Tapachula, Mexico  November 2018    We left Mexico City on November 30.  The drive was scenic mountains and marigold flower fields.  It is said that these flowers use their color and scent to guide the spirits to their respective altars during Dia de los Muertos.  They are known as "the flower of the dead".

We spent one night in Oaxaca, before driving to Tapachula.  We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Casa de Sierra Azul .  At check-in, we were offered a mezcal shot as our welcome drink (this is the land of mezcal).

The town was crowded with Day of the Dead celebrations; we enjoyed the lively atmosphere and the beautiful marigold flower altars. 

On our drive to Tapachula, which is on the Mexico/Guatemala border, we saw some migrants walking north on the highway, fleeing the problems of Central America, with hopes of asylum and the USA.  Their situation is heartbreaking.

We arrived in Tapachula on November 1.  The boat was out of the water in storage, and we had the bottom painted.   Since we had left our boat last spring, Pat has some work to do before we board the boat. We didn't find lodging near the marina that would accept Sushi, our dog, so we stayed for a week at an organic coffee farm in the mountains, Finca Argovia.  Though a long 1 1/2 hour drive for Pat each day to go to the marina, we had a very nice time, enjoying the calm, peaceful nature.  There were many orchids growing in the trees and tropical flowers. In addition to having 13 cabins, they have a good restaurant, pool, spa,  yoga platform and tours. They also cultivate and sell tropical flowers, such as anthuriums (photo below), heliconia, ginger and orchids.  We had a nice cabin and took long walks on the trails of the finca.  Sushi enjoyed swimming in the river, and I enjoyed my hot stone massage. It's beautiful. 

Coffee beans:

We talked about going south through the Panama Canal back to the Caribbean.  After much discussion, we have decided to avoid the work it would take us to get the boat to Florida for the summer.  Instead, we have decided to sail the boat to Puerto Vallarta, where we hope to sell our boat.  If we do get another boat, we would get one in Florida, where we can cruise in the Caribbean, where we enjoyed before the sailing and close island hopping.  We found the Pacific coast to be rough at times, especially trying to get to shore with our dinghy with the beach waves, and the limited anchorages. 

We left the marina in Tapachula on November 23.  It was a two day motorsail to Huatulco.  It was very exciting for Sushi to see her dolphin friends along the way.  We caught three mahi mahi along the way.  I fileted the fish and froze most of the filets.  We will have two weeks' worth of delicious dinners!

We arrived in Huatulco on November 25.  The marina was closed due to heavy rains which brought sediment from the area into the narrow entrance.  We anchored in the adjacent bay, but after a couple of rough nights due to heavy swell, we moved to anchor in Playa la India for one night.   

Our next stop was Puerto Angel.  It wasn't the calm anchorage during our last visit several years ago.  Due to big waves at the anchorage, we decided to leave the following day for Acapulco.  We had set a stern anchor to hold our boat into the oncoming swell.  Pat took the dinghy to get the stern anchor, but it was embedded in the sand and due to the heavy waves, it was impossible to retrieve the anchor after several attempts.  Luckily, a worker on a small boat came by and flagged down a fishing boat with a large motor to help retrieve the anchor.   We were glad to be on our way; it was a two day motor sail.

We arrived in Acapulco on Dec. 2, and we decided to stay at Acapulco Club de Yates, a private marina which offered a few slips for transient boaters.  We were very impressed with the facilities. There's a good restaurant and a huge swimming pool with jacuzzi.  The location was quite beautiful, with a view of the distant mountains. 

We decided to stay two weeks, during which time I would visit my mom in San Francisco for her 92nd birthday.  During our stay, we often had the beautiful pool to ourselves.

 Sushi wasn't feeling well, and we were lucky to meet Michele and Randy on s/v Nautilus.  They both love dogs, and Sushi became very attached to them.  Michele is a wildlife vet, and she fixed Sushi right up with amoxicillin and a check up.  We were very grateful for her help!

I had a great trip home to celebrate my mom's 92nd birthday....she's doing great!  Our son, Armand, joined me to celebrate this special day.

We left Acapulco on Dec. 17 and arrived in Zihuatanejo on Dec. 18.  We anchored in the big bay in front of downtown; we had a great 4 day stay at this laid back city.  It was gearing up for Christmas celebrations.

Our next stop north was Barra de Navidad (which means Christmas sandbar....how appropriate!), and we arrived Dec. 24.  We got a slip at the Isla Grand Resort marina.  We enjoyed our 9 day stay here.

We left Barra on Jan. 2 for the two day passage to Puerto Vallarta.  We are at the marina in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.  the marina and anchorage is pretty full, with cruisers going north and south, as well as preparing for the puddle jump to the South Pacific.  Pat flew to Tapachula to get our car and drove it back in two days.  It's nice having the car here.  Our home in San Miguel de Allende is an 8 hour drive from here; we plan to be there in April. 

The humpback whales are in the bay.  They migrate here November through mid March to have their babies, before heading north.  We took our boat out in the bay and saw many whales...it was very exciting to see them up close!




We are having a good time with our friends Michele and Randy on s/v Nautilus.  We visited the beautiful botanical gardens with them.  It's one of most favorite places to visit; the plants are varied and exotic, and the setting is unforgettable. The restaurant on site is outstanding.

 We had a lovely dinner with their friends Mary Ellen and Joe at Le Klif restaurant.  We stayed at their rented villa that evening; it was beautiful and the views were unforgettable.

We met Rica and Mark aboard s/v Sonrisa and we have had several outings with them.  Several times, we visited the beach town of San Francisco (also known as San Pancho), where we spent great days at  the beach.  We enjoy this town, less touristy than the neighboring town of Sayulita.


For Valentine's day, we had a delicious dinner at the Blue Shrimp restaurant in Punta Mita; our table was in the sand...the views were lovely!


I will visit our daughter and husband, Isabelle and Niko, and our grand daughter, Lucia on February 23.  They currently live in Dakar, Senegal.  I can't wait to see them, but especially little Lucia.  Isabelle's next posting with the State Department will be in the Dominican Republic, where they will relocate sometime this fall.  It will be nice to have them closer to family.



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