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Friday, February 28, 2014

Zihua Fun and FOOD, 2014

To see the previous articles on Z-town:  To see where we stayed and where this is in the world, check the link that was written in two previous stays.  Click here for 2012/2011

Music and fun in Zihua:

One of the best things we get to do in Zihuantenjo is watching a great blues musician, Jimi Mamou.  He plays in the clubs on a Friday night and we go to watch and dance.  Here are a couple of samples of his music. 
 Click to watch Jimi play guitar

Click to watch Jimi play piano

Nick and Traci were our neighbors for 3 days in our B&B.
They will be back.  It was their first visit to Ztown.

Playa Linda with no one on the beach for miles.  March 2014.

Playa Linda refreshment area.  OK but not a must.

The bike path through the nature preserve on rented bikes
is a favorite of ours.  16km round trip on new pavement through
the bush.  Pretty flat and very smooth.

Good bikes are rented at the hard to see bike shop at 1 km mark on the bike path.

Having dinner at Elvira's Beach Bar and Restaurant

A fun sign downtown Zihua

Another fun sign at the end of the nature bike path at Playa Linda
The biggest croc must be over 12' and there are lots behind the fence.

More signage showing the bike path

Nahume (manager), Lori, and Moses (head waiter) at the Elvira Restaurant in downtown
Zihua.  A great place to eat and drink.

How our morning on the beach starts at Elvira's.
I had a mango juice (frozen0 and Lori had fresh OJ on ice.

Our outside (under roof) sitting area for our B&B at Casa Iguana.
Fresh fruit plates as a bonus this AM.

El Mangalar's Restaurant down to the left side of Playa La Ropa.
There are crocs in the pond 8' from our table.
Good food!

An entrance gate to the preserve and bike path at about 4 km mark.

Sunset dining at Elvira's on the beach.  The best food!
The view just doesn't get better.

Jimi Mamou struts into the crowd with his guitar at Daniel's

Jimi Mamou showing his custom axe!  He makes it sing!

Jimi Mamou doing his solo act and usign the keyboard.  He rocks!

This is a chronicle to try and document the intake for food and beverages for the trip to Zihua for the Count.

The goal is to enjoy the tropics, stay in shape, not gain weight over the 200lb line.  Weighing in on return.  Started the previous day at 199.6 lbs.  NET RESULT:  No change!  199.7 on return.

Prices for food included but the tip is not noted.

Flight day:

Two trays of fruit, cheese, and packet of crackers along with the free pretzel packs (xs 2).  This was on two different flights.

Sunset relaxing for the first night:
An order of chips with pico de gallo at Elvira's
4 gin and tonics (happy hour = 2 for one)
A bowl of tortilla soup for each at Elvira's ($310 pesos)

Day 2 (first full day here)

Went for a 2 mile jog, Went to beach and walked and played in water, sat in the shade of an umbrella on lounge chairs.

Breakfast was yogurt/cereal/banana with coffee
Elvira's day at the beach ($330 pesos)
Two limenada's
One giant mango juice
two beers
One order of chips with pico de gallo
One order of sopes (4 total and split between us)
Dinner:  At Daniel's downtown on the Playa Commercial, where Jimi Mamou was playing.
Lori:  Quesidillas and a mixed salad
Count:  Ribs with veggies and small baked spud

Day 3:
Breakfast at the B&B is the same as above but this AM our host, Joel, added a couple of large glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice with some sort of black fruit added.  It was GOOD!

Down to the beach at Elviras for a couple of hours until 2 PM.  We are dodging the sun hard due to gathering in too much on Day 2.

L:  Limenada
C:  Jugo du Mango, Dos XXs amber
Split and order of quesidillas
Elvira bill $285 (?)

To town and shopping:

Sun screen (fresh seems like a good idea)
micro palimitas (microwave popcorn)
ginebra and Schweps tonic (only one place to get this that we could find)

Cocktail hour:
G & T with micro palimitas (2 bags as we are learning the microwave)  We got the 'natural' flavor and it is good if a bit greasy.

Time for a nap and then off to dinner at El Manglar restaurant.

