Sunday, May 4, 2014

Zihautanejo and Ixtapa–SailFest

We voyaged down to Zihautanejo and Ixtapa for Sailfest Zihautanejo, which raises money to build and refit schools for the local residents, especially those far from services up in the hills.


Z condos    The town is certainly   
   picturesque with beautiful
   homes and condos.

   We anchored in front of this    
   condo for the week we were in
   Z-town.  Fun to watch the
   guests watching us.  They had
   waiters serving them drinks
   and food – we supplied the

There were over 20 boats participating in Sailfest and raised over $80,000 for the schools.  We only participated in a boat parade around Zihau harbor and out to Ixtapa, about 5 miles away, and return.  .

The SailFest committee had local children draw posters so the guest could get to the right boat.  Here’s ours; it’s a keeper:






Having a power boat, we were able to parallel the sailing fleet, giving the guests photo ops.  Saw a couple of whales breaching, but too far away for good pictures. 

image  image


Eight guests were aboard WORTH WAITING 4 – from Saskatoon, Sask., Oregon, Minnesota and Zihautanejo 


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Our highlights of the visit were visiting the local market for great fruits and veggies.   The central market is large, probably 2 or 3 blocks, offering everything for the shopper. It’s impressive to see how much work the sidewalk vendors, outside the main market do to sell their fruit and veggies – beautiful displays and packaging, and compete with the vendors in the marketplace.

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Excellent chile rellenos and hand-made tortillas for lunch. 

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Ixtapa was disappointing.  The beach is pretty sand, but the water was not very clean.  The beach is restricted by the all-inclusive hotels, with only a couple of public access routes.  Downtown was just too touristy for us.

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Marina Ixtapa was good for refueling, taking on about 800 liters.  Otherwise, disappointing – no services, no wifi, long way from town. And HUGE crocodiles came visiting.  The neighbors on SALTY DOG had a standard poodle aboard.  Vivi barked at the croc, which then came to the back of their boat looking for dinner.


Ixtapa harbor is pretty, lined with homes, hotels and condos.  Lots of large yachts

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The skipper really needed to concentrate on entering and exiting the harbor.  The channel is very narrow, shallow with 9-1/2’ at low tide, and a sharp turn at the marina.   The Admiral continually read off the depth during the transit.

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Off to Santiago/Manzanillo, heading north, where we will cross our 4,000 mile mark on our wonderful voyage.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Santiago to Ziahautenjo

We continued our trip south from La Cruz to Ziahautenjo, timing the arrival for SailFest.  The trip was all new to us, about 200 miles down the Mexico coastline.   The adventure has some adrenalin pumping also – last year there was an armed robbery in Caleta de Campos, but we had to stopped there for trip safety, not wanting to do an overnight unless unavoidable.

As we left Santiago and Manzanillo, I got an unpleasant, but manageable surprise.  We use our Garmin GPS for all of our navigation.  Just south of Manzanillo, the screen started showing the end of the current chart and a crossed hatch area beyond.   Our charts on the GPS were blank.  All we had was a general outline of the shore – no depths, no navigation aids, etc.  Got out the chart book and cruising guides and had no problems navigating for the rest of the voyage.  But unhappy with Garmin – they’re response to my email – they no longer support that GPS model (2006) and no updated chips are available – buy a new unit.

 We left Santiago early for the 84 miles leg to Maruata.  Saw lots of long lines, fishing lines, and one panga.  As it approached us, both of us said – they’re not coming aboard.  They waved frantically – trying to get us to go around their fishing line.  I finally understood, props into neutral and drifted over their line.  They waved back in a very friendly manner.  Later in the afternoon, the seas got rough.  Went up on a wave, saw something black right at the bow.  Clunk, clunk, clunk as it rolled down under the boat.  Did not feel it hit the props nor see it surfacing in the wake.  (But
it did damaged the props – see blog on Santigo return).

Arrival at Maruata was strange.  Anchored behind a large rock.  The only boat in the harbor, with fairly easy swell coming in. 

DSCF2080  DSCF2082
Maruata from Offshore – only guide was         Anchored behind the rock, low swell and
  the large warehouse                                             no wind wave

Could hear voices of the fisherman up on the rock but could only see one guy.  The night was rolly so got up early and headed for Caleta de Campos, about 40 miles away.

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Caleta de Campos – only cruiser in town          Navigation aid: anchor off rock on beach

Again, only boat in the harbor.  Lots of people of the beach and some music from the palapas.  The swell was sizeable coming off the ocean, but not uncomfortable.  Spent the night, getting up at daylight for the 85 miles trip to Isla Grande (Ixtapa).

Passed the shipping port of Lazaro Cardenas and I wanted to go in close to see the large ships.  We had 8 ships on radar – all anchored about 2 to 3 miles off shore.  I plotted a course to go down the middle.  Suddenly, we saw a large drift of something, extending from shore way out to sea.  At first I thought it was spilled oranges or fruit.  I put WW4 in idle trying to figure out how to go around.  Decided not possible and slowly motored thru it.

  DSCF2098  DSCF2100
    What is that ahead?  Slow down!              Oh my, it looks like ca-ca!!

We think it was ca-ca from the fertilizer plant in shore.  It did not stink, but broke up on the bow wave as we went thru.   Had to pass thru it on the return trip, as it reached out over 5 miles off shore.

Got to Isla Grande about 4 pm watching for a submerged rock on the route.  Although it was suppose to be marked with a bouy, we never saw it.  The anchorage was rolly and noisy with panga traffic of the tourists to the island.   Most uncomfortable night we’ve had, with the rocking throwing knives out of the holder.  The admiral made sure we had an early departure for Zihautenjo.

Up early for a short trip into Z-town.   Around the several rocky islands, and into the narrow pass, 1/2 mile wide, into the harbor.   Anchored just outside the line of cruising boats and spent the week with Sailfest – the next blog.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Visit With Colin & Saviya; Cruising South

Had a nice visit with Colin and Saviya last week. They stayed at Simply Baku, a 4 cottage beach front inn. It’s right on the beach – see the pic, not good, the bright yellow buildings in the center.  Their visit was to look for a great place for a wedding.  With our blessings, we hoped they would pick Mexico.

Simply Baku 2
Took them out on Worth Waiting 4 to go swimming and see whales. It was a wee bit rough for their liking. But did see lots of whales and got an hour swim at Punta Mita.

Colin Saviya looking for whalesSayulita surf 1-22-14
Next day, did a taxi ride up to Sayulita, a surfer’s hangout about 20 miles north. Very touristy for sure. Had a great lunch. C and S had fajitas; B n B had a mojacete – a volcano bowl of shrimp, meat and fish – very delicious
.C S B B Sayulita Mx DSCF2002
Saw a delivery truck, for hot sauce, and said it was mis-named – should be “Little Boo” after Tyler –she’s certainly a hot sauce.

Little Boo you mean

Colin and Saviya stayed with us for 4 nights which was great.  As usual, Colin did up-dates on my computer, showed me how to use Live Writer for this blog (creating a monster) and leaving us with about 75 new movies on a hard drive.  They left for a couple of days seeing the sights in Puerta Vallarta and looking at destination hotels.  (Hindsight:  advantage of not posting immediately.  Mexico out; Hawaii in – Wedding to be on 12/13/14 at Kona Sheraton.  We look forward to my first visit to Hawaii since Pearl Harbor in 1963 on the USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748).

We left La Cruz on Monday morning and anchored the night at Pt. Mita. Getting up early, headed south 90 miles to Chamela. The trip across the bay, about 25 miles was quiet, with a couple of dolphins and whales. Becky said – I want to see a whale to say good bye – and a very large whale surfaced about 150 feet away. I could not make WW4 dodge out of the way – it dove under, flipping its tail goodbye – too much adrenalin for us! Pleasant passage and anchored in Chamela in early afternoon. Had high winds for the last 2 days – 18-20 knots, so anchored down with about 8 other boats.
Admiral n Captain 1-21-14

Will leave in the morning for Tenacatita and stay there a couple of days, before proceeding down to Manzanillo.

Great Week in Chacala, Mexico

Happy New Year all. We planned to leave La Cruz this morning but with the heavy rain decided to spend 1 more day, get fuel tomorrow and then head north to Chacala. We had over 3” of rain the last 2 days; the jungle is very green and boats have most of the salt spray washed off. We will be back to La Cruz about Jan 8-10 to get ready for Colin and Saviya’s anticipated visit.

Our watermaker, which is indispensible while cruising, decided to take a vacation.  Our vendor, Offshore Outfitters, in San Diego, sent us $215.00 of parts by DHL, which cost $40.  Then Mexico customs got $70 and repairman got about $200 – so much for cruising on a budget.

Now it is: Friday, Jan 3, 2014 ------ and we can write the same info as last year:

Wednesday 1/23/13 Bahia de Chachla N 21o 09.82’, W 105o 13.64’ – anchored in a beautiful little bay of Chacala, north of Puerta Vallarta. We have bow and stern anchor out to hold the bow of the boat into the ocean swell. Can hear the surf breaking on the beach behind us – sometimes sounding way too close. There are several palapas (bar/restaurant) on the circle of the beach.

