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.

DSCF2090  DSCF2092
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment