We left beautiful Roatan on February 19, 2016 enroute to Isla Mujeres.  We sailed with our buddy boat Orion 1.  It was a two night sail and having another boat to chat with and just be there made the crossing so much more relaxing.  Our first night was a bit rough to say the least! We took a bit of beating from the wind and waves and got a couple of soakings!! It was too rough to be in the galley and even using the head proved a bit of a challenge!! We had prepared some food and this kept us nourished along the way.

We saw at least three cruise ships in the area of Cozumel and Cancun and with their size and close proximity, they were just a little intimidating!!

We took turns having a little snooze break and held on to stay upright while we were on the helm!! I learned the hard way to never let go even to turn on the flashlight!!! My poor backside took the brunt of the fall and it still hurt for weeks after!!

Our second day and night proved to be much calmer much to my delight!  Fair weather sailor!!

We arrived Isla Mujeres the morning of Feb 21, 2016 and checked into Marina Parasio. Checking in was fast and efficient, thanks to the dockmaster, Chipo!!

We have been here a month and are enjoying it immensely.  What a beautiful little piece of paradise in Mexico.   We loved our visits to Mexico on the Pacific side and have nothing but good memories.  Likewise here, and if possible even more beautiful!!  There is a ferry from here to Cancun and we have made many crossings for parts and shopping etc. Its an 18 minute ferry ride each way and cost $300 pesos return per person.  The mode of transportation on the Island is mostly Golf Carts! There is also cheap taxi service.

We rented a cart for a day and did a tour of the beautiful Island. It is very pretty, laid back and friendly.    Cheap food and beverage and lots of good friends.  Can’t beat that!!  We went out with a group for tacos and beer and we paid $216 pesos for six tacos and 4 beer $11 Canadian!! Paul keeps saying “remind me again why you want to live anywhere else”.

Our good friends, Deb and John on Orion 1, are here and friends we met in Roatan,  Carmen and Vlad on Inti, are also here.  Plus we have met many great new cruising friends!

Last week six of us rented a 7 passenger van and spent three days visiting the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, Coba and Ek’Balam, and stayed in the small villages and of course enjoyed the Mexican culture (including food and drinks!!)  Salud!!!

 

 

 

December 14th and were ready to leave Panama. One last trip to Colon for provisioning, a delivery of spirits from the free trade zone, a final farewell party at the marina bar and we are off.

Delay on return from Colon

 

Traveling with friends  John and Deb aboard Orion 1, we headed for the island of Providencia. John took this short video of us shortly after leaving Panama. https://youtu.be/L8RKP3zhfZ0. Providencia is part of the Republic of  Colombia located approximately 300 miles from Panama. We planned two nights for the passage, but due to the very favourable winds, by eight o’clock on the second night we made landfall and were faced with a night entry into the anchorage, not something either of us wanted to do but the alternative was a rough night in 35 knot winds outside the harbour, fortunately the approach channel  was well marked and we anchored without incident.

Downtown Providencia

 

Providencia is a mountainous island midway between Costa Rica and Jamaica.  The pirate Henry Morgan used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish empire, and rumours suggest that much of his treasure remains hidden on the island, sadly we did not find any!  Forts and cannons dating back hundreds of years can be found scattered all over the smaller sister Santa Catalina Island. The island is highly dependent on tourism but is very laid back with friendly people. The main means of transportation is scooter, bike or golf cart. It was here we spent Christmas waiting for a weather window North to the Cayman Islands but after two weeks with no change in the weather pattern we changed destination and set our sights on the island of Roatan in Honduras.


 

On Jan 2, 2017 after celebrating New Years with two Swedish couples we had befriended anchored in the harbour, we weighed anchor and set sail for Roatan. We planned for a two night trip to cover the 300 miles but in the end it took 4 nights. Last minute reports from various sailing sites told of pirates operating near the route we had planned so we changed plans and stayed 20 miles from the area adding an extra 6 hours to the trip. We sailed the area at night without the use of lights or the AIS transponder, however,. the major delay was due to transmission problems aboard Orion 1 with its complete failure occurring  about 120 miles from out destination. The wind dropped and without the use of the engine we spent two days making at best 3 knots.