Just about a year ago, this was the first stop on our Mexico Riveria cruise. And it’s still beautiful.

Came in at 1454 this afternoon, after a nice gentle 40 mile cruise up the coast. Saw about a dozen whales, one group of 3, and a small whale as we came into anchorage. I caught 2 skipjack but released them as not good for dinner. Took a side trip into the little town of Jaltemba, 5 miles south of Chacala. It’s an open roadstead, very little protection. Lots of hotels on the beach and lots of palapas and many people on the beach. Decided Jaltemba has had its only visit from WW4.  Arriving in Chacala, there were 4 other boats at anchor - PRINCESS followed us in, and another sailboat off to our left with 2 small power yachts – looked like local charter boats.

We launch our new inflatable dinghy.  Sure makes going ashore easier, as we can step off if we have a surf.  And plan to get wet anyway, so gear is in dry bags.  And Becky gets some freedom off the boat.

 DSCF1951 DSCF1938

I started cleaning WW4’s bottom side. Have about a 2’’ strip of green at the waterline, but under that looks good. It took 3 days of diving to get it clean since 4 months since the bottom was painted.  The bottom has only small barnacles and shaft/props took most cleaning.  Had lots of help from the friendly fish.  That’s about a 1’’ fish at the top of the rudder:


The water is exceptionally clear. and 83 F in the air and 80 F in the water. Anchored in about 20’ of water, watched the anchor hit the bottom and then turn as Becky backed down to sink the anchor into the sand. Set out 100’ of chain and set a stern anchor as this is a small anchorage.

Looking into Chacala from the sundeck off WW4 – and can hear the music and laughter all the way from the beach


From the palapas, the tourists are enjoying the beach and surf, with the beach vendors selling their wares and music.


This is a wall painted by the school kids.  Notice the chicken at the top, in the middle of the picture.


Typical sunset, closing another perfect day in paradise.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First Blog Post–Sea of Cortez Crossing 12-19-2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013 Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico

We arrived safely in Banderas Bay at 1700 hours (5 pm), and anchored at Punta Mita, the first anchorage, rather than continuing into the bay to Puerto Vallarta. About 20 boats are anchored, including new and old cruising friends.

WE HAD A SPECTACULAR, GREAT, WONDERFUL, AND DULL motor across the sea of Cortez. We left Muertos, in Baja California Sur about 0600 with the moon setting behind us and the sun raising on the bow.

      The setting moon in our wake, leaving Muertos, BCS

     The sun rising in the east, on our bow, coming us to the crossing

The winds were light at about 10-12 knots. Amazingly, radio propagation was great, being able to talk on the VHF to vessels over 150 miles away – usually VHF is line of sight about 20 miles. The sun set about 1800 and the moon rose on our port side about 1900, lighting our way for the rest of the night. We passed 2 large vessels, which were either fishing, towing a barge or a tuna pin – they had their outriggers out, like they were fishing, but towing something that was huge…never got close enough to figure it out.

During the night we were successful on our first informal watches – Becky got a couple hours of sleep, then gave me a break to get about an hour. In the early morning, she was able to give me 2 hours of sleep, enough to make it thru the night. Only excitement during the night was trying to dodge a very large, very lit up vessel. Every time I changed course to go around it, it followed my change. Finally, I headed south and was able to get around and turn back to our eastward course.

Dawn brought calm seas, no wind.  Looks like a small lake instead of the Sea of Cortez opening into the Pacific Ocean


We decided to skip Isla Isabela and Chacala and head right for Banderas Bay. As that added about 40 miles to our trip, we increased speed to 10 knots when we had 100 miles to go. The seas remained flat all day, which let us read, nap a little, discuss the issues of life, and enjoy the world.

Outside of the bay, we were welcomed by 2 pods of dolphins. Arrival at the anchorage brought us the welcoming committee of a small whale, blowing his nose and wagging his tail.

What a great way to spend a December day – air temp at 85 F, water Temp at 82 F. We did about 345 nautical miles in 44-1/2 hours. And not fighting or arguing all the way…surely a notable first.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Minute Work– alas, alas


Furiously working on the last minute projects.  Alfredo, the great mechanic, is adding in the Floscans today.  Tomorrow, Shea Weston puts in the pactor modem.  Then some anchor work and lots of packing and we may be ready.

Leaving Pier 32 on Friday, Nov 8, for Marian Cortez at Shelter Island, San Diego, for 2 nights.  Then off to Ensenada on the 10th

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We are starting our voyage during the week of November 7.

Heading for Ensenada, Baja Sur, Mexico to check in, get the visas, temporary import license and other required documents.

Then we'll head south on a  voyage of over 700 miles to La Paz, Mexico