Ahoy from the crew of the BlueJacket!
We're currently in a town call Zihuatanejo, which is pronounced zee-wha-tan-ah-ho, and which has become one of my favorite towns that we've spent time in over the past 3 years in Mexico. I had no idea what to expect when we pulled in here, but I've found a wonderful town that's not too small or too large and seems to have just about anything that a cruiser might want.
Zihuatanejo has about 70,000 full time residents and I swear that they have enough restaurants to feed every resident at once. Truly, there are restaurants everywhere. The bay is lined with beautiful small hotels, so you don't have the huge monolithic monsters that line other bays, such as Ixtapa.
The downtown contains block after block of pedestrian friendly streets packed with stores of every kind. If you can't find what you're looking for, you aren't trying. And as mentioned above, there are an amazing number of restaurants located here. I have no idea how all of them survive, because there are nowhere near enough tourists to keep them all in business. We're definitely here off-season and perhaps I wouldn't like it during the prime season, but I'll take this!
The city side of the bay has a wonderful walkway which winds along the water and provides great views and access to the beaches. If there's one complaint that I've heard, it's that you're constantly being solicited by restaurant owners and sidewalk vendors. A smile and a "no gracious" works well for me to repel them.
In the downtown there's an indoor market which is a square block in size and is where many of the local residents shop. Within it you'll find clothing, shoes, fruit vendors, bakeries, fish stalls, meat markets and if you name it, it's probably there. One of the interesting things that I saw and that I've never seen before is the meat markets slicing beef *very* thinly and then hanging it out to dry. I'm not quite sure what the USDA would say about this, but I can guess...
One of the nice things about being in the anchorage is that you can order just about anything that you want from a couple who has a kiosk ashore and have it delivered to your boat the next day. We sent our laundry in with them and had it delivered the next day for $14 pesos/kilo; we got propane tank refilled; and we got diesel delivered to the boat for about 1 pesos/liter above the going rate. Considering that the marine fuel dock isn't working, that's a great deal. If we were here longer, we probably would have gotten water as the outflow from the estuary clouds the water too much to make water.
The only issue that I have with the anchorage is that it's pretty wide open to the south and as a result a fairly good swell can work in, making it a bit bumpy at times. It's really something to watch the other boats almost disappear when both of you drop into the bottom of a 6' swell. We found that the further you anchor behind the mooring field, the better your protection will be.
Speaking of the estuary, there's an estuary located directly behind the downtown dock which purportedly had free swimming saltwater crocodiles in it. I wanted to look for them, so we took the dinghy into it. It's lined with fishing pangas, so I wasn't very hopeful until we got into the back corner where we found quite a few of these big boys sunning themselves on the banks and on a nearby wreck. I was quite excited, but Sue who only saw big teeth and an inflatable rubber dinghy, wasn't quite so thrilled to be near them. It does make you wonder if they roam outside of the estuary...
As you may recall, I was having issues with my oil pressure alarm light. While we were here I tackled that issue as I wanted to have a working alarm in case something actually happened to the oil pressure. The OEM oil pressure switch wasn't available locally, so after a lot of research I found a part that should have worked. Sue & I hiked a couple of miles to an AutoZone store, where they claimed that they didn't stock that part, but could get it for me in 7-9 days. That wasn't going to work, so we headed back to the boat with a 15/16" socket which would allow me to remove the old part.
After removing the part, I hiked back the next day hoping to use it as a model for what I needed and wouldn't you know that they found the exact part that I had requested the day before. Argh! I put the new switch in and the alarm light came back on. After kicking myself in the head for not checking to see if it was an electrical issue, I determined that the signal line was faulty and I found an unused signal line that substituted and the problem is now fixed. Of course this only took two solid half-days to resolve.
Now that the oil pressure issue is resolved, we can move on. From here we're headed to Acapulco, which is about 112 miles away. We'll break this into 2 segments, stopping at an anchorage Papanoa, which is only 35 miles away and then making a 77 run to Acapulco. This will allow us to do this in day hops.
Before I forget, photos from the Zihuatanejo are located here.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
We anchored at N17-38.150 W101-33.270 in about 18' of water over sand/mud with good holding. We could have anchored further to the N and gotten further out of the swell.
The standard dinghy landing is to the right of the town dock and just to the left of where you see the fishing pangas on the shore. You will most likely be greeted by one of the fishermen who will assist you in hauling you dinghy up to the fence. It's a hard haul to get the dinghy up there, so the 10 pesos we pay them is worth it sometime. You can get away with paying less, but these guys live a pretty hard life.
The port captain is located at the start of the town dock. His hours are Monday-Friday, 9-5.
There is a Fonatur office located next to the port captains office. You can get good maps and information about the area in there.
Directly to the right of the Fonatur office you'll find a ticket booth where Hilda and Ismael run their yacht delivery business. They don't have a working VHF radio at this time, so you have to visit them to arrange to get products or have your laundry picked up.
My favorite restaurant was Casa Bahia, which is located across the estuary bridge and up the hill to the left. Excellent food and an outstanding view of the harbor and city. Bring your camera!
We had another very good meal at El Agave which is located on the 2nd floor of Nicolas Bravo N. 49.
We also tried the Thai restaurant, El Murmullio. The Pad Thai was good, but the chicken curry dish was lacking. The tuna sashimi was very good.
To receive these logs via e-mail, please subscribe to the mailing list or you can follow us on FaceBook by clicking: