[050402,1653 UTC,16 º 29.5 ' N /99 º 44.7 ' W
ca. 25 miles SE of Acapulco steering 105 degrees magnetic]
A quick note to let you know we're again on the move east and south from Zihuatanejo. We left at dinner time on Thursday March 31 after a busy day of checking out (getting a "salida") with the port captain, making last minute phone calls, visiting an internet cafe, buying a few last minute fresh provisions at the public mercado and saying our goodbyes to friends. It would have been easy for us to stay in pleasant Zihua' for awhile longer but we were anxious to move onto the more pristine and quiet anchorages in the area around Huatulco since we miss swimming and exploring. We were also motivated to leave on Thursday by the long standing tradition that sailing vessels do not leave on a voyage on a Friday, so we worked hard and were ready to pull anchor roughly six hours shy of Friday. We also were testing the theory that if you leave on a passage at the end of a day when you are tired, getting to sleep during the early off-watches will be easier. (It's not statistically significant but it seemed to work.)
For those who may not recognize Huatulco, it's about two hundred miles south of Acapulco, just east of Puerto Angel and just west of Salina Cruz on the edge of the Gulf of the Tehuatapec. The area surrounding Bahia Santa Cruz has been developed into "Huatulco" in recent years and now sports a cruise ship dock and a brand new marina. Inland is the attractive city of Oaxaca that we hope to visit. It is in Huatulco where we will prepare for crossing the Gulf of Tehuantapec where winds this weekend during one of its frequent gales may reach 60 knots with seas to 25 feet. Predicting these gales is fairly accurate and directly related to strong high pressure in the Texas/Gulf of Mexico region, so boats wishing to cross to travel out of Mexico wait in Huatulco until a long window is expected before jumping off. The season for these gales is ending but we will wait as long as is necessary to get a comfortable window.
Our passage has been relatively uneventful except for a shredded alternator belt and head plumbing clogged by calcium build up (that we thought we'd fixed). Unfortunately, winds have been very light and variable throughout the day, allowing us to sail only about half of the time. It's pretty warm in the cabin with the ports sealed (91 degrees) though it's nice outside in the shade of our bimini and glorious when we have a little wind. Everyone is healthy and eating well and enjoying the relative leisure of passage-making.
Sus amigos del velero, Carina
Philip, Leslie & el gato guapo, Jake
enroute to Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico
p.s. If you haven't been to our www.sv-carina.org website recently we have a bunch of new photos in Our Pictures/Pacific Mexico and Our Friends. Also we've added a direct link on the front page of www.sv-carina.org to the Winlink website so that with one click you can find out where we are!