Dear F&F,
Valentine\’s Day – February 16, 2009

We have been happily surprised by our experience here. Just goes to show you that you can\’t believe everything you hear. On the radio networks there had been some negative rap about Acapulco: theft, unfriendly to cruisers, have to make an appointment to get fuel, etc etc.

As we approached the coast to enter the large bay, we were struck by the beauty of the place. More Mediterannean/European than any other place along the Mexican coast. Sheer cliffs, rather than beaches, give it a dramatic appearance with many homes & hotels built right into the cliffs & hills. Sort of like a tropical Sausalito Bay. We hailed the Acapulco Yacht Club inquiring if we could obtain a mooring. We were instructed to go to the fuel dock which is the best way to reach the club office. The guys working the fuel dock were as friendly & helpful as everywhere we\’ve been. When we tentatively asked if it was possible to get diesel now, they said \”but of course!\” So one rumor dispelled – no appointment needed to get fuel. I did my usual calculations of gallons to liters in order to know how much we could take. While I handled the diesel duty, Scott scampered up to the Yacht Club office to see about a mooring. This is the first place that our California Yacht Club membership has mattered. They offer reciprocal privileges to members of only 40 clubs internationally & California Yacht Club is one of them. So we got 1 night at the mooring free. The 2nd night is more than we\’ve paid at a lot of docks, but getting 2 nights for the price of one made it quite reasonable.

The bay is breezy which helps keep it comfortable & bug free. It is about 3 1/2 miles wide & 2 1/2 miles deep so a huge area. There are some docks but not any more fancy expensive power boats than we\’ve seen anywhere. Another false rumor: \”They only let you stay if you have a helicopter on your boat.\” There are plenty of \”average\” boats at the docks & on the moorings. We had to use our own lines to tie off to the mooring ball. Scott did the knot tying duty from the dinghy while I drove the big boat into position. Good teamwork had us secured to the float in no time. We\’d arrived!

Since we had such an early morning & long travel day, we stayed onboard & enjoyed the sunset. I heated chicken taquitos served with salsa, guacamole & sour cream. In honor of Valentines we enjoyed the DVD Don Juan de Marco. Ahh Johnny Depp….a really terrific movie!

We woke up to see a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked across the way. This place is large enough that the ship does not overwhelm the bay. And its load of people can easily be absorbed by this larger city.

Since all my bananas were ripe, I made banana pancakes with walnuts. Froze enough for 2 future quick & yummy breakfasts. It is a 5 minute dinghy ride to the club dinghy dock. A dry landing – my favorite. We asked a member at the club what he recommended we see, having just 1 day to explore Acapulco. He said take a 10 min cab ride to see the cliff divers, they would be jumping soon. So we did. They are famous. Scott had seen them on TV as a kid. His parents had come here on vacation (without him) in the early 70s so he had fond imagery of them strolling along the same places we were today. Quite a crowd gathered. There was a bit of a \”pre-show\” with muscular tan teenage boys scampering up the rocks & jumping off various lower ledges. The main show was 6 divers. Two went as singles & 2 went as duets. I feel badly for their mothers, they must be sick with worry every day! The highest point they jump from is a bit OVER a 100 feet. The cliff is not straight down, so they must be sure to jump out far enough to land in the water, not on the rocks at the base of the cliff. Also it is a very narrow cut. So, we the audience, are just opposite them & can clearly see them & the small slit of sea that they aim for. Crazy if you ask me, but it is a part of the history here. By charging to go on the observation deck, selling sodas & postcards, and tips for the divers afterwards it is its own small industry. They only do 1 daytime show, the other 3 are evening so we luckily timed it just right.

The second thing we were advised to do was have lunch at the Flamingo Hotel, where the actor Johnny Weismuller that played Tarzan lived out his days after he retired. They had many photos of the \”Hollywood Gang\” that came to this Acapulco hang out: Erroll Flynn, John Wayne, others I can\’t remember now. The ocean view from the cliff side palapa restaurant was spectacular. The enchiladas better than average & the prices reasonable.

With our bellies full, we took a siesta when we returned to \”Beach House\”. While away, we had locked the main door & all the large hatches & were happy to find all was well aboard. No evidence of theft. We went back to the dinghy dock at 5:00 pm for a pre-dinner swim. We had the large & lovely club pool to ourselves. The main clubhouse was actually closed today. But they keep the palapa bar open every day. I had not been in the water since our last dive at Socorro & it felt really good to work my swimming muscles. Scott joined in a dip & sipped a pina colada. The bit of exercise & cooling pool water should help us sleep well tonight. Last night there was music & noise from shore side parties until 1:00 am. But tonight is Sunday so we hope it will be quieter.

The lights dotting the hillsides surrounding the bay are beautiful. We have really enjoyed our short stop here. We had no particular expectations other than perhaps a faded glory. She is a thriving town. The cruise ships definitely help the local economy & this seems a perfectly appropriate place for them to stop. The south east side of the bay looks like Miami Beach of the 1960\’s and it was a bit eerie to realize that these old high rise hotels stood mostly empty.

We will be up early for a day/night/half day run down to Puerto Angel. Nowhere to really stop in between. Then on to Huatulco. We are really covering some distance now.

Scott & Cindy
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