Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View
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Eric & Sherrell
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Posted on Wednesday Mar 9, 2011
Very few people would recognize Plaza Zaragosa, but how about the whole wheat cinnamon role? Oh yum...hot out of the oven.
I'll only give you one hint: Mazatlan. Mazatlan's Old Harbor to be exact. We anchored a few days in Punta de Mita, a few in Mantenchen Bay and now we are anchored in the Old Harbor. There really isn't a New Harbor, but it seems everyone calls it old.
We've always wanted to anchor here to see what it is like for ourselves. Opinions are all over the board: Love it, Too Sketchy, Terrible.... Typical stuff among cruisers. For us, it's nice. The harbor is calm, we can walk to downtown. The facilities are pretty run down, but there is a dinghy dock and showers. We get to watch the ships go by (very slowly) and our favorite bakery is not far. Yeah there is a sewage processing plant nearby but we haven't been bothered by it yet after two days.
They bake the best bread and pastries. Just like old times, we bought some and ate them in the Plaza. Sometimes familiarity is a good thing.
Posted on Wednesday Feb 9, 2011
Sometimes the things people do with their boats can take on a surreal form. Take the case of this sailboat who was trying to keep birds off his mast. He had hoisted a huge orange plastic garden rake up his mast. They do this diligently when they leave the boat unattended. To me this big rake in the sky made a distinctive image in the marina. When I first saw it, I thought of a frustrated gardener turned sailor. I mentioned it to our friends on the boat next to them and they pointed out their broom at the top of the mast. Desperate house keepers? No, they are all desperate to keep the prolific bird piles off their boats.
It wasn't until yesterday that I saw "someone admiring the nice sky rake that I felt inspired to post a photo of it.
These frigate birds are notorious for breaking the small wind instruments on the tops of masts. As you can see in the photo this bird is happily sitting on the anemometer getting his back scratched by the rake.
Posted on Sunday Jan 30, 2011
We seem to have bad timing for capes. It took us about 23 hours to get from Chamela to La Cruz against the NW winds. The wind probably didn't get much higher than 20 knots, but since it blew continuously for miles over the sea and the current was running slightly against it, the sea was rough. Larger boats probably would have had less problems, but we were struggling to do 4 knots most of the way. We dipped our bow numerous times into the sea sending spray all over the boat. It was rough and impossible to sleep well.
Nonetheless we are anchored, cleaned up and getting ready to do a little presentation tomorrow about our Central America Guide Books for the cruisers headed south.
Sherrell wants me to mention how much more she likes this anchorage now that we have a flopper-stopper that we bought in Panama.
And we're looking forward to visiting with Scott & Liz on Tues. when they arrive.
Posted on Monday Jan 24, 2011
Probably the best part about coming up from Tenactita to Chamela is we didn't get beaten up by head winds. Now if we can just get around Cabo Corrientes with the same results. We did see 3-4 whales playing out in the sea and the anchorage is nice and calm. There are about 5 other boats here which was a bit of a surprise, but I forget just how many boats are tooling up and down the Mexican coast.
I had to wear a long sleeved jacket and pants on the way up -- THAT'S how cold it is. In fact our little kitty can attest to how bad the cold weather is even in the sun she needs her "coat":
Posted on Sunday Jan 23, 2011
I've been lacking inspiration lately, however I'll endeavor to not bore. We enjoyed meeting new people in Barra, watching boats get stuck in the soft bottom (no damage ever occurs) and seeing familiar places again. We did the basics: felt sorry for the caged spider monkey who has been there since Sherrell first visited 15 years ago, swam in the pool, exchanged books at Beer Bob's (Bob passed away while we were gone), shopped for clothes at the market, astonished ourselves at the sheer number of gringos everywhere (especially Canadians, and yes Canadians are gringos too), had some Indo beer on tap (a rare find) thanks to Stan's detective work.
And it is always hard to leave Barra. The lagoon is better than being in a marina because it is so calm yet offers plenty of privacy. We did however manage to pry our anchor up out of the muck and sail up to Tenacatita.
We've never been here during the peak of the season like this and it was interesting to see all the boats (23 or so) here. The beach landing is pretty easy compared to later in the season when the south swells pound this shore. In fact were were surprised to see everyone landing directly on the beach, something that was impossible when we were here last.
The first boat we passed in the anchorage was Harmony, a boat that we met 4 years ago in Panama. We've exchanged a few emails in the past but there's nothing like a catching up in person. We also met the father of another boating couple we last saw 6 years ago. The sailing world is pretty small at times.
