Thursday, February 1, 2007

Manzanillo to Tenacatita


Tenacatita Bay, Mexico

HiYa, everyone, especially Miriam and my play pals!!!

Matey here, Mom and Dad are out relaxing in the cockpit as they always do this time of day. Usually, I don't mind because I'm usually snoozing after a beach play session. But today I had a hard day and didn't start my nap till around 3pm, so I'm raring to go now...

It's getting harder to type lately since my darn nails are so long. Mom and dad try to cut them, but I jerk my paws away - I still remember that time 3 years ago when mom cut my quick and boy, did that hurt. She still tries though and every once and a while I forget and she gets lucky on a nail or two. Anyway, you probably didn't tune in to hear about my nails -- you want to know about ADVENTURES!!!!!

I had an okay time in Las Hadas, the fancy resort thing is not my style, lucky for me it's not my parents' either so we only stayed there a day so mom and dad could go hunting at the grocery, then we headed to Santiago Bay.

We wanted to socialize with StarDancer and Synchrony and have our BYC event - we even flew our club burgee to get in the spirit. Unfortunately, Dave on StarDancer had some killer margaritas at the local restaurant there to celebrate his birthday. They put in some 'special' liquor' that is a derivative of a narcotic and some people react badly to it. Dave gave Mary Ann and a lot of others a real scare, he's recovered now, but the socializing didn't happen. Here on Pacifica, we were just really glad to hear him up and about - that was enough reason for celebration on our boat.

Mom and Dad went out to a Valentines Dinner with a bunch of other cruisers at a Santiago Bay hotel. I liked this bridge - it was tons of fun, mom and dad let me play on it in the morning. It's basically one board wide the whole way. After dinner, the water was almost to the top of the bridge and it was really rushing out.

Just so you don't forget what my parents look like - here they are!!!!

We did hear that Synchrony and StarDancer had there 'event' without us - and they had a great time. My parents got itchy feet though and had to move on after a couple of days. Maybe they should be taking some of my Frontline for those itchies....naw - I don't think so, I need it to protect me from the buggies - so I'm not sharing. But maybe they can get some of their own.

After Santiago, we had a beautiful sail to Barra de Navidad. So here we were cruising up the Mexican Rivera Coast wing on wing in a Southerly -- pretty great. But no fishies on the fishy line.... that part wasn't so good, I REALLY want a fish. Anyway, we're cruising along, passed a Junneau which was bigger than us and we hear a call on the radio from the other boat (I won't mention names for fear of mortal embarrassment) asking how we got the

wind we had. We played it cool and suggested they put up their main and go wing and wing. They didn't want to be bothered but eventually, the embarrassment was too much and they put up their main and went wing and wing and of course passed us as they should - though just barely.

They were also going into to Barra de Navidad so we followed them through the channel into the Bay. They are really nice people and regularly laugh at me romping around here at Tenacatita - I always like people laughing at me.

We entered the lagoon at totally the wrong "by the book" time, on a falling tide during a full moon at that so it was especially low. Fortunately, this guy got stuck early in the day so he acted as a good starboard 'no go' mark. And also luckily because the ebb was running so strong, there were very distinct tide lines marking the channel. Though before we entered it we did have a little scare as we watched our depth drop to 6.2 feet (Pacifica has 6 feet under the water - so that's a big deal). Luckily dad chose the right way to turn to get in the channel.

Sunset in Barra de Navidad

Fisherman fishing in the morning near our boat. Notice the net he is throwing...

Animal friends - not mine, but each other.

Dad making friends with a doggie that was left tied up out front of a store. He was a cute little shy dog like me so dad knew exactly what to say to him.

Internet Cafe in Barra

Marked part of the channel to the lagoon where we anchored.

