seen better days”.  The impressive buildings that climbed the hillside were actually falling apart.  As you walked around the area it was a maze of pathways and alley ways.  Cinderblocks pilled up in areas, along with  barbwire dangeling and dirt pathways.  Many of the condominums appeared to be nice and were being used as a resort area. It was just the structure underneath that was falling apart.

When the guys returned to the boat and reported what they saw, it was disapointing.  We went back later to find the dock master to see if there was a shipstore nearby.  He charged us $200 pesos to park the dingy at the marina that offered nothing other than a tie up and told us there was a shipstore down the row from him.  Only to find that there was a sign “closed” on the door.  It looked as tho this place was a thriving resort at one time…just not now. It was full of shops on the lower leavel that were mostly vacant. We wandered around until we found a restaurant on the ocean side and had a nice lunch of baked, whole red snapper.  The following morning we pulled up anchor and continued down the coast.

Heading Down the Pacific Coast of Mexico

07/30/2012

 After waiting 3 days for a weather window we left Chamela, our next stop was La Barra De Navidad. It was 137 nautical miles and it took us overnight to arrive in the afternoon.  La Barra De Navidad has a lagoon where boaters anchor and locals fish.  It was very shallow going in at low tide and we ran aground.  First Mate Mike was sent up forward to “watch” as we went forward.  But he was preoccupied checking out all the boats in the anchorage, scanning for familiar boats that might contain friends from La Paz.

  It wasn’t long before a small boat was headed our way.  In the boat was indeed friends we had met in La Paz from the boat Third Day. They had seen us come up the channel and had come to say hello and lend a hand.  We welcomed them aboard while Mike and Jason went up to the bow and caught up on past events. We adults went back in the wheelhouse out of the sun and passed around “cold ones” while waiting for the tide to rise.

This was probably one of Mikes favorite stops.  His friend Jason was taking surfing lessons the following day and invited Mike to come along.  Mike was able to hang out with J and surf with him a good part of the day. The two of them did great and got a real workout.  The seas were a bit rough and the waves were just right for practicing.

We anchored the boat in the lagoon there and the trip back and forth to shore was a long one.  Coming back  to the boat at night was the most exciting with the brightest phosphorus I had ever seen.  A flashlight wasn’t needed due to the light reflecting off of the transom and the outboard.  The sea life was ever so active jumping and darting in all directions. The outline of sea snakes would come to the surface and move their heads back and forth looking around, while everything was a bright flourescent green.  It was down right eerie.

Our friends from Third Day have a boat made by the same designer as ours, a William Garden.  It was nice to see the two boats anchored together.  We had a nice visit and just wished we had more time to play.

Spring Season

07/30/2012

It is July and much has transpired. It looks as tho my last entry featured Bandares Bay on the west side of the mainland of Mexico. We cruised over to the far south end of the Bay to stay the night in Yelappa (http://www.yelapa.info/). Such a unique place.  Very small fishing village that looks like a picture you’d see of Switzerland.  We were told by locals that we would be helping to support the small village if we paid to use their moorings instead of using our own anchor.  The bottom was close to 100′ deep very close to the beach.  Unfortunately the moorings were very close together and I spent the night “on watch” due to “fending off” with the boats around us.

Yellapa has an interesting history that is worth checking out. The morning we exited the Bay we got an early start so to get around the point at Cabo Correntes before the afternoon winds picked up and made cruising rough.  As we passed the point we spotted as many as nine different whales heading north.  The seas were a bit bouncy but with Michael at the wheel I was able to wrap my arm around a “stay” and hold the camera as steady as possible. One whale in particular took a large leap out of the water far enough away for me to get the shot of a lifetime.  It was one of the most spectacular events I had ever witnessed and I got a picture of it too.

Wind and seas were perfect for a while.  We actually did some sailing.  But as the afternoon wore on the seas picked up and it got a bit rough. Michael was at the wheel and instructed Mike, the First Mate to go forward and take down the sails.

As he turned into the wind, the direction of the seas were on our nose. The boat was heaving up and down in the tall seas with white water crashing across the bow.  He was working on a sheet that had gotten tangled due to the wind and was focused on freeing it up. Holding on with one arm wrapped around the mast while the other hand worked on the knot. I remember vividly the grin on Mikes face as he returned to the wheel house.  He enjoyed the excitement of the energy of the wind and the seas.

Michael was on the wheel way passed his shift.  Somedays we felt like steering longer than our set schedules.  That day was one of them for Michael.  I went below and took advantage of the free time to catch up on some sleep. Around midnight Mike woke me up and told me to go on deck for look out, we were pulling into an anchorage.  Mike had gone up forward with the new night vision scope scanning the area for boats, rocks and beach and was reporting back to Michael at the wheel.  It was pitch black dark. I kept trying to clear my eyes to see but wasn’t having much luck.  The air was cool and the smell of salt was heavy in the air.

As the boat moved forward I could hear a school of fish swimming to get out-of-the-way.  As they swam a large circle of phosphorus lit up their way giving me a little light to see around the boat.  We could hear the surf but it was difficult to determine just how close it was to the beach.  While Michael watched the depth finder he decided to drop the anchor in 30′ of water.  He gave Mike the “go ahead” to drop the anchor and let out the chain slowly as he backed the engine down in reverse.  A tug on the bow with a swing to right was indicative that the anchor had grabbed.

Michael shut off the engine and once again our ears rang with the sound of silence.  We sat on deck awhile to take in our bearings, making sure the anchor didn’t drag and that it was a safe place to stop for the night. Caelin our labrador got in her bed in the wheel house while we went down below and got in our bunks. Being exhausted, Michael went right to sleep.  As usual I lay there for some time listening and re-assuring myself that we were in a safe place to rest.  Caelin was our alarm should anyone or anything come close to the boat.  Unfortunately dolphins and birds were no exception.

When we awoke the next morning we grabbed a cup of coffee and out onto the deck to take in the unfamiliar surroundings.  We were amazed to see that we had crossed over a long span of nets entering the channel the previous night. Our boat doesn’t have a fin keel so luckily we didn’t disturb the nets….that we know of.

Chamela was were we had landed the night before.  It was another gorgeous beach.  The place where we anchored was in the top part of the picture (north end) on the other side of the last island.


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