We radioed ahead to Fantasy Island Marina as we neared Roatan requesting help to bring the powerless boat safely into the marina. As we approached the channel leading to the marina three dinghys from the marina were there to help. Two tied to Orion 1 and the other guided Genesis.  Within a half hour Orion 1 was safely tied to the dock. It only took a few minutes to learn our escort  was from New Perlican in Newfoundland the very community where three women had gracefully given us ten pound of cod fillet last summer. Later as everyone involved in the rescue were sitting around the dock having a beer John noticed a monkey leaping from his boat with something in its claws and went to investigate. After a quick look in the galley he returned on deck yelling that the monkey had stolen his nuts!! Everyone had a good laugh including the monkey now perched in a nearby tree  pitching peanuts at us.. A few days later they raided our boat when we were away and stole bananas and Mary’s cookies.This would not be our last encounter with the little devils.

What can I steal here

The island of Roatan is located 30 miles off the north coast of Honduras atop the worlds second largest coral reef. The reef attracts many fish, and is world known for its excellent scuba diving. Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands at about 77 kilometres (48 mi) long, and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) at its widest. The island has a number of beautiful beaches, all of which are public. It was originally an English colony but later ceded to Honduras resulting in a mixture of English and Spanish speaking natives, many speaking both languages. It is here we would spend the next month waiting on parts all of which were subject to import duties of 30 to 45 percent making it a very expensive place to do repairs.

The resort, that the marina is a part of, was very obliging to us giving us  the use of the beach, bar, restaurant and Wifi. We rented a car for the month and explored every part of the island enjoying the local beer and cuisine at its many bars and restaurants. The dock masters Steve and  Debbie hosted a little bar at the marina that was the site of many very enjoyable functions including movies, potlucks, BBQ nights, ladies night and many more activities. As in Panama we made many friends that we are sad to say goodbye to.   

 

By Feb 10 all the repairs were complete and we waited  for a weather window to our next destination Isla Mujeres Mexico. 

 

.                   125 nights in our fifth wheel, 276 communities visited in Newfoundland.This summer we  traveled the Viking Trail, Discovery Trail, Baccalieu Trail, the Heritage Run and some other less traveled routes.The summer is over, the trailer is stored for the winter we leave to drive across Canada to visit Peter and family in Fort McMurray.
A few highlights of our travels around the province. 

 Discovery Trail

puffin

Lone Puffin

This is the part of Newfoundland that extends from Clarenville to the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula where John Cabot landed in 1497. There are many attractions in the area, the latest being the reconstruction of the John Cabot ship Matthew, and the Ryan Premises National Historic Site that tells the 500 year history of the east coast fishery.

We camped at Paradise Farm campground near Bonavista, and visited nearby communities on day  trips. One of my favourites towns, Elliston, is the closest place you can view Puffins from land in the world. Puffins are the official bird of Nfld and are numerous in the area. Here in Elliston there is a  very moving statue, of a father and his son. Both died during the great seal hunt disaster of 1914 involving the   SS Newfoundland and SS Southern Cross after a misunderstanding between the captains of the two vessels. Also at this site is a memorial granite wall listing the names of all 364 men and boys who were on the two ships during those fateful days in the spring of 1914.The sculptures were done by Morgan MacDonald.

On our return back up the trail we took in a concert ” Harry Hibbs Returns ” in the community of Trinity. Back at the trailer that night, we steamed crab legs that we had purchased from the fish plant in Bonavista,  outside under the stars.

dsc_0529

elliston-statue-june-19-2014_1
dsc_0516

Viking Trai
The Viking trail encompasses all of the great Northern Peninsula from Deer Lake to St Anthony and Red Bay in Labrador. This drive
takes you through the beautiful Gros Morne National Park, the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows and the Basque Whaling Read More

After two months in Costa Rica we have transited the Panama Canal. Costa Rica to us was disappointing when compared to the other Latin American Countries. The country is  much more expensive  and we did not find the people nearly as friendly as in the other countries. The paper work checking in and moving about the country was a real pain. I estimate we wasted 6 to 8 days chasing after port captains, immigration and custom officers.We did see some different species of monkeys the highlight of my stay in Costa Rica, not really. We did meet some good people in Golfito where we had a great time and would liked to have stayed longer.

