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Voyages of S/V NautiMoments
A Sailing Trip to the Caribbean and Other Destinations unknown.
Acapulco and trip to Huatulco
Carole
02/18/2012

Acapulco
We arrived in Acapulco Feb 15th and left on Feb 17th in the afternoon as we needed to time it right so that we arrive in Huatulco in the morning on Feb 19th. We were pleasantly surprised with Acapulco, it was much different than either of us expected, and it is really quite a large city. We anchored in the bay near the Acapulco Yacht Club where they gave us a reciprocal due to our membership with Blue Water Cruising Association. This gave us access to the dinghy dock, the pool, showers, and the rest of the facilities. After organizing the boat, we all went ashore to enjoy the pool for the afternoon as it was hot and muggy. The pool was really nice, it had a couple of raised cement/tiled squares built into the pool where you could sit or lie down and still be in the water but not underneath it. We had a couple of drinks and then headed back to the boat to get food ready to take to our friend's boat, Gosling, for dinner that evening. Fran was talking to one of the people at the marina just before we headed back to the boat; she was able to arrange for the six of us (our friends on Gosling, their friends and ourselves) to have a tour of Acapulco the next day in a 7 passenger van.
So the next day we met Jose at the entrance to the Yacht Club at 10am and off we went. It was a very full day, we stopped for a couple of photo opportunities overlooking Acapulco Bay and then our next stop was the Chapel of Peace which was right at the top of a hill overlooking the bay and the houses of the rich and famous. The chapel was amazing, the stonework, the design, the onyx windows, the garden, the very large cross and the statue of hands. A definite must for a visit. Next we went to the Fairmont Princess hotel and had a look around. The centre lobby was open which reminded us of the hotels in Thailand, there were stone modules throughout the lobby and if we could have been on the top floor and looked down we would have seen that they formed the Mayan calendar. The other side of the lobby was the multi level pool with stones, waterfalls and a rope bridge across it. This is where we saw 2 pink flamingos....brilliant! On to our next stop which was to be the Silver Warehouse which was located downtown in a park, the warehouse is secured with huge metal gates which were opened for us when we arrived. Here they design and manufacture silver jewellery, first off we were shown through the area where they make the jewellery and he carefully explained the process to us, afterwards we entered the sales area. They had some beautiful jewellery at reasonable prices, Carole has been looking for a pendant for quite a while now but had not found what she wanted up until now, and she found a very nice pendant at this place. We needed to be at the cliff divers in 10 minutes so it was time to go, it would have been nice to spend more time looking at their jewellery here. Off to the cliff divers we go, we had heard that this show is spectacular and it was. We are hoping our pictures captured the event and will post them once we are in Hualtuco. They climb this high cliff and dive off the top into the inlet below which is not very wide and the waves and swells rush in and out of the inlet. Obviously it is all about the timing when the waves have subsided. We had an awesome view thanks to a young fellow who guided us to this great viewing location. At the end we got our picture taken with the divers, that is the ladies did. Next, we headed for the Fort which is called Fuerto de San Diego, the fort overlooks the cruise ship terminal. The Fort was full of history and the displays were very well done. The fort itself is in the shape of a pentagon--this we have not seen before. We are now nearing the end of our tour and want to do a quick shop at Sam's club, we decided to take advantage of the fact that we have a vehicle that will carry us and our shopping back to the marina. We arrived back at the marina 6 ½ hours later after a fulfilling day and at a very reasonable cost ($70 per couple approx.
After having a shower at the Yacht Club we left Acapulco at 1:30pm, once we got a little farther out in the bay there was enough wind to sail.....whohoo! We had the best sail we have had since we have been in Mexico, we sailed on a beam reach, anywhere from 6 - 7 knots, all the way through until 8pm that night. We motored through the night each of us taking our shifts, the moon rose around 4am but it was a small crescent shaped moon and the sky was full of stars. We wind came up around noon, it was time for a downwind sail, we sailed with just the main and maintained speeds of 6 to 6 ½ knots. We could have put out more sail but didn't because we don't want to go any faster as it would put us in Huatulco to early. As it is we will slow down a little more tonight. This has to be the best sailing we have had so far and we are looking forward to more.

We have arrived in Acapulco
Carole
02/15/2012

We left Papanoa at 6:30pm heading for Acapulco. Ken took the first shift and woke Carole at midnight. We had the mainsail out and reefed, sailing downwind initially but then the wind died and was on our nose. At 2am the moon (1/2 moon) rose out of the water, it was a half moon and bright orange, it was absolutely amazing. Ken took the next shift at 3am and was supposed to wake Carole at 6am for her shift but let me sleep about an hour longer (very nice of him). I got up around 6:45am just in time to see the sun rise at 7am. This time it was a big orange ball rising out of the water with wisps of cloud covering parts of it. We headed into the bay at 8am and arrived at the Acapulco Yacht Club at 8:50am. We had not expected Acapulco to be such a large city. Ken and Jean-Guy from the boat Gosling have gone ashore to the yacht club to find out if they have a mooring ball for us, we are hoping they honour reciprocals.

Papanoa
Carole
02/14/2012

We arrived at Papanoa at noon today and anchored in the bay, we will have a few hours sleep and then onto Acapulco tonight. When we arrived the little village was having some sort of celebration, kids were swimming in the bay, music on shore along with a crowd of people cheering the kids on. Shortly after we anchored they started a race, it looked like they had built a raft out of two pieces of wood almost looked like posts and they had filled plastic bags with more bags and air and attached all of this together. Onboard there were 3 kids each with a paddle. They had to paddle around 2 marks and back to the shore. They were having a blast.....lots of laughter. A couple of them had to be picked up by a panga as their rafts fell apart.

