It's been a little while since the last Timoneer update! We are currently back on the boat in Chiapas, after having spent a few days in Guatemala followed by 3 weeks in New England, USA. It was refreshing to get off the boat again, and catch up with family and friends, but unfortunately we have returned to the boat to discover our fridge is not working! So we are stuck here waiting for parts and even considering possibly hauling out for a while as we have plans to work in France later this year. Could be a good opportunity for us to work through the 'Jobs List' that we never seem to be able to get around to when we are on the move! Remembering all the gritty details of the last month of cruising is proving difficult- here is an attempt to sum up the major events of the last leg of cruising Mexico- mostly we were trying to move as fast as possible, knowing that hurricane season was fast approaching and we were so close to the Tehuantepec!
|View of where the Pangas dock in Zihuantanejo|
In Zihuantanejo (a place Mark had been looking forward to because of its reference in the film 'The Shawshank Redemption'), aside from the usual tasks of provisioning...something special happened. Mark lost his i-phone, placed it down to eat an ice cream and proceeded to walk away without it. This phone is our lifeline in many ways- we use it to access the internet and do research, get weather updates, stay in contact with family and friends, so it was very problematic and upsetting for us. A few days later, we were sitting in the town square when a man approached us and explained that his son had found a phone and asked if it might be ours! He had recognized us from the photo on the screen of the phone! We couldn't thank him enough, gave him $100 and walked away completely in awe of life and its magic. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!
|Basketball court right on the beach front|
One afternoon we ventured into town for some dinner and while we were eating it began to rain HEAVILY. Within 40 minutes the streets were flooded, we watched as the water rushed down the streets and out towards the ocean. We hurried back to the boat, concerned we had left some hatches open, and of course, we had. The ocean was brown with filth, all the rubbish of Acapulco was now floating around us, yuck!
|Hurry up Mark! The storm is coming!|
|Local man surfing a shovel|
|That's the Timoneer out there!|
The waves were so good and got so big that on the fourth day I broke my board in half! It was never a longboard wave to begin with, but that's the only board I had...and it was great fun while it lasted!
|View from the Port Captains Office|
We made a trip into town to buy a new board (found a cheap 7.6ft beater that should be more suitable to the waves around here), and on the way back the winds picked up suddenly. This was unexpected and lasted a few hours, reminding us again of our predicament- It was time to go! But the following day, when we attempted to check out with the Port Captain, he informed us that they had put up the RED FLAG warning and no boats were allowed to leave the port. We were stuck. Unfortunately for us, we would have been safer out at sea, where our boat can safely handle swell and wind. At anchor, we run the danger of dragging anchor and ending up on the rocks! We endured an uncomfortable wait, and at first sight of the green flag, we picked up anchor and headed straight for our next port- Huatulco- 1hr 57min by car and for us it would take about 14 hours! May as well have been walking..
|View of Santa Cruz, where the big cruise ship docks|
|The organic farmers' market|
|All kinds of tortillas- coconut, chocolate, sesame, cactus etc.|
|The day Timoneer almost adopted a puppy!|
There was a teachers' strike happening in the state of Oaxaca at this point, with blockades and strikes. This meant we were unable to buy diesel. Also the supermarkets weren't able to restock their fruit and vegetable supplies, the shelves were filled with old, rotting produce. We needed diesel, food and a good weather window to leave and we had none of these yet, so we decided to anchor our boat in a clean, quiet anchorage a couple of nights. This was a good opportunity to scrub the bottom and enjoy some beach time.
|Empty shelves at the supermarket|
|View of the lighthouse and the blowhole|
That night, as we sailed past Salina Cruz (with a full genoa and mizzen out) we hit 28-30 knots of wind. This lasted a few hours and was the worst of our T-pec crossing. Not too terrible! It was actually an enjoyable passage, with fresh fish for supper, the entertainment of dolphins and the usual pleasures of sailing along a beautiful blue ocean in total solitude (and the freedom to do so in the nude!).
|In the town center of Tapachula|