Posted by: vlbyers | March 31, 2011

Zihuantenejo to Puerto Angel-Huatulco

Yo hay man

Rita arrives via dinghy to Rocinante

Acapulco skyline

Cruise ship steaming out of Acapulco harbor

Beautiful Puerto Angel, notice rocks at left

biggest mahi mahi yet for Larry

Rita on watch at sunrise

Taxi in Acapulco

Yep need this coffee

Rocks at Chachacual beach

Rita and Steve on Rocinante, out of Chahue

Marina Park Hotel pool

We left Zihuantanejo with our friends Steve and Rita aboard. We met the crew of Lady J last year while on the HaHa and became very good friends as we sailed to many great anchorages together, even spent Christmas with them in Chamela.
Our first stop would be Acapulco, because it is there. We weren’t sure what we would find as the information in our guide was a bit sketchy and other opinions were split. After 19 ½ hours of motor sailing we pulled into the bay of Acapulco, wow we were in a big city complete with high-rise buildings lining the coast. After getting kicked off a private mooring ball Mario came to our rescue and provided one from the marina. We had all rested pretty well throughout the trip so we decided to take a trip into town.
The streets were populated mostly by locals, or Mexican tourists as the cruise ship scheduled to visit pulled out of the harbor and left before docking. We were told that sometimes the swell is too big to dock…well we have also heard other reasons. Nevertheless I am sure this impacts the local business drastically. Lunch was in a breezy café just off the beach, a stroll down the shops, and then catching a bus back to the marina completed our visit. We spent the evening on the boat, had a great simple meal, a good jam session and got a good night sleep for our anticipated departure the next day.
After many calculations and discussions about the duration of our trip and possible arrival time we landed on an afternoon departure, this should get us to the next anchorage of Puerto Angel sometime after sunrise. After fueling up we headed over to the other anchorage hoping to anchor and swim in some cleaner water. Our swim to the beach was very refreshing and after a walk along the palapas we swam back to the boat to begin the next leg of our journey.
Acapulco to Puerto Angel-Huatulco
Having 4 people aboard means that 2 people are always on watch together, with only 2 hours of active watch (being at the helm and watching out), the other person is second watch and can chill if not needed or be a second pair of hands if necessary. The first 24 hours were very mild only allowing us to sail about 2 hours. Finally in the afternoon of the second day the wind picked up to about 10 knots and we finally sailed, listening to the water rushing by and having the calming motion of the boat, this is what sailing is all about.
While the motor is running we are able to charge batteries, computers, phones and other misc. items. We also made water with our new watermaker. After installing the watermaker, Larry tested the water many times until he was satisfied that the water was better than bottled. We have been enjoying our further sense of self-reliance; we haven’t been at a dock for 2 months, although the boat is very dirty. I take the initiative to gather some sea water to clean up the cockpit when it gets unbearable, saving our precious pure water for consumption and showers.
Our time off watch has been spent sleeping, reading and catching up on news and life. It is such a treat to have our friends aboard to share on this passage, it marks firsts for us all, the furthest south any of us have been-sailing that is. We are celebrating life and the opportunity to see dolphins playing and hundreds of turtles along their annual migration to parts unknown.
Our arrival to Huatulco, pronounced ‘wa-tool-ko’ was at Puerto Angel at 0800, the first of 9 anchorages/beaches that comprise the Huatulco area. Puerto Angel is a beautiful 2 lobed anchorage which necessitated our vigilance entering as it is a narrow and rocky on either side. As we motored around both of the lobes we saw that there were many pangas on moorings which limits the anchoring possibilities. We were contemplating ‘squeezing’ in between the furthest panga and the rocks using our stern anchor to try to stay out of the swell when we all came to the conclusion that we wanted a more protected anchorage with more room to ‘swing’ (what a boat does while at anchor).
We took off toward the next anchorage of Bahia San Agustin, only a couple of miles NE of Puerto Angel. Yes we are travelling slightly North, I had to check the compass several times during this passage to confirm this.
The next anchorage was much bigger, we would be able to get closer into the beach where we thought there would be less likely to have rocks that would ‘eat’ our anchor, having sandy bottom to anchor in makes it much easier. After dropping the anchor and settling into our new home we were all ready for a swim. We were anchored quite a ways from where the palapas lined the beach, but close to another beach. The two beaches were separated by a hill which descended to a rocky outcropping and would require a nice hike over the top, or swimming out from the beach around the rocks.
Rita and I decided yoga on the beach and a swim to and from would serve us well, the guys opted for the swim and the hike over the hill to the palapas. We stayed at this anchorage for one night and then pulled our anchor to head to the next anchorage. We chose Chachacual, again only a few miles away. This anchorage is a part of the national park system so there were no palapas lining the beach. Several pangas would bring people throughout the day to explore the island but at night we had the entire beach and anchorage to ourselves. Rita and I got up early the next morning, swam to a smaller, reef enclosed portion of the beach to do some snorkeling. It was beautiful but next time we will take the dinghy over and then do our snorkeling as it was a long swim.
After our snorkeling adventure we headed to Bahia Chahue where there is a marina and options for anchorage also. We wanted to stay at the marina at least for a night to get Rocinante her well deserved bath, ease our crew to land and explore some of this town which has a reputation for being one of the best places for cruisers.
More on Huatulco to follow



  1. I love the pictures!

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