Arriving in Mazatlan to a Warm Welcome

Singlar Marina, Mazatlan, Sinaloa

Humpback Whale Mother and Calf, Approaching Mazatlan

Well I guess we paid our dues the other night rounding Cabo Corientes in that mess.

Our 185-mile passage north to Mazatlan was … dare I say … spectacular. We had little to no wind, with the anemometer showing between 9 and 11 knots relative and subtracting our speed of around 7 knots we can safely say we saw less than 6 knots of real wind the whole 25 hours.

And with that little wind, the sea was almost mirror-calm with little cat’s paws raking the surface every now and then and a gentle swell of 0 to 2 feet most of the way. [Read more…]

Leaving La Cruz and Banderas Bay

Underway for Mazatlan

The Dolphin Statue in Puerto Vallarta

We spent a pleasant four days at the marina in La Cruz, and Ole was in pig heaven wandering around the downtown chandlery Zaragosa Marine, saving me thousands of dollars by not buying everything that caught his fancy.

The bus system makes all kinds of sense here – for 16 pesos, the equivalent of a dollar and a half, we were able to take a 45-minute trip into town for supplies, lunch, and a much-needed haircut. Neither of us has been here since the mid-80s, and the development is astounding. [Read more…]

Well, THAT was fun.

Marina Riviera Nayarit,
La Cruz, Mexico

When we left Chamela last Monday morning, we saw the only “hole” in the weather around Cabo Corientes would occur between 6:00 and 10:00 pm, when the winds would theoretically die down to less than 15 knots.  The forecast for the rest of the week was 20-25 knots for days. [Read more…]

Arrived Safe and Sound in Barra de Navidad

At Anchor, Barra de Navidad

Morning in Barra Lagoon

It’s been a wonderful few days here in Manzanillo, and it’s amazing how quickly we can settle into a routine once we’ve found a great place like this. Mornings puttering around getting chores done, then afternoons by the pool, with the obligatory margarita for me and Negra Modelo for Ole.

One of the best things about this lifestyle is connecting with people who share our passion for cruising…making new friends at each anchorage, and reconnecting with those we’ve met along the way. We’ve shared dinner and boat brand knowledge with Ron and Sheryl from Lazy Days, a 44+5 DeFever. We’ve reconnected with Barb and Gary from Hurrah, a Taiana double-ender we originally met in Bocas del Toro. And we met the wonderful Christophe and Marianne, Swiss friends of Gerry and Chris whom we’ve heard so much about. [Read more…]

Smooth Sailing to Manzanillo

Underway from Ixtapa to Manzanillo

Easy Cruising

We’ve been underway since 2:00 p.m. yesterday, and are currently about 4 hours from our anchorage in Manzanillo, where we expect to arrive some time between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m.

Our principal weather sites, Magic Seaweed, PassageWeather, and BuoyWeather, indicated we’d have little to no wind, and very small swell today – and that conditions would begin deteriorating tomorrow. So off went the lines, and out we went, planning on a passage of about 27 hours to travel the 180 or so miles.

So far it’s been a great trip…with no wind beyond the normal onshore/offshore daily pattern, and swells less than 2-3 feet. Last night we worried we were the last people on earth, as we saw nothing on the radar for hours at a time (fine by me).

It’s been so quiet, as a matter of fact, that this morning until about 10:00 it was like glass…not a ripple on the water. There hasn’t been much in the way of sea life – but we’re noticing different birds here than just 400 miles south:  Caspian terns, brown boobies, and the occasional gull cruise by to have a look at us. More often than not, we’ll identify the location of a sea turtle because we’ll see a bird standing on its back to rest.

“Repairing Your Boat in Exotic Locations”

At Anchor, Zihuatenejo

Zihuatenejo Anchorage

Ah, boating.

We hadn’t even cleared Isla Roqueta off the entrance to Acapulco yesterday when we heard a mysterious bang (not the kind of thing you really look forward to hearing on a boat while you’re underway).

