120 nm in 24 hours from Ixtapa to Acapulco

After fueling up on Monday, we got up bright and early on Tuesday and left our slip at Marina Ixtapa at 8:00 am, just in time to make it out of the channel before the dredging started at 8:30.

It was a pretty uneventful trip from Ixtapa to Acapulco. We had our usual watch schedule. However, we got a little off schedule as each of us let the other sleep a little extra on each watch. We made our way around Isla Roqueta and into Bahia de Acapulco at about 7:00 am.

Since we had to leave at 8:00 am, and we wanted to arrive in Acapulco no earlier than sunrise, we had to limit our speed thru the day and night to about 5 knots, or else we would arrive at 3:00 in the morning. So it was slow going thru the night. There was a pretty moonrise and we saw a few turtles along the way, but otherwise there wasn't much to mention about the leg.

When we arrived at the anchorage/mooring area, about 8:00 am on Wednesday morning, it was a little more haphazard than we were expecting. There were boats at anchor here and there, interspersed with boats on mooring balls, with no clear demarcation between them. Our original plan was to get a slip at La Marina Acapulco, which was rumored to be the less expensive and more accessible of the two marinas in the bay. The other one, Club de Yates, was rumored to be very expensive (like $150+ a day for our boat), and we didn't want to pay any more than we had to. Since, of course, no one was answering the radio or phone at 8:00 am, we decided to drop anchor rest a while and then take a marina slip later in the day.

So, there we were, driving slowly around the anchorage/mooring area looking for a place to drop the hook. We passed a boat where there was someone on board and asked him where we should anchor. He basically said "anyplace". He also said something that later we would understand better. He told us to "just take any mooring and see what happens". This didn't make a lot of sense to me, as I knew that some of the moorings belonged to the Club de Yates, and would incur a hefty fee. What I didn't know is that a lot of the moorings are privately owned, and their owners may or may not ever check to see if someone is using them. If they do come out and check up on you, usually they will ask you to pay $10/day for the mooring for any future days you stay, but not retroactively. However, we didn't know that at the time, and like I said, we decided to anchor.

The problems with anchoring in Acapulco were twofold. First the water was fairly deep. After circling around twice we did not find any place to drop the anchor in less than 60 feet of water ... more like 70. And since "the book" says you should always put out AT LEAST 4:1 scope, that meant we would have to let out about 280 feet of chain, very close to all of our 350 feet. The second issue is that with some of the boats on moorings and others on anchor, swinging room becomes a problem. A boat on a mooring will swing in a tight circle around its mooring, but a boat on anchor will swing in as big a circle as it has out anchor rode (chain). When all the boats are on anchor, it's usually not a problem because they more or less all swing the same way and therefore can be somewhat close together. But in this mixed up mooring/anchorage, it was hard to find a place where we, on anchor, and who might swing a circle as large as 560 feet in diameter, would not risk colliding with a boat on a mooring.

Finally, we just found the biggest open space we could and dropped the anchor, falling back with the wind to a fairly open part, with the idea still being that we would get a marina slip in a few hours and move the boat. Still, I was still very concerned, as there was a boat only 30 or so feet behind us after we had dropped the anchor and set it, in our usual way, at 1500 rpms in reverse.