After hearing about Zihuatanejo, we were excited to see what the town and area had to offer!
We arrived in the afternoon and found a nice place to anchor with about 15 other boats in the bay. We had been craving a hamburger and needed to find an ATM, so once we were settled, we dropped the dinghy and went to shore. Jesus, a local fella that helps you pull your dinghy onto the beach and watches over it while you are gone, in exchange for $20 pesos ($1usd), was awaiting our arrival on the beach.
We wandered through the town and found the bank and stocked up on some pesos. Next we set out to find a burger. We have discovered that many restaurants don't open until 4:00 in many places in Mexico, but we successfully found an open burger joint. Next we headed back to Karuna for a nice evening and we were taken back once the sun set and Zihuatanejo lit up! It was beautiful! I think it's a rule for each dwelling to have an LED light turned on once it's dark, as the whole mountain side lit up and twinkled!
Zihuatanejo is known for it's music scene, so we checked out a few different musicians, including Solo Tres. Edgar, Miguel, and Roberto are well known in the community and are specifically known for their harmonizing voices while playing guitars. We also saw a young and up and coming gal perform at a restaurant along the malecon.
Zihuatanejo has an insane number of restaurants. I didn't realize one town could have so many! During the day we completed boat projects and in the afternoon we would go into town for a cold drink and bite to eat.
The big projects we tackled were addressing the bilge pump and vented loop issue that we experienced on our previous sail south, when we were taking on water. We were able to order the necessary parts and had them shipped to us in a reasonable amount of time (and money). Doug dove into the bilge, re-worked some problem areas, replaced what was needed, and the system is working seamlessly.
We also met with a welder and had him fabricate a security gate for our companion way. Andreas was great, he had a 24 hour turnaround time and we are happy the final product.
With the rainy season approaching in Central America, we have some projects that we have been picking away at to get Karuna ready. One such project is re-grooving and caulking our teak deck seams, to avoid leaks. We have spent countless, grueling hours on the teak, it's nearly a 6 step processes. In Zihua we removed a big section of the old caulk, re-grooved, sanded, cleaned, taped, and were ready to caulk when we discovered all our caulk had cured in the tubes and was no longer good. This lead to a wild goose chase to find caulk, as we now had a bunch of exposed teak deck seams. It's very difficult to find boat items in Mexico, so we were prepared to order from the states and have it imported in…the only problem was, we could not find the caulk anywhere in the states, it was on back order everywhere we looked. So, we searched high and low around Zihuatanejo. To make a long story (and hike) short, we went to the next town over where a very nice man went out of his way to help us out. He called a friend who spoke English and we were able to locate 6 tubes back in Zihuatanejo! Thank goodness!
We had numerous friends, who we have met along the way, arrive in Zihuatanejo as they too are continuing south. We will be seeing/sailing with these boats for the coming months as we all head to Panama. We had some memorable times with our friends on Azure and had an amazing dining experience with them at Tentaciones. The food, company, and views will not be forgotten! Thank you for a great evening Forrest!!
To wrap up our time in Zihuatanejo, Doug was in desperate need of a hair cut. I typically cut it, but we decided to find a barber in town. I read some great reviews on Nestor, who is a Cuban gentleman that has been in Zihuatanejo for many years. His shop is seriously a 6ft x 5ft space nestled in between two businesses. This was probably the best haircut Doug has ever had...and it cost $2.50 USD...and Nestor would not accept a tip. Wow!
After two weeks in Zihuatanejo and watching the red tide roll in, it was time to find cleaner water, so we lifted our barnacle covered chain and flopper stoppers and continued south. Next up we make our way to Puerto Angel.
**On a side note if the town Zihuatanejo sounds vaguely familiar, it is mentioned in the movie Shawshank Redemption. It's the town where Andy goes once he has escaped Shawshank. If you haven't seen the movie, you should!