Mary’s brother Joe joined us in Golfito for the trip to Panama. The sail from Costa Rica to Panama is an overnight trip. The weather forecast was for fair winds but that did not materialize instead we had a very slow and rough trip across the Gulf of Panama, around 2 AM we got caught up in a fishing net but, somehow, it untangled itself and floated away as we were complicating our dilemma.  We were surprised and very pleased.

We checked into Panama ( more paper ) and stayed at La Playita Marina for a week as we arranged for our transit through the canal. We hired an agent to handle the paper work and arrange two line handlers. The process involved an inspection of the boat after which we were given a number and an estimated date DSC_0286and time for the transit. On the morning of the transit the canal authority deliver an “advisor” to our boat by means of a tug. At 7:30 with our two line handlers and advisor we left the marina for the entrance to the first set of locks 7 miles away passing under the Bridge of Americas.

As we neared the lock we were informed we would be rafting up to another sailboat which would be rafted to a tug that was being used to maneuver the huge ship that was in the lock with us. Rafting to the other sailboat was a bit unnerving as the line handlers on the other boat were not experienced boat people and kept missing lines being thrown to them or failing to secure them properly when they did. We did this three times as we went through the three locks taking us up the 85 feet to the 22 mile channel across Gatune Lake at the end of which we anchored for the night in sight of the locks that would take us down to the Atlantic in the morning. The line handlers stayed on board, the advisor went ashore.

DSC_0345

 

Read More

Leaving Puesta del Sol

Leaving Nicagura

Tuna

First tuna

We checked out of Nicaragua Tuesday, February 2 at 9 am looking forward to the 24 hour trip to Costa Rica. We had a forecast for fair winds, the strongest being 25 knots near midnight forecasted to last 3 to 4 hours. With smooth sailing during the day we tried our luck fishing and landed two beautiful tuna.  By nightfall (not midnight) the wind had increased with gust up to 30 and by midnight we had gust to 50 knots and they remained in that range for the remainder of the trip.

To keep us alert It was a black night and  there were many fishing boats off the coast of  Southern Nicaragua, at times we counted 25 and 30 each using two high powered lights, I guess to attract the fish near the boat.  On one occasion we had a panga approach to direct us around the nets. Shortly after we lost power and  thought we had snagged a net or line. I checked the shaft and it was turning freely, the problem turned out to be a clogged fuel filter, changing it out trying not to spill diesel with the boat rolling made for an interesting time.

At ten the following morning we were in Costa Rican waters and pulled into Bahia Santa Elena, supposedly a well protected bay, to get a break from the wind. This is not a “check in” point for the country so we were really not supposed to have stopped but we were bushed and there was no indication of the wind abating. Once in the bay and anchored we slept the rest of the day and night. Read More

We had a good sail overnight and today Jan 21st we are docked at the luxury resort of Puesta del Sol in Nicaragua. Beautiful property in an out of the way place and not very busy. There is a small village nearby with a few small tiendas and one small restaurant and a hostel frequented by surfers. The nearest city, Chinandega, is a hour away by cab at a cost of 25 dollars. It has a population of 150,000 people and is the capital of the province of the same name.

Our last marina at Bahia del Sol had only salt water at the dock so the boat is covered in salt. It takes a few days to get her ship shape but once completed, we head out for a three day trip to the  Spanish colonial city of Leon. This is the second largest city in Nicaragua. The city has preserved its attractive historical center and colonial buildings  with an imposing cathedral and facades of church buildings. The cathedral is very impressive and is the largest in Central America. Several illustrious figures are buried here like the poet Ruben Dario buried at the foot of the statue of St Paul. Also poets Salomon de Cartes and Miguel Larreynaga and composer Jose de la Cruz and several Bishops. Click below to enlarge.

