After we left Barra, we had a quick 4 hour sail down to Bahia Manzanillo where we anchored in front of the Las Hadas hotel. If you followed our blog last year, you might remember that we left Sereno in Barra and took a road trip to Manzanillo and stayed overnight at this hotel where the movie 10 with Bo Derek was filmed.
We had a great Italian dinner on shore and headed out the next morning on an overnight sail to Ixtapa. This part of the coast is very remote with small villages scattered here and there. All of these villages have fishermen whose idea of fishing is stretching long lines with coke bottles or small buoy’s tied on every 100 yards or so out in the ocean. The lines have hooks to catch the fish and a single line goes for miles. In most cases, the lines are watched by a panga (small boat with outboard). So upon seeing a panga, we slow the boat down while the panga races towards us. As we put her in neutral to stop the prop (no wind that day) we glide over the line. If it is shallow enough to snag the keel, we keep stretching the line out until it finally slides down over the keel and comes free behind the boat. With a wave to the fishermen, we are on our way again. We encountered eight lines and saw two or three others that were not in our way. This all happened ten to thirteen miles off shore. There is no way to see any of these in the dark and we are thinking the fishermen haul them in by dusk. I do hope that is the case. Getting in the water day or night with a pitching sea to cut a line off our prop would be very dangerous.
We also encountered a lot of tankers and cargo ships. Bahia Manzanillo contains a large port and on the way we passed Puerto Lazaro Cardenas, which is Mexico’s largest commercial port in the Pacific. Our AIS, which allows other vessels to see us on their chart plotter, was money well spent. The ships could easily see us both day and night and we saw several maintain a course a half mile off us and then cross behind our stern for deeper water.
We typically do not see other sailboats on our passages. This time as we were leaving Bahia Manzanillo, we met up with another boat going our way. It is nice to have a buddy boat that you can talk to on the radio. And we were going about the same speed so we arrived in Ixtapa at the same time.