Itís been swell
08 March 2008 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Well, after about a week the swell has finally settled down (mostly) here in Zihuatanejo Bay. It's certainly a relief as in addition to more comfortable living (and sleeping) on the boat, it also makes for safer and drier dinghy landings on shore.
The most popular dinghy landing in the bay is near the large concrete municipal pier which is used to on- and off-load passengers to the fishing charter boats and cruise ship tenders. The shore next to that pier is usually quite calm and one can easily motor one's dinghy into the shallows, hop out and drag it on to the beach. (The addition of dinghy wheels make this even easier.) A local named Nathaniel is generally on hand from early in the a.m. to around 11:00 at night to assist with landing the dinghy (a "dinghy valet"!). He also keeps an eye on the dinghies while the owners are ashore. The value of this service was brought home to a few cruisers who came back to their dinghies after Nathanial had gone home. They found they were missing things like a water pump or fuel. That's disappointing.
Nathanial works only for tips- most folks give him 1 or 2 bucks a day. This past week he's been really earning his money as the swell has made the dinghy landing much more exciting. You really have to keep an eye on the water behind you as you approach the shore: that little bump in the water can become a strong breaking wave just as it catches the stern of your dinghy. Then you can be upended, flipped or just take on a ton of water to soak everything. John has taken to picking up and dropping off the girls and I on the concrete pier. Much safer in the swell conditions, plus we don't get our feet wet wading from the dinghy. Nice. I'm only embarrassed that it took us a month to figure that one out.