Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

It took 48 hours to sail to Zihuatanejo, what once was a quiet town just east of Ixtapa (the Pacific’s version of Cancun) and a couple hundred miles west of Acapulco. Although the population of the successful town has steadily increased in recent years, the town still maintains a small village feel and is worlds apart from hotel high-rise Ixtapa.

When the sun was rising and Zihuatanejo on the horizion a mere 20 miles away. The wind came to a standstill. Actually, it blew just enough to be annoying. I was alone at the helm and jib got back winded ever so slightly. It wasn’t much of a problem because we weren’t moving–just annoying. I turned the helm all the way to the opposite direction, but the sail would not correct itself. There was not enough momentem for the rudders to even have an effect. Frustrated, I fired up the starboard motor. No sooner had I started it, I heard our fishing pole start to reel. Initially I was thinking, “we caught a fish!” I turned around to see the fishing line pointed down to the propellor. Because the boat turned and there wasn’t enough speed, the line was underneath the propeller and got tangled when I started the engine.

By this time, Larry awoke and we discussed what to do. He didn’t want to start the port motor, in case the line was aruond there. We decided to roll up the jib and just drift until there would be enough sunlight to get in the water and untangle the line. We waited, then I did just that. It wasn’t as bad as I thought: I did a few unwraps and then the line was clear.

We anchored in the main part of town, a short swim from the town basketball and volleyball court. I swam to shore and investigated the town. I found an Internet cafe and checked my email. I didn’t go out the first night. Too clean from my shower, I was too lazy to swim or row to shore.

The second day I thought I’d check out Ixtapa, just a 5 peso, 20 minute bus ride. I got off the bus, walked up and down the beach, then got back on the bus. Ixtapa was like a ghost town. There were giant hotels but they seemed at 10% capacity. Aside from the hotels and a Senior Frogs, there was nothing much else. The beach was nicer than the one in downtown Zihua, but Zihua had a comprable one on the other side of the bay. I rowed to shore that night to see what I could find. I ended up drinking with a Johan, a Swede on vacation from his freighter job, and Julien, another sailor from Santa Barbara (although he didn’t sail there). Since Johan had been living there for a month, he showed us around to a couple of bars.

Our last day in Zihua, we moved the boat to the quieter, cleaner side of the bay. As I was dozing off in the hammock for an afternoon nap, I hear on the radio, “This is Gypsy calling Crystal Blue Persuasion. Crystal Blue Persuasion do you copy?” It was Chad and the super kids from Gypsy. I knew they were in town because I got an email from Eddie and I was going to try hailing them after my nap. We made plans to meet in town later that afternoon.

After my nap, I packed by dry bag and swam to shore. I gave myself an hour to walk around the bay and into town but it ended up only taking 15 minutes. I drank a beer on the beach while I awaited their arrival.

I bonded with the super kids because they are a few of the rare 20-something Haha participants. Few people that age have their own boat, I guess. Eddie and Chad work at a restaraunt in Jackson Hole for the winter. Eddie and Justin, the skipper, went to college in Pennsylvania. Justin’s going to be a civil engineer in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and asked Eddie, then Chad if they’d like to join him along the way. I don’t think he had to do much convincing.

We got some margaritas for happy hour. Then some food. Chad was excited that it was pizoli day. As far as I can explain, pizoli is a soup with some vegetable that looks like a large corn kernel. Then we went to a bar and drank more beers. I ran into some of the same people from the night before. After a few, we decided to head back to Gypsy to finish the night.

To be continued…


  1. dad Says:

    Keep track of the names of the people you meet and get their addresses. I know you think you will never forget them,but you will as time goes by. More importantly keep track of the local brews you drink on your trip. All writers keeps track of important stuff like that. Lastly remember Mitchners 5 rules for wanderers. Happy Thanksgiving

  2. sternbergler Says:

    Seems like you are having an awesome time. When you said you were going to this place I couldn’t help but think about “Shawshank Redemption.” So did you see Andy?

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