Saturday, February 15, 2014

Reaching our Farthest Points South... Part Two (of Three)

The beach where we landed the dinghy in Zihuatanejo
All in all, we stayed in Zihuantanejo for a week. From Saturday the 1st of February to Saturday the 8th of February. It was a great week at one of my favorite places. I just love the Pacific coast so much more than the arid, desolate Baja. We were anchored in such a pretty bay and the town was so well-organized, friendly and interesting. So different from so many of the places we have been. I would definitely return there for a vacation, if ever the chance arose. Sailfest turned out to be quite entertaining. It was a feather in our cap as Marcus had read about it in so many blogs about cruisers doing the race and we felt we should participate and see what it was like. It is a charity race to raise money for local indigenous children who are not allowed to go to school because they do not speak Spanish. We participated in the race and that meant that we offered our boat up and welcomed “paying guests” aboard for the race. This means local ex-pats and people vacationing in the bay. We were unsure about what this would mean as far as "strangers" on the boat but we cleaned up the boat as best we could and got it ready for them. As it turned out, we got SO lucky! We had two absolutely lovely couples join us: Dave and Betty from California and Dave and Diana from Canada. Both Daves have had quite a bit of sailing and racing experience, it turned out, and contributed greatly to our winning third place!! Woohioo for Appa!!! (We even made it into Latitude 38 again!!!) Marcus was, as usual, a patient and wise captain, letting them do the driving while patiently standing by and facilitating. JC from Sand Dollar joined us which was a treat since usually we are moving next to each other and not on the same boat! And Max was there as expert crew, too. Ben and Samey hung out on Sand Dollar which meant that I could actually enjoy the sail!!! NICE! It was a lovely day and we had great wind, lovely skies and a really fun day. That was on Wednesday. We also participated in the “parade” on Friday and welcomed 8 guests this time, including again the original two couples that we enjoyed so much and Ben and Sam. I found in Betty such a wonderful new friend whose bright and extroverted character reminds me fondly of my mother. I hope we will stay in touch with all of them! On Friday, after the parade, Max and I took a taxi to the airport. Max was returning to Seattle for a two-week stay to take his first semester exams (Brigham Young University Independent Study Program – 10th grade) and to see his Dad and his friends who are on mid-winter break. He is to return on the 23rd and we’ll pick him up in Manzanillo. It was hard to see him go. His presence, his character and his closeness has been such a major part of this trip for me. I am glad that he is up there with his Dad and friends, in the snow…! He has really been missing them. It is an adjustment, to be sure, having him gone. He is a big guy and the boat suddenly seems spacious! Ben and Sam are missing him, too. I did some provisioning on my way back (THAT was an adventure involving a stubborn decision on my part, thinking I know better than any old tourist, that lead to me walking many miles in the hot sun along a desolate road only to be rescued by a kindly old man in a dilapidated red pick-up truck who picked me up and dropped me off at the market... Mexicans are lovely people.) and we left Zihua with Sand Dollar and Unleashed to begin our trip back up the coast the next morning, Saturday. It was in so many ways “a turning point”. We’re heading back now. North to Banderas Bay, North to Mazatlan, West over to La Paz again and then North to the Sea of Cortez and then, eventually, North to home. I feel pangs of regret for the trip being half done from time to time, and yet, I also feel a certain sense of excitement, too. We are now heading back into “known” territory. We’ll see new places but also many that we’ve seen already and know well. And then, home. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” –Kabat-Zinn.

Our wonderful Sailfest crew: Dave, Diana, Dave, Marcus, Betty and JC
Marcus, steering patiently from the wings while someone else drove
My new friend Betty!
Dave at the helm
Ben and Max during the parade
Dave, who obviously had a great deal of grand-parenting experience, bonding with Samey... cute!
The parade around the bay
Dave and Diana!
Three internet nerds and the Virgin Mary
Holey Mackeral, Batman! That is a big fish!
Max went sport fishing with Ken from Kialoa... they caught three sailfish!
Went almost every day to this "Central Market"

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