 

Read More

It’s the12th of January and we are leaving El Salvador. It is easy to see why people come to visit and never leave. We have met a lot of great people here, people from different parts of the world, who have done just that, come and never left. Friends Gord and Mags, like us, are leaving as well, not because they want, but so they don’t stay. Yesterday at Lynn and Lou’s weekly bbq and again today at the pier we said our goodbys. Not far from the marina the engine ran hot due to a blocked intake. Our friend and pilot Bill came to the rescue with a diver. A half hour later we are out and over the bar and on our way for the overnight trip to Isla El Tigre in Honduras.

for-blog

Kanilela being boarded

DSC_0583

Tuk Tuks

We arrived and checked into Honduras at the small town of Amapala on the island of El Tigre. Both boats are boarded and inspected by the navy. This island is well known because it was a CIA base used by the US for anti Sandinista contras fighting the Marxist government of Nicaragua during the 1980’s. The town of Amapala is small, approx 1200 people but with 100 tuk tuk’s. They are everywhere and busy. This was a thriving community before they dredged the channel up to San Lorenzo and moved the commercial port there. We made the 20 plus mile trip up the channel to San Lorenzo and spent two days exploring the city. We didn’t get much sleep due to the loud disco music from the bars on shore. When we were ready to leave the engine would not start due to a faulty battery. (the trials and tribulations of owning a boat).  Kanilela came alongside and gerry rigged a booster cable, the engine started and we are on our way back.

At El Tigre we anchored off a beautiful beach and spent two more nights waiting a weather window for our move to Nicaragua. We drank beer and ate shrimp in the little restaurants on the beach. I totally enjoyed watching four young boys set a 2 to 3 hundred fathom net. They rowed it out from the beach making a half moon shape then made noise banging their paddles on the canoe, throwing rocks, swimming and splashing anything to frighten the fish into the net!! After a half hour they pulled it in. This they did all day!  What a lot of energy they have!!  What a way to spend a childhood!!  When they noticed I was taking pictures from the boat, they put on a show for me. Mary offered them Coke which they gladly swam for.

 

Read More

After a day in a very busy city, we decided to rent a car and see a little of the El Salvadorian countryside. We left San Salvador in the morning and headed for the ruins of Joya de Ceren. This is the site of a pre-hispanic farming village that was covered by a volcanic eruption in the 70th AD. The site was discovered in 1976 by a construction crew. Excavations have been ongoing since 1989. Eighteen structures have been identified and 10 have been excavated.
DSC_0234
DSC_0245 8.01.01 PM
Sweat House

 

Read More

Naturally our first trip inland would be to San Salvador the capital of El Salvador. With friends Gord and Megs from Kanilela we caught the local bus in front of the marina at 6:45. The trip to San Salvador is a hour and a half with one transfer. You have to ride these buses to really experience the El Salvador bus system. They are cheap, 3 dollars and 30 cents for the full trip, per couple. The buses are crowded with the hustler always packing in one more passenger. They are fast and really a bit nerve racking at first. The plan was for a day trip but we stayed two nights. A full day in San Salvador which has a metro population on 1.4 million people and infrastructure to support maybe half. The traffic is crazy busy as are the markets.
The buildings are not really old here, as they were destroyed by natural disasters over the years, but they have been rebuilt and are very impressive.
It is said that great things happen when artist get their hands on religion and the Rosario Church is a fine example. It is very impressive on the inside with the array of stained glass creating rainbow lights and the scrap steel statues. Really it is inspiring!  From the outside it looks like an old airport hanger.

The church outside

The church outside

DSC_0298
DSC_0297

 

Read More

Since our last post in Newfoundland we have spent two weeks in Chiapas, Mexico doing chores on the boat and enjoying time with friends from S/v Grace and s/v Kanilela. Nov. 28th and we are ready to leave Mexico.We have spent four years here. I know we will miss it. We have a lot of good memories of the people we have met and the kindness we have been shown. Thank you Mexico.
Courtesy of the pilot boatWe check out of Mexico early on the 28th and after a 42 hour sail we are in El Salvador. Mags and Gord from Kanilela left at the same time. To say the least the trip down was uncomfortable. Twelve consecutive hours of 30 to 40 knot winds on the nose plus two more shorter periods of gusts into the forties. At daylight on the 30th the pilot boat from the Bahia del Sol marina met us at the mouth of the estuary for an escort over the bar and into the marina. The pilot lined us with the entrance to the estuary, one at a time, and told us to gun the engine and follow him. After a few minutes of surfing we hear over the radio ” you are over the bar welcome to El Salvador “.  A simple immigration and customs check in.  Bushed, salted and hungry we head to the bunk for much needed rest.
The following day we realize we are in a very nice resort complete with hotel, , restaurant complete with all the amenities of a modern complex. We decide to leave the boat here until after Christmas and do some land travel and see some of El Salvador.
DSC_0312
Marina Pool
DSC_0309

 

The resort is located on an estuary that extends up into the mangroves three or four miles. Across form the marina we visited a small village, 100 people, that has no water or sewer, power, cable or any other ” modern “convenience but everyone seemed happy and were very friendly. The only activity was a bit of fishing.

Girl carrying water back to the village

Girl ferries water back to her village

 

 

In early October we spent two nights with our friends Lou and Betty Briffett on their boat Lady Courageous, a 50 foot motor cruiser. We went to visit the, what is known locally as, “The Beaches”. It is located in Bloody Bay Reach in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland. It is one of the largest Beothuk settlements found in the province of Newfoundland. There were nineteen ” house pits ” contained on this site, some are still visible. One of the few known Beothuk burial sites is located nearby. The site dates back to 1872 but due to erosion some of it has been lost. Some attempts have been made to limit the damage but it seems to be neglected today.

Further up the bay in Bloody Bay Cove is the area know as ” The Quarry ” This is the largest Aboriginal quarry found on the island of Newfoundland and shows some of the best evidence yet of the stone age technology used in Nfld before the Europeans settled here. Arrowheads and other stone tools dating back 5000 years have been found.

We spent the night tied to the wharf at The Beaches. The wharf has been upgraded recently by some local people. Sadly we could not land on the Quarry site as the wharf there is is need of repair. I understand from Lou that the repair is planned for next summer. Hopefully we can return for another visit.

We did have fresh cod for dinner.

 

Night at the beaches

Betty, Lou and Mary

Mary, Lou and Mary

 

 

Pit

“House Pit”

Pit

“House Pit”

At the Beaches

Taken at “The Beaches”

The Quarry site

The “Quarry” site

Diner In the pot

Preparing diner

Lady Courageous

Lady Courageous

 

We traveled the trailer from Traytown to St John’s and set up in Pippy Park in the heart of the city. We could see the Confederation Building from our window. Our first day trip was to Cape Spear.

Cape Spear Lighthouse

Cape Spear Lighthouse

The lighthouse at Cape Spear was constructed in 1834 or early 1835 and has operated since 1836. The lighthouse is a square building with a tower in the middle containing the light.The first light used at Cape Spear had already been used since 1815 at a lighthouse at Inchkeith on the east coast of Scotland. This light used seven Argand burners and curved reflectors. This was later replaced by a dioptric lens system; the light was.first lit by oil, then acetylene, and finally electricity in 1930.

Inside the lighthouse

Inside Lighthouse

The building also contains the light-keeper’s residence. It must have been considered luxury accommodations in the 1800s in Newfoundland. A gun battery was built here during the second world to protect ships entering St John’s harbour.When you stand on this rocky point of land everything in North America is to the west of you. It is the most easterly point on the continent. It is the place where the sun first rises on North America. Be here early in the morning and you may just be the first to see the sun rise in all of North America.

