Bahia Papanoa, Acapulco, Huatulco and Chiapas
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.
We went to Home Depot to look for the air conditioner but could not find the one we wanted. We decided we would walk part way back to the boat, this is in a very busy part of the city. Tons of people, buses of all makes and colours, local traffic and taxis, taxis everywhere. Every one in a rush tooting their horns and jockeying for position on the crowded streets Mary commented ” We are out of our league here.”
We stayed in Acapulco two nights. Before leaving we went to get fuel. This was not a simple chore. First we had to pick up a bow mooring ball then let the boat drift back to within 8 feet of a concrete wall where the attendant threw a line that we tied to the stern. Next he wanted the papers for the boat which we passed to him via his dip net on a 12 foot pole. He goes away and returns for more papers. We give him every thing we have and he leaves again. Returns 20 minutes later and all is fine. He threw another line and I pull the fuel hose on board. Then it is time to pay. He threw a rag and motioned for me to wrap the credit card in it and toss it back. Off he goes for another 20 minutes, returns, sends out the invoice and ask for the pin to the credit card, off he goes again, returns and sends every thing out in the net. The process takes two hours.It is now noon and we leave with full tanks.
We had good sailing until dark when the wind dropped and then we motored. The following day was beautiful with the sails out all day and then again at night we motored. Very little traffic for the two days, one cargo ship and one cruise ship. We arrive Huatulco at 10 AM the 12th of May. We were greeted here by other sailors from the US and Canada. They directed us into a berth which pissed off the manager a little because we did not follow the direction of the marina personal. It was confusing as we approached the dock with half a dozen people all telling us a different place to tie up. In the end everyone was happy.
Not a comfortable night as the weather here is hot and humid so the next day we are off in search of an air conditioner. Now we are not as particular and find one at the local supermarket. We jerry rig it on the boat and have a very comfortable night sleep. We have a visit from Alec and Cherry on Rainbow Gypsy. Really an amazing couple Alec is from Britain and Cherry is South African. He is 73 years old and she is 75. They have sailed all over the world on their 36 foot catamaran. You can read their blog at hyyp://yarrowgypsiesweebly.com Beautiful people and so full of life.
We have made plans now to cross the dreaded Golf of Tehuantepec to Chiapas. From all the stories we have heard and reading we have done this Tehuantepec can be a very dangerous place. The mountains here act as a funnel for the winds from the Caribbean causing strong winds on the Pacific side that stretch 500 miles out to sea. The suggested way to cross here is, as they say, with one foot on the shore. This adds an extra 40 miles to the crossing as now you are following the shoreline as opposed to cutting straight across. We provision the boat and prepare to leave which means fuel again. There is a barge moored at the fuel dock making it tight to get into. Coming out I misjudged the wind contacting the dredge bucket smashing the WiFi antenna. Luckily it was repairable,
At 9:30 on the 16th we leave for Chiapas. Beautiful sailing all day and by nightfall we are off Salina Cruz. We maneuver around four large ships here anchored off waiting to get into port. We take turns on watch for the remainder of the night. The following day a gentle breeze gives us another good day of sailing. Another night and we arrive Chiapas 2:30 in the afternoon a 53 hour crossing. Here we a boarded by the military with their assault weapons and dog. They do a complete search of the boat and fill out a pile of paper work.Very nice marina and well looked after. It is a little ways from the city but you can get a ride on one of the chicken buses for two dollars. Good job Marina Chiapas.
We will put the boat on the hard here for the hurricane season. There are lots of interesting things to see and do in the area so we will do some exploring before we head back to Canada for the summer.