Huatulco – Mexico Tourism Refined.

Upon arrival at Marina Chahue in Huatulco, we were greeted by some agro-lookin policemen. I looked at Court and wondered what we did (she did) to garner such a welcoming committee. It turns out they were simply there to catch our dock lines and give us a copy of the Marina rules…all in Spanish. Marina Chahue is another product of FONATUR, Mexico’s governmental tourist department. More interesting, the entire area was developed by FONATUR. This agency’s philosophy is to build it and they will come. Sometimes they don’t. But here, they came.

Photo Credit

Click HERE for photo credit.

Marina Chahue is the place most cruisers use to begin the waiting game to cross the dreaded Tehuantepec Bay. This is a body of water that is not to be taken lightly. Every three days or so, a gap wind is accelerated from the Gulf of Mexico and blows stink out into the Pacific side. Large wind waves in excess of 20 feet are not uncommon with winds exceeding 40 knots. The challenge is that you need a solid 2-3 day weather window to get across before the cycle repeats itself.

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The pink magenta color is approaching 40 knots of wind. This kind of wind could blow you 200-300 miles out to sea.

The entire area surrounding the marina is really in its’ infancy of growth and development, maybe 7-10 years max. Most notable is the absolute lack of trash, garbage, litter. It is an amazingly clean place with beautifully landscaped areas, complete with flowing water fountains. They also planned that vacationers would be walking around quite a bit and thus built amazing walking paths.

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I got into a routine of running in the morning while the weather was still reasonably cool. We did an epic tour up to some waterfalls where the kids had a blast on the rope swing. We also enjoyed a few nice meals out in the little town of La Crucecita.

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Towards the end of our stay, we hired the services of a bottom cleaner to dive on our boat and clean up the marine growth that was starting to accumulate. Joel is a great resource for just about any of your boating needs. One thing to know, the harbor master does not allow bottom cleaning in the marina so you have to day-trip, with Joel, over to Bahia Santa Cruz to get the work done. We had no issues with the fuel dock either (at the Marina), even though it is ginormous and could handle a small cruise ship. Just be sure to let the Harbor Master now you are wanting to fuel up so he can make sure the guys are there. It was also the cheapest diesel we have paid for since we began cruising in 2014 at $2.45 gallon.

Our T-pecker weather window finally arrived and we slipped the dock lines around noon for our continued journey south!

 

Can I get a ZIHUA?

After roughly 36 hours at sea, we were ecstatic to pull into Isla Grande at 9PM, in the dark (ok not ideal). We threw down the anchor and quickly jumped into bed! The seas seemed rough and the swell was like a washing machine, but we weren’t picky.  Sleep was awaiting us…or was it.  Nope…nope sleep wouldn’t be in the cards, but an abdominal workout that rivaled P90X was.  We spent the entire night bracing ourselves against the walls that surround our bed, as the boat rolled from rail to rail. As soon as the sun rose and we could see our hands in front of our face, we upped anchor and headed straight for Zihuatanejo, a quick hour from Isla Grande.

Hallaleuiah!  What a sight to behold. Pulling in, the hills were lined with colorful houses that surrounded the bay. The anchorage was perfectly still and we were excited to attend Zihua’s annual Guitar festival. Guitar Fest is a week long with talented guitarists form around the world, performing nightly. Not quite Woodstock, but at our age, we’ll take any excuse to party.
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We were ready to get off the boat, so we threw “Ziggy” (the name changes daily), our dinghy, into the water and cruised to shore.  Zihua is such a vibrant little town to explore!

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Check out his “Thigh Warmers.”

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The festivities started right away.  We knew we only had 2 more weeks with our friends before they headed north and we headed south (yet another excuse to party).

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Creeper Alert!

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We had a few days to burn before guitar fest began, so we spent one doing an “estuary tour” to stake out some crocs.

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Panga on ROIDS!

There were so many beautiful birds.

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Crocodile Dundee, Mate.

The best part of our stay was Guitar Fest, hands down. There were a total of 10 performers. They all played on opening night and closing night.  Day 2-8 had a few performers each night, so we picked our favorites and ended up going to shows roughly every other night. A smart individual would use the time in between concerts to rest their livers. Not us, we took turns hosting parties aboard each others boats. Hey…our time together was limited…we were going to suck the limon out of every second.

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It rained a couple days in the middle of the festival and Matt and Presley took the opportunity to swab the decks. Matt was completely naked except for a raincoat and Presley was in her raincoat and underwear. Terrapin was anchored next to us and are currently seeking therapy because of said nudity.

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On one of our last days Matt decided to lead us on a hike. Since we weren’t aware of any trails, we hiked through a neighborhood, right up a hill.

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We pointed out little huts to the children and animals.  There were roosters, chickens and cats “having cat time”. The kids really enjoyed all the sights and had their first lessons in reproduction.

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By the time we reached the top, we had a pack of stray dogs in tow…this IS Mexico. Two of them decided to celebrate by getting in a fairly gruesome fight, leaving the children horrified. It was a hike well worth the effort!

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Naturally we celebrated our achievement!

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On our last night in Zihua, we invited everyone over to celebrate Amy’s birthday (in case you were wondering she is 41) .  (salingwithterrapin.com)  We’ve buddy boated with Terrapin for the last two seasons and found ourselves in all sorts of trouble together. We were parting ways finally. They are heading north, back into the Sea of Cortez, and we’re heading south to Central America.  We’ll miss their shenanigans and company. We were also saying goodbye to Cape D (we’re hoping they catch up with us shortly) and Coastal Drifter (who is also heading north). The night was filled with lots of debauchery and Amy buffed our binnacle down to a nublin with her erotic dancing. Damnit Nance!

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We decided Zihua is probably our favorite stop thus far, but that might just be in part because of who we were with!  Adios Zihua…we’ll be back. Hold onto my liver until then.

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