1500 miles of driving.
1500 miles of sailing.
The southern most terminus of our cruising season.
3 months since leaving Idaho.
3 months to get back.
The journey IS the destination…
Deidre and I are heading back north. We spent a wonderful 3 weeks in and around the Zihuatenejo area. With pleasant sea breezes occurring every afternoon, we found ourselves pulling the hook nearly every single day solely for the pleasure of sailing. Maybe it’s because it’s still new to us, or maybe it’s because of our awesome Cat2Fold, but no matter where we are, or what’s on our schedule, we always find time to go sailing. Most other boats seem to hurry to their respective destinations, drop the hook, and become an immobile, floating apartment. Not Cat2Fold, we are never more than 15 minutes away from raising anchor and and sailing off to different horizons. Besides Bahia de Zihuatenejo, we anchored and spent time in Isla Grande, about 10 miles north, and Barre de Potosi, in Bahia Petatlan (near the Zihuat airport), about 10 miles south. We tried to use the chartplotter like an etch-a-sketch and did a pretty good job drawing a line all over the screen.
Zihuatenejo is a beautiful little fishing/tourist town. With clean and lively beaches lining the inner reaches of the bay, restaurants galore, amazing snorkeling at nearby Isla Grande, and good surfing at Playa Linda and Playa Las Gatas, we quickly became enchanted with Z-town. Deidre spent every opportunity she had available running and doing yoga on Playa La Ropa. Clearly our favorite beach in the bay. Besides an occasional, crocodile plying the local surf, Zihuatenejo seems as close to paradise as it gets. Did I mention the 80 degree water? Sometimes we’d anchor close to all the activity, other times we’d anchor out in one of the remote, tiny coves near the entrance to the bay.
Part of the reason to go to Zihuat was an event called Sailfest. Sailfest is a week long schedule of activities that’s main purpose is to raise money to build schools and help educate the local poor kids. Check out the website Por Los Ninos. Activities including a sailing Regatta and sailboat parade, where people pay money to be on board your boat, a chili cook off, an art auction, and a music concert, take place throughout the week, with all proceeds raised for the education of the kids. Cat2Fold carried two guests for the race (Bob and Judy), and six guests (Bob & Jane, Tim & Donna, Dawn, and Brent) came aboard for the sailboat parade. Even with a smaller number of boats participating than in past years, a record 667,000 pesos was raised!!!
For the actual regatta, Cat2Fold finished in second place behind the very formidable catamaran, Pantera. In the world of Catamarans, if one were to compare them with cars, most production cats would be like a large, comfortable Winnebago. With accommodations for 8-12 people on 40+ foot boats. Cat2Fold could be compared to a nicely performing VW pop up camper-van. Pantera is more like a Porsche. With comfortable accommodations for 1 or 2, ultra lightweight, aerodynamic construction, and 44 feet of water line, Pantera can sail upwind better than any other boat around.
She flies a hull in over 20 knots of wind and has been pushed to a top speed of 27 knots. She really is in a class of her own. Now Deidre and I are finding ourselves having the pleasure of buddy boating with Pantera and her owner Bob Smith as we make our way back north towards Banderas Bay. Lucky for us Pantera’s back up motor is dead, so Bob has to sail the entire way. We can motor through the calms’, which allows us to stay close to Pantera throughout the day. Sometimes a little ahead, sometimes a lot behind.
As we work our way north towards another fun sailing Regatta in Bahia Tenacatita, we are harshly reminded that not everything here in paradise is at it seems. Only three days after spending two nights in Caleta de Campos (we spent 5 days here a month previous) our friends Bill and Judy aboard a Lagoon 470 catamaran, Moontide, were boarded and robbed at gunpoint in the middle of the night. The thieves took cash, a computer and a cell phone. Luckily, no one was hurt. There were 4 other boats in the anchorage when it happened. Whether it’s our good Karma, or the fact that Cat2Fold is not quite as big and shiny as some of these other boats, I’m confident that we can continue to cruise here in the future with little worry.