Thanksgiving in Zihuatanejo
24 November 2016
So last night, around 11:30pm, while we were changing night watch shifts, I told Brian that it might rain. The weather has been so pleasant that we weren’t expecting it, and, so we’ve been looking at wind and swells but not the rain. Lesson learned.
We had been cruising by a shipping harbor and there were some freighters hanging out that we had to pass at about 3 miles. They didn’t look like they were moving but had their engines on and then, to really keep me on my toes, our radar alarms kept going off. We had two rings set, one at 5 miles and another at 1 mile. I couldn’t understand why they were going off because I couldn’t see any boat lights, other than the freighters, and there weren’t any heavy seas or whitecaps, so that was a bit unnerving. I decided that maybe they were fishing buoys and I was glad we weren’t hitting any of them. Then finally I saw a red blip on the radar screen on our starboard stern about 4 miles away and was watching it because I thought it was a boat but I couldn’t see any lights when I looked that way. Then the red blip started to look like some ghostly thing and got bigger and redder, and I’m thinking…wth is that? It was rain. I had heard from others that you could see the heavy rain on radar and avoid the squalls because you can see which direction they are going. It was actually pretty cool and I was glad it wasn’t coming our way, but I noticed more dark clouds rolling in.
Brian took over watch and prepared the boat for rain. We had a nice down pour at about 4am right before I was supposed to come on shift. I grabbed a foully jacket and went up top. We had arrived at the entrance to Zihuatanejo Bay, our destination, but would not enter until morning so we were hove to, meaning we had backed our foresail so that basically we were slowly drifting but not moving very far at about 1.5 knots and we were about 8 miles offshore.
Thankfully, I saw the moon peek through the clouds and the storm moved off without another drop. It turned out to be a local squall, not a big storm so it was no big deal.
So now it’s 8am, the captain has awakened and we will soon head into the anchorage where I will drop into the bunk and sleep.