Captains Corner

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Huatulco, Oaxaca Mexico April 2011

I’m wondering to myself if we have enough to blog about.  Let’s see.  We almost got killed on the skiff (no kidding), Aggie’s ears got glued, we came very close to running over 6 pangas in the middle of the night, a Manta ray tried to jump into our skiff, a small Mexican boat filled with people (including children) tried to run us over and it cost a small fortune to move the boat 440 miles South!!  Hope I got your attention.

Our names have changed from Lucy and Ethel to Crazy and Crazier!!  Let me explain:  The Marina in Ixtapa (where the Croc tried to eat Aggie) is through a very narrow passage, which is about 25 yards wide, and is so shallow you cannot get in unless it is high tide.  Because it is so narrow and shaped like an hour glass, there is lots of wave action and it is difficult and dangerous to enter.  How dangerous can it be, you ask?  Very!! 

After our initial one week stay, we made the decision to leave the Marina and anchor out and never return to that Marina again.  However, we needed fuel for the skiff.  The fuel is in the Marina.  When we arrived the waves were about 3 or 4 feet high.  Nothing really, and we surfed right through the passage on a wave, fueled up, and left. 

Arriving back at the opening, we were now looking at 4 and 5 foot waves coming at us.  We needed to go, or stay until about 9 at night when it calms down (it was 10 in the morning).  We went forward over the first wave, about 5 ft. high.  Then the second, about 7 ft. high.  Then Jewell started screaming….turn the boat, turn the boat.  There was a 12 ft. wave coming straight at us and about to break on the bow of our 11 ½ ft. skiff.  I couldn’t turn fast enough.  I only got a 150 degree turn in when the wave hit the back of the skiff and carried us, sideways towards the rocks.  The skiff was up on one side (I’m not kidding!!!!).  Jewell quickly put her entire weight (and thank goodness she’s not a lightweight) onto the port side of the skiff to try to keep it from turning over.  We missed crashing into the rocks by about 5 feet!  After crying, cursing, and shaking we decided to try again.  We waited.  Saw nothing more than 3 to 6 footers.    We started out again and literally flew over the top of a 6 footer and, by the skin of our teeth,  with the entire skiff out of the water, we landed with a bang on the other side.  Never to step foot or hull in that marina again.

What the wave looked like coming up behind us!

Aggie’s ears.  She needed to be groomed.  They bathed her, cut her hair leaving large holes in her fur, cut her paws so she looked like…well…like a dog with no fur, and they put cute little pink ribbons in her hair.  WITH GLUE!!  This was a month ago and the glue is still in her hair.  

Jewell was on the boat, at anchor, for two weeks.  I was in L.A. and Miami (at the ICA show).  The anchorage got very rocky and Jewell moved the boat by herself.  She’s now a captain, crew, electrician, mechanic and first mate all rolled into one!!!   She set the anchor, not once, but twice.  What an accomplishment!!!  Even chose to set a stern anchor also!

Boat at anchor in Zwat.
Stern anchor buoy so we know where we put it!

The day after I returned we left for Huatulco, a 45 hour run.  At about 1 in the morning we spotted lots of lights in front of us.  They were small fishing panga's, with nets out.  We put on our search light, honked our horn several times, pulled the boat back to a speed of 3 knots and weaved our way through.  It was treacherous, but no one died.

On the way South, Aggie heard a pod of dolphins long before we saw them.  She was going crazy, barking, running, jumping and then two minutes later we saw the dolphins, Hundreds of them.  We never get tired of the sea life.

In Huatulco we were in the skiff and a manta ray, with a wing span of about 15 ft. jumped out of the water, his wing hit the side of the skiff, and he got us soaking wet.  It was frightening but exciting.

Huatulco is quite beautiful.  It’s quaint, but growing with American and Canadian tourists and expats.  There are 9 bays and 13 gorgeous beaches.  And it’s hot!!  Too hot.  We’ll be leaving here on or about May 4th for El Salvador, where we will leave the boat for the summer.

Adios, all.