1982 Formosa 51ft Pilot House Ketch

26 January 2018 | Puerto Madero, Chiapas
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

Mornings in Mexico

26 January 2018 | Puerto Madero, Chiapas
When Fantasia was in the yard at Marina Chiapas, we lived for several weeks in the hot and grimy little town of Puerto Madero. One thing we noticed was the burning of rubbish early in the mornings as we walked 'to work'. The noxious smoke drifted across from street to street from the small piles of mainly plastic garbage burning in the dusty street outside many of the houses. It was a poignant reminder that no matter how hard we try to tread lightly when it comes to protecting the environment around us, in poor countries there is often no infrastructure available in the first place and people will continue to do what they have done forever. By burning their garbage every day outside on the street, to a degree the problem is kept manageable and saves them the trip to the edge of the town where the road leading out was lined with black bin liners full of stinking waste. From time to time, this was set on fire, resulting in acrid smoke hanging over the whole town for days.
On our passage north, I discovered DH Lawrences's 'Mornings in Mexico' which has proved to be an interesting read. He talks about Rosalino who cares for the house and for whom, part of the daily routine consists of sweeping leaves from the patio and gathering them up in a panier basket before he

'goes out to deposit the garbage at the side of the little road leading out of the city. Every little road leaves the town between heaps of garbage, an avenue of garbage blistering in the sun'.

The essays are beautifully observed and although written nearly a hundred years ago, they contain wonderful details that have not changed at all.

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.
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