Intermezzo left Marina Ixtapa on Wednesday afternoon after topping up the diesel tanks and paying what felt like a king's ransom for a month and a half of docking. We motored the short distance to Bahia de Zihuatanejo and dropped anchor just off Playa de Ropa, a spot we enjoyed on two previous visits.
Yesterday we provisioned and prepared the boat. We took the dinghy into town to pick up groceries at the Mercado Municipal and the Mega grocery store- the mercado has cheap fresh produce, the Mega has the rest. We opted not to buy fresh fish at the panga beach as we expect to catch our own along the way.
Zihuantanejo has a great dinghy beach, complete with "valet parking". A friendly guy with a whistle guides you into the beach as if your dinghy is an airplane approaching a gate, complete with various arm movements, facial expressions and endless tweeting on the whistle. Once grounded, he helps you haul the dinghy up on to the beach into a designated parking space. The best part is knowing that your dinghy is being closely watched and is safe and secure. Friendly, quality service for 20 pesos.
Roy returned to town in the afternoon to pick up his laundry and get a massage. The two of us made yet another trip last night to enjoy our last dinner on shore at La Palma Grande, a little restaurant which makes its own tortillas by hand. The tacos were great. Our multiple trips endeared us to the dinghy parking guy who got paid his pesos each time we landed.
I also had the opportunity yesterday to figure out the shared expenses for Leg 1, now that I knew how much the fuel for the last trip cost. My crew is contributing towards food and fuel, so Pete and Roy received "invoices" for their respective shares. Intermezzo's insurance, docking and maintenance cost quite a lot, so I'm very grateful to have help with the consumables.
Roy and I are trying out a different watch schedule on this passage. Instead of Intermezzo's four-hour daytime and three-hour nighttime watch schedule, we will have two six-hour watches from 0800 to 1400 and 1400 to 2000 and three four-hour watches, 2000 to midnight, midnight to 0400 and 0400 to 0800. This gives us a bit longer sleeptime at night and a longer chunk of off-watch time during the day to rest, relax and do chores.
The weather forecast for this passage looks pretty good until Tuesday, when a big blow is forecast for the Golfo de Tehuantepec. We will wait that out in a sheltered anchorage in Huatulco, until probably Friday when the blow subsides and we can scoot across to Puerto Chiapas. We expect light to moderate winds during the daytime and mostly calm conditions at night on our way to Huatulco. Since we're in no hurry to get to Huatulco to sit and wait, we'll try to sail as much as possible, probably doing some "bobbing around" when becalmed. It will be nice to save the (expensive, $5/gallon) diesel fuel and enjoy the peace and quiet.