Saturday, February 18, 2012

Zihuatanejo & Sail Fest: February 1-11

Our trip north from Hutulco is a quick motor. We are making good time so we decide not to make a rest stop in Acapulco but to continue on to Zihuatanejo. Along the way we see a giant pod of dolphins, more than we have ever seen in one place. Several come over to play in the bow of the boat.
We arrive at Bahia Petatlan (just north of Zihua) before dark on Thursday the 2nd making the passage in just over 48 hours. We set anchor and relax in the cockpit and then early to bed.

As we are still having some refrigeration problems we decide to head into the marina in Ixtapa first thing in the morning. I have already called our friend Brian (remember, he watched to boat for us while we were home in December) to ask if he knew a repair-man. He said he would make a call and have the best one around at our boat by 10am in the morning. We arrive at 9:30. We are happy to see our friend’s boat, Serendipity in the slip just next to us. We just missed them though as they needed to hop on a bus for an inland tour.
Brian is there to greet us and soon the repair folks are here. The problem just seems to be getting the Freon correct. So he tests it and adds more Freon. It now seems to work great, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Our boat is a mess after two long passages, so we have Brian give it a good wash. I also take up all the laundry to be taken to be washed, (laundry mats are really nonexistent, and usually the same place as who will do it for you and it is just as cheap to have them do it).

Mel and I take the bus to Zihatanejo to register for the Sail-Fest activities. Sail-Fest is an annual five-day festival with the goal to raise money and awareness for the education of Zihuatanejo’s poorest children. There are concerts, beach parties, a boat parade and auctions.  We register our boat, sign up to be in the sail parade and purchase tickets to the benefit concert. Then head to Zorro’s for a cold beer.

On Sunday we head over to the main anchorage in Zihatanejo and find a good spot close to the dingy beach. After we settle in we take a cab to the market to provision for the week. We are happy to welcome our friends, Bob and Kris from Seattle. They have come to visit us for the Sail-Fest activities, and will stay on our boat while we are gone for our inland trip. They arrive on February 6th and we enjoy drinks and dinner in town with them.

The next few days are busy with activities. We enjoy a walk along the beach walkway and drinks by the pool at Bob and Kris’ hotel, the opening party and auction, and the benefit concert. Once again this is one of the highlights of the festival for me. While the meal has something to be desired, the music is fantastic. We are also happy to meet up there with two of our “ladies” who were our guests at last year’s boat parade. They are also going to go to Huatulco, so I give them Gabriel’s information. It is also a bit of a sad time when we say goodbye to our friends Hugh and Anne on the boat Serendipity. They will leave for South American in a few days and I doubt that our paths will cross again. We had lots of good times with them while in Mexico.

Sail Parade

Friday is the parade day. It is cloudy with a few sprinkles now and then. This is unusual for here. It does not seem to be putting a damper on the guests and we have seven guests on board. We had purchased a ticket for Joaquin to come as our guest. So along with Kris and Bob, we are hosts to Karen, of Nanaimo BC, Charlie and Dianne of Minnesota, Tracy of Main, and Tim and Donna of Nanaimo BC. All the boats in the parade make a circle around the bay then head over to Ixtapa bay make a circle around it then head back. This takes about 2 hours or so. We manage to sail for a little. When we return all are welcomed to stay and relax in the cockpit for the afternoon. We share drinks, snacks and great conversation (and a Spanish lesson from Joaquin).  Even with the rain it was a great day. Thanks to all our guests for the memorable day.

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