Barra was great - except there was no beach to play on. The Sands hotel where we docked our dinghy let me roam around and hang at the pool. But I'm not really a lounger -- give me action. I mostly did walks around town - the heat also helps to tire me out - but it's nothing here like it was at Zihuatanejo. Oh, there was one beach another doggie's mom and dad told me about. It was okay, but mom and dad found it pebbly. But I did get

LOTS of swimming here. It may be too murky for people, but I don't much care about that stuff...

My swimming Beach and my "ride" at the dock. I love my dinghy sooo much!!!!! But I'll also happily jump into someone else's if they take me somewhere fun.

Getting a bite to eat.

Colorful waterfront restaurant

Water taxi pangas

The Sands hotel where they let cruisers tie up to the wall and hang out at their pool.

There was a couple of afternoons of pretty serious wind - like pushing 30 kts. Not really a big deal, but in a lagoon known for questionable holding, it's kinda worrisome. So we hung out on the boat as a family and watched movies those days. Dad did go out to be a hero and call to arms the anchorage to get a dragging boat contained and off of the other boat it was dragging into. That boat later brought over yummy banana bread for us as a thank you. This was the only place we've ever seen that you could be anchored in less than 8 feet of water with 120 feet of chain out and still be worried about dragging.

I know sounds wacky, but it's true!!!!

In preparation for leaving Barra, we (sans me) took a bus to Melaque for some shopping

Mom and Dad are suckers for the grilled chicken. And I love when they bring it back to the boat for me.

After about 5 days here (and sadly only 1 French baker delivery) we left for Tenacatita. I wasn't too sad for long, Tenacatita is the bestest doggie beach we've been to especially at the mouth of the lagoon - I love to ride the waves into shore then run out for more... And if the waves aren't enough, every day at 11am, they have horses on the beach. I'm a maniac here!!!!! I got beach plays twice a day. Mom and Dad love it here because it's beautiful, good swimming and NOTHING to spend money on.

The dinghy raft up at Tenacatita. It was A LOT of fun. Everyone passed around food and then everyone had to stand up to say something they learned about visiting a foreign country by boat and a food tidbit.

Synchrony also came in here. Today we took a hike from the main anchorage to the aquarium anchorage (Juliette of Synchrony came with us). It was a great woodsy hike on a trail then a questionable road. Then walk the length of the beach to a palapa for lunch. Herb (Juliette's husband) of Synchrony met us at the palapa, then after we visited the little store for more limes and garlic, we headed back through the dinghy jungle trip in Synchrony's dinghy. I must've tried to jump out after fish at least 5 times -- it was so GREAT!!!!!

On our hike... What a perfect day. Mom, Dad Juliett and I hiked to "the aquarium" (outer anchorage of Tenacatita) and had a good dose of woodsy trails, then Herb met us at a palapa on the beach for lunch then gave us all a dinghy ride back to the boat via the jungle river cruise.

Mom and dad felt so sorry for this dog. He came running out of his house wanting to play with me but I totally ignored him and continues to look for fish and body surf the waves. One thing about Mexican dogs is they always look at me like I'm nuts when I swim. But every once in a while I find one who likes to play chase, then if I have YAYA's, I get into a game with them.

Pangas in the river

That dark break in the trees is the river back to the anchorage. I tried to keep my head out of the pictures, but it was so exciting and I love sitting on the bow.

Enclosed in the trees

Herb and Juliett of s/v Synchrony

Greg and I

Tomorrow we plan to leave for Careyes if there is room for us, there are ALOT of boats all going the same direction---NORTH. Synchrony might come with us - well, they are definitely leaving tomorrow - they put their jib on the boat :-) But they might go straight past Cabo Corrientes to La Cruz. Something about a rumor of a good weather window about to close. Mom and Dad want to play more at the anchorages on the way, so we're not going to rush it. There's bound to be another window - sure hope we aren't cursing ourselves beating around Corrientes in 35 knots of wind... Don't worry, we won't

- that's the good thing about cruising, we don't have a time schedule, we'll wait for a good rounding...

