This pretty town is on a scale perfect for exploring on foot. We enjoy hiking the beaches and neighborhoods in the morning, before it gets too hot. Zihuatanejo wakes up early so the streets are already full of people by 6 or 7 o'clock, and the fishermen are landing the work of the previous night. There is a fish market right behind the beach where the pangas and lanchas pull out, where housewifes and restaurant cooks can buy seafood at the source - no middle man.
The boats are fishing all types of gear, cast nets, gill nets, seines, longlines, bottom jigs, all on a small scale. The smallest boats are canoas (canoes,) paddled by one or two men, who throw cast nets or jig all day around us in the anchorage. They catch a lot of fish, small but tasty.
The boats next in size are called pangas according to our local source, and have outboards in the range of 10 to 25 horsepower. They often fish at night out in the bay, using propane lanterns to attract fish, and no doubt to avoid collisions.
The majority of the fleet consists of strong seaworthy "lanchas" powered by big outboards, who set gear sometimes miles out to sea. Long lines, which consist of a line a mile or so long bouyed with pop bottles every 100 feet holding short leaders with baited hooks dangling down underneath, are hazardous to sailboat travel. The pop bottle floats are very hard to spot, and we accidently ran into one on our passage across the Sea of Cortez. We had to heave to (stop the boat by backing sails) and one of us jumped in to unhook it from the propeller. We were very mindfull of all the razor sharp hooks on the gear! The lanchas at Zihuatanejo are well cared for and worked hard. They're all named, and some of the fishermen have added graphics.
This pescadero is a fan of Hemmingway.
The rail on this lancha shows groove marks from hauling handlines.
The lanchas are rolled up and down the beach on logs, here is Paloma being pushed out of the water.
To avoid the work of beaching, some of the lanchas are kept in a brackish lagoon nearby. This lagoon is also home to egrets, herons, shorebirds of all kinds, and crocodiles.
This lancha has an air compressor for divers.
There is another type of passenger carrying boat common in the lagoon and anchored in the pier area. Borracho means "drunk" ...not encouraging to the passengers, we think.
Edith has an old truck camper for a cabin. Moby Dicki is first class, with a WC onboard!
Any boat not regularly attended is taken over by birds.
Underneath the waterline, the growth is unbelievable. We have realized that we need to dive on Marcy's bottom every few days to scrub. We have to shoo fish and crabs away that have taken up residence in our through hull fittings! The lanchas that stay in the water are scrubbed often by their owners standing in the shallows.
As interesting as the beach scene is, we love to walk inland. There is a hill with stairs and paths overlooking the bay.
We love the rich apricot color that some houses are painted.
Can you spot the guard rooster in this garden? Chickens eat scorpions, we've learned.
This is the front door to one of the houses on the hill.
A car is not really needed to get anywhere here. Anyone just driving through would miss the paths, stairways, and footbridges that are the best of Zihuatanejo. It is a pleasure to walk around a town that is on a human scale.
Labels: 2006 - 11 - 2007 - 03 Mexico, boats of the world