Zihuantanejo and Sailfest
Carole
02/14/2012

We had finished cleaning the boat from top to bottom in Ixtapa marina and were now in the anchorage at Zihuantanejo for the beginning of Sailfest. We volunteered and keep our friend company and help out at the desk in town for a few hours one afternoon which was fun because you got to meet a lot of people. Sailfest is all about raising money for the indigenous children, in past years they have raised enough to build a school and now they are raising funds to help the children learn Spanish as they need this in order to attend a Mexican school. The second night we attended a concert which was more than we ever expected, the variety and talent of the participants was fantastic! On Wednesday they had the pursuit race, eight boats participated and we helped out on the committee boat, another great day in paradise. The next day it was time to wax the boat and finish cleaning the rest of the stainless before it gets all salty and dirty, this took us pretty much all day, luckily it was cooler weather with clouds overhead. Wow did it ever look nice. On Friday we participated in the sail parade, Sailfest sold tickets for people to come on the cruisers boats and sail/motor from Zihuantanejo bay to Ixtapa and back, we were lucky enough to have 3 Mexican women and 3 children and one American fellow from Zihuantanejo on our boat. We had a great time, Ken took the young boy and girl under his wing and showed them under close supervision how to steer the boat, the young boy was so quick to learn, that he knew which buttons to push to switch from Autopilot to standby just by watching. We all had a great time. Now it was time to wonder around town, we can see why people come here and stay here it is a great little town, they have built a core area that is very pedestrian friendly with lots of little shops. People here are so helpful and friendly.
We said goodbye to our friends Ellen and Ian on Kasasa and wished them well on their journey back north for the summer. Thank you for the great dinner Ellen and Ian, we will miss you.
Our good friends Gil back home has a sister living in Zihuantanejo, we were able to get in touch with Tracy and Frank and arranged to have Frank come with us on the boat when we head up to the marina for a last cleaning and wash before heading south. We headed into shore to pick up Frank along with friends of theirs, Paddy and Sandy (visiting from Penticton) and headed off to the marina, once we got to the marina we went over to Tracy and Franks condo and then lunch. Sunday evening Tracy was singing at the restaurant where we had planned to eat along the boardwalk at the marina. We had about 12 of us cruisers at the restaurant that night and everyone enjoyed Tracy and her band. We had a nice visit with Tracy, Frank, Paddy and Sandy at the restaurant.
We spent yesterday provisioning and cleaning, phew got it all done just in time to have another visit with Tracy and Frank. We went to bed early last night as we knew we were leaving at 5am this morning.
We are now on our way to Acapulco for a quick stop and then onto Huatulco

Ken cleaning the rigging
Carole
02/05/2012

We headed into Marina Ixtapa on the morning of Feb 4th as the boat needed a good wash and general maintenance work. First on the agenda was to buy a 50ft garden hose, so off we went into Zihuantenajo to see what we could find, the first place we went had sold out so they referred us the the local hardware store just up the road. Off we trecked to the local hardware store but no luck they did not have any, they lady that served us was very nice and referred us to her brothers place just down 2 blocks. Off we went again, no luck yet again!. We were standing waiting for a bus to take us to another large store where we were sure they would have a hose when along came the lady who had served us previously, she asked if we had had success and we advised her that we had not, she asked us where we were going next and we told her and to our surprise she offered us a ride to the store. We have found people here to be very helpful and friendly and this is yet another example of that. We found the hose at the larger store and headed back to the boat. Now it was time to clean the rust off the stays, etc so off Ken went up the mast for his first time (not good with heights)! He cleaned the rigging all the way up to the first set of spreaders. We also gave the boat a much needed wash.
The next day Carole headed up the mast all the way to the top and cleaned the rest of the rigging, we used a vinegar, dishsoap and water solution to clean the rust off...works fantastic and then we applied a 3M wax to keep it cleaner longer. This tip was given to us by a rigging surveyor in La Cruz. We have had a busy couple of days.
The plan tomorrow is to finish cleaning the boat and doing some other odd chores and then we will move to the anchorage in Zihuantanejo.

Arrived in Isla Grande
Carole
02/02/2012

After an uneventful journey we arrived at Isla Grande, an island about an hour from Ixtapa marina. We pulled in around 4 o'clock and anchored in this beautiful little bay, lined with Palapas along the beach and people swimming along the shore. The pangas that transport people from Ixtapa were all gone for the day so it was quiet. Once we anchored and settled in we invited our buddy boats over plus another boat called Stray Cat for drinks and appies, we had a great visit, chatting about the trip down and our future destinations. We were tired and went to bed early and had a great sleep as the waters were calm. We were planning on heading out the next day Feb 3rd over to the Ixtapa Marina.
When we woke up the next morning we changed our minds and decided to stay another night in this anchorage. About mid afternoon we headed ashore with Gail and Mark on Mangereva, had a light lunch and drinks. The margaritas were the best we have had so far. The fellows at the restaurants (palapas) are very industrious, they came out to the boat in their Panga to encourage us to come to there restaurant, when we did go today, they were very attentive...great service!
Tonight was to be a very rolly night with a norther swell coming into the anchorage, we did not sleep much.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover ........(Mark Twain)........ Life is too short to not live your dreams.