Ice tea, split a beer.
Garlic fish fillet for both with rice and veggies.  Very good, no head, bones, tail, or skin to mess with.  Beautiful setting sun as we arrived.  Taxi each way $50

Food bill:  $275

Day 4:

Start with a jog/walk.  Much better shape for this than the first one.
B&B breakfast

Beach food:  Mango juice, strawberry daiquiri, a beer, shared order of chips with pico de gallo and guacamole (yummmy).  The girl had a limonada.  $290

Cocktail hour:  Two bags of micro popcorn, glass of wine for the girl. Gin and tonic for the boy.

Dinner at Braserros downtown next to Any's :  Average enchilada for the girl, excellent tacos al pastor (3 should have had 4) (pork on a veritcal grill) and chips with pico de gaio and an interesting peanut sauce dip.  $275

Day 5:
B&B Breakfast with some fresh strawberries added.

Beach food:  A 'frozen' fresh OJ for each.  MMMMM!
She had quesidillas with corn tortillas and pico de gallo
He had a BLT with fries and they split another fries order.
Topped off with a Dos XXs amber and water.  $330

Cocktail hour:  G&T (boy) and glass of wine (girl) with some peanuts on the veranda.

Dinner at Casa Elviras downtown to visit Nahume (manager for two years now) and Moses (morning waiter at Elviras on La Ropa last year) and met Milton the head waiter.  All great guys.

Too much food!  She had Chicken fajitas, ate three  but left more than half.  Next time order a half order which they do.

The Count had pork chop, frijoles, and guacamole.  We both had chips with a half order of guacamole and pico de gallo.  Total $225  They even comped us for two gin and tonics.

This was the best dinner we have had down here and will be back for their Saturday night 58th anniversary next week.  All food and booze for free!

Day 6:

Casa Iguana came through with some beautiful fresh fruit plate for each of us today.  We are the only guests again so I guess Joel is spoiling us.  Fresh pineapple, cantaloupe and papaya.  We had toast and butter while I added some wonderful homemade peach preserve on my toast.

We walked up to main road and noticed the first cruise ship out in the bay!  HUGE, taking up the entire bay it seems.

We left early and caught a ride with Joel over to Ixtapa where we rented bikes from the same shop we used a couple of years ago.  Located across from the Park Royal resort.

We peddled the 8 KM distance through the nature preserve and then had limenada for Lori and a strawberry dacqueri for the boy.  Lunch was chips with frijoles and pico de gallo.  Great chips and so so drinks.

Home around 2:00 PM and time for a shower, reading and resting.

4;00 PM saw a very small amount of gin and full of tonic for each of us.  L had Jalapena Chips while the boy had a plate of regular Potato Chips, followed by an iced coffee using the left over coffee from this AM.

The plan is to go to Elvira's on the beach for coconut shrimps and photo the big love boat.

The boat was gone at 7:00 PM, we heard the horn go off around 4:30.  Dinner at Elvira's Bar and Restaurant started out with a fresh OJ and vodka dacquiri and it turned out it was 2 for 1 so I had two of the big frozen orange things.  MMMMM!  L had a glass of white wine which she drank one and left one.

Dinner was the coconut shrimps (5 count, butterflied and huge) with mango dip sauce.  A bit sweet but VERY good.  I had 6 as L donated one of hers.  Good rice and veggies too.

Day 7:  Thursday

Up early to take in a jog/walk to the top of the hill on new road that has been pumped into the jungle.  It goes up past the sewage treatment center for Playa La Ropa.  Maybe it is 2 miles in length , maybe not but it is UP!  A gorgeous walk in the AM that rewards one with a view of Playa de Maderia and Commercial from the top.  Maybe a 2.5-3 mile total but the early birds are very fun to see.  There are early joggers here too.  Maybe 10 that day?  Lucky Luciano is a short local who wants me to see his bungalows for $80 a night, next to the turnoff to La Pearla.
B&B breakfast (cereal, yogurt, banana, coffee)

Elvira's on the beach:  frozen fresh squeezed OJ (like a dacquri but no booze), limenada for L
A plate of sopes for lunch with a Dox XXs amber.  $230

Off to Cenduria Anetelias in posole alley for some excellent posole, chips, pico de gallo and a Sol cervasa.  $105

Dessert at Casa Elvira with Nahume and Moses.  Cheesecake flan with coconut icecream split between the two of us.  The boy ate most of it.  $65

Marcos took us home in his taxi from the basketball court.  He is a big talkative fellow, very fun to mess with.  He hangs at the BB court nightly. (the charge is $50 pesos each way more or less)

Day 8:  Friday 

B&B breakfast (cereal, yogurt, banana, coffee)  add in some alka seltzer cold medication and you have it.

