Week 3 15 -21 January 2018 Manzanillo – Bahia Chahue, Huatulco 543 nm
15 January Monday Santiago Bay Manzanillo heading south east.
The night was not too rolly even with the centerboard up. We heard music in a distance until four. Luckily we anchored far from town.
After breakfast we pulled the anchor and motored some nm to the marina to fuel up and do some shopping.
We were somewhat prepared by rumors that they were not very friendly to cruisers. But that was nothing compared with the story an American boat, anchored outside the marina behind the piers, told us as we prepared for anchoring. 250 pesos only to park the dinghy in the marina! And even if you pay that, the treatment you get when walking through the hotel, necessary to access the street, was nothing but hostile!
We decided this was not for us! We had probably diesel enough to get us to Huatulco and the food to the next possible stop in Acapulco going southeast.
Instead of anchoring we retrieved the anchor and went out, leaving this unfriendly place.
Some wind gave us a few hours of slow sailing, but then the engine ha to push Moon the whole night.
16 January Tuesday going southeast
The morning came with a gentle breeze form shore and gave us an hour nice sailing. Then we had to use the engine until the afternoon sea breeze. We got a very nice fast sailing until sunset. Seven knots through water and almost for the first time in Mexico we had following current over a knot.
Very little wildlife during the day. The whales are “gone” and only one dolphin. But lots of turtles instead. The water temperature has reached 29C! did not know it could be that hot in eastern Pacific!
Again we used the engine the whole night. We stayed close to shore to avoid too much counter current. After midnight the speed over ground was down to four knots because of the current. Extra tough now when we think we are short of diesel!
17 January Wednesday Intermediate stop in Puerto Margues, Acapulco 305 nm
Fiveish in the morning we shut down the engine and hoisted a full main. We sailed on flat water, using the shore breeze that saw us doing almost six knots in only five knots of wind, thanks to close haul giving us extra wind.
Before that we had admired the southern cross and the big dipper. Between latitude 20N and 25S both can be seen at late night.
Filled the diesel day tank to be sure how much diesel we have left. Very nice to visually see the amount in a clear pipe! A full tank can take us just over 200 nm! We hope to be able to fill the tank again in Acapulco before the main tank is empty, giving us proof that we can motor the whole way to Huatulco.
Only turtles to see in the ocean!
We got some new wind in the afternoon, but unfortunately not as strong as yesterday. But we got following current and could anchor in Puerto Marques, the bay south of Acapulco, an hour after sunset.
18 January Thursday Bahia Puerto Marques 2 nm
We woke up at sun rise after an unusual warm night. We were happy to see the sun behind shading clouds as we were to go shopping. Pulled the anchor and moved across the bay where we anchored off the beach. Took the dinghy to shore and walked the four km one way to Walmart.
Before that we had checked the docking fee in Acapulco marina. Chocking four dollar a foot! And the fuel had probably the same price level?This is not for cruisers!!
Luckily we have diesel enough for Huatulco, where we have understood that prices are not crazy expensive.
We used our umbrellas on the way back because the sun was now bright shining from a clear sky. In Asia most people use umbrellas to protect them from rain and sun, but here they seem to think we are odd using umbrellas when it’s not raining.
Lots of cabs and small busses honk their horns to get us aboard, but we need the exercise!
Back at the beach we had a beer looking at the surf to get to know the big waves.
When we thought we had “got it” we took the dinghy through the surf and got only a little bit wet and all our findings dry in our back packs.
Back in Moon we pulled the anchor and moved back to our more quiet part of the bay for the night.
19 January Friday Bahia Puerto Marques – and south east towards Huatluco
Awful night in spite we had such a good anchorage.
After not having been able to go to sleep during several hours, we recognized the symptom from MSG! The china lunch we had at the food court at Walmarts was probably full of MSG. In Malaysia we learnt that we couldn’t “shut down” after a meal spiced with MSG. Now we had the same symptom. Finally we fell asleep, but the night became shorter than normal.
After breakfast and some studies of different weather information we weigh anchor and left the bay at ten o’clock. We had 230 nm ahead of us and with the current most of the time against it will be a slow run.
But already after an hour we understood that our misfortune with the current had changed!
On top of that we got a nice wind giving us a 4,5 hours fast sailing plus current 0,5 to 1,5 the whole day! This will give us much more miles a day compared to what we have become used to. Our diesel tank will not be dry when we arrive to Huatlucon!
Early morning, still pitch black, we met a big English Catamaran doing four knots over ground! We did five plus knots through water but SOG was more than seven. It must have been difficult to see our AIS information telling them a monohull is doing so well! But what it tells you is that current makes all the difference on a several day passage.
20 January Saturday south east towards Huatluco with a stopover in Puerto Angel 210 nm
A calm and not that rolly night (thanks to the lowered centerboard) and with acceptable sleep for the both of us. Some wind in the early morning, but only for half an hour.
We managed to cover 150 nm yesterday, much thanks to the current, giving us an arrival time to Huatulco at night.
Lots of turtles close to the boat the whole day.
After noon we saw a possibility to arrive at Puerto Angel before dark if the current kept on pushing us forward. The cape west of Puerto Angels was full of tourists waiting to watch the sunset.
Puerto Angels is in fact the first good anchorage since Acapulco!
We arrived in the bay twenty minutes after sunset and used the last light to find a place to anchor. Not easy among the moored pangas and on top of that pet bottles with floating lines waiting for the pangas out fishing. Finally we found a place between two pet bottles outside the pangas and we set the anchor in the last glimpse of light.
21 January Sunday Puerto Angel – Huatulco 26 nm.
We pulled the anchor before sunrise to get going at sunrise and eventually easterly wind.
Out at sea we had a nice sunrise on a clear sky. Unfurled the head sails and sailed close haul for half an hour until the wind disappeared.
Current against! But only 25 nm to go and our diesel reserve is luckily enough.
As it is Sunday we opted for a night out on anchor before checking in to the marina to prepare Moon for the 1300 nm crossing to Panama.
On anchor we could empty the main tank into the day tank and discover that we had more than 100 liters left. The difficulties are to judge the amount in the main tank when it’s almost empty.
Anchored in a nice cove with a nice almost empty beach behind. We put the sun cover over the deck in front of the mast, angled the dinghy under the cover and opened the forward hatch. What a change in comfort down below. We will sleep in the bow cabin under an open hatch tonight!
Annika & Björn