A quick run through the salon and the sound of rushing water…under the sink!  The hose between the hot water tank and the kitchen sink blew, and fresh (thank god) water was spraying all over under the sink. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but it has to GO somewhere, so it went down, through the acoustic overhead in the engine room, and under the cabinets and into the carpet in the salon. [Read more…]

Anchored in Acapulco

At anchor, Acapulco

At Anchor in Acapulco

Arriving in Acapulco harbor at 10:00 last night, we were finally anchored by 11:05 pm – exactly 36 hours after leaving Huatulco on Monday morning.

The 235-mile journey was pleasant, with seas less than 3 feet, winds less than 5 knots, and lots of wildlife for company. [Read more…]

Hola, Mexico!

Marina Chahue,
Huatulco, Mexico

Well, we made it, voyaging 522 miles over 76 hours across the dreaded and respected Gulf of Tehuantepec. It was the longest passage Ole and I have made together, requiring three overnight runs and constant monitoring of weather, and I must say, we picked a superb window.

Crossing Tehuantepec with Hitchhikers

We left Barillas Marina at 6:50 in the morning, and were guided out to the ocean waypoint by their panguero. The sea state was fairly calm, consisting of loooonnnnnggg 12-15 second Pacific swells of 4-6 feet, with the wind picking up each afternoon, peaking just before sunset, and subsiding throughout the night. We never had wind over 15 knots (actual), and it was mostly from the west or southwest. Occasionally the wind and swells competed with the current, resulting in a chop that reached 3 or 4 feet on top of the swells, but none of it was overly unpleasant – we just spent a few uncomfortable hours bucking like a bronco from time to time.

We had three scheduled “bailout” ports along the way in case the weather turned, and as we approached Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, Puerto Madero and Salina Cruz in Mexico, conditions looked great to just keep going. The challenge was to make sure we each got enough rest – sleeping 6 or 8 hours through the night is impossible on this kind of passage – so we just took turns standing watch, spelling each other with naps as needed.

Gertrude and Heathcliff, the Hitchhiking Boobies

We were joined by a couple of hitchhikers who jumped aboard somewhere around Puerto Madero and stayed with us for two days – we christened them Gertrude and Heathcliff…and in spite of arm-waving, horn blasts, and fierce yelling, they sat and shat all over the fly bridge, making themselves quite at home. I had to remind myself of “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” though, and not get too tough with them lest we anger the Tehuantepec weather gods.

Conditions were so favorable, we arrived at Marina Chahue in Huatulco and were alongside at 12:45 (our time) in the afternoon, in good enough shape to meet the neighbors, have a beer or two, and stay up until 10 pm. It’s now just past noon on Monday, April 19, and we’re still waiting for the officials to clear us in. They were going to come yesterday (but it was Sunday) at 3:00 pm, they were going to start coming at 11:00 this morning, but we haven’t seen a soul yet. Aah, Mexico!

Hello, El Salvador

Boy, we were never so glad to be up at 4:00 a.m. and leave an anchorage (except maybe from Vivorillos, three years ago). After two days of sitting through calm mornings, with jellyfish-laden water, and being treated to afternoon winds of 25-30 knots that lasted well past dinnertime, we opted to just leave and head for Barillas Marina in El Salvador, where we arrived at about 1:45 p.m. [Read more…]

Golfo de Fonseca — A Disappointment

Underway From Nicaragua to El Salvador

After an early morning visit by the Nicaraguan authorities, we took off at about 9:00 for a six-hour run to the Golfo de Fonseca, a large sound shared by El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. This was a must-visit place, as Ole ordered and had hand-delivered a chart for the area. The chart made it look interesting, as there were many islands and bays, and we envisioned gunkholing, swimming off the back, and poking around the beach. We arrived at an anchorage on the northeast corner of Isla Manguera, recommended by Roberto as a good anchorage, and not 15 minutes after we dropped the hook, the winds came howling off the island from the west, gusting up to 25 knots, and making it impossible to contemplate dropping the dinghy. The winds lasted until about 9:00 p.m., when it mysteriously calmed down.