December 26, 2014
It’s Boxing Day in some places, and we are busy today filling tanks, doing last-minute shopping and visiting officials to prepare for our departure tomorrow. It’s our last day in Mexico, and we are all a little sad to leave. The people have been great – even Port Captains and Immigration officials – the food, of course, has been wonderful, and we were able to spend Christmas Eve and morning in a very special small hotel in Tapachula.
The hotel, “Casa Mexicana,” has maybe 10 or 12 rooms, is centered around a lovely open-air courtyard garden, and is chock-full of art and photographs. Most of the photos are from Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s – weddings, family pictures, and the occasional well-armed Zapata-like figure mounted on a horse. Literally hundreds of masks, sculptures and pieces of pottery added to the ambience, and, thank you very much, the rooms were air conditioned. What a Christmas present!
The marina here on the border of Mexico and Guatemala also turned out to be a pleasant spot. It’s well organized and clean, with little cliques of rays patrolling the water around the docks. Almost as much fun to watch as the gangs of pelicans who, eight or ten at a time, skim along the surface of the sea, like a squad of Hell’s Angles looking for a rumble.
So now for the roughly five day journey to Costa Rica. Most of it should be quiet and uneventful, but the last hundred miles cross the Golfo Papagallo, which is very similar to the Golfo Tehuantepec, in that strong winds from the Caribbean push across low spots in the terrain. Winds of 40 knot are not unusual. With help from our dedicated weather officer Anita we will be watching this closely, tying in reefs early and often, and hugging the beach if things look daunting.
We may also anchor just before the gulf to wait out bad weather. We’ve all felt that spending time at anchor in a quiet, clean bay is one of the very best parts of the trip. Swimming every morning and afternoon, getting a chance to clean off the marina gunk on the waterline, and being rocked gently to sleep at night.
So, our next report is several days away. In the meantime, the very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015 from Birgit, Syd and Hannah!