1982 Formosa 51ft Pilot House Ketch

21 January 2018 | Acapulco, Mexico
14 January 2018 | Huatulco to Puerto Angel
03 January 2018 | Chiapas, Mexico
21 December 2017 | Antigua, Guatemala
20 December 2017 | Antigua, Guatemala
19 December 2017 | Antigua, Guatemala
18 December 2017 | Antigua, Guatemala
16 December 2017 | Talisman Frontera, Chiapas, Mexico
15 December 2017 | Talisman Frontera, Mexico
13 December 2017 | Puerto Madera, Chiapas, Mexico
03 December 2017 | Puerto Madero, Mexico
02 December 2017 | Marina Chiapas, Mexico
27 November 2017 | Chiapas, Mexico
11 January 2017 | Barra de Navidad to Bahia Santiago
30 December 2016 | Barra de Navidad
30 December 2016 | Barra de Navidad
30 December 2016 | Barra de Navidad
25 December 2016 | Barra de Navidad
25 December 2016 | Barra de Navidad
25 December 2016 | Barra de Navidad

Slow Boat to China!

21 January 2018 | Acapulco, Mexico
Notes from the passage...
Leaving Puerto Angel at dawn 3 days ago en route to Zihuatenejo. We had a great time there with S/V Serafina and our old friends from Zihua last year, on S/V Myla. Puerto Angel is the sweetest little place. Progress north has been slow with 2 knots of current all the way, struggling to make 3 knots for a lot of the time. Seen marlin, turtles and an orca swam right next to the boat! Just passing Acapulco now, hope to be in Zihua in 24 hours

An Angel in Sight

14 January 2018 | Huatulco to Puerto Angel
Whilst our crossing of the Tehuantepec was generally pretty calm, we had underestimated the effect of the next Tehuantepecker, with wind speeds of 70 knots, on our transit north. Even so, the predicted wave height was not disturbing and so with light winds in the forecast, we departed Marina Chahue, Huatalco and enjoyed a first night at anchor in the next cove, Santa Cruz. The port here is mainly home to pangas and sports fishing boats and is extremely picturesque. A Corona on the beach got us into the cruising mood but when a cruise ship arrived in the morning, it was our signal to weigh anchor.
Within minutes we were out in a big swell which built to 3-4 metres as the day went on. The strange thing was that there was almost zero wind; it was clear that the swell was entirely a result of the strong Tehuantepecker blowing to the south of us. We hoped that as we rounded the point the swell would diminish but this was not to be the case. Having slid off my seat onto the floor, I decided to stay put and hang on to the winch as we slithered and slipped down the waves. In fact, the whole day was just a case of holding on to the boat and my breakfast as I watched the white sand beaches of the Huatulco bays through the whites of my eyes over the white capping.

An unwelcome crew member who has not been seen since our voyage from Isla Isabella to Mantachen Bay 4 years ago, was found to be still on board. He tucks himself away surreptitiously whilst we undertake most passages only to creep out while we are concentrating on staying on board in heavy conditions. Best of all he enjoys a swell on our beam. During this passage our gorilla occupied himself flinging the contents of the boat around from flagstaff to bowsprit and I hesitate to suggest, opening portholes? How else would we end up with two portholes full of water over the bed for I am sure we would not have forgotten to close them.

Fortunately, Stuart had more stamina than me and took it all in his stride as always. Motoring at 6 knots gave us a boat speed through the water of 3 knots and so it was a long 8 hours slog before we reached the rolly but welcome anchorage of Puerto Angel.

We Said No!

03 January 2018 | Chiapas, Mexico
The Dreaded Green Taxi - No Combi Vans in sight!
Today was a big day, we said no ..... no to cramming four extra adults into an already over full combi van. As with all language, what is not said can mean as much, if not more than what is actually said and so to be technically correct, we didn't say no, we said nothing and feigned confusion.
It is a clear economic fact that if something is cheap then there will be a sacrifice of some kind. Sometimes that sacrifice is just too much....
After weeks of being driven in overcrowded combi vans and taxis, we have had enough. Having experienced suicidal overtaking, undertaking, three laning, red headlights, green headlights, no headlights, our nerves are strained as far as they will go. Taxis are in one word a lottery. Some drivers are careful and have by local standards, tidy vehicles. Others are something else altogether, always speeding for the next passengers. Vans, often overladen, sway precariously from side to side when driven at speed. Our knuckles are white from gripping onto the seat in front.
Today, shortly after filling the last seat making 19 people in the specially modified van, the driver stopped again to pick up four more passengers. There was a lot of gesturing and pointing, with the back row attempting a pigeon translation just in case we had not comprehended that not only were we all to shove along but I was to give up my seat and sit on Stuart's lap. That would make 23 people in a van designed for 12. No! We didn't comprehend, we stayed in our seats without the slightest hint of a shuffle along. For several minutes the driver continued to berate his passengers for their lack of cooperation before finally driving off in desperation, leaving his extra fares to somebody else.
It is cheerless story to tell, that some of the world's poorest people rely on such a treacherous transport system. Surprisingly, even here in Mexico where the sun almost always shines, we are not immune and for once we said NO!
Vessel Name: Fantasia
Vessel Make/Model: Formosa 51
Hailing Port: Puerto Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico
Crew: Stuart Cooper and Karen Key
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Fantasia's Photos -

Who: Stuart Cooper and Karen Key
Port: Puerto Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico