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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Zihuatanejo to Puerto Angel

We had an uneventful passage after departing Zihua Sunday morning. We were having a great mix of good sailing with a little motoring during the transitions from sea to land breezes and back again, but with a knot of favorable current we were topping the average speed that John had used for trip planning. At that rate we would arrive in Huatulco well before sunrise Wednesday, and we don't like going into new places in the dark if we can help it. The next best anchorage appeared to be Puerto Angel but we had to put the pedal to the metal to get there before dark. I just hate it when we get stuck between those kinds of choices. So we essentially wasted a lovely day of sailing yesterday by cranking out the miles with the sails up wing and wing and the engine at full throttle. But we managed to get the anchor down at 6:30 PM, in time for showers and dinner before hitting the sack for a full night's sleep.

We saw whales off in the distance the first morning and, just when I thought we'd never see another one, I caught sight of a couple as we approached Puerto Angel. A boobie joined us our second night out and we let him stay on the bow pulpit since he was so pretty. He had a beautiful blue and purple beak but with bright red feet, so maybe he was a juvenile blue-footed boobie. He took off just after sunrise and we hope he found some other boobies to show him around his new neighborhood. The moon was almost full so we couldn't see the stars or bio luminescence clearly, but after it set we had a good show with the Southern Cross in plain sight, a few shooting stars, and dolphin torpedo streaks through our wake. John got to see the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle thanks to Jerry on Destarte, who gave out the info over the evening SSB net (I was off watch and sleeping). And finally, as we approached Puerto Angel we saw scores of shearwaters (sea birds) and tens of turtles, including a pair doing the baby making mambo. After we anchored John was putting the swim ladder over the side for a sunset bath when he noticed all the jelly fish in the water. Now we know why there are so many turtles in the area.

We spoke with Wingstar in the anchorage and found out that the Capitania de Puerto requires all boats to check-in. Since they couldn't recommend anything special to see or do ashore, we decided to depart this morning before the Capitania noticed we were there. The cool thing about the beaches in Puerto Angel is that they are steep sand similar to what we remember from Maruata. The panga fishermen do the same landing drill of running straight at the beach at full speed, slamming the boat onto the sand, and killing the motor after the boat stops 30-40 ft up the beach. Very exciting to watch! It's a pretty place but I woke up in the middle of the night and had to bury my nose in the sheets from the horrible smell of burning plastic, and there were plumes of black smoke as we left this morning. It's good for the turtles that they collect and burn their plastic garbage, but maybe not so good for the people living there.

The water is still thick with jellyfish and several of the smallest turtles we've seen as we make our way towards Huatulco this morning. Not sure yet where we'll end up, but we may anchor out for a couple of nights before heading into Marina Chahue. Oh, I almost forgot - it sure feels weird to be heading in an easterly, rather than southerly direction. Yesterday morning the sun rose directly in front of the bow!

Linda and John

{GMST}15|39.888|N|096|29.633|W|February 2008|Puerto Angel{GEND}