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Monday, January 24, 2005

Isla Grande

January 24, 2005
Isla Grande (Isla Ixtapa), Guerrero Coast, Mexico (17o 40' N 101o 39' W)

We checked out of Zihuatanejo on Jan 19th and moved to Isla Grande. This is a small island just a short panga ride from the bustling resort of Ixtapa. As a result the beaches of Isla Grande are inundated daily by tourists from Ixtapa all wanting to snorkel, eat seafood, drink out of huge coconuts, ride jet skis, bounce around on banana boats, and soak up the sun. The anchorage is not that great - there's a lot of swell that rolls into the anchorage - but the island is a 'nature preserve' (how they can call it a preserve when there's 25 restaurants on the island I have no idea) so every night at 1700 everyone leaves and it gets nice and quiet.

The first night we were here we went to Megabyte for dinner. Joe and Cindy were there from Maggie Drum and Debbie made great fish quesadillas. After dinner we played a couple games of Mexican Train dominoes. By the time we left Megabyte the anchorage was pretty rolly so I set the rocker-stopper so we could get some sleep. Unfortunately there's only so much the rocker-stopper can handle and we still rolled badly.

The next day we decided to hang low on the beach and went in with Joe from Maggie Drum (Cindy's been sick with a bad cough) and Dave and Debbie from Megabyte. No sooner had our dinghies left the boats then the 'waiters' on shore started blowing whistles and waving flags to get us to come into their palapa restaurant. I guess the competition is pretty stiff for business. We headed into a restaurant that Dave and Debbie had been into before and the waiter pulled our dinghy out of the water and right into the middle of his restaurant. We made arrangements with him to keep our stuff safe and headed off to the snorkeling beach to see what we could find. The conditions were pretty good, about 35 ft visibility, and we spotted two or three eels, an octopus and the ever present colorful fish. After snorkeling we spent the rest of the afternoon eating lunch at our restaurant/dinghy parking lot.

We returned to NAKIA after lunch, and since a few boats had left, we moved to a little more protected spot around the corner. That afternoon the weather started to turn with large clouds rolling in from the south west. We were snug in our new spot so we weren't too worried. We went to bed around 9 pm with the nearly full moon completely obscured by clouds. All of a sudden around 1 am the clouds opened up and poured! We ran around the boat like mad to close all the hatches and portholes. Then sat down to listen to the torrent. It only took us about 30 seconds to realize that we should be out on deck scrubbing the boat down - we haven't been in a marina since leaving Puerto Vallarta November 20th - so we stripped down to our birthday suits, grabbed scrub brushes and headed out onto deck to scrub down the topsides. The rain lasted long enough to completely clean and rinse the boat and the next morning we sparkled like new. Unfortunately our rain catcher was in storage under the pullman birth, otherwise we'd have had full water tanks too.

The weather continued stormy for the next 24 hours, giving us enough time to get the rain catcher out of storage and put some water in the tanks but this morning there's not a cloud in the sky and we plan on leaving tonight for points north. Our next stop will be a small anchorage called Caleta de Campo on the Michoacan coast. We should be there the morning of the 25th (our anniversary!).

John and Linda