Acapulco to Huatulco

24 Apr

The best thing about leaving late at night is that one night is already nearly over! We actually left Huatulco a bit to late, we should of left before dark because there’s quite a few mooring buoys dotted around, anyhow both boats made it out without problems. The night was pretty uneventful, just the way we like it, we’re still seeing the odd tanker here and there but other then that nada! Its 235 miles to Huatulco. I was on the last watch, 5am till 8am, we made it to Huatulco pretty early so, we were hanging around outside the marina, this time we contacted them before hand, so we had a confirmation! Me and Élan were chatting on the VHF when I noticed a blob on the radar, we have a thing called AIS receiver onboard, basically all the big boats have to broadcast their information, things like their length, beam and draft, their speed, name, whether they are powered by engines or sail, their name and destination. It’s really useful to us, the radar will get a fix on bigger boats out there, but when your bouncing and rolling about, it confuses it and doesn’t tell you the correct speed or heading. But with the AIS it’s a separate signal so it’s as good as it gets in terms of heading and speed, although the captain has to physically change the status, name and destination etc, which is what had happened that morning, I was chatting to Élan first thing in the morning, I see the radar return for the tanker, check the AIS and it’s telling me that his current status is ‘at anchor’! We should be fine on our heading as it is, if he’s not moving, so I carry on nattering to Élan, look at the radar a few mins later and this blob has covered 2 miles closer to us! So I checked the AIS again and it’s now telling me that the current speed is 18 knts, and his heading is straight for us! He was still stating he was at anchor though! You really do have to check, check and double check! We turned the boat around at that point to get out of this guys way and he passed us at a safe distance. Lee was up at that point and he could smell a dodgey smell coming from downstairs, so he rinsed the sink and thought maybe it was the bin, I could smell it aswel, it smelt like an eggy sulphur sort of smell, it was getting worse, Katie even woke up because of it! Then we found out it was the batteries! The floor was getting hot, so I killed the engine and quickly got some tools down to Lee

To say the least Lee wasn’t very happy, the battery was only 5 months old and cost an arm and a leg, it could of been something to do with turning the air conditioning on while we’re underway, it’s amazing how hot the battery got, we chucked it onto the swim platform at the back incase it decided to keep melting and creating heat. I made sure Katie was alright and not poisoned by the gas, opened the hatches to let some air in, then got back underway!

There wasn’t anyone at the marina that spoke English, so we had to ask Ashley to ring them instead, as she is really good at the lingo, I do believe this was the maiden voyage for their new dingy! It must of been put together ok because it didn’t sink! Ashley worked her magic and communicated with the marina, they told us to just come and pick what you want! Lee and Élan weren’t really up for that so we went in from the anchorage by dingy, had a look around, they picked out the slips, job done!

The marina in Huatulco is the only marina there, Huatulco is the place to stop off before leaving Mexico, this is the reason we’re here, it’s somewhere to check out of with customs and immigration.

The first night all the over guys went out for dinner, while me and Katie stayed behind, we fancied pizza so we knicked Silver Linings recipie and had a go ourselves.

It wasn’t as good as Silver Linings, but Katie did a great job as you can see, it’s so much better then eating out we think!

The next day Élan asked if anyone fancies a bike ride into town, because he needed to go to a bank, they have a pair of fold up bikes aboard their boat, I was well up for some of that! It felt like the old days at the half pipe!

Little Apollo came for the ride, he ran along side all the way there and all the way back, it must of been 4 miles in total in over 30 celcius heat! Bless him! He kept pulling over and pretending to cock his leg, but all he was really doing was just trying to get a quick rest! The next day me and Katie went to the beach, as we were leaving Élan told us to take the bikes, Katie’s always wanted a fold up bike so how’s the time to try one out!

