Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Acapulco to La Cruz

Taking our departure from Acapulco, we set a course that would take us about three miles off the point at Papanoa, From there it was a straight line to Isla Grande, which lies just outside of Bahia Zihuatanejo. We stayed fairly close inshore throughout this passage and enjoyed the beautiful coastline in the area. Arriving around noon the following day, we anchored in about 20 feet of water and spent a couple of days relaxing and exploring the island. On February 1st we motored the short distance to Bahia Zihuatanejo just in time to participate in the festivities at Sailfest. It was a lot of fun and proceeds from the event go to a good cause.  You can learn more about it at

The following Sunday, Finisterra departed from Zihuatanejo and set a course for a point about 10 miles offshore as we passed the port of Lazaro Cardenas. As usual, there was lots of ship traffic there, but once again, we managed to get past the port without knocking any ships out of the ocean. During that time the weather was balmy, with scant wind and flat seas. A few miles further on, the wind jumped to about 20 knots out of the northwest, bringing big lumpy seas with it. We banged along with spray flying all night. It's hard to sleep when you have to hang on even in your berth. By the next morning conditions improved and we were able head directly for Roca Vela at the southern entrance to Bahia Manzanillo.   Arriving at La Hadas around 1800, we were greeted by our good friends, Ed and Connie aboard Sirena, who were anchored nearby. They invited us over for a delicious pasta dinner as soon as we had the hook down. Nothing beats a hearty meal and good company at the end of a passage.

There is room for three or four boats in tiny Ensenada Carrizal.

We stayed at Las Hadas a few days, then headed out around Punta Santiago and across the bay of the same name to a little cove called Ensenada Carrizal. For three days we had the cove to ourselves,  There are beds of coral here which attract a variety of colorful tropical fish. With no other humans in sight, we spent a good deal of time exploring this underwater wonderland. One day we took the dinghy out among the wild looking rock formations that make up the southwest part of the cove. With a good sized swell running, we had fun surfing the dinghy between the towering rocks, and managed to do it without capsizing. This cove is reputed to be a drop-off point for drug traffickers, and we heard that some cruisers had been warned by gun wielding Mexicans to leave the place. As long as we were there we found nothing but a peaceful cove that looks almost untouched by human activity.

On February 12th we said goodbye to Ensenada Carrizal and headed northwest to Barra de Navidad, about 18 miles further up the coast. With no wind and a flat sea, we used the three hour trip to charge batteries and run the watermaker. By 1300 Finisterra was at the channel entrance. In the past, we had to be very careful navigating this channel due to shoals all around the area. There is now a dredger keeping the entrance channel clear and is widening the channel between the marina and the town of Barra. We took a berth on gangway B and settled in for a few days of relaxing by the pool at the Grand Bay resort. The marina here used to be very expensive and was always fairly empty. In the last couple of years the slip rates were brought more in line with other marinas in Mexico and consequently there are lots of boats taking advantage of the place. We have lots of friends here and enjoyed a week or more of socializing...a contrast from the solitude of Carrizal.

The marina at Barra is visible in the center of the photo. A small portion of the Laguna is navigable and there are always a few boats anchored in the southwest corner of it. The afternoon winds can be strong here and it's not uncommon for boats to drag anchors.
Whenever Finisterra is in a marina we connect to the 110 volt shore power to keep the batteries full. Unfortunately, our charger/inverter stopped working the day we arrived. There are no real boat repair facilities in this town so we relied on our solar panels to do that work until we could get back to La Cruz where there are lots of resources for this kind of work. So after a week or so in beautiful Barra, Finisterra departed for Cabo Corrientes and La Cruz.

It's about a hundred nautical miles from Barra to Corrientes and for the first 85 miles we motored over a glassy sea, dodging long-lines and trolling for dorado. As we approached the cape, the wind built to about 20 knots on the nose and stayed that way until we rounded it and bore off for La Cruz, another 28 miles ahead. As soon as we cleared the cape the wind dropped to almost nothing and we resumed motoring, arriving at the harbor entrance just before dawn. By 0700 we were snug in our berth on gangway 10.

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