We had a light wind sail down from Manzanillo. At one point a couple miles offshore we were stopped by the Mexican Navy. For whatever reason they didn’t try to board us, and after giving them our information such as documentation number, destination, last port, etc. (Nicole shouting in Spanish over the gap between us and the patrol boat) we were on our way. It was professional and courteous. They let us know they were on patrol and to hail them on channel 16 if we needed anything. I’d say about half the boats we’ve met have had a visit by the Mexican Navy. We’ve yet to hear of anyone having a negative experience.
Approaching Zihuatanejo at dawn after a full night of motoring. My watch goes until 2am. I watched a couple stupid movies in between checking the radar and course as we droned on towards our destination.
We were running a little low on dinosaur wind and with another two night passage ahead of us we thought we should take on some fuel. There’s no fuel dock in Zihuatanejo, but that’s not a problem. There’s a panga named Zeus that runs around the anchorage offering to supply the cruising boats with fuel, water, beer, whatever you need. They took our laundry and brought it back the next day with some diesel and water. One of these days I’ll finish the watermaker installation!
When we arrive at an anchorage at these latitudes we immediately put up the bimini and a boat shade over the foredeck. It’s over 80 degrees in the shade every day. Perfect for enjoying a cold beer during business hours on a weekday.
SV Jace and Panache are making their way to El Salvador with us. We met up with them for drinks at a beach palapa. (Cruising fact: Sand between your toes enhances the flavor of Pacifico.) Ben summed it up by stating, “This does not suck.”
The omnipresent and generally friendly stray dogs of Mexico can always count on some pets from Zack and me. This one stopped by the palapa and got the name Massachusetts, since the white spot on his head was shaped like that state. Sort of.
Right off the beach is the town square. There’s something going on there pretty much every day. There’s a basketball court there too. Apparently they take it pretty seriously, and various teams in full uniforms play most nights – till 2am with the announcer calling the game on huge speakers. One night there was a clown competition that we unfortunately missed. One day we visited and there were some kids doing various dances.
With the cruising life you just never know what you’ll be up to some days, and it’s always fun when we stumble upon some fun local event. It happened the next day we went to the square and found a high school science fair going on. They sure know how to do a science fair in Mexico!
Zack and Nicole had a blood sample taken. The students were then able to do some chemistry stuff and determine their blood type. Nicole and Zach are both O-positive. I don’t like bleeding so I abstained from the test.
Apparently you can find out how attractive you are by holding your hands on one of these beakers. The change in pressure as the air warms up should raise the fluid to various levels. There were little tags at regular intervals. Zack couldn’t get past “Feo” without the help of a hair dryer.
I learned a word here… Fuego means fire! These kids were having a blast with fires, igniting some volatile and highly explosive chemicals. …I think the most exciting thing I saw in high school chemistry was vinegar and baking soda being mixed together.
There were lots of tables with all kinds of homemade Mexican dishes. For FREE! The food was made by students and their parents for visitors to eat, and it was all delicious. Mezcal shots? Yep, the kids were giving them away at the science fair.
Keeping the boat stocked up with fresh fruits and vegetables has hardly been a challenge along the Mexican Riviera. The central market in Zihuatanejo is an amazing place to do some provisioning.
The market was massive, about 4 city blocks of narrow labyrinth-like passageways leading between stalls with just about anything you can think of. One stall was nothing but blender parts. We stocked up on fruits and vegetables and wondered what some of the meats in various booths could possibly be.