Zihuatanejo to Las Hadas

Las Hadas, Manzanillo Bay

Our time in Zihau sadly had to come to an end, as we had other adventures and Greg and I were itching to explore some new places. It was also very hot, to give you a reference
point - it was a good day if the temps stayed below 90 degrees.

We had a fantastic time while there. Betty and Gordon from the BYC flew in to visit
Stardancer.  StarDancer is Dave and Mary Ann also from the BYC and used to be on the same dock as us before they left to go cruising 3 years ago - we also met up with them in
Mazatlan. It was great to see Betty and Gordon, they are such wonderful people and a ton
of fun to be around. I only wish I had my camera when we were all out at a benefit
concert at a local jazz club and Betty jumped up to dance around like a sixteen year old
to LaBamba to be joined quickly by Gordon. 
  The BYC gang.  Gordon, Greg, Me (Melissa), Betty, Mary Ann, and Dave.

We spent all except for the first few days anchored in La Ropa with a bow and stern anchor. We started off near Playa Madera close to the beach, but the water was pretty
dirty and when the swell picked up a bit, we were shallow enough that the motion of the
boat became a little 'disturbing'. Over in La Ropa we anchored next to Peter and Ginger (from s/v Marcy) who we first met in Cabo but had always been a few stops ahead of us. Fortunately we were able to keep in touch because we were meeting mutual friends along the way and had joined an informal group of boats on a twice weekly SSB net. We really enjoyed meeting them and hanging out with them while in Zihau. They will be heading to the South Pacific in March and beyond and we will be following their progress closely.

There were a fair amount of cruise ships - maybe 2-3 a week. We would wake to them anchored in the bay like this and they would be gone by 1 or 3 pm. So, we would just avoid doing anything around the center of town until they left.

Ultra expensive vacation accommodations.

Water and Fuel delivered. There is no fuel dock at Zihau, so it all had to be delivered by a Panga.

Don't tell Matey, but we felt really sorry for this puppy and couldn't pass up giving him some pets.

Fisherman fishing.

Pelican scarecrow

Pangas on the beach

Marcy all ready for the sail parade in her nautical flags.

Pacifica heading off after the parade.

Pacifica flying her spinny just after the parade (it was a free sail back to Zihuatanejo.

Our guests getting into the dinghy to come out on Pacifica. (picture care of the sailfest photo album)

Two of Pacifica's parade guests.

The whole gang - minus the two most important: Matey and I. Our guests were the best. And for the reason they chose to come on Pacifica - yep, our little sailing pup, Matey!!!! You gotta love dog lovers!!!!! And Matey even handed out kisses to them...

Besides for the games of Sailfest and hanging out with good friends we didn't do much
else but swim and try to stay cool.

Oh, we did have a very cool experience buying a 2 Liter bottle of Mescal from a guy who lives up in the hills of Zihau. Supposedly he made it in his home. Marcy split it with us, but it was really drinkable, but not nearly as drinkable as Sailor Jerry's Rum...


(These pictures were not taken by me but from the Sailfest Photo Album)

From one of the beach parties.

The silent auction at Rick's Bar - this is also the cruiser hangout. Rick has music nightly and is also a sort of 'home base' to find out information.

My favorite chili from the cook-off. There were all sorts of condiments and even a little shot of tequila (but that's not why I liked it).

Greg and I at the dinghy treasure hunt. It was really hard but we got all the clues (but didn't win a prize). Basically, all the boats who were clues had orange scarfs to fly, we motored to one of them and tried to figure out which clue was them. I don't know why we didn't bring Matey - please don't tell her.

Dave, Mary Ann, and Betty from the Dinghy treasure Hunt. They won a fantastic dinner out and had a wonderful time.

There was a flare shoot off. Beautiful show from the bow of the boat while having margaritas.

Another cruiser dog getting a little bit of a margarita.

We had to drive through these pelicans every time we went to or left shore. You would think Matey would freak, but she couldn't care less - she was just looking for fish.

