PV to Cabo is around a 290 mile run, so we were on the boat at first light.
The PV bay is HUGE. It took around an hour at 27 knots just to clear the bay.
An hour or so later we ran by a string of islands know as the Islas Marias. They were good sized islands and apparently Mexico's version of Alcatraz, housing a federal prison on one of the islands.
After the islands it was 200 miles of nothing and I mean nothing. No boats, no land, no birds, nothing.
We ran 25 knots most of the way, but as we started to come close to Cabo, the ocean turned. It went from greasy to 3-4' wind waves stacked right on top of each other. No bueno.
The Henriques was amazing. We throttled down to 19-20 knots and she powered right through them. No bangs or shudders. The ride was wet, but comfortable. It would have been horrible in my old boat, a 48' Viking. The Henriques 42' is one hell of a sea boat.
Cabo was the first familiar port of the trip (I had a small boat here for 4 years), which made the stress level pretty low.
When we pulled into Cabo, it was very apparent that they had suffered hurricane damage.
The docks on the port side when you first clear the jaws are gone, I mean totally gone. As we looked for our slip, we saw a bunch of concrete docks stacked on top of each other in destroyed slips. Most of the slips were intact, but there were around 30 slips that are out of service.
We were there after hours, but a security guard greeted us, showed us our slip, and tied us up like the pro he is.
After taking a day off to rest up, we met with our yacht maintenance guy and went down the tick list for what had to be done before we left port.
The next morning the HVAC guy was on the boat and diagnosed the problem with our freezer boxes- the copper high and low pressure lines were leaking badly. He quickly ripped them out, ran new lines, and now the boxes get below freezing in around an hour. The best part is that the bill was less than $600 for parts and labor.
It soon was time to head home, rest up, work, and plan for the next leg, the 800 mile run from Cabo to San Diego.
Neither of us had ever been to PV by water before, so we listened to some cruisers from Oregon and headed to Nueva Vallarta. It turned out to be a nice marina and planned community that catered to AARP expats.
Strangely, they had a golf course and a mall, but not a fuel dock, so we had to go 6 miles away to the Pemex for diesel. Every fuel dock I have seen in MX is a Pemex, and they all screw you. There is a docking fee, 13% taxes, and the fuel is not cheap on top of that. It ends up being around $4.25 a gallon.
We took a cab into old town and headed to malecon along the beach and walked around town. Once again, there were very few gringos here. Unfortunately, there still were the loud, pushy, obnoxious "2 for 1" guys bugging us at every corner.
We ended up having a fantastic meal at Barcelona, a rooftop Tapas restaurant run by a guy from Chicago.
The forecast looked great and we were full of fuel, so we decided to get up early and make the 290 mile run to Cabo at first light, so we made it an early night.
A good friend, Bob Stacklie, told us not to miss Barra Navidad, so we took his advice.
We were not disappointed. It is a small marina with a very nice hotel located on the hill above it, and the town was a short water taxi ride across a lagoon.
Like every place we have been so far, there were not many gringos here. Barra Navidad is where the rich nationals go to vacation.
We lost a crew member, so it was down to me and Jenn until Cabo.
We got a lousy forecast, so we ended up spending two nights here.
We spent most of our time across the lagoon at the town, drinking margaritas and walking around.
There is a church in town with a famous story. A few years back there was a hurricane and the church in the middle of town was packed. Right before the water got to the church, the story is that Jesus on the cross lowered his arms and the water receded. When we went to the church we saw the lowered arms (photo), so it must be true.
Barra Navidad was a great place to wait out the weather and spend a couple of days.
After being in a bunch of marinas in the sticks, we finally pulled into our first real port in MX, Acapulco.
Acapulco is gorgeous, but the boating is a nightmare.
There are derelicts on mooring buoys everywhere and lots of channel marker buoys that contradict each other.
There are very few guest slips and nobody would answer up on the air when we hailed them, so we just tied up to the first open dock we found at La Marina. There was no power or water, but at least we had a place to tie up.
The bay in Acapulco is filthy, with garbage floating everywhere.
The fuel "dock" is a nightmare. You have to tie the bow off on a buoy and then back up to a tall cement wall and tie the stern off on both corners. There is a big surge that does its best to smash you against the wall. The process took around 40 minutes, with most of the time spent wondering where the attendant went. No bueno.
On the plus side, we finally got our oil pressure sensor that we had to get overnighted from San Diego (photo).
We ended up staying at an incredible hotel, Las Brisas. It is high up on the hill above Acapulco. The place is 50's hip. There are no elevators, so all transportation is done by one of their 200 pink jeeps. Every room has a million dollar view and a private pool overlooking the bay. If you are ever in Acapulco, stay here.
After Chiapas we had to cross the dreaded Gulf of Tehuantenpec.
It is a 260 mile stretch of open water where the winds can blow real, real hard.
Our weather window was closing rapidly, so we went for it, even with the ailing oil pressure sensor.
We were told to hug the shore, so of course, we went straight across.
All was good until the last 50 miles of so when the wind started blowing 20-25 knots and the waves kicked up. We slogged it out for 50 miles in 4' wind waves that were incredibly tight. The Henriques was incredible. This boat never ceases to amaze me. We slowed down to 20 knots and she never slammed. My 48' Viking would have beat us to death in the same conditions.
We ended up in Chahue Marina. Small, empty, and boring. The only excitement was them putting us in a 35' ft slip. There was not enough room to turn the boat around in the fairways, so I had to nose into an opposing slip and then slide out and back into our slip. Lots of fun, but no gelcoat was harmed.
After a couple of days on dry land we headed to Marina Ixtapa.
Like many places in MX, I am sure Marina Ixtapa used to be nice. Right now it is falling apart. The head did not work (bad pump-out pump) and the marina had no pump out, so we decided to find a hotel.
We ended up in a very "authentic" MX hotel. We were the only gringos. It was sort of clean and pretty run down. We could not leave quick enough.