On our way back we took a side trip to Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove. It is home to a thousand people. It is a quaint little Newfoundland fishing village. It is becoming a very popular tourist destination. It was first settled in the 1600 hundreds and is the site of the first hydro generating station in Newfoundland.

Read More

On August 27 we traveled the trailer to Burlington to attend the third annual presentation of “The Gathering”. This is a festival organized by local people and local artist. It seems Shaun Majumder a native of Burlington is one of the main people attributed with its success. There are three communities involved in the festival: Burlington, Smith’s Harbour and Middle Arm. They are located on the Baie Verte peninsula about 200 km west of Gander. To get there you turn at the Baie Verte Junction, drive 67 km turn right and continue 22 km to Burlington. The profits all go back to a non profit organization called BSM Manor that will help local businesses and entrepreneurs, with the goal of increasing tourism on the Baie Verte peninsula. They have plans to build a community green house, Hummock View Greens, luxury camping and or Klamping along with other projects and activities. There is great pride taken in the community even the garbage cans and signs have their own special touch.

 

The festival itself starts on Friday night with a comedy show with Shaun Majumder as the master of ceremonies along with several stand up comedians including Mike Critch,  from the CBC show “This hour has only 22 minutes”.

Read More

 

With the trailer parked in Bellevue we made a day trip to Brigus. It is a small fishing community located in Conception Bay and it is a very popular tourist stop. It was the home of Captain Bob Bartlett and the location of his residence Hawthorne Cottage. There are many Arctic Heroes that came from this town. A little research on the internet provided a few of the most known.

  • Captain John Bartlett sailed with Isaac Hayes an American explorer
  • Captain Sam Bartlett sailed with Peary
  • Robert Bartlett on the S.S. Roosevelt when Peary reached the North Pole
  • Captain Arthur Bartlett
  • Captain William Norman
  • Captain Isaac Bartlett who rescued a Captain Tyson after he drifted on an ice berg for 2500 miles
  • Captain William Bartlett a well known sealing captain

 

Brigus is well know world wide for its scenic qualities and interesting places. To mention a few: The Vindicator, Convert of Mercy built in 1860, Stone Barn Museum and St George’s Anglican Church consecrated in 1845, the United Church in 1875 and the Roman Catholic built in 1832.

The highlight of my day was return of a longliner with a good load of cod fish. From across the harbour you could see them steaming towards the wharf with the gulls in pursuit. We had a chat with the fisher men and women. The cod were beautiful and of good size. The fisherman told me they had 1300 pounds from four nets that had fished for ten hours. He said when the fishery was in its hay days before the collapse they would maybe have netted 3 to 4 hundred pounds. You could tell from just talking to them that they full of hope. I am not convinced at all that the stocks have rebounded as I have not seen any scientific evidence suggesting that to be the case. Granted our present federal government has gotten rid of most of the marine researchers and stifled the remaining. If indeed the cod have returned lets hope the Federal Government does a much better job at managing the stock. I am hot optimistic.

Cape St Mary’s was our destination after our visit to Brigus. This is an Ecological Reserve hosting one of Newfoundland’s seabird colonies. During the breeding season it is home to 24,000 Northern Gannets 20,000kittiwake, 20,000 murre and 2,000 thick billed murre, 100 pair of razorbill and 60 pair of black guillemot. A sight to behold and can be seen up close 20 to 30 feet away. One of the great wonders of the world. Take warm clothes as it is usually foggy with temperatures in the low teens and more then likely high winds. It is located 200 km southwest of St John’s. What makes it so spectacular, however, is that all these birds can be seen from land, as close as 10 metres away.

The gannets are nesting on “Bird Rock” which is about 300 feet above the water. It is a little eerie as you walk to the edge to sit and watch the birds as they court and feed their young. It is fascinating to watch their graceful flying over the crowded rock.

 

The path to the site is approximately one km long. It starts at the interpretation . It is good walking over open meadows that reach out to the steep cliffs near the ocean. Wild iris and other alpine flowers grow among the low growing shrubs. Whales can be seen during the summer months.