Turns out Robert from Harmony is the social director around here. They call him the mayor and he likes to get people to play nice together. We were planning on stopping here for a day or two just to clean the bottom and prop before making the push around cabo corrientes. We told Robert we weren't staying long and weren't going to put the dinghy down and join the crew on the beach. He hid his disgust well and offered us a ride. While we are not big on group activities, I joined in the boat-to-beach swim, which ended up with me on the beach wandering for ten minutes wondering where everyone was because I didn't have my glasses. And apparently it wasn't a race to the beach. And then I found myself playing volleyball while Sherrell walked the beach. We went with the flow and had good time.
I guess the crowds were a bit overwhelming for us and we didn't get to talk to Robert & Virgina much, but we did briefly meet a few new people and it was fun hanging out on the beach.
The weather has been SO cold here that we have been running the diesel heater almost every morning. Thankfully it still works after 5 years of no use. We had to buy a baby tee-shirt for Jezebel to wear to stop her from shivering during the COLD COLD night (in the 50's!). We'll post a picture when we have internet access....
Posted on Sunday Jan 16, 2011
Before we left Santiago, we helped the people from PATA (Personas Ayudendo Todo los Animales) do a sterilization clinic. They try to round up stray cats and dogs and also local people's animals and sterilize them for free. It was a fun to see PATA in action and help out with the animals.
We pried ourselves out of Santiago Bay and managed to motor upwind about 20 miles to Barra de Navidad. The anchorage is deep inside an estuary and the water is flat calm.
Not much has happened in the past 4 years since we were last here. A lot of the town has remained unchanged and there hasn't been a lot of growth either. There are a few changes, like the Canadian guy who calls himself "The French Baker". That guy has a his own panga now for pimping his goods to the cruisers who are anchored in the bay. His store/restaurant/bakery has had a huge upgrade too. I'm glad he's been able to make it work so well.
Well, we'll spend a little time here before moving on. It is so quiet and peaceful. Even the level of cruisers are down this year. Normally it is packed but there are only about 18-20 boats in here now, which is tolerable.
On our way from Santiago we shot some video of three whales doing their thing.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 4, 2011
I've always wanted to catch some video of Jordan's sun worship dance on top of the dodger and I finally was in the right place at the right time...oh yeah bump bump.
Posted on Saturday Dec 18, 2010
Here's some video footage shot during our various legs from Zihautanejo to Manzanillo where we stopped in the commercial port of Lazaro Cardenas (fantastic anchorage by the way) and Caleta de Campos.
Our new camera has been really nice for getting closeup photos, but shooting video on a boat is proving to be really really hard. I think the dolphin footage came out ok (it was pretty calm) and the whales were good because they were so close, but the sea was starting to build up and it was tough keeping the image stable.
Anyway here it is for you to enjoy without all the sleepless passages and crappy headwinds.
Posted on Tuesday Dec 14, 2010
The swell was up. We left our super calm yet pungent anchorage in Lazaro Cardenas for surf! Caleta de Campos is supposed to have a nice left break that peels. Since it was only about 35 miles away it seemed like a good roadstead anchorage to try for a couple of nights.
Our trip up was very calm, unusually calm. In fact I even wrote a java program while on the way up here. How geeky is THAT?
We did get to see turtles, dolphins and a strange sludge/slime barrier that we drove happily through. I'll post a video of the adventure when we get internet access again.
Stoked to see a ripping peeling left wave as we worked our way into the bight all I could see were close-outs. That bites.
So we are out of here in the morning. It is a beautiful little spot with a cool beach, but the surf is closing out everywhere. If we wanted to get to shore we'd have to swim it. I know this was a hot "secret" spot for waves, but it isn't working for this swell direction now. Bummer.
Posted on Monday Dec 13, 2010
In a typical fit of indecisiveness we changed our plans. We stopped at Isla Grande just outside of Zihuatanejo to clean the bottom of the boat. The idea was to depart again in the evening. However the wind was a headwind and we both felt like resting instead. So we settled in and had a beer. Not more than 5 minutes later the wind shifted favorably offshore and stayed there all night. Figures. We didn't feel like changing our plans again and going.
So we got up early in the morning and the offshore breeze was still blowing. We set sail and sailed along at 3 to 4 knots until it died at around 9am. Instead of doing the long passage, we decided to go somewhere new and unusual -- a commercial port.
Lazaro Cardenas pumps tons of products in and out of Mexico, including lots of oil. There is an old abandoned basin just inside the entrance surrounded by mangroves and out of the ocean swell.
We mananged to squeeze in between a procession of ships and anchor for the night. It's very calm an quiet with a nice odor of oil, yum.
We did see a large pod of spinner dolphins and got some video (no spins caught on film) and also there was a giant mama humpback and her baby doing tricks: breaking, fin slaps, spy hops and sounding. At one point it looked the momma whale was doing the back stroke with both fins rotating around and around! The calf of course kept trying to imitate her...sadly not much of that duo was captured on video either.