Two Jams and Three Nights in Las Hadas

After our fun 12 days in Barra, we pulled up anchor and left at about 6:30 am on Thursday, January 31st, continuing our southbound trek. It was still dark as we pulled up the anchor and made our way out the channel bound for Bahia Manzanillo. We intended to stop at one of the three bays there for a brief stop to break-up the somewhat long 200 nm leg down to Zihuatanejo. It was a pretty, still, calm morning, and we had no problem finding the channel and getting out into the bay. As we motored along and the sun rose, there was a Mexican Navy patrol boat lazily making his rounds.

Since we had finally eaten the rest of our "caught" fish, we decided to put a line in the water for the morning to see what we might pick up. We were hoping to bring in some white meat, maybe a Sierra or a Dorado (mahi-mahi), and we had our hopes up when we got a hit. Of course, as always happens, I was busy doing something else when the fish got on, and so had to rush back from the foredeck, where I was busy re-tying a loose flag halyard, and so by the time I got to the reel, about 200 yards had played out, It took quite a while, maybe 15 minutes, to reel in the fish. We were disappointed when it turned out to be yet another Skipjack. Tired of the dark meat from the jacks, we unhooked and released him, somewhat worse for wear and tear, and decided to bag fishing for a while, content to rely for the time being on the Dorado fillets we had purchased in Barra.

After we rounded Punta Graham, the SE point guarding Bahia Navidad, a sailing breeze came up and we made pretty good time for a while, maybe 5 knots, under sails alone. But after an hour or two of pure sailing, the wind petered out and we resorted to motoring once again. It was a somewhat hazy morning, and within two hours we passed Piedra Blanca, a prominent white cliffed island which we could make out clearly about 2 miles off of our port side. Another couple of hours of motoring brought us around Punta Carrizal and into the triple bays of Higuras, Bahia Santiago, and Bahia Manzanillo. We had decided to stay at Las Hadas, which is a nook in Bahia Manzanillo, because it was reported to be a nice anchorage, with an interesting hotel resort attached.

As we rounded the point, we finally realized that the haze we had been seeing all morning was eminating from three huge smokestacks south of the town of Manzanillo, where there is a huge coal-fired electrical plant. The plume from the smokestacks was so large that it looked like a cloud, was easily a mile high and 10 miles long, and was clearly a major blight on this otherwise very pretty stretch of coast.

But our spirits were lifted as we pulled into Las Hadas and saw the pretty little bay and the spectacular architecture of the resort hotel. And even better, as we drove around looking for a good spot to anchor among the four or five boats already there, we noticed that one of the boats was ANGELFISH, with our now good friends Frosty and Patti, on board. Before we had even completed anchoring, Frosty came by in the dinghy and invited us over to ANGELFISH for a jam and cocktails that evening.

After we had gotten settled in and did the dinghy drill, we took DITTY thru the breakwater to the docks at the Hotel Marina, tied her off, and went in and checked in with the Port Captain, Ruben, who quickly stamped our papers and briefed us on the hotel policies. For $15 per day we would have full use of the hotel facilities, including the dinghy dock, swimming pool, and 10% off at the restaurants. So we went ahead and paid for 2 days of access, and got our exit checkout at the same time.

The resort was indeed beautiful. The architecture of the houses around it reminded us much of La Jolla ... very expensive looking. And the Las Hadas Resort, which means "the Fairies" in Spanish, based on a Moorish fairytale, was this blend of Morrocan, Mexican, and Fantasy architecture clearly intended to make the visitor forget his/her troubles and enjoy the stay there.

Cruisers are required to bring their own towels to the pool, and they must be white or off-white in color, so we went back to RHAPSODY where we fortunately had a couple of white towels, then came back in and parked ourselves by the pool, where Frosty and Jennnifer, from EMILY B, had already staked out a couple of lounge chairs. We ordered Margaritas from a passing waiter and took dips in the pool in between drying out in the warm sun. After we finished our first drinks, I ordered second Margaritas, and told the waiter to make it "a little stronger" than the last one, which I thought had been pretty lame.

They weren't very big margaritas. The glass (actually a plastic tumbler) was about 5" tall by 2" wide. The second batch of 'ritas came and, although small, were at least somewhat stronger. After finishing them and asking for the "la cuenta, por favor", however, I was shocked to find out that they were $7.00 (seven dollars) each, and worse, that the second ones I had ordered were "doubles" and cost an outlandish $14 each! Yikes, MF! So, we have two drinks each, and it cost us $42, not counting the 5$ tip which I somewhat reluctantly left. For $42 we could have bought two BOTTLES of pretty good Tequila anywhere in Mexico! So, word to the wise, the bars and restaurants in Las Hadas are very expensive. As such, we went back to the boat for dinner, and made some nice Tacos and fixins.

Then, after dinner, around 7:00 pm, true to form, we took DITTY over to ANGELFISH, where Dean and Jennifer from EMILY B joined us and Frosty and Patti for drinks and a jam. Dean brought his saxophone and Frosty and I played guitars as we worked thru a number of tunes, trading leads and songs between the three of us while the girls chatted merrily away. It was a pretty fun evening.