 

Read More

Will I finished work April 30. In June we purchased a 36 foot travel trailer and left Fort McMurray, Alberta bound for Newfoundland. The first day and we across Alberta, the second Saskatchewan  and the third Manitoba. In Ontario we met up with my sister Eliz and her man Frank for a weekend. Most if not all Frank’s sisters camped at the same park. The girls were great singers and led the nightly sing song around the fire pit. Apparently Frank can sing but I am not sure, but after the first night I am sure my sister cannot. One of the sisters Dawn visited Newfoundland and wrote a song about it that she sang for us with the help of her sisters. I filmed it.

 

After the party weekend in Ontario we headed East with a stop in Quebec City.

Read More

 

We left Chiapas for Quetzaltenango to do Spanish lessons on Saturday May 30 with Paul and Judy from s/v Grace and Wayne and Judy from s/v Curiositas and Josh ,the driver of the van.

After an hour we were at the Guatelmalan border,  where we checked out of Mexico and into Guatelmala . It cost us 32 USD dollars to check out of Mexico. Entering Guatelmala  was easy.!

Another 3 hour drive and we were in Quetzaltenango. Mary and I checked into the Anna Inn and Hotel. It is further from town then we would have liked but is a very comfortable place and the staff are excellent. The owner George always went out of his way to make us happy. The first night we went to the city centre and met up with the crew and enjoyed drinks and dinner.

Read More

We took a trip up in the mountains to get as close as we could to the Tacana volcano. This took us on a two hour van ride up a very winding road to a town as the base of the volcano. This is as close as you can get without hiking up the mountain. The view was spectacular. The people in the town were very friendly and chatted with us as walked around. One lady here spoke perfect English and was very eager to welcome us. DSC_0554The taxis here were mostly bikes, some with a motor and others with just leg power.The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as bike taxi, velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, beca, becak, trisikad, or trishaw. In the town we were visiting they were called Trishaws.

On the way back we stopped at Santo Domingo, Union Juarez. Here there is a farm with German ancestry called the Braun House surrounded by a path of royal palms, was built in the early 20s. It was built by a man names Braun and took about 9 years to construct because all the wood used for the house construction was brought from Germany via Chiapas port. Inside the house there is a coffee museum where there are family photos and old instruments used for the cultivation and harvesting of coffee. There is a myth that Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun (sister of the owner) visited the house on a regular basis as did German politicans although there is no evidence of this. The Braun House is a place full of history where the myths of Hitler and everything related to the Nazi regime and ancestral stories plays into your mind.

Read More

 

May 4th and we are ready to leave Ixtapa but the port is closed due to breaking seas at the entrance. The following morning the seas have subsided and we set the sails for Bahia Papanoa forty miles to the South where we plan to anchor for the night. Bahia Papanoa is a small harbour with a small village. We have a good sleep and leave in the morning for the over night sail to Acapulco 144 miles away. We arrive Acapulco six pm the following day. Our plan here is to purchase a new dinghy and an air conditioner. The dinghy we found for 19000 pesos. A couple of local guys helped with the delivery of the dinghy. Everyone had a great time. We gave them the old dinghy and a tip and all were happy.

Read More

It is April 9th and we are still in Ixtapa. We have made good progress with repairs to the electronics. The new autopilot is working. We have now replaced the computer, autopilot and GPS. The equipment came with wiring that was too short for the installation on our boat. Although the equipment is now working Antonio ( our techie) wants to install the proper wiring. The wind indicator has not worked this year and upon inspection we saw the equipment upon the mast is corroded and not functional so we are ordering a new windvane. Total bill so far $6000!!.  Do you know the acronym for BOAT? Bring On Another Thousand!

fish market

Fish Market

We spent quite a bit of time exploring Zihuatanejo while waiting for the repairs to be completed. Every time we go,  we visit the fish market on the beach. It is a simple set up but seems to work well for the local fishers.

I took a short video as we walked around a busy down town one night. Most of the people shopping here are Mexican.  The tourists seem to hang out more in Ixtapa.

Read More