Thursday, January 24, 2008

We are in Hualtulco, MX. It is the jumping off point for cruisers for Central America. We have been here for 2 days and we are leaving this afternoon for El Salvador. We are going to skip Guatemala all together, because it is expensive to get into the country and the one marina that there is, is supposedly very expensive. There apparently are not any nice anchorages there either so we decided to give it a miss, beside we do not have it`s flag.
It is about 500 miles to El Salvador and we have to cross the last big sailing hurdle on this coast, the DREADED TUHAUNAPEC, ( I am not sure of the spelling). Anyway the Gulf of Tuhaunapec, is a very dangerous stretch of water. It is dangerous because all of the weather from the Gulf of Mexico, on the Atlantic side of Mexico comes funnelling through this narrow opening. The mountains stop and there is a low land crossing that the wind just finds and comes humming through. You really have to keep an eye on the weather in Texas to figure out whether or not you are going to be safe crossing this body of water.
Fortunately there is a fellow who is the dockmaster at the marina where we are staying who is a master of the T-Pec. He has crossed it over 200 times and he has numerous weather web sites that he will call up and look at. He won`t let boats leave unless he thinks there is a good safe weather window. Apparently we are looking forward to 15-25 knots of wind on the beam and very little wave action. You cross the T-Pec hugging the shore, one foot on the beach as it were, so that the wind, if there is some, does not have any room to make big waves. Good stratedgy. We are leaving about supper time so that we will cross the worst part during the day tomorrow and then it will be smooth sailing after that.
Haultulco is a lovely spot, it is a planned tourist community so there is not much of the natural Mexican charm here, but there are great grassy boulevards with coconuts palms everywhere for shade. The hotels are not garish and the beaches look lovely and pristine. We did anchor one night out in the bay and it was very rolly and after the wind switched at three in the morning we did not get much sleep. We went our for our last dinner in Mexico last night and had a lovely time with Bruce and Marion from Galivant. Apparently Central American cooking is quite bland and boring compared to Mexican cuisine. We shall see.
The next blog you will be getting will be from El Salvador and we will be well on our way in the next stage of our adventure. There are only about five weeks left until we are to leave for the Galapagos and we have several countries to explore before then. Keep in touch, we love hearing from all of you.