The next leg of the journey begins with a new crew member, Ventura Friend! It was a great feeling knowing I had left the boys in good hands. Ventura Friend and Hubby go way back to the early 70's sailing as kids. They've sailed together all over Southern California and Mexico in all kinds of boats.
This over 1,000 mile leg of the passage was sure to be one of the more challenging with crossing the Golfo de Papagayo and the infamous Golfo de Tehuantepec. Both gulfs can have winds up to tropical force on any given day. Timing is everything!
As for me, flying home sounded pretty appealing and meeting up with the boat later in Mexico. Besides, I had things to take care of... like my tennis game... ha ha! No, really, I had things to take care of like starting the wedding planning for Middle Daughter, house stuff and of course giving Daughters a break from Little Brown Dog.
The boys made good time across the Golfo de Papagayo and along Central America as they headed to Puerto Madero, Mexico They had winds up to 35 knots and at times some pretty confused seas. It took about 3 days non stop for them.
Son caught a nice Crevali off of Guatemala. He was very proud of this fish. It has been on his list to catch for awhile.
Another nice open ocean sunset off of Central America.
They arrived in Puerto Madero, Mexico which is about 30 miles from the border of Guatemala. The boys ended up having to wait for a weather window to cross Tehuantepec for about 4 days.
The Mexican Navy inspections and paperwork begins, complete with lots of guns and a dog. The guns and dogs were actually quite deceiving. They were all very professional and nice guys. It took Hubby about 10 hours of taxi rides, bank lines, inspections and lots of forms to get it all done! Wow... I thought the Virgin Islands were inefficient! Once the bureaucratic business was done, it was just a matter of waiting for weather.
Puerto Madero looked like a very charming little fishing village. It was a fun day for them exploring the markets and...
looking for surf.
The boys loved these little taxis which were in between a cart and a scooter with three wheels... Nacho Libre style!
The boys chillin at the beach.
Son could see himself cruising to the Santa Barbara Harbor in this sweet little ride.
Leaving Puerto Madero.
And they are off to cross the Tehuantepec and on to Zihuatanejo.
There wasn't a lot of wind but the seas were very confused which made for washing machine type conditions. Certainly not my favorite kind of sailing.
This was Son's biggest Mahi he has ever caught while leaving the gulf. There certainly has not been a lack of fresh fish on Green Flash!
The boys made it to Zihuatanejo in good form only breaking one serving platter. Of course, it had to be my favorite one. Oh well, no complaints. They made it safe and sound!
I waved goodbye to Ventura Friend through a glass wall at the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa Airport as I was arriving and he was leaving. My crew work certainly won't measure up to his but Hubby says that's ok because I am the "crew with benefits"!
To shore we go!
Z Town was very cool, complete with Alphonso the dinghy watcher! He was always there to greet us with a smile and a helpful hand. There are not many dinghy docks in Mexico. We could come and go anytime of day and Alphonso was there. He actually sleeps in his panga right on the beach so he can keep an eye on the dinghies. Now that's service... all for 40 pesos a day!
So many beach restaurant/bars to check out!
This would be the first of many plates of nachos both on and off the boat. Feasting on all of this Mexican faire certainly has not been the best for my waistline, but so worth it... yummy!
Such a pretty little place.
At sunset time the fishing fleet prepares to go out for the night.
Hubby and Son were so impressed with the simplicity of their pangas and equipment. Pretty amazing to think we have been seeing these little boats over 25 miles offshore.
The next day we taxied further into town to re-provision at this very modern Comercial Mexicana. They had everything from food to appliances. It always feels good to have that job done.
Some good friends from Santa Barbara who cruised Mexico extensively on their boat, made us promise we would go to Tentaciones, a lovely boutique hotel and restaurant which has an amazing view of the anchorage. We were not disappointed! The friendly owner greeted us and made sure we were taken care of. They normally require a reservation but they prepared a beautiful appetizer platter for the three of us to share. So nice to be back with my boys!
We left Z Town and headed to a small island off of Ixtapa called Isla Grande. We had to wait until the next day for the entrance of the marina to open so we could refuel. Not a bad little place to hang out.
Isla Grande seemed to be quite the locals hangout, at least this time of year. They would water taxi in for the day from the mainland.
I loved how they cooked over these open wood burning stoves.
The chickens and bunnies roamed freely. Son even saw a deer on the island.
We left at about 6 am that morning and motor sailed for 27 hours straight up the coast to Manzanillo area. It is amazing how many miles of beautiful uninhabited beachfront property in Mexico there is.
We arrived at the Bahia Grande Hotel Marina next to Barra de Navidad at about 9 am.
Son's work (Sama Sama), was calling... literally. Of course, he felt very torn, not wanting to leave but also wanting to be responsible. Afterall, he was out for six weeks and has helped deliver Green Flash over 3,000 miles. What an awesome Son and some amazing memories we have made! And... who knows... he may be back.
It's now back to Hubby and I for a time. Our goal of having Green Flash in Santa Barbara by mid-December is not far out of sight!