Saturday, January 30, 2010

refugio de potosi in zihautanejo

this is an amazing nest, about 3-4 ft long.  i can't remember the name of the bird that builds the nest but i've seen several around town in restaurants.  wish i could bring one home

a hummingbird nest about the size of a quarter

backside of the nest - built very strongly

one of the lizzards shot through the glass of the terrarium

one of the iguanas in the terrarium

one of the turtles in the tererarium

a very sweet coatimundi

i can't remember the name of this bird but he was following us around and very obnoxious

inside the butterfly pavilion

one of the macaws roaming the grounds

the foot portion of a humpback whale

jim buddying up to one of the parrots roaming around.  he looked a lot like our deceased nameless parrot.

whistling duck

lizzard pile-up

horned owl

before i forget i wanted to post some pictures from our trip to El Refugio de Potosí just outside town. it's a center for wildlife conservation and environmental education. we stopped on our way back from the kayak trip into the mangroves.  Laurel runs the place and she trains and educates local kids about the animals being kept here.  we saw a butterfly pavilion, a walk-in iguana terrarium, parrots and macaws, several that roam freely, ducks, snakes, scorpions, hummingbirds, a horned owl sitting on a perch, and raptors.  anyway, it was quite wonderful. 

leaving zihautanejo on jan. 30 '10

i finally got my turk's head ankle bracelet

this was my view last sunday.  jim and i tried to figure out how to weave the turk's head knot around my ankle and he was patient enough to finally get it done

our favorite hang out is cafe marina where we ate many breakfasts

when the internet connection was lousy at the computer store we moved over to garraboa restaurant.  my chiliquiles breakfast was great and they were very accommodating, allowing us to sit and email pretty much all day

one evening we decided to sit and watch the women's volleyball game at the basketball court which is down the street from cafe marina

when we were out making water a couple days ago one of the cruise ships was coming into the bay.  a few days ago there were 2 cruise ships in at the same time

the motor has arrived. we're provisioned and we're ready to leave zihautanejo this afternoon. yesterday we dealt with offloading the broken motor and spent sunset time on s/v Blue Bottle talking about what to expect in Central America and heading over to Ecuador. the more we hear the more excited we get about all the interesting places to visit along the coast.

the bay here is beginning to fill up with boats for sailfest which starts this coming tuesday. we're sorry to miss out on the fun but we've spent way too much time here which will affect our stops further south. this morning we had a few sprinkles and there's rain predicted today with increased winds, but right now i see blue sky. a good time to leave.

although internet connections are spotty, we do enjoy hearing from you.  we like to know what you're thinking, what's keeping you busy and anything else you'd like to share with us.  feel free to drop us an email.  linda can be reached at and jim can be reached at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

19 days in zihautanejo but who's counting

yesterday at the computer store. now i ask you, how often do you see this at your internet site?

our favorite breakfast joint here, cafe marina. looks out at the bay and is across from the very local fish market.
some of the artwork next to me just now.

jim emailing two days ago before we heard there's a delay with the motor.

i'm at a wonderful restaurant down the street from the outboard motor store. stormy weather is playing but the weather here is anything but. and so the saga continues.
we're still waiting for our outboard motor. while we love being here in zihautanejo (and i can easily spell it now) we are anxious to get going. we've been here 19 days. at least we don't have the bug problem we had in barra and elsewhere. the marine "store" where we bought the motor isn't very forthcoming about when it will arrive, maybe saturday (which is today and they're closed) maybe monday. we were bummed wednesday when they told us. our recovery was staying on the boat thursday and reading. and reading. and reading. i'm half way through "girls like us" which is a hefty 600+ page biography of carole king, joni mitchell and carly simon. for those of us women who came of age in the 60s it's quite a reminder of those crazy years we lived in. jim finished one book and has started another, something about death and destruction i think.

yesterday we kayaked back into town for breakfast at our favorite spot, cafe marina. then it was to the computer store but the connection was too slow to do anything. back at the boat later in the day we discovered jim's kayak has a huge leak so he can't use it and we have no way of fixing it. now he's reduced to rowing the dinghy in to shore and dealing with putting the wheels up and down on the sand (not an easy task). our frequent motto these days is "well it could be worse". let's hope not.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

mangrove kayak trip in zihautanejo jan. 9 '10

where we got our kayaks for the day

roadside memorial for an apparition of the virgin of guadalupe which appeared on this tree

fruit stand on the way to the mangroves

daub-constructed cabin, made from adobe mud, along the road to the mangroves

roadside fish joint

there were actually about five iguanas in this palm tree. this guy was huge.

he's feeding on shrimp. we saw him in the pond on the way to the mangroves.

one of the ponds we passed on the way to the mangroves.

i have a new motto - give up on being perfect and having this blog be in chronological order. i get too hung up on the whole business and then don't want to post. having said that, this post is about being in zihautanejo (since jan. 5). good grief i can't believe how long we've been here. anyway, one day rolls into the next but there have been a few highlights.

January 9 for example. here's my journal entry. It was a short-lived working motor celebration. Up early to motor in to meet Jack and family for a kayak tour. The motor worked just long enough for us to leave the boat then it quit. For good. We rowed back to the boat, transferred our gear to our kayaks, and paddled to shore – late. But the rest of the day was incredible.

We drove through small villages to get to the mangroves where we spent hours in a relaxing kayak tour. so many birds it's hard to recall them all but here's a partial list: juvenil white pelicans, red & white mangroves, cormorants, frigates, great blue herons, egrets, reddish egrets, green herons, white ibis, wood stork, whistling ducks, wood rail. brian was our tour guide and he was very knowledgeable about the area, the flora and fauna. if you're ever in zihautanejo be sure and take one of his tours ( jim just reminded me there are two tour options but the second one into the lagoon he offers only to locals because it's often used as a body dump from warring drug lords. he said it scares away the tourists.
then he drove us into a small village where we bought some local salt which is mined in the mangroves. we ended the tour by stopping at the refugio de potosi. this place is truly amazing. laural runs the place and has trained young locals to educate us on the inhabitants: great horned owl, hummingbirds of various kinds, kingbird, snakes, scorpions, lots of parrots and macaws, several sitting out on open perches. and then there's the butterfly enclosure, iguana area, raptors, and indigenous trees and plants. there's more but my memory fails me now.
and now, looking at all my pictures, i realize there are too many to put in this one blog. more to come.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

sudden squall in zihaut

we had a very exciting (and scary) evening yesterday.  jim put up the boat cover (at my insistance) to help keep the boat clean from the boobies and pelicans.  we had just settled into the cockpit to watch the sunset and watch the lightening flashes move around the bay.  then we heard the thunder.  a few sprinkles of rain and we closed the hatches.  just as we were discussing how wonderful the cool weather was, the squall hit.  we were pelted with horizontal rain that felt like hail, and the wind (clocked at 35-40) caught our sailcover trying to make us airbourn.  it dragged our anchor and us into another boat.  while jim was scrambling to take down the boat cover i was fending off the bow sprit of the other boat.  i had to untie our dinghy and both kayaks to give to them for safe keeping.  we got the motor started and reanchored in the dark once we knew nothing would fowl the prop.  later we discovered jim's kayak paddle was gone and a couple back cushions for the kayaks and a pair of his shoes.  no real damage to either boat.  we were lucky.  it could have been worse.  in the aftermath of debriefing we realized (okay i realized) how important it is to always always always be prepared.  don't leave things on deck, don't leave boat covers up at night.

sorry, no pictures of all this.  it wouldn't have been a pretty sight, both of us dripping wet.

today it's calm, slightly overcast, and we have 3 boobies sitting on our bow.

this is not a boobie
more to come.

Friday, January 15, 2010

pizza and crocs in ixtapa

yes they really do have crocs swimming in here - jim saw one

what a great pizza rustica - pear and gorgonzola - yum!

here we sit, jim and i, side by side in a computer store in zihautanejo. our backs ache but our emails are almost caught up. outside i see pale blue skies with scattered clouds. we both wish we were back at the boat lounging and read. but we're not.

i'm waiting for him to finish his emailing and then we're going out for lunch. while i'm waiting i thought i'd post some pictures of our quick trip to ixtapa a couple days ago. we needed to get out of the bay here in zihaut. to make water, and the only fuel dock is next door in ixtapa. since we've been anchored in zihaut. since jan. 4 we decided it would be a good idea to spend the night in the marina and get the boat cleaned AND have showers. i don't know who needed a bath more, the boat or us. we needed waders to get through the guano on deck - really. we seem to be the pit stop for all boobies and pelicans in the area. it was wonderful to have some local guys clean the boat. they even came over to zihaut. yesterday to clean the boat bottom which had a healthy crop of barnacles growing in nutrient-rich bay water. they had to come over to zihaut. after we reanchored because crocodiles roam the marina in ixtapa. in fact jim saw a big one while he was cleaning the dinghy. sorry, no picture of him (the croc not jim).
we also had a couple of great meals while we were there.
once again we ran into friends who arrived in the marina just before us. margie and bob on a boat with no name came over at sunset. just as bob was unpacking margarita fixings we were attacked by a swarm of relentless mosquitoes that drove us down below. the down side of living in the tropics. we had good food and conversation way into the night.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

outboard ordeal in zihautanejo

we've gotten comfortable here, as you can tell

the fish market in front of where we eat breakfast at cafe marina

we're still in zihuatanejo. it's the saga of the outboard motor. we thought it was fixed in barra but when we tried to use it after arriving here jan. 4 we got about 2 feet from the boat and it quit. so we took it in to a local guy who worked on it. got it back, used it once, and it quit AGAIN.  we debated chucking it overboard for a mooring, but have decided to go to plan B. we're going to buy what the mexicans use, a yamaha 2 stroke. but it's complicated, takes time to order and receive so we're here for another 5 days or so.

we love zihuat. more to come about our time here but for now i just wanted to make an initial entry to update the blog. internet is not easy. i have to put my computer in a drybag and kayak to shore then walk to the store to buy time for hookup.

more to come.

Friday, January 1, 2010

bugs bugs and more bugs in barra

this has to be a quick post as i've squandered away the day here at the sands hotel in barra de navidad. the bugs are relentless and there's no breeze so it's time to pack up the computer and head back to the boat.

but first i wanted to do a quick summary. we left tenacatita and motored over to la manzanilla on the south side of the bay - for breakfast. yes we do travel by our stomachs. then we had to motor out and make water for 4 hours. we had wind so we sailed (oh darn) then headed back to tenacatita to anchor for the night. next morning we left and spent 2 more hours making water then headed into barra de navidad lagoon. we've been here several days. here's what we did:

got the dinghy motor fixed
had some great meals
spent time with scott and marlo on allegro
took a taxi to melaque (for food at the hawaiian market)
jim found a guy that makes corn beef here in barra
bought crossants from the french baker who comes out to your boat
showered poolside
spent new year's eve with many cruisers from the lagooon and had a really nice time - except jim didn't get his coconut shrimp - they forgot!
we leave tomorrow morning and continue our crawl south. above is a mix of pictures from here. more to come in a week or two.
jim and i both wish you a much improved happy new year and look forward to seeing you down the road.

sure doesn't feel like xmas

it definitely doesn't feel like xmas here in tenacatita. i was up at 6:30am sitting in my hammock to watch the sunrise and it was spectacular with vibrant colors so jim could sleep in. he'd been busy the night before getting us a xmas tree! we met scott and marlo for a dinghy ride into the jungle river which is really the mangroves here. armed with cameras and bug spray we had a delightful ride through the overgrown but well-maintained swamp. egrets and other birds were hidden among the bushes and it was a beautiful ride. we ended at playa escolleras which is a small village of palapas along the beach. we got back in time to make something to take to the cruisers' potluck on the beach and spent the balance of the day lounging and looking out at the ocean. it definitely didn't feel like xmas.