Chiapas to Acapulco
Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Tue 24 Apr 2012 22:45
16:47.76N 099:50.49W Chiapas to Acapulco
On returning from our tour of Chiapas state, we realized that the next day a narrow window was opening to cross the dreaded Tehauntepec bay. This bay - about 250nm around - is notorious for dreadful winds and high seas and has to be crossed very carefully in the best of conditions. Our forecast showed a 36 hour window, which would be enough to leave in the morning and get to Huatulco the following afternoon. After that, winds of over 50knts+ and rough seas were expected for at least 5 or 6 days.
We arranged with the marina to check out first thing in the morning, which unfortunately did not go as smoothly as it should. We ended up leaving to fill up with fuel first - the price of fuel & the stations are controlled by the government in Mexico, with fixed pricing. However in Chiapas state they have less sales tax, so it was worth it to fill up here. Eventually Guillermo from the marina showed up and took me to the port authority (paperwork and fees) and then to the port captain (more paperwork and fees) .. by now it was 11.30 am and the Port Captain was very concerned about us leaving as his forecast had bad weather coming in early and he was going to close his port that night. And we still had to wait for the physical inspection by the navy!
My nerves were shot, but Mike felt confident that Time2 could move fast enough and handle any bad weather that could hit us. So off we scooted, close to the shore all the way around, the safest strategy to stay clear of the worst weather... and Mike pushed our speed up to 9 knots. In the end we saw no bad weather, no strong winds and managed to get into Huatulco in good light. Only two bad things about that leg - one, I had now picked up Mikes stomach bug and was suffering with an awful stomach, nausea and a bad headache and then the anchorage was dreadfully rolly and we we got little sleep.
The next morning we decided to push on and did another overnighter to Acapulco. I was feeling grim and only ended up doing a 3.5 hour watch that night.
On the way Mike spotted a huge school of stingrays jumping out of the water and he also caught a nice sized yellow-fin tuna, our first in a looooooong time!
On reaching Acapulco we decided to anchor in a bay on the south side called Puerto Marquez. The cliffs are full of large time share resorts and then the beach is full of beach bars/ restaurants. Remarkably we are anchored right the hotel that our friends Di & Will have stayed in fairly recently. I was feeling better and we took our dinghy to shore for a cold Corona.
Our view of the hotel Will and Di's view of the bay, a pic they took last year
Today we took at taxi into the city to see the famous 130ft 'Plunge of the Clavistas'. Young men do acrobatic dives off a cliff into the ocean, timing their jump carefully as the water charges into the gorge. Quite a remarkable feat .. and, despite their tight 'speedo's, these guys have huge cajones!
Great swallow dive This guy did a few twists and ended up feet first!
We then had a very pleasant fresh fish lunch at the beach. The weirdest thing happened when the bill arrived ...there were no menus, but I have a sense of how much things should cost, and when I was presented with a bill for 1030 pesos (about R600) I was shocked! So I called over the waiter and in my best Spanish, told him "La quenta esta loco!" ..which means something like ... the bill is crazy! In a flash, and with a smile, he immediately hauled out another bill from his apron, for less than half of that! I paid and he thanked me, and we left. Note to self: Remember to check prices first, improve Spanish and stop looking like rich Gringos!
Restaurant under the trees at the beach Delicious fried fish for lunch
We will decide tonight what to do next as there is not much more in Acapulco for us. The city looks just like the south beaches of Florida, too many tired high rise hotels & lots of bars with very little of authentic Mexico left. The water is also still dark red with plankton bloom - so we cant swim either. We will probably head out in the morning for the 120nm trip up to Zihautenejo , so that we can be there by Thursday for my birthday.