A slow start to the day with the sickness called a 'cold' in the boy and hanging on tight.

The beach was a perfect day if a bit light in the wind.  L had quesidillas and didn't even give me a bite, which was fine as I had pescadillos, fish tacos with pico de gaio.  I had my favorite frozen mango juice to start, then the tacos after a swim, and a Dos XXs amber, my new favorite beer in the fun and sun.  ($240)

We came home from the beach around 3, showered and the boy took a one hour nap after the grueling morning of swimming 4 laps to the swimming floats off shore.  The tide was out so the distance was not so bad.  The swimming is getting easier each day.

We had cocktail hour with a couple of G&Ts, micro popcorn and peanuts (KKWats, Japonese).

Out to Daniel's tonight to dance to Jimi Mamou!  We each ordered a salad and they were great.  L had the mixed ensalada, The boy had the Princess Garden Salad with grilled chicken, bacon, nuts, slices of grapefruit and oranges.  MMMMM!  ($200)

Day 9 (Saturday):

Joel made some fresh squeezed OJ again for us and we had the other usual cereal, yogurt, and banana.  Yummmm!

Lunch was camerone tacos (shrimp tacos) for the boy with quesidillas for L.  A frozen limenada for each of us and a beer at the end of the swim.  ($230)

A glass of fruit from the fruit lady vendor for $25 who we had to track down at the end of the day to pay.  She was found at the far end of the beach and we were lucky to find her.  When she came by all the money we had was 2@ $500 pesos and she didn't have change so said to pay her later.

Dinner was at Adelitas next to the canal.  L had a salad and baked potato while the boy had asada with baked spud but his appetite was off because of his cold.  They brought in a complementary Key Lime pie that was to die for!  Add in a beer and a limenada and you get $230.  There was good Peruvian flute music and guitar during dinner from the house band.

We wandered down to Casa Elvira's to see Nahume et al... It was the restaurant's 58th birthday so they had a pinata breaking and free drinks etc...  Then we went to the Archologist shop where Lori got a very decorated Aztec dog for $520, down from $595.

Day 10 Sunday

B&B Breakfast

Day at the beach at El Vira's  (~$330) Hamburgesa and fries for the Count, Chips and pico de gaio and frijoles for L.  Daiquiri, Mango juice, Dos XXs, limenada

Dinner at Elvira's on the beach... Ensalada mixa con pollo and tocino for CF, Similar but no tocino for L, screwdriver and a fume blanco for L.  $440

Day 11, Monday

B&B Breakfas

Sopes for lunch and the usual drinks ($230~) at Elvira's

Dinner at AnY's downtown for the best sope de tortilla in town.  (our third purchase this trip)
Great fresca naranja con vodka 'frozen' and limenada.  $240~  We were stuffed!  Couldn't finish the soup!

Day 12, Tuesday:

We were forced to a different beach bar as Elvira's is closed on Tuesday.  Patty's is next door but then we were sitting in the lounge chairs and heard from another guest that there was a $150 peso minimum order per chair, so L went off to sit in the sun.  We were only going to be on the beach for a couple hours as we were flying out.

Turns out that was not the case that AM as the Count had an OJ (small) and a small strawberry daiquiri  and all in it was $90 and no charge for the lounge chair.

At the airport after a $280 ride we checked in and then had lunch outside the security check and ordered a Mexican snack.  Two beef tacos, 3 cheese quesodillas, and a chicken sope.  This was Mexican fast food and very plain!  With coke and water $225.

Alaska airline fed us some turkey ala king and coleslaw in first class.  It reminded me of lunch food at school.

Then a snack of a turkey wrap at LAX where we declined an earlier flight that didn't have first class seats.  That wrap was very average and with tea, chips, and water was $20 US.

On the flight to Seattle we were served hot cookies and the Count had a couple of coffee and Baileys.