We didn't see this in person, but thought it was a fabulous sculpture - we're guessing this didn't happen at the kid's beach party, but you never know, it is Mexico.

We didn't see a crocodile in the lagoon but did hear that they were there.

After almost 3 weeks in Zihuatanejo, it was getting time to say goodbye and start making our way back North. After all, we still had places to see that we missed on the way down
and places we wanted to visit again.

Peter and Ginger on s/v Marcy accompanied us on the morning we left to anchor out at Isla Grande and have a wonderful goodbye dinner. StarDancer also left that day and greeted us as we pulled into Isla Grande.

Marcy about to anchor in Isla Grande, like true sailors - they do it under sail.

Peter and Ginger rowing over with freshly baked bread for us before we left to go to Las Hadas.

The next morning after a radio check with Marcy and another boat in the Sea of Cortez we headed off for an overnight to Manzanillo Bay.


That first day out, we took some time to drop sails for a swim. And to Greg's dismay, I propped the camera up on our slightly rolling boat for a picture. Why worry, I had it propped on suntan lotion bottles - what's the big deal?

Matey hard at work watching the fishing lines. I think the way she is sitting is so cute - I love the stretched out leg pose! I guess it works with the heel of the boat.

The first day out started off motor sailing but did fill in the afternoon for a nice sail
. Then night fell...and no moon....and the wind and chop picked up... We still
motor sailed because it was more direct. But into the night as the wind grew more steady,
we started to sail a bit. Then it died off by morning and we were back to motorsailing.
As the second day grew on, the wind started to fill in again, so we started sailing
again. This was beautiful as we heeled over, the sun was shining, then within a VERY
short amount of time the wind picked up a bit, but the seas, oh the seas. They
drastically grew and became very steep and choppy and BIG. We pulled in the fishing
lines just as we were crossing the end of a long line which was being quickly hauled up by fishermen. They eventually built to about 6-8 feet at 4 seconds with occasionally ones
as big as 10-12 feet. Now we are just guessing at these numbers, but Greg (nor I) have
ever seen anything so choppy. We (ahh...Greg) had to hand steer since we had to hit
these waves at just the right angle so that the boat would not be stopped by the wave and
we would minimize the amount of green water rushing over the deck. Greg was my hero -
letting me stay safely standing below hanging on to handholds with all my might, while he steered and took the frequent drenching the sea had to give us.

We were also beating ourselves up for "messing around with all that F***ing sailing stuff". If we had just hauled butt motor-sailing we would be safely at anchor. But
instead we were clawing our way to get into the protection of Manzanillo Bay.

Matey at this point was confined to her room. She was a little scared and wanted to come on deck - or at least plaster herself next to my leg. But really, she was safer in her room. Oh, she also took to crawling into my veggie basket for a snuggly place to sleep.
This is just a cheapie laundry basket that I keep potatoes, onions, garlic and sometimes
other not refrigerator stuff like EGGS in. So, you guessed it, we had cracked eggs, even
though they were in a plastic case.

Finally, after beating our way for about 3 hours, we were anchored in Las Hadas. We had
planned to go to Santiago, but Greg was done with the drenching and starting to shiver -
so heading downwind to Las Hadas was preferable over continuing to beat across the Bay.

We were happily greeted by the sight of Synchrony our BYC friends Juliette and Herb.

This morning we woke to a pleasant 66-degree morning after a cozy calm night under blankets. We discovered Star Dancer kept the petal to the medal and didn't fool around
with that pure sailing stuff and therefore made it into Santiago Bay in the morning well
before things got nasty. We introduced Star Dancer to Synchrony (over the radio) and are
planning a BYC event over in Santiago Bay in a day or two where we will all fly our club
burgees and relax together.

There is a big weather system causing lots of wind (and therefore big seas) over much of
the coast, so we are staying put until the weekend when we will probably head to Barra de

  Goodnight from Greg, Melissa, and Matey. This was just taken in Las Hadas as we were enjoying the last hours of the day.