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

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carnival in Zihuat (Ginger)

It's Carnival time so the music has been loud and there have been
festivities every night this week on the stage by the beach.

But we really haven't written an update for a couple of weeks so...what have
we been doing this month?
Sailfest - the event that's written up in the cruising guides as fun and
games for all cruisers also happens to be a fund raiser for local schools.
There are 5 days of events including an auction, beach game day, seminars,
dinghy scavenger hunt, flare shoot-off, chili cook-off, silent auction, sail
parade and BBQ. New this year was a CD release party and sales of a CD by
Zihua artists. I volunteered for the accounting committee and ended up
canvassing Ixtapa for donations as well. There were 99 boats registered for
Sailfest and a record sum was raised for the schools. I gave up my wrist
watch over a year ago and it was really tough to keep track of time and
hustle around all week as our lifestyle now is much slower paced than the
Sailfest schedule. We attended most of the events (often as cashier) and in
between got the boat ready to take out guests for the sail parade.
An unusual and fun event was the flare shoot off. They invited anyone
wanting to shoot expired flares to raft up to the Harbor Master boat in the
middle of the bay and bring flares. There were about 10 dinghys and it's
amazing that all people and boats emerged unscathed. Some of those flares
are really hot. It was a privilege to get to practice shooting the flares
as a non-emergency and it was amazing to see how some 20 year old flares
still worked. Surprising to me was how short the flare flight path is
before it hits the water. Even the parachute flares - the ones that worked
- quickly burned the parachute strings and hit the water. You would have to
shoot right at a plane to get their attention in an emergency.
The grand finale and highlight of Sailfest for us was the parade where we
were fortunate to have 4 guests. Kris and Lance are from Minnesota and
were here on vacation. Konnie and Gerd are originally from Germany are
currently living and working in México City and came to sailfest just to go
out on a boat. Shortly after our guests were aboard we passed another boat
named Wanderlust. Konnie and Gerd were happy to see a German boat! When it
was time to line up,it appeared that Wanderlust was not following
directions immediately. It was then determined that they must not be German
after all!
We motored through Zihua bay and over to Ixtapa. All of the boats passed
the Harbor Master boat and saluted and then we hoisted our sails and had a
leisurely sail back to Zihua. It was a great day out and fun to meet such
nice people and show them our boat.
I celebrated the end of Sailfest by whacking my eye on a halyard winch
during dinghy hoist operations in the dark. Had to stay on the boat for a
couple of days for all the looks and comments Peter got.
As soon as Sailfest wrapped up boats started leaving to head north and south
for the spring. So began a new round of good-byes. We had a great dinner
with Rob and Teresa from Yohelah (Seattle K-dockers) where Theresa brought
"salad" which ended up getting everyone tipsy. That's what happens when the
salad is a liter of Tequila!
Then it was time for Pacifica to leave and we decided to go to Isla Grande
with them to see them off. It was great to get out of Zihua and we had a
fun evening with Greg and Melissa. It is sad to say goodbye to friends.
Isla Grande is supposed to be a great snorkel spot but the water was very
cloudy and the visibility was only about 4 feet. I did get a couple of
great pictures and even saw a sea horse near the boat. Not sure what it was
doing out there. We spent 2 nights at Isla Grande and then returned to
Zihua with a clean boat bottom. It is really amazing how fast the barnacles
grow here! We spent the better part of 2 days scraping growth off the
bottom and our plan is to stay better on top of it going forward. It's
really a nasty job cleaning the bottom. When you scrape the growth falls on
you and the tiny shrimp and barnacle babies float around and eventually grab
anything they can. When you get out you're covered with them. Shrimp all
over (and in) your swimsuit, on your arms, in your hair. It's not pretty
but it's got to be done!
Our last trip ashore before leaving for Isla Grande ended with Peter rowing
almost 3/4 of a mile back to the boat because the outboard wouldn't run.
When we got back to Zihua Peter took the outboard apart and found that the
fuel prong holder on the outboard was cracked. Getting replacement parts
for an old Evinrude in the states is tough, in Zihua/Ixtapa it's impossible.
We took the bus to Ixtapa and went to the marine stores then we checked
around Zihua too, to no avail. It would be hard to get a replacement from
Seattle as even then it might not be the exact one we need. Peter used some
5 minute epoxy putty to fix the cracked part and it's holding up so far.
When we returned to Zihua we were fortunate to meet Bob and Margaret on
Suprr. They're heading to the South Pacific via Hawaii and were only here
for a couple of days. They're from Australia and we had lots to talk about.
They invited us over and we brought our charts to talk about our plans for
the western part of our Pacific trip.
The next day Peter was on deck while Debbie on Sailor's Run was drying
laundry. Luckily we had anchored too close to them so she was able to
easily ask where we were headed. Peter answered the South Pacific. As luck
would have it Debbie and her husband Jeff have just spent 7 years in the
Pacific and they invited us over to share some much appreciated first hand
knowledge of the islands. They are very enthusiastic and it is inspiring to
hear that having spent 7 years there they have great things to say about
each place with incredible memories of friendships with the people they met
along the way.
An afternoon with Debbie and Jeff was not enough but they had guests coming
over for dinner and we had plans to have dinner aboard Maestra Del Mar. We
spent several days anchored next to Maestra Del Mar at Melaque but didn't
see much of them during Sailfest while they were here in Zihua. They went
to Acapulco and came back through Zihua for one night. It was fun and
unexpected to see them again. Charlotte is a great cook and we had a
fantastic stir fry. Anyone wondering what to do with a dark Mexican Bonito
should take lessons from her!
More good-bye's all around but not before a breakfast from Debbie on
Sailor's Run. Are we lucky or what!?
Rachel and Paul arrive tomorrow so we're looking forward to a week of
playing tourist in Zihua with them before really getting serious about
provisions and getting ready for our departure. Then of course there's
Guitarfest here in Zihua 3/11-18. It's easy to see how people get stuck
here.


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