Day 1, at home:

Net Result:  Final weight after trip.... 199.8

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter Shaw Island Classic 2014

Winter Shaw Island Race:
v. 2014

Race Course in Red.  Delivery in Green.
Delivery to the Event:

We had 7 bodies for the delivery over in decent weather.  No rain and very little wind.  5 slept on the boat in West Sound Marina, where they gave us a very sheltered and easy access slip on the very north of the Marina.  We were very happy to be snug in there as it started to blow in the 50s that night.  Our friends on Journey, another Catalina 42 got in after dark and took a slip on the south side (read weather side) of the marina and didn't get a lot of sleep.

We had a choice of going to the Orcas YC for a potluck or just eating our own food on the boat.  The walk in the rain and wind kept a couple on board all night and all on board for dinner.  The taco salad would have been tough to keep  and transport.  3 crew went over around 8:30 with 2 (Ben and Sarah) getting  a ride to the Orcas Hotel for the night.  Apparently the activity shut off quick that night as there were very few attendees in the report given in the AM.

The morning brought a good breakfast to the table with bacon, hashbrowns, cantalope, scrambled eggs.  Also sunshine and maybe 5 k of wind.  It really died down for the start of the race.  We picked up Hawkeye, Lucky Dave and Stephanie who came in on the ferry and then Ben and Sarah.  Then we were 10 total on board.  The rest of the crew included the Naviguessor, Rear Admiral Papajani, Polisher, Jalapeno, the Fire Marshall and photographer, and Count Enrico Ferrari.

The Race:

There were 3 classes starting in one start after the local ferry cleared out.   Jah Mon got a good start in clear air but somehow Journey got a better one and sailed over us early on.  That was disconcerting as they have a rating of 150 and ours is 123, so we owe them 27 seconds a mile.  It was fun seeing another C-42 out there but it was better to see them behind us as we finally crossed them tacking through the channel, looking for the best pressure we could find.

Odd observation about this race:  Count Ferrari usually gives up the helm after the start but he was having so much fun that he steered, without interruption for the entire race with finished at 12:36 for us.

We got into Upright Channel ahead of Journey by a little and the entire fleet just close reached in 18k or so all the way to the next turn to the right into San Juan Channel.  Chutes came out and after the world's longest chute set (halyard had gotten wound up in the furler) Jah Mon said good bye to Journey who doesn't fly a chute.  We had a couple of good gybes in 20k of wind or so and pushed hard into Wasp Passage where we applied the sock, dropped and then deployed the 140% headsail again.

Wasp Passage is a tight little bit of tacking with puffs coming wherever they want to.  The wind ranged from 0-15 in that section and we acquitted ourselves well with boat handliing and reading the puffs.  Once out of the pass we beat to the finish and took down our sails.

We finished, after correction, 6th out of 8 and had a great time!

Delivery Home:

Delivery to Anacortes was the next thing and if we had it to do over we would have hunkered down in West Sound Marina for the night.  It was only blowing in the high teens on the nose at the finish at Orcas ferry landing but built to the mid 20s near Lopez Island and then out of Thatcher Pass to Rosario Strait we had mid 30s with the wind going to 42 at peak gusts on the nose as we approached Anacortes.  The wind was against the current so we had some steep seas to deal with.  10' waves were the biggest seen.  The 3k current gave us about 4-5k over the ground a full cruise on the motor (usually about 7-8k in still air).

Once we rounded Cap Sante rock we slowed to 1.3 over the bottom as we lost our big current push.  Polisher and Ben drove the big boat all the way to the entrance to the marina in the pounding.  Sitting on the forward head in that almost needed a seatbelt!

Alternatives were discussed for docking and the only solution was to come into Cap Sante Marina and find a slip in all the empty 65' docks they currently have.  The Count cranked the motor to 3000 revs and we surfed and powered in behind the breakwater. Tthe wind stayed in the mid 30s as we looked about for a dock to snuggle up to.  This was an undesirable situation.  Learn from our debacle and just don't do it.

We made one approach to a weather slip but couldn't get there and had to do an emergency back out to the fairway.  No touch, no foul.

We then shifted fenders to starboard and came in hot with a bump.  Firmly attached by the wind we could barely move the boat forward with full throttle and 5-6 guys pushing and pulling us to the front of the slip where we could tie off and slump with relief.  The moral is "Just say NO to 30+ k wind, given a choice".


There should be some photo documentation posted here soon.

Respectfully submitted as accurate by Count Ferrari.