_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Monday, January 22, 2007

Spa trip for Marcy (Ginger)

This morning we're on our way to Marina Ixtapa to wash the deck and do some work at the top of the mast. There are enough waves in Zihuatenjo Bay that it would be a very bouncy effort here. We'll have 3 days of marina jobs and be back in Zihua on Thursday with a clean boat and hopefully many other boat jobs completed. There is no internet access at the marina which is probably a good thing as we won't be tempted to spend marina time on the computer.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Exploring Zihuatanejo

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 catch

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.

boat girl MunecaCeleste

This pescadero is a fan of Hemmingway.

El Viejo

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.

pushing Paloma

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.

shore birds

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!

Edith II
Moby Dick I
Moby Dick II

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.

Pto Mio S stairs
over zihuat
a gardeners house

We love the rich apricot color that some houses are painted.

zihuat apts

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.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

It's HOT in Zihuatanejo! (Ginger)

We've been here almost 2 weeks.  We have had time to explore the city, buy some groceries, have all of our winches fixed and we both spent a week in bed with fevers and various other unmentionable symptoms.  It's hard to be happy when you're sick and I think a fever feels even hotter when it's 90 degrees out.  But, we are anchored in a beautiful bay surrounded by steep hills covered in palm trees and if you have to be sick it's a great place to be.  Still, hearing about snow at home made me miss the cold weather.  What a winter!  All those snow days off work, I'm really sad I missed this year there.
When we started feeling better we looked at the bottom of the boat and discovered the growth has been tremendous in the last couple of weeks.  We removed barnacles just before we left Melaque and it's time to go in the water again.  I've been assured the crocodiles don't come out of the lagoon just 1/4 mile from here so we're headed in. 


Monday, January 01, 2007

Lisa's visit to the Gold Coast of Mexico

We anchored at La Cruz, in Bahia Banderas near Puerto Vallarta, (with an international airport) to pick up our daugher Lisa for a two week visit. We took a bus into PV, met Lisa, rode the bus back to La Cruz, bought groceries, and loaded up for a hop down the coast.

La Cruz park

Lisa was a wonderful addition to the crew. She’s a natural sailor, never bothered by the motion of the boat and always ready to help. She even cheerfully cleans shrimp.

shrimp night

As we headed down the coast, we were lucky to see whales and dolphins.

Lisa on dolphin watch

After stops at Chamela and Tenacatita, we arrived at Melaque. It seemed like a good place to remain at anchor for a while, with the nearby town providing internet and great shopping, and perfect swimming and snorkeling water available in the anchorage. Not to mention good fishing!

Lisa's sierra

We celebrated Chrismas here. Ginger’s family sent a full Christmas kit down with Lisa, so we decorated the saloon and enjoyed the event.


The big present, from Ginger’s parents, was a waterproof digital camera – so Lisa and Ginger geared up for snorkeling and jumped in.

self portrait

Melaque fish 4

Melaque fish 2

Melaque fish 7

I had life guard duty.

Melaque life guard

Two weeks went by quickly and all too soon it was time for Lisa to take the bus back up the coast to PV and fly back to the Seattle to face the cold and snow - as well as next quarter at the UW. But she could not go, of course, without a tequila tasting and picking up a few gifts at Barra.

Tequila tasting

Barra De Navidad

Barra shopping trip

Lisa boarded the bus and off she went.

Lisa on her way

As we got back onboard Marcy and started preparing for the two day passage down to Zihuatanejo, we reflected that it was not only the end of Lisa’s visit to Mexico, but it is close to the end of our visit as well.

Gold Coast

Zihuatanejo will be our last port of call in Mexico. This is where we will refit Marcy and will be our departure point for the South Pacific.