On the morning of December 19th, the Mexican Navy came through the anchorage in Tenacatita and visited every boat checking papers. They were very polite, spoke no English and they enjoyed meeting PeeWee. They wished us Feliz Navidad y Feliz Ano Nuevo and went on their way.
We left the anchorage, rounded the point and snagged a long line. We didn’t see it until it was too late. They use a black flag on the end of the line and coke bottles along it… kinda hard to see while traveling down the coast. We had the engine in neutral when we hit it (just in case), pulled it a little before it slid off our hull. Mermaid has a modified full keel and it would be difficult (not impossible) for the line to reach her prop. Needless to say we went on a full lookout for more long lines. We saw several and managed to miss them before snagging one more. Dang! It popped off as well and the fishermen waved and smiled at us. It seemed they were as relieved as we were that it didn’t go in the prop. After the sun went down we just hoped that the fishermen had picked up there long lines, but we will never know.
The winds were very light and on our stern which in not good sailing weather so we were a power boat most of the time. At one point (middle of the night of course) I was sure Mike had become a madman. He was so determined to sail that we were jibing back and forth and sailing (very, very slowly) in the wrong direction. Finally he came to his senses, dropped the sails and went back to motoring… What a relief!
Our trip from Tenacatita to Zihuatanejo was two overnights – well, really 1 1/2 as we got in the anchorage at 4:00am. We had beautiful sunsets and sunrises. We saw lots of dolphins and turtles. We even caught a fish… You guessed it, a jack. We threw it back. We saw a huge ball of a fishing net with two huge sea turtles caught in it. I insisted that we go back and help them and Mike pointed out that the were already dead and there was nothing we could do… It was so sad.
As we approached the entrance to Zihuatanejo we found ourselves in the middle of a bunch of fishing vessels with all kinds of light configurations. It was very confusing. Two of them with nets out were right in front of the entrance! They slowed and we managed to squeeze between them. We could only make out a few anchor lights and opted to anchor by the beach in La Ropa where we had been 11 years ago. We went right to sleep for a couple of hours and in the daylight were very surprised to see 20 or more boats anchored.
We didn’t want to sleep in the day and not be able to sleep at night so we hoisted the dink and headed to town. The dinghy landing now has “attendants” who help cruisers in and out with the dinks for a tip. We wandered around town noting what had changed and how much was still the same. We headed over to Rick’s Bar (the cruiser hangout) to get the scoop on what was going on in Zihua. What? Rick’s Bar was gone! We asked a policeman about it and he told us that the government made Rick leave so Memo (who worked for Rick) bought the bar and later closed it. It then became Baracuda Bar. We decided to try it another day. We sat in a palapa on the beach, enjoyed a couple of cervesas and headed back to Mermaid where we got a good night of sleep… Except for the rolling.
In the morning we decided to move back over between La Ropa and Las Gatas so we could use both a bow and stern anchor. We were surprised that not one boat was using a stern anchor. Also, the water was much clearer on that side of the bay and we liked to swim in the hot afternoons. We were happy that we got to Zihua in time for Austin’s arrival for the holidays.
While enjoying a quiet afternoon in the cockpit we noticed a dinghy driving weird. After watching it seemed that it was a lesson. They got behind us and stopped. The instructor went over the side of the dink and seemed to be trying to get something from their prop. The second man (extremely large man) got in the water. We knew this was not going to end well. How would that man be able to get back into the boat? Well, it seemed he couldn’t. We watched them for a while and finally Mike took our UpNOut ladder over to them. After some time the instructor and Mike were able to get the rather large (I’m being very nice here) man back in his dink and on their way. A little while later our friends Charlotte and James from MV Pegasus arrived and anchored beside us. It was fun catching up and we looked forward to spending more time with them.