Saturday, March 8, 2014

Zihuatanejo to Tenecatita

17:30, Saturday, 1 March 2014 at anchor Maruata Bay

Zihuatanejo is come and gone already and we are more than half-way to Manzanillo. We have Ken and Carole (Nauti Moments) aboard for the next week or so while we do the fun stretch between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.

We arrived at Marina Ixtapa early Tuesday morning. As we passed by the waterfront we got a call from Ken on his portable VHF radio saying that he could see us passing by their hotel. How cool!! After arriving at the marina, fuelling and a short nap Ken and Carole arrived settled in and helped us clean the old girl. The next morning, a more presentable Gosling sailed to the anchorage at Zihuatanejo Bay, anchoring within hailing distance from Freedom Kirkland but we went unnoticed. About an hour later Kirk and Charlene arrived from town by dinghy. He is a busy boy working hard on the organization of the week-long guitar fest that was starting on Sunday and they were expecting guests to arrive that night.

We spent a very short 2 days, visiting some of our old haunts, shopping and were able to pass on some of our experiences to a group of other cruisers headed south. Saucy lady was also there and we had a quick visit with Roy and Winnona. It would have been nice to stay a few more days and take in some of the guitar fest events but we wanted to spend our time with Ken and Carole while enjoying the anchorages further up the coast.

We left Zihuatanejo yesterday in light winds and calm seas headed north. We decided to split up the 190 mile trip by stopping here in Maruata for a half-day. This picturesque cove is ignored by most cruisers and it is certainly quiet today. We dinghied into the only protected landing of the beach at the same time that a huge school of bait fish being chased by a large contingent of Jack Crevalle. As all this was happening there were several fishermen tossing nets, young kids throwing fishing lines and the water around us was boiling with activity. There were small fish everywhere, many jumping into the dinghy. We backed off until the activity subsided then landed quickly before the next wave of baitfish came in.

This cove is an important sea turtle nesting ground and there were several traces of female turtles tracking up the beach towards the protected and fenced off hatching compounds on the beach, lending credibility to the claims that turtles return to the locations where they hatched to lay their eggs. After a walk up the beach we had lunch at the only open beach restaurant. They had a large child’s swimming pool set up with several tiny turtle hatchlings that they were keeping for 2 weeks before releasing them to give them a better chance of survival.

Turtle hatchling

2215, Tuesday, 5 March 2014 Alongside Marina Grand Bay, Barra de Navidad

We are in luxury! The marina prices are a fraction of what they were a few years ago so we have opted to stay here for 2 days. At 90 cents/ft/day it is well within our budget, especially when you factor in all of the facilities we have access to. We even had Mexican royalty here today. El Presidente was here but we mortals were not invited to the cocktail party. But, then again, none of the other yahoos staying at this resort were either. This is now a Wyndham Resort and it has quite a clientele of Canadians and Americans in attendance. No idea what the Pres was here for but security was tight with the marina access shut down, a gunboat just outside the marina and a 4 identical helicopter fleet (to confuse the terrorist element we suppose). None of them were shot down as they took off so we wonder if the paranoia factor was a bit enhanced for the event.
Two of the four identical helos.

Manzanillo was pretty boring this time.  We anchored at Las Hadas for a day and dinghied into the Las Hadas marina. We were not asked to pay the daily fee so we didn’t volunteer it, besides, we were not using their facilities anyway (except for water and dinghy mooring).  We spent the afternoon at the Dolphin Hotel’s restaurant and pool, had supper there and returned to the boat after dark.
Ken and Carole at the Dolphin resort pool

Fancy taco soup and mango daquiri

The following morning we motored to Santiago, snorkeled the old wreck for a few hours then sailed over to Carrizal cove. We had never been here before and we had heard that it was a very good snorkeling locale. We spent a few hours in the water enjoying the great reef life, one of the few places in Mexico where we had encountered live coral. A large school of herring size fish arrived as we were there along with their Jack Crevale suiters.

We stayed there the night and continued on to Barra the following morning. Once settled at the marina and after a swim in the resorts pool complex we went into town to see the Carnivale parade. We had missed the event in Manzanillo by a day so we were pleased to be able to be there for this event. The parade was simply a collection of 5-6 rickety floats with lots of kids dressed in this year’s Pirates of the Caribbean theme. Preceding them were a few SUVs with the carnival queen candidates poised on the hood or top. No sudden stops, please! The remainder of the participants were anyone with a 4X4, motor bike, golf cart or whatever, who wanted to drive down the street. Most had some kind of pirate gear on and many had this year’s choice Chinese import, colorful wigs of every colour under the sun, the brighter the better. Anyway, mercifully it ended early enough for us to have dinner at a sidewalk establishment before heading back to the boat.
No Fran, that is certainly not YOU

Mermaid kids...

22:00. 7 March 2014, At anchor, Tenecatita

It is Friday night in Tenecatita, the raft up was a success, even though we were only 4 boats, the onboard movie is over and everyone is in bed, the cruisers life….

We left Barra yesterday morning and headed directly to Cuestacomate for lunch at our special seafood beach restaurant which we have been frequenting ever since we came this way. It was a rough beach landing in the surf but the departure was textbook. We were pleased to see that the hotel/resort that had been abandoned for so long has been rebuilt and is back in business.
Cuestacomate resort

By 2 we were back on the water headed for Tenecatita. On our way we saw our first whale, that is, I sighted it first and won the “first whale sighting” derby. No prize, just bragging rights and I am bragging!! Just as we rounded the reef at the entrance our gearbox oil pressure dropped. Luckily we had enough wind and, with the headsail up we sailed directly to the anchorage, our first sail to anchor in Gosling. Thank God we had Ken and Carole to assist with the sails as we rounded up. We later found that the culprit was a bad oil cooling hose between the gearbox and the oil cooler. It looked like an imposing task and the possibility of having to go into Manzanillo for a new one was the most likely solution. Never say die! After a few attempts at fixing the problem we rebuilt the hose using a reinforced propane hose remnant that I had in the bottom of my spare hose stash. I am still a fervent fan of never throwing out scraps that can be of use at some time or other. I think Fran is also coming onside with that cruising principle.

We are here with a few boats we have met recently in Manzanillo and Barra and our very good friends, Dick and Ann on Full and Bye who have been patiently waiting for us to arrive. Unfortunately, we will only be able to spend a few days here before we have to leave for La Cruz. The weather window for Cabo Corrientes is best late Sunday so we will leave mid-day Sunday and arrive at La Cruz the following morning. Here's hoping our repair job holds....

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