No matter how long you plan to stay on your boat either at anchor or sailing, there undoubtedly comes a point where one must get to shore. Reasons can vary, but here are the top 5 reasons to leave your boat and get to shore a regular basis.
- Re-provisioning – When you are beyond the point of creativity with what remains in your cupboards. One of my favorite experiments turned yummy, is sweet potato and black been tacos. (I’ll leave you with the recipe below.)
- Exploration – Often by foot, bus or taxi, (usually in that order) we venture around each new town getting ourselves acquainted. We look for new and interesting attractions. Usually we’re always looking to the sky for something with a view. Towers, mountains, and even volcanos, these were all on our list in Manzanillo.
- Something Has Broke – The engine won’t run if it doesn’t have fuel or oil. The sails won’t work if there’s a rip or tear. Motors, pumps, plugs, toilets and flip flops all need to be happy, and when they are not, you know it. Luckily, Maluhia is very healthy, and we have plenty of spare flip flops onboard.
- Reprieve – This can be from the elements, bad weather, the stress of being underway, at anchor or even taking a break from the small space you share with your spouse or crew. One afternoon an informal panel of cruisers came to the agreement. One year on a boat with your significant other generally equates 7 years, similar to how dog years convert to human years.
- Culture – Experiencing the culture includes seeking out the locals. Where are they going? What are they doing? Culture is found at the markets, eating at family run restaurants, listening to local musicians, celebrating town festivals, visiting the local churches, and volunteering.
To get from your boat to shore one needs a reliable car (dinghy) with a sensible motor. Wheels are optional. Most dinghy’s seat 4 people comfortably. The going rate to tie up your dinghy at the dinghy dock at Las Hadas Resort is 200 pesos about $18 per day. That’s close to what you could expect to pay downtown Los Angeles for valet service, and we’re not driving our BMW’s to shore!
If you pay, the money allows you to park (tie up your dinghy) for the day, and pool entry to the Las Hadas Resort complete with white towels. Humm, after being in Barra this all becomes one big head scratcher. But, going to shore here is worth it. We made multiple trips to shore, paid and unpaid. The best way was to combine this fee by carpooling, uh dinghy-pooling.
Once on shore the walk into town is about 1.5 miles for re-provisioning and Tacos Chuey. Tacos Chuey is a small set of red trucks that have been converted into a pop up grill and taco stand. The tacos are cheap. Run inside the nearby mall and grab a couple of cold drinks. Order your tacos, pile them with fixings, and pull up a stool!
Local cuisine is great but day after day the same notion of tacos can become tiresome. Places such as Kentucky Fried Chicken or Dairy Queen are not the usual suspects appearing every few blocks. In Mexico these places turn into novelties only found in larger cities and often times only accessibly by car. Showing up to a cruisers happy hour with a little box full of KFC chicken is as good as gold! Yes – the “original recipe” is the same in Mexico.
Climbing the Las Hadas Tower
This was an unfortunate turn of events with much confusion. Can we get into the tower? That was the question. One of us was told no and the other told yes but not until the evening. A group of us ventured up to the tower in the evening and were told no, it is too dangerous. Either El Torre is a new night club in town, or it is not the traditional Mexican word for tower. (Shrug.)
Back in Santiago Bay ramada after ramada lines the shore. These are small family run restaurants serving up everything from ceviche, mussels, shrimp tacos and more, to huge coconuts with straws in them. It doesn’t matter which ramada you choose the menu is practically the same.
We were given an invitation to join Debbie on s/v Sailor’s Run for her birthday ashore at Ramada La Jaiva. The anchorage filled up fast, and dinghy’s stormed the shore. Jeff and Debbie are always good for interesting conversation in regards to sailing particularly because they’ve logged over 85,000 ocean miles.
Let’s just say they (Jeff) are pretty serious when it comes to sailing. Jeff rounded Cape Horn alone! In three months, at age 69 Jeff will set off to do a solo nonstop circumnavigation around each cape crossing 7 oceans. Debbie is saying “no gracias” and I don’t blame her! Their blog is: sailorsrun.com
Hiking the Mountain
Jeff and Debbie told us about the house on the hill, and gave us explicit directions on how to get up there. So early one morning we rounded up our hiking buddies Dave and John, for an interesting look at an abandoned house with 360 degree views of the bay.
Along the way we pondered the story of the house. We were told it belonged to an individual who bought the house to make apartments out of it.
Then it was sold to a member of a drug cartel, who was eventually busted because there was only one escape route leading to and from the house, and it happened to be the road we were walking on. The police stormed the house unexpected and captured the suspects, but as these stories go, not without a helicopter.
At the top of the hill (mountain?) our friends were pondering the departure of our boats towards Zihuatanejo, we agreed that afternoon might be a good time to depart. We alerted our friends s/v Cake and they immediately set off sailing South. But, by the time we returned to the anchorage and got onboard Maluhia, Grant and I had changed our minds. How could we change our minds in such a short amount of time?
On Mauhia it takes two people to want to go anywhere. Upon further discussion of the trip South, it turned out that Maluhia’s crew was in disagreement. Call it pure laziness if you want, a lack of interest that had developed in guitar fest, or the freedom we had to make our own choices, but after discussing our qualms the undecided party was quickly swayed. We weren’t budging!
We hopped in the dinghy and headed over to s/v Valhalla to tell them in person. It felt like we were breaking up. Even worse s/v Cake had already left the anchorage! We had to call them on the VHF and let them know we weren’t continuing South with them. We felt horrible but by that point we were beyond second guesses. We were living with this decision.
We’ll end this blog post with that recipe as I mentioned above. Surprisingly delicious!
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos
The actual recipe is a Forks Over Knives recipe and has been modified to my liking.
- Tortillas – preferably homemade (hot)
- Sweet potato – mashed with Cumin (hot)
- Black Beans – drained and rinsed (hot)
- Green onions – chopped (cold)
- Fresh Spinach – chopped (cold)
- Cholula hot sauce
- Warm the tortillas for a bit on each side over a gas flame on your stove, or if you’re prone to setting fires use a frying pan.
- Spread sweet potato mixture onto tortilla.
- Top with black beans, fresh chopped spinach, tomato, and green onions.
- Sprinkle with a few drops of Cholula hot sauce to your liking. (You can try other hot sauce but Cholula is the best!)