Dear F&F,
February 12, 2009

Well if you had asked me if I thought we would spend 16 days on the dock at Ixtapa Marina when we first got there I would have thought you were crazy. But it is dawning on us that when we reach docks we do tend to stay longer than expected & get a lot of things done.

And now that we are at the Zihuatanejo anchorage, 1 day & night feels like it will be plenty of time here.

Benefits of the anchorage – free (vs about $65/night by the time you include the electricity & water charges).
Negative of the anchorage – cruise ships come & go. They usually stay only 1 day /night but they bring a lot of baggage. Starting with the ugly giant cruise ship near the entrance of the anchorage. The many shuttle boats zooming to & from the dock (that only the cruise ship shuttle boats can use. Wet landing for us other boaters.) Jet skis tearing up the place. Parasailing boats freaking you out that they will slam their person up in the air into our mast!

Motion of the ocean: how quickly I forget that I get seasick really easy sometimes. Easy to forget at the dock! But just this short little 6 mile trip from Ixtapa made me feel pretty lousy & I had to munch a Bonine & put on my patch. I am better now, but not perfect. I wonder if I will ever \”get over\” it? Or if it is just something I need to be more preventive about. It simply did not occur to me that I might not feel fine during a measly 6 mile trip.

We anchored initially near 3 other catamarans. They were all \”bow & stern\” to keep their bow into the swell. We did not want to hassle with the stern anchor, well, because it is a hassle. And for just 1 night, not worth it if we can avoid it. So we picked up the anchor & moved over amongst the 30 or so other boats. The majority are leaners in the 40-something foot range. The anchorage is still what I would call \”rolly\” due to swell hitting us sideways.

Photos we will post will show what has become of previously charming Zihuat. So much development. Just like every other coastal town in Mexico; over built. We went ashore in the dinghy. Nathaniel was there to take our 20 pesos & make sure our dinghy wasn\’t stolen. The cruise ship people were onshore which is sure to give it a more tourist town feel compared to when they are not here.

Since it was after 5 pm, we sat at a beach palapa cafe & shared a burger with fries & chips with guacamole. So we are fed. Nice not to have to fuss with making dinner since I\’m still not feeling 100%. I do get hungry despite feeling a bit bleah. My seasick symptoms are mainly feeling very tired & headachy, more than stomach yucky. In only get that when conditions are really rough.

Vendors selling every imaginable thing come up to your table: jewelry, sombreros, fabric sarongs/tablecloths, knick-knacks. You have to just ignore them or else you would run away screaming. Then the sell-a-song guys: one with a harp like thingy, one with guitar, a mandolin/accordion duo, on & on… Stand by your table, strum a few notes, see if you make eye contact then move on. Annoying as hell. We would happily have paid more for the food to avoid this routine, understand they are just trying to make a buck & that this is a prime time tourist trap. This season due to the US economy, tourism is down 40% in Mexico. The Mexicans are feeling it big time!

On the dinghy ride back, we said hello to Monty on a small catamaran that sometimes joined us this summer as part of the multihull brigade. We also introduced ourselves to the boat my friend Sandy just left, \”Shanghai\”. We also said hi to Chuck\’s brother & sis-in-law of \”Sun Baby\”, who were near the 1st spot we anchored.

So here we are, finally at Zihuatanejo. I hope to get my sea head after a night\’s sleep & the patch will have time to kick in. Tomorrow we will continue. We are only going about the distance of Marina del Rey to Avalon, to Papanoa. This stop is for the sole purpose of making the next leg to Acaplulco a day time trip, not an overnight. The sailing guidebooks do not say much about it other than it is a safe anchorage.

Scott & Cindy
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