Friday, January 27, 2012

Manzanillo to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

We arrive in Manzanillo for a short stop to rest prior to the longer leg to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. We anchor in Las Hadas bay. It is called that because of the beautiful resort here. Las Hadas means fairies. The resort is all painted white with beautiful architecture and is very stunning when you approach. We do take the dink to the marina to get rid of garbage, stretch our legs and to have a meal off the boat. An early evening and then back to the boat.

We leave November 29th at first light for the 30 hour (give or take) sail to Zihuatenejo. Our plan is to stay about 10 miles off shore, but with it a couple of hours we have run into a long line fishing operation. This type of fishing involves one or more panga boats. They set up these long fishing lines onto floats. The floats can be just about anything, foam, plastic bottles etc. These float lines are then strung along the currents and can be up to 5 miles long. On these other lines are tied with weight and hooks and bait. At the end of the lines there is usually a float with a small flag pole. This, if you are lucky is what you will see to warn you that the line is there. We then slow down; I go to the bow with binoculars and search for the connecting floats. We then slowly follow the line until we see the end flag. You can then turn and continue in the direction you want. Also if you are lucky one of the pangas will see you approach and quickly motor up to warn you. This is what happened to us. The fishermen will then point you in the right direction to get around their lines. After about 2 hours of dodging lines and not getting anywhere we decide to go our 20 miles from shore, in the shipping lanes. We figure it will be easier to see the cargo ships that the fishing lines. There we find no more long-lines and we are then able to make good time as we head south.
The night watch was busy watching for cargo ships. I did see one sail boat pass us by. She showed up on the radar well in advance so I could change course out its way. While I did not see any fishing boats this far out I could on occasion hear their chatter on the VHF radio, so they were out there somewhere.
As we were having trouble with the gooseneck connection of our boom to our mast (discovered on our crossing from La Paz) we had to motor the entire way. But there was not much wind anyway. But because of this we had decided to go straight to the marina in Ixtapa so we will have a calm place to remove it to take back home with us.
We arrive safe and sound in the Ixtapa marina at about 12pm on Wednesday November 30th. We have a flight home to Oregon on December 6th. We spend the time getting the boat ready, and removing the gooseneck to take home for repairs. We also take trips to Zihu to eat and walk around. The marina is quiet as we arrive early in the season, very few cruisers are here.
We meet Brian on the dock, a local Mexican who works on a boat near ours. We make arrangements for him to watch our boat while we are gone.

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