Because we hadn’t eaten out for a while we thought we would join the others and pop into town, the food was definately different in this state, the others spent the last day eating grasshoppers, a local delicacy apparently, we were interested in what we would be eating that evening! Theres lots of hotels around here, but it seems it’s a place the locals go on holiday, thats why we were told the best places to eat are the hotels, because of the turnover i expect, its a shame because it this reason the independent restaurants don’t do too well, the street food looked great though! We went to a hotel downtown, the service was great and the beer was cold but the menu was average, the dish me and Katie ordered wasn’t anything special at all, I would much rather our handmade pizza! But the tortilla soup was really good, I have them mostly every time we go out to eat, and this one was up there with the best! Tortilla soup is a tomatoe based soup with shredded tortilla, a kind of mozzarella melted in, onion, peppers and chilli hmmmmm! After that we went to an ‘Irish bar’ that the other guys had scoped out, a nice pint of Guinness wouldn’t go a miss, but I haven’t got high hopes! It was relatively pub looking, Guinness posters plastered over the wall, Bono and George best portraits and……bottled Guinness

And a dart board!……with only 2 darts

The barman was really welcoming, he was from Mexico City and has lived in Huatulco for several year, apparently the original owners were Irish, now a Canadian owns it, he was explaining how he loves English rock and roll, The Rolling Stones etc, he even brought out a drink of Huatulco, Mezcal, it’s different from Tequila, het old us it’s different because there’s a high demand for Tequila around the world, for this reason it’s mass produced to satisfy demand, Mezcal is not in as much demand as Tequila so they can afford to take their time ‘handcrafting’ it. They extract the heart (piña) of the agave plant, which can weigh upto 40kg, they then cook them for 3 days in a earthen oven, this underground roasting gives the Mezcal it’s signature smokey flavour. After the Piñas have been cooked they mash them up and put them in big vats and barrels to ferment and age! We got these pretty good shots ‘on the house’ with salt and lime. Personally I thinks it’s a load different from Tequila, mainly because of the smoked flavour, but apparently it should be the other way round, Tequila is twice distilled where as Mezcal is only distilled once! It was a good night out and a great way to try and get rid of our pesos because the next stop is another country!

The customs and immigration came over to the boats that day, we all got new stamps in our passports, everything was honky dory! We were officially checked out of Mexico! It was funny because the immigration bloke told us he didn’t like the feeling of the boat moving so he had to get off, we were docked up and weren’t moving at all!

We had to get some more food and water so me, Katie, Serena and Ashley went to the shop to sort all that out! The dock cart had seen better days, it was in bits when I dropped it back off to them!

While we’re here I want to get some more fishing gear because we’re getting dangerously low! We was in town and I went to the Yamaha shop to have a look around, the lures are expensive, but if their going to catch food for us it’s a done deal, I’ve tried making lures while we’re out, their good but we’re yet to catch on it! I picked out the lures and got the price, it was going to go on the credit card, I got it out for the bloke and he asked me for ID to go with the card, I haven’t had my ID since back in San Jose Del Cabo when I lost my wallet, what a bummer! The most generous guy I have met, Élan, stepped in with his card and ID, don’t worry mate I haven’t forgotten and will get it back to you soon! On our last night in Huatulco we planned on leaving late in the evening to get to the start of the Tuanepec at sunrise! I’ll give you a little insight to the Tuanepec, it’s the last stretch of sea in southern Mexico, the reason it can get extremely windy out there is because there is no high land protecting it from wind coming from the Carribean and the Gulf of Mexico, the guides say to keep in close to the shore so there’s less chance of the seas building up further out, apparently there’s either no wind out there or there’s gale force winds daring you to cross, there’s no happy medium basically! But there seems to be a great weather window for at least 5 days out there! Just what we need! That’s the reason we want to cross it during daylight hours quickly to get out of the danger zone come the night! We went out to a cheap pizza place the evening we are leaving, just so no ones cooking and we still have pesos to get rid of! It was great pizza and a pretty cool place to eat, we then grabbed a taxi back to the marina to get the boats ready for the get go! Rushing around in the heat instantly brings a sweat on so after filling the water tanks up and getting her ready we all had a shower, when you have water on tap you really want to make the most of it! Especially when we have at least 4 nights at sea to get to El Salvador!

 

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