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Sirena
"Sail fast and live slow"
Puerto Madero/Chiapas
Connie, hot and humid
02/05/2012

Puerto Madero/Chiapas
We arrived here at 9:30 a.m. after safely crossing the dreaded Gulf of Tehuantepec. Whew! We did not have an absolutely calm weather window, but we had a forecast of 20-25 knots for a short duration in the middle of the Tehuantepec. We left Huatulco at 10 p.m. and motored with calm seas and wind until about 8:00 a.m., a little past Salina Cruz, when the wind came up. We were close to shore so the water was calm and the wind was on the beam and it was easy with a small jib. After a few hours the wind died down and the rest of the afternoon and night was calm, so we were thrilled to have an easy crossing. There were a lot of shrimp boats out at night to watch for, but it wasn't a problem, they were well lit and we had a lot of moonlight. The marina here in Chiapas is so new that it's not even officially open yet. The docks are finished but there isn't any water or electricity, so we get to stay here for free! Since this is the last port in Mexico, this is where we check out of the country. On Monday a man here in the marina will take care of all the paper work for us, which will save us hours of running around to several different offices. We plan to leave Mon. night for Bahia del Sol, El Salvador and it should be a 36 hr. trip. We have to plan to be there at high tide to cross the bar and enter the river where the marina is. A local will come out on a jetski and guide us in over the bar. On Sunday we plan to go into town and find a sports bar so we can watch the superbowl game.

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Huatulco
Connie warm and humid
02/02/2012, Marina Chahue

Huatulco
We are now in Marina Chahue in Huatulco. It's a small marina where boats wait for a good weather window to cross the Tehuantepec Channel, which can be very windy and rough. The town, La Crucecita, is a very pretty town, with parkways in the center dividers of the main roads, and a large town square with benches under big shade trees. Many restaurants and shops surround the square. We'll be leaving tonight, Thursday, at 10:00pm so as to cross the worst part during daylight hours. It will take us 2 days to get to the next town and marina at Chiapas. We weren't able to take any pictures around town because our camera battery was low and needed charging. Very disappointing!

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Second day in Acapulco
Connie, warm and humid
01/30/2012, Acapulco

Second day in Acapulco
Our taxi driver, Leo, had another day of sightseeing planned for us. First we went to see the Cathedral of Acapulco and it was beautiful. In front of the Cathedral was a large plaza, called the Zocalo, and it had huge shade trees, gazebos, fountains, restaurants, and many vendors selling their wares. We strolled along the shops enjoying the atmosphere and I bought a dress, Larry bought a shirt, Karen bought a blouse and some kids books in Spanish for her grandkids. Then we went to the museum at the San Diego Fort. It was very well done and we learned a lot about the history of the area, including the fact that Acapulco used to be a busy shipping port in the early years. Ships were built here in Acapulco in the 1500's for the trade route with China and the Phillipines. It took around 100 days to sail from Acapulco to China and around 180 days for the return trip, which ended up in northern California and then came down the coast to Acapulco. After the museum Leo took us to a nice palapa restaurant on the main beach that had good seafood. After lunch he took us to the newer area south of town, down the coast a few miles, to a nice beach, where we rode horses on the beach. What a wonderful and busy 2 days we had here in Acapulco, and not a hint of violence or problems!

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Acapulco
Connie, warm and humid, in the 80's
01/29/2012

We arrived in Acapulco mid morning and got tied up at a dock. We talked to a man who took care of boats on the dock and found out he was also a taxi driver, so we arranged for him to take us around Acapulco all day for 500 pesos (about $45). He took us to the cliff divers, then to Costco, and later to Las Brisas for dinner. The cliff divers were amazing to watch. We sat in an open air restaurant overlooking where they dove, enjoying drinks in the cool shade, while watching the spectacular diving. There were 6-8 divers and they dove from a cliff that was 37 meters high into water that was 4 meters deep. After diving, they climbed out of the water and up the cliff (barefoot and wet) to dive again. Two divers dove at one time, and some of the divers did flips, and the last diver dove from the highest point of all of them and did a beautiful flip. Afterwards we got our pictures taken with some of the divers. (We felt like such tourists!!) Then Leo took us to Costco to get more provisions for the boat, which turned out to be a nice sightseeing ride because Costco is at the other side of the bay and a little beyond. We stopped at several viewpoints to admire the view and take pictures. Acapulco bay is a beautiful bay. We'd heard about a wonderful restaurant called Las Brisas and decided to have dinner there. We were told that men had to wear long pants, so that gave us a clue about what kind of restaurant it might be. Well, Ed hasn't worn long pants for over a year, so it was lucky that he had a pair of jeans along. Las Brisas was on the other side of the bay on a hill top with a fantastic view. As we walked into the restaurant the view was breathtaking! It was a black night with no moon and all the city lights were twinkling brilliantly, while the hotel lights along the beach reflected in the water. It was truly magical. We ate outside on the patio, the evening was warm and balmy, the service was wonderful, the food was exceptional, the piano player was playing, all the while overlooking the twinkling city lights which appeared to be floating in the blackness of the night. We all agreed that this was the best restaurant that any of us had ever been to.

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Zihuatanejo
Connie warm and humid, 80's and 80 % humidity
01/28/2012

Zihuatanejo
"Z town" is a beautiful place. We'd heard about it for years from our cruising friends, so we were glad we could stop and see it. It's hilly, very similar to Laguna Beach, with 2 big bays and nice beaches. One bay is in front of the town, and the other bay has big resort hotels along the beach. When we went ashore in the dinghy, Larry dropped Karen and I off at the pier, then he and Ed took the dinghy to the beach. It was calm, with no waves, so the beach landing was easy. There's a man who came out in the water and helped them pull the dinghy up on the beach and he watched the dinghy and helped put it back in the water for them (all for 10 pesos, less than 1 dollar). There is a Malecon, or walkway, along the beach with big shade trees and palapa restaurants in the sand and shops and restaurants on the other side. It's very picturesque. At the end of the bay there is a river, hills and a rocky point that separates the 2 bays. They've made a bridge and walkway along the rocks to be able to walk between the 2 bays. It's warm, in the 80's, and quite humid. We had dinner ashore and as we walked by the plaza on the waterfront, 2 local teams were warming up to have a basketball game. The town was busy at night, with cruisers, gringos, and local families out and about. Some cruisers stay here for several weeks at a time, and I can see why, as it's a great place to stay. We had breakfast in town and ran into some more cruiser friends, then went to the Archeological Museum, and learned about the local history. Now we're on our way to Acapulco. We left at 2:00 pm and should be there in the morning, and hopefully, will be watching the cliff divers by the afternoon.

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Ixtapa
Connie, warm and humid
01/27/2012, Ixtapa marina

We left Barra in the late morning heading for Ixtapa. We had had a fun 2 days in Barra meeting up with friends, relaxing around the pool, going to dinner at Sambuca, the treehouse restaurant, watching the 2 playoff football games, and taking a bus to nearby Melaque to see it. The anchorage in Barra is in a lagoon, so it's flat, calm water, which is very nice to have especially for sleeping at night. We bought some wonderful croissants and bread from the French Baker, who comes around the anchorage in a boat selling his pastries. What a wonderful service he provides!
We've had calm, warm weather with little wind, so we were happy when the wind came up and we sailed all afternoon on flat seas. The wind died around dinner time, then came up later and we were able to sail all night. During my night watch dolphins came to entertain me. There was phosphorescence in the water and the dolphins looked like torpedoes coming at the boat making white streaks in the water. I could hear them come up to breath and there was a little extra burst of light on the surface when they did. Sometimes there were 2 streaks of white as they swam parallel to the boat, then turned left, then back towards the boat, perfectly choreographed together. All the time we were sailing at about 7 knots on flat seas; it couldn't have been better.
We arrived at Ixtapa in the morning, fortunately the weather was calm because the entrance is only about wide enough for 1 boat at a time and doesn't have a breakwater. We got fuel, then went to the dock. We used this time to wash the boat and get out other sails that might be needed in the near future. Then in the evening, Larry and Karen took us to a really nice restaurant they've been telling us about for weeks called Bogarts. The walls in the entrance and bar area were covered with pictures of Humphrey Bogart in many different movies, then as we turned to enter the dining room we came into an oasis with fountains, pools, and plants in a very elegant setting reminiscent of Casa Blanca in Morrocco. The food was outstanding, with the waiter cooking much of it at our table.
In the morning we'll motor over to Zihuatanejo, about 6 miles away, and spend a day there.
The blue boat in the